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Oct. 14, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Two years after the Eastern Oregon University baseball program returned to campus, the university inducted the 1980 team into its Athletics Hall of Fame during Homecoming weekend Oct. 8 and 9.
The induction ceremony brought many of the former EOU student-athletes together, including 1980 team member John Cederholm.
“When you play it’s not really a goal you set for yourself to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, so it’s a real honor to have our team recognized at this kind of event,” he said.
Cederholm transferred to EOU in 1980 for his senior year, joining the team for one of the best years in EOU athletic history, including 22 squad records, a .737 win percentage, 28 total wins, the second highest in EOU baseball history, and the team’s still unbeaten 19-game winning streak.
“We have a lot of records, individual team records. I don’t think many of us were even aware until just recently. I don’t know if the score books got buried or what happened, but now that they’ve been published it really makes me look back,” Cederholm said.
The Hall of Fame induction took place in the Gilbert Center on Oct. 8 as part of a joint ceremony with the Alumni Association, which recognized Kale Cockett, Jer Pratton and Bob Stubbs.
Cederholm, still a resident of La Grande, talked about how good it felt to see the EOU community come together to honor his team and said the same community used to show its support while the team was active.
“The 1980 year, we were really embraced by the community. We had a lot of businessmen, judges, that would come and watch, then invite us over to their houses after games for barbecues. So that was really special, to have the community to embrace us as a team,” Cederholm said.
He said attendance at Homecoming had improved in the last three decades. Events and activities throughout the weekend invited alumni and current students to mingle in friendly competition and shared school spirit. Cederholm reunited with teammates he hadn’t seen in 40 years when the team met up to ride in the Homecoming Parade on Friday evening.
“It’s always good to see how the campus is evolving,” he said. “It’s turned into a beautiful campus. You guys are very fortunate to have this type of institution, you know. The facilities that are here now I think are just outstanding.”
Cederholm also got to connect with current student-athletes in EOU’s baseball program and meet coach Michel McInerney.
“We take our sports very seriously, and I think that one thing that made us such a successful team is that we had fun playing,” he said. “You know when the game started we were serious, but we still had fun because it is just a game. All athletes, you have that dream of playing professionally, but chances of it happening are very slim, so enjoy it while you’re out here because it’s gone so fast.”
Find more information about the 1980 Hall of Fame team at eousports.com.
Written by PR Intern Garrett Christensen.
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