Feb. 24, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After six wins in its first six games to open the 2014 campaign, second-ranked Florida State (6-0) will take a mini mid-week break to head down to Tampa to face the New York Yankees in an exhibition game inside Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday, February 25. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.
This marks the third meeting between these two teams and the first time since 1985. The Yankees lead the all-time series 2-0 defeating the Seminoles 10-5 in 1979 and 7-3 in 1985 as both games were played in Tallahassee. Tuesday’s game marks the 13th time that FSU has faced a major league squad posting a record of 1-11.
Tuesday’s game will also mark the spring training opener for the New York Yankees.
Seminole baseball certainly has its ties to the storied Major League franchise as two former coaches have worked with the Yankees in the past.
Woody Woodward, former FSU player (1962-63) and head coach (1975-78), served as General Manager of the New York Yankees from 1986-1987.
Dick Howser, former FSU All-American (1956-58) and head coach in 1979, played for the New York Yankees in 1967-1968. Howser left FSU after just one season as head coach to manage the Yankees for one season in 1980. He also managed the Yankees for one game in 1978. Howser’s #34 is the only retired jersey in school history.
Two of FSU’s 19 first round draft picks have been selected by the Yankees including the school’s first ever first round pick in 1966. Jim Lyttle was selected 10th overall. Then in 2001, John-Ford Griffin was picked by the Yankees in the first round with 23rd overall pick.
Three Seminoles on this year’s roster have major league ties including; LHP, Brandon Johnson (brother Sherman Johnson was a 14th round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in 2012); LHP, Brandon Leibrandt (father- Charlie Leibrandt); OF, DJ Stewart (father – 13th round pick by San Diego in 1991). Stewart, a sophomore outfielder for the Seminoles in 2014, was drafted in the 28th round by the Yankees out of high school in 2012.
In fact, Florida State has 12 players on its current roster who have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft at one point in their career. Justin Gonzalez and Peter Miller are the only two players on the team to be drafted twice.
Here is a look at those players who have been drafted:
Ben DeLuzio – 2013 – Miami (3rd)
Jameis Winston – 2012 – Texas (15th)
Peter Miller – 2013 – LA Dodgers (16th); 2010 – NY Mets (38th)
Luke Weaver – 2011 – Toronto (19th)
Taylor Blatch – 2013 – Minnesota (27th)
Justin Gonzalez – 2012 – LA Dodgers (27th); 2009 – Houston (46th)
DJ Stewart – 2012 – NY Yankees (28th)
Danny De La Calle – 2013 – Texas (33rd)
Alec Byrd – 2013 – Cincinnati (37th)
John Sansone – 2012 – Detroit (39th)
Jose Brizuela – 2011 – Cincinnati (46th)
Brandon Leibrandt – 2011 – Tampa Bay (48th)
Audio for Tuesday’s game will be available through Seminoles.com All-Access. Locally fans can listen to the game on 1270 AM. Fans can always receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Baseball team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball and to follow the team on Instagram (NoleBaseball).