Heimlich Brilliant Again for OSUAt The Ballpark
LOS ANGELES — When I looked at the schedule for the upcoming weekend, one of the games that jumped off the screen to me – and probably not one that you would expect – was Oregon State’s Friday night visit to USC.
Why? Well when was the last time you had a college baseball player have to deal with the Sports Illustrated “cover jinx”? I know, a lot of you youngins probably have no idea what that is. Briefly, back when magazines were a little bit more prominent, especially in the 70s and 80s, Sports Illustrated was renown for putting teams or players on the cover and the next week those teams and players would lose.
Growing up as a Cornhusker fan, two instances of “the jinx” come to mind immediately, Rick Berns was on the cover after Nebraska beat No. 1 Oklahoma in 1978, 17-14. The next game, with a trip to the Orange Bowl to play Penn State for the national title on the line, the Huskers lose to Missouri at home 35-31. Then, in 1984, after thumping UCLA 42-10, I-back Jeff Smith graced the cover of SI. The next week? NU loses to lowly Syracuse, who was even more lowlier than they are now.
Well Oregon State All American Luke Heimlich graced this week’s cover.
Obviously, we all know the reason why he is a polarizing figure in our sport and why Sports Illustrated would spend time to put him on the cover. A wildly talented pitcher who has the tools to be a force in the big leagues someday, and also an individual who pleaded guilty to child molestation charges as a juvenile, though he has always maintained his innocence and apparently passed a couple of lie detector tests as well.
Aaron Fitt was in Corvallis last weekend and wrote all about Heimlich and his season after a 14K performance in OSU’s 6-2 win over Stanford:
Coming into this week’s series at USC, Heimlich was back to his old ways, for sure. After last week’s 14-strikeout effort, he came into this matchup with USC with a record of 12-1 and a 2.94 ERA, his K count to 115 punch outs in 88.2 innings of work while holding opposing hitters to a .216 average. Nothing wrong there, right?
So how did the young man handle his own potential “SI jinx” in his first outing after being the cover boy?
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