Dean's List: Can't Be An OK Sports HOF Without Mickey Tettleton
After the suddenly resurgent OSU Cowboys soundly defeated Texas Tech in the opener of the Big 12 Baseball Championship in OKC, the Red Raiders will try to do what the OU Softball team did in the Norman Regional: lose the opener and win out.
ESPN’s stats show that since the Super Regional Era began in 2005, only seven of 384 (two percent) teams have lost first games and rallied to win Regionals and advance to Supers.
Like Three-Natty Patty Gasso’s No. 1 seeded Sooners, the Red Raiders were the top-seed when they lost to 8-seed OSU. The no-fluke Cowboy win proves two facts that will make it difficult for Texas Tech to win out. One: OSU is not close to your typical 8-seed – even though they needed their two-game weekend Bedlam sweep to even make the field in the Big 12 Tournament. And two: one of the reasons this league is the best in the country is that it has quality depth.
One of the TV analysts for the tournament is Mickey Tettleton. Full disclosure, Mickey’s a pal and someone for whom I have respected for years. He’s also a salty, long-hitting scratch golfer, we both play most of our golf, Oak Tree National, in Edmond, OK.
I was recently reminded of a fact that stuns me to this day: Mickey Tettleton is not a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. So I hereby heartily nominate and support Mickey’s inclusion in the illustrious hall. Named for fellow-Oklahoma baseball legend Mickey Mantle, Tettleton’s numbers alone merit membership.
Mickey graduated from OKC Southeast High School, a place that has produced many professional athletes including the late but always classy Yankee outfielder Bobby Murcer. Tettleton went to Oklahoma State and led them to the 1981 College World Series Finals. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1981 MLB draft by Oakland and played 13 seasons in the big leagues for Oakland, Baltimore, Detroit and Texas.
The 57-year-old proud father of four – Tyler (Norman North and U of Ohio starting QB & now an OU assistant) , Tate, Shanny and Jessica – is best remembered as one of the best catchers of his era, but also played 1B, OF and DH.
Being a two-time All-Start and a 3-time winner of the Silver Slug Award merits hall inclusion, but he also cranked 245 career home runs and 732 RBIs. Mick had 1,485 career hits, while hitting .241 with an on-base percentage of .369. He also had a .991 fielding percentage behind the plate.
The numbers speak for themselves. Success at every level. And excellence in life today.
He stood tall in the box with a with an unorthodox standup batting style at the plate. And today, he stands tall as a standup guy.
The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame is a first-class group with remarkable inductees. But make room, please. There simply can’t be an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame without Mickey Lee Tettleton.