Thursday, August 16, 2012

SxSE: Ole Miss

Oxford-University Stadium at Swayze Field:
  • Capacity:  Listed variably as 6,000+ to 8,500
  • Reported 2011 Average Attendance:  8,156
    • That average attendance is pretty amazing, considering the total population of Oxford (residents + students) is listed as around 35,000.  That means that almost one fourth of the population goes to the average ballgame.  That proportion of attendance would translate to an average attendance over 30,000 at Mizzou Baseball games.
  • Named for:  Tom Swayze, former Ole Miss player and coach

Why is the school known as "Ole Miss"?  According to Wikipedia (so it must be true):
The student yearbook was published for the first time in 1897. As a way to find a name for the book, a contest was held to solicit any suggestions from the student body. Elma Meek, a student at the time, submitted the winning entry of Ole Miss. This sobriquet was chosen not only for the yearbook, but also became the name by which the University is now known. Ole Miss is defined as the school's intangible spirit, which is separate from the tangible aspects of the university. Meek's source for the term is unknown. Some historians theorize she either made a simple diminutive of "Ole Mississippi" or derived it from "ol' missus", African American eye dialect for a plantation's "old mistress."
Is Ole Miss inordinately pretentious?  Their school colors are officially Yale Blue and Harvard Crimson.

♦ Without a doubt, the most famous alumnus of Ole Miss has to be one Leonard "Bones" McCoy, M.D.
McCoy was attending the University of Mississippi during the mid-2240s when he met the joined Trill Emony Dax, who was visiting Earth to judge a gymnastics competition. While Jadzia did not go into detail regarding the exact nature of their relationship, much may be inferred from her statement that "he had the hands of a surgeon".
♦ The Ole Miss School Cheer:  Hotty Toddy, an understated and dignified cheer

Are you ready?
Hell yeah! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who the hell are we, Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam

The rivalry betweeen Ole Miss and Mississippi State is considered by many to be the greatest rivalry between two SEC Baseball teams.
When it comes to passionate fan bases these two schools have it covered, great attendance numbers and game day atmospheres are a staple for baseball games when your in Oxford or Starkville. Just make sure you have the right colors on when visiting those two towns as they do not have a liking for the other. This is one of the most heated rivalries in the country with the first meeting taking place in 1893 against then Mississippi A&M ( now Mississippi St) since then they have put a twist a unique twist on this rivalry, every year the two play a 3 game series which counts toward their SEC records while also playing one non conference game. The non conference game starting in 1980 had the two teams play for the Mayor’s trophy, the game was held in Jackson MS. In 2007 they changed the name of the trophy to the Governor’s cup and the game is now held in Pearl MS at the Braves double A facility. Ole Miss holds the edge in the Mayor’s trophy with 14 wins to Miss St. 13, while Miss St. hold the edge in Governor’s cup game with 3 wins to Ole Miss 2. These two teams can’t even agree on the record of the all time series, Miss St states they have an all time lead of (239-195-5) while Ole Miss states it is only (231-196-5). (
♦ Ole Miss Tradition
The Rebels are chained to their past. The on-campus speed limit is 18 mph, because that was quarterback Archie Manning's uniform number with Ole Miss. Manning was the second player picked in the 1971 NFL draft, and sons Peyton and Eli are current NFL quarterbacks. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

♦ The Ole Miss Mascot

For decades, the official Ole Miss mascot was Colonel Reb, a "southern gentleman" who reminded many people of a "southern plantation owner", and was thus offensive to some.  In 2010 the administration held a new mascot selection vote.

After a lengthy process of collecting suggestions (including Star Wars' Admiral Ackbar - see VIDEO), the mascot choices were narrowed to three choices:  the Rebel Land Shark, the Rebel Black Bear and Hotty Toddy.  Full descriptions and graphic representations HERE.

They of course chose the most original and "rebellious" option:  a bear

♦ To a get a feeling for the ballpark atmosphere at Ole Miss, check out Ole Miss Baseball: This Is How Revolutions Die, On Terraced Outfield Boxes (
As with all Ole Miss athletic events...and perhaps life in general, the key is to attract the casual follower into a sport is to create something that is more cocktail than competition. That finally took hold during these formative years. It was the debters, ramblers and second sons of the Grove empire exiled to fight out their own space in the wilderness. Right Field at Swayze was the Australia to the Grove's Great Britain-- a rough penal colony imitation of the establishment.

Once the dingos were fought off, the Indian attacks died down and some basic supply lines were established, the pioneer women arrive. Without the pretensions and pearls of settled society, frontier women are little more rough and tumble-- and lot more practical. Gone are the cocktail dresses and heels of football weekends. Mom and Dad probably aren't in town, and Sorority initiation is long over. Baseball was all flip-flops, short shorts and the occasional bikini top. . .
♦ Students pack right field to support diamond Rebs (
When at home, students set up tents a la The Grove and bring coolers, grills and even couches to watch the Rebels play — a unique spectacle that brings students out rain or shine.

Senior marketing major Bo Rainey said he loves supporting Ole Miss from right field.

“It’s really fun,” Rainey said. “Not enough kids come out here, and more need to. It’s awesome.”

Because of the number of students that choose to sit in the spot, Ole Miss added space in right field prior to the 2007 season to accommodate a greater number of students.
The Top 10 College Baseball Stadiums (
2. Swayze Field – Ole Miss: Hotty Toddy is the term used in Oxford and it is used often at Swayze Field. One of the best gameday atmospheres in all of college baseball provides many traditions that make it a unique place to take in a game. A capacity of 8,500 helped Ole Miss rank second in the country in attendance last year. With a left and right field terrace lined with students, Ole Miss gives fans the close- to- the- action feel they are looking for. Between each inning after warmups the Ole Miss RF throws a ball into the stands, and the students write a message on it and throw it back to him the next inning. Beer showers after walk off home runs and of course a good heckling of the opposing outfielders create a rowdy home field advantage. The amenities are first class and give fans a great place to watch a game. If you are a baseball fan and get the opportunity take a trip to Oxford, make sure to catch a game at Swayze field.

Oxford-University Stadium (
When God created college baseball, he made programs both big and small. He made stadiums both big and small. All are special in their own way. All are blessed. And then God made Ole Miss’ stadium.

This has to be THE perfect college baseball environment. Located in a college town, shrouded in trees and enough room to hold 10,000 people. It’s also perfectly tucked inside a hillside, making for a perfect pitch for the fans to get good sight lines. And there is plenty of shade to be found on hot days, even if you just have to duck into the trees for a few minutes.

A look at the atmosphere of an Ole Miss Baseball game (

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