Long before Joe Carter was causing Blue Jays fans to jump up and down he was busy with the bat.
At the same time, in the fall of 1993 he was shocking the Philadelphia Phillies.
Back in the spring of 1979, 1980 and 1981, Carter was going deep causing his college coach to shake hands after another good news blast for the Wichita State Shockers.
Gene Stephenson was coaching Wichita State those days, actually from 1978 to 2013, compiling a 1837-675-3 record, reaching the College World Series in Omaha seven times.
And now Stephenson, Carter’s former coach, a member of the college baseball hall of fame, will be passing on his wisdom at the annual BC Baseball Coaching Conference Feb. 19-21.
If you recall the kind of excitement of Jose Bautista flipping his bat against the Texas Rangers or the Blue Jays battling the Kansas City Royals, well the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. is the place to be. Coaches can register to attend on the BC Minor web site.
Stephenson will be on hand to instruct and maybe tell a story of one or two of the 54 homers Carter hit for the Shockers (fourth all-time).
Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar, who also came to the Jays with Carter in the 1990 deal with the San Diego Padres, will be instructing and attending the Saturday luncheon.
Same for former Jays centre fielder Devon White, who won three World Series rings -- two with the Jays and one with the 1997 Florida Marlins.
And if you still want to talk post-season World Series memories former New York Yankees third baseman Charlie Hayes -- he caught Mark Lemke’s pop up to end the 1996 World Series as the Yankees edged the Atlanta Braves stranding two men on base.
The other guest speakers include
_ Dr. Ryan Harrison, a vision trainer, on How to See the Ball Like a Beach Ball.
_ Legendary Mark (Lunch) McKenzie, who coaches at Concordia-St. Paul University Golden Bears. McKenzie is respected as one of the most moving, insightful and knowledgeable speakers on the winter circuit.
_ Marcus (Snacks) McKenzie, Mark’s son, an assistant at Concordia-St. Paul.
_ Don Hooton, Jr. director of business development for the Taylor Hooton Foundation, an organization formed by their father, Don, and his family to increase awareness of the dangers of using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
_ Legendary instructor Pete Caliendo of Chicago, formerly of USA Baseball and Paul Dwyer.
_ Ernie Young, who played parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Oakland A’s, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers, will speak on Having an Approach at the Plate.
_ Dr. Tom Hanson played at Luther College, was an assistant at Illinois and Virginia before becoming a head coach at Skidmore. He was the Yankees performance enhancement director in 2001 and held the same position with the Texas Rangers.
_ Greg Elliot an exercise physiologist who specializes in sports nutrition, functional movement, exercise science and health optimization. He completed his Master’s of Science in Exercise Science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2013, where he attended on a basketball scholarship. He has worked with many the Vancouver Canucks and BC Lions.
And if you feel like it you can ask Stephenson about Mark Sandiford the all-time home run leader at Wichita State with 89.
But Carter won Collegiate Baseball honors three times, earned The Sporting News, All-American Baseball News, Baseball Bulletin and McDonald’s honors
He was also named The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1981 when he hit 24 homers.
And now when the best Wichita State players and others have a great season they compete for the Missouri Valley Conference Joe Carter player of the year honor.