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Breakfast with Bevo: Texas bids a fond, final farewell to Augie Garrido

Posted April 10th, 2018

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Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s Tuesday, April 10th. Major League Baseball will observe Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, marking Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier with his debut game on April 15, 1947. But it was on April 10, 1947 that the Dodgers announced they had purchased the contract of Robinson, setting the stage for his historic moment five days later.

April 10 has seen several several Masters champions be green-jacketed, including Danny Wilett (2016), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Tiger Woods (2006), Jose Maria Olazabel (1994), Tom Watson (1977), Gary Player (1961), Arnold Palmer (1960) and Sam Snead (1949). It was Snead’s first Masters win, Player became the first foreigner to win and Palmer birdied the final two holes to beat Ken Venturi by one stroke. And on April 10, 1975, Lee Elder of Dallas became the first African-American to compete at the Masters when Augusta National changed its policy to allow all PGA Tour winners from the previous year to qualify; Elder shot 74-78 and missed the cut.

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Also on April 10, Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard threw an MLB-record six wild pitches in a game at the Astrodome (1979); Paul McCartney announced he was leaving the Beatles (1970);  the PGA was established (1916); President Woodrow Wilson threw out the first pitch in the Washington Senators’ 2-1 win over the Yankees (1913); and the Titanic left England for her maiden — and final — voyage (1912).

Augie Garrido provided plenty of memories for Texas baseball fans over his 20 years with the Longhorns.

How ’bout them Horns?

Augie Garrido passed away on March 15, but Texas’ official memorial service for him was held Monday afternoon at the Erwin Center. Billed as a celebration of life, it drew a who’s who of Texas athletics, including DeLoss Dodds, Chris Del Conte, Mack Brown, Rick Barnes, Jody Conradt, Shaka Smart and Karen Aston. Even Kevin Costner was on hand. And later Monday night, the UT tower was lit up with Garrido’s “16” jersey number.

Here’s Danny Davis’ story ($) on Monday’s memorial.

On the subject of saying goodbye to Garrido, it’s worth revisiting a nice piece the Statesman put together in 2016, right after Augie’s final season. We’ve had several UT baseball beat writers through recent years and asked some of them to share their thoughts and memories of what it was like covering him.

Here are three highlights:

From Rick Cantu: Augie taught me a lesson during his first interview as Texas’ head coach, in 1997. The press conference was packed with reporters, UT officials, coaches and fans. It didn’t take Augie long to show his creative wit — at my expense. I remember asking him a question — I can’t remember what it was — but it was a long-winded and rambling one. It probably took me 30 seconds to get the words out.

His response? “Yes.”

It seemed like everyone erupted in laughter, and my face must have turned five shades of red. From that point on, all of my press conference questions have been short and to the point.

From Ryan Autullo: Sensing his player was trying too hard, Augie Garrido called time out at (the 2015) Big 12 tournament and pulled Tres Barrera aside for a chat. Later, Garrido revealed to reporters that he had not given Barrera any hitting advice at all, but instead had loosened him up with a dirty joke.

Naturally, Barrera returned to the batter’s box and ripped a liner to beat Baylor.

Later, in a private moment, I pleaded with Garrido to tell me the joke, which I can’t repeat beyond disclosing that it involved a wedding night, a bowling ball and a toilet bowl.

Garrido (was) a masterful communicator, so I have a difficult time subscribing to the idea that in recent years he was no longer able to connect with the modern ballplayer. For whatever reason, the wins dried up, but the memories and the laughs, they never will.

From Cedric Golden: My first meeting with Augie came before the 2003 season. After we exchanged introductions outside the dugout, he began to explain his philosophy of baseball in great detail. “This game is so much bigger than what happens between the lines,” he said. “It’s a metaphor for life, a game of failure. It can be a cruel game, man.”

I told my dad that night that I had just met a coach who’d spoken for an hour without using one cliché. “That man is a legend,” Dad told me. “You will have fun covering his team and you might just learn something.”

My dad passed on April 4 (2016), and one of the first texts I received came from Augie. That he would take time in one of the worst seasons of his Texas tenure to pass along a condolence, well, it meant a lot to me and said a lot about the man. Dad was right. I learned a lot from Augie. And had fun, too.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Big 12 baseball honors Zubia: Zach Zubia, a redshirt freshman, was named the Big 12’s newcomer of the week on Monday — for the week he hit .368 with 2 RBIs, including a home run Sunday.

Volleyball cancels match: Thursday’s scheduled Texas-Texas State match at Gregory Gym has been called off. It won’t be rescheduled, UT says. That means the Longhorns’ spring season ends Saturday with the F.A.S.T. Tournament in Houston.

Why did Rellah Boothe leave?: The heralded freshman took to Twitter to explain why she left the Texas women’s basketball program. A combo of personal issues and lack of playing time, Rick Cantu wrote.

Women’s golf in third: No. 6 Texas is in a tie for third place after Monday’s second round of the Silverado Showdown in Napa, Calif. The Longhorns are six strokes behind tournament leader Stanford heading into Tuesday’s final round. Senior Sophia Schubert and freshman Kaitlyn Papp each shot sub-70 rounds.

And, one final thing: The Waco Tribune-Herald has been running a series of stories on the inductees into this year’s Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which formally inducted the 2018 class last Saturday. Among the inductees was Vince Young; the Trib wrote a piece on Young’s magical mastery of the zone read, which included interviews with Mack Brown, Franklin Okam, Vince himself and even with an old high school teammate from Houston Madison. Here’s the full story.

Texas linebacker Edwin Freeman(35) reaches for a tackle on UTEP’s Walter Dawn(26) in the second half at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Around the Horns

Football: Linebacker Edwin Freeman will miss the remainder of the spring; he had surgery last week to repair a triceps injury. We’ll get the chance to watch some of Tuesday’s practice and talk to head coach Tom Herman; Brian Davis will file some observations from practice on Hookem and write a story later this evening.

Baseball: Texas (22-12, 9-3 Big 12) takes a six-game winning streak into Tuesday’s rivalry-renewed game at No. 22 Texas A&M (6 p.m., SEC Network, 104.9). The Horns are in second place in the Big 12 and play three games at conference-leading Oklahoma (23-11, 8-1) this weekend. … Last week, Texas signed four prospects to its 2018 recruting class — Kerrville Tivy infielder Lance Ford, Waco infielder Tanner Henry, Klein infielder Greyson Lembcke and Houston Stratford catcher Caston Peter. Ford was an all-stater last year; Haney’s father Todd is a former MLBer who played for the Cubs, Mets and Expos; Lembcke also was a three-year starting quarterback at Klein; and Peter ranks No. 1 in his class at Stratford and is a four-year starter. Catching up from the weekend — The Horns swept the Baylor series at home 9-5, 2-0, 4-1.

Texas won last year’s game in Austin, 4-3; the Aggies won 5-4 in 2016 with a walk-off homer in College Station. Tonight’s pitching matchup pits Texas RHP Nico O’Donnell (2-1, 3.51) against Texas A&M LHP Chandler Jozwiak (2-0, 3.72).

Texas A&M LHP Chandler Jozwiak (2-0, 3.72) vs. Texas RHP Nico O’Donnell (2-1, 3.51)

Here’s how the Bryan-College Station Eagle advanced tonight’s game.

Softball: Texas (23-14, 6-0 Big 12) has won four in a row and 11 of its last 12. The Horns play at Texas State on Wednesday and host Texas Tech for a three-game series this weekend. Catching up from the weekend — The Horns (22-14) swept Samford in a Saturday doubleheader, 15-2 and 1-0. Kaityln Washington, who was last week’s Big 12 player of the week, went 4 for 6 in the two games. Paige von Sprecken pitched the second-game shutout and also went 2 for 5 with 3 runs, 2 doubles and 4 RBIs on the day. And Texas shut out Samford again on Sunday, 4-0.

Men’s golf: While Doug Ghim was impressing at the Masters, the 15th-ranked Texas men were placing fifth at the Western Intercollegiate in California. Sophomore Spencer Soosman shot a career-low 66 in the final round to finish tied for ninth individually. As a team, Texas finished behind North Carolina, Cal, San Diego State and USC.

Men’s tennis: Texas, ranked 20th, hosts Oklahoma State on Friday and then Oklahoma on Sunday; the Sunday matches will be carried on Longhorn Network. Catching up from the weekend — No. 20 Texas fell to No. 10 TCU at home on Saturday, 4-2. The Horns (12-5, 0-1 Big 12) got singles wins from Adrian Ortiz and Leonardo Telles.

Women’s tennis: No. 6 Texas (16-4, 6-0 Big 12) has won 11 straight matches and is off to a perfect start in Big 12 play. The Horns — who host Iowa State on Friday (1 p.m., LHN) and then West Virginia on Sunday (1:30, LHN) — are 8-0 at home.

Rowing: No. 3-ranked Texas swept its seven races (all five against West Virginia, two against Old Dominion) before weather forced the final three to be canceled on Saturday at the Big 12 Double Dual in Norfolk, Va. “We’ve made some big changes the last two weeks and the group that raced today did a great job,” UT coach Dave O’Neill said. “I was particularly impressed with our second eight since they hadn’t rowed together too much, but that didn’t seem to hold them back. We clearly have more work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Around the Big 12

Er, or around the state, actually. The Dallas Morning News kicked off an occasional series looking into athletic finances around the state; specifically, how much money does each state school spend on recruiting? North Texas ends up spending the least, but there are numbers provided for everyone from Texas to Texas A&M to UTEP. Here’s that story. … The Morning News also wrote about TCU’s spring quarterback battle and the prospects that former DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson will end up winning the job. … TCU held its spring football game on Saturday and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had five observations, leading off with some serious concerns about the Horned Frogs’ offensive line. … Oklahoma’s spring game is on Saturday and the Sooners released their team rosters; former Sooners stars Adrian Peterson and Trent Williams are back in Norman, serving as spring game coaches. … Facilities alert! Oklahoma State is building a $20 million soccer stadium complex for its women’s team, coming off a Big 12 championship. … Here’a nice read from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on two inductees into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame — former Texas Tech men’s hoops coach Gerald Myers and Mary Hardin-Baylor football coach Pete Fredenburg. And speaking of Texas Tech hoops, the Red Raiders had a nice get when 6-11, 205-pound transfer forward Tariq Owens (St. John’s) announced he’s headed to Lubbock. … In a similar storyline, Kansas State’s getting a junior college transfer in Austin Trice that should help immediately with rebounding, writes the Kansas City Star. … And Iowa State has canceled its spring game, which was scheduled for Saturday. Bad weather.

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