Best Reason to Be Proud of Sports In Orange County

Yep, the Ducks won Lord Stanley's Cup, and the Angels are a perennial contender for the playoffs—usually—but the greatest success story in the history of Orange County sports is the Titans baseball squad. Its four national championships (1979, 1984, 1995 and 2004) and the 47 alumni who have gone on to play in the major leagues (including All-Stars Mark Kotsay, Phil Nevin, Tim Wallach and Chad Cordero and current big-time players Ricky Romero and Kurt Suzuki) are jaw-droppingly impressive. But chew on this: In 1975, the Titans graduated to Division I status. That year, they beat five-time defending champ USC to advance to their first College World Series. In the 35 years since, the Titans have qualified for the NCAA tournament 32 times, including 19 consecutive years, the third-longest streak in the country. They've also played in 16 College World Series. That's impressive shit, all the more impressive for the Titans being part of the cash-strapped California State University system (then again, Fresno State won the College World Series in 2008, so maybe that's not that big a deal) and routinely knock cleats with the most well-funded educational institutions, public and private, in America (like, say, the University of Texas and USC). Add it all up, and there is no collegiate or professional sports entity in this county that can come close to matching Cal State Fullerton's baseball success. It's a criminal shame the team's home games at the university's Goodwin Field aren't the biggest parties in North County during the spring and early summer.

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