Dear Commodore Nation,
Please join us in congratulating Tim Corbin and the VandyBoys on a remarkable season that concluded with a College World Series that none of us will soon forget.
Though we all hoped to see the team complete their journey with a championship, these student-athletes accomplished so much this year. Even when down to the final strike of their final out against Stanford last week, they reminded us what a commitment to excellence and to each other means.
A season that began in front of nearly empty stands—out of necessity due to the pandemic—ultimately brought us together and made our One Vanderbilt community even stronger.
It has only been a decade since Vanderbilt first appeared in the College World Series, but Omaha has now become a regular stop for this team—as well as for fans and alumni. This is a testament to the hard work, dedication and vision of Coach Corbin and his team. In making more World Series appearances than almost any other program in that decade, the VandyBoys showed us what is possible.
These trips also remind us that we can’t take anything for granted. This season posed challenges that none of us could ever have imagined. Yet, the team adapted to the special circumstances of the pandemic as they practiced and prepared through the summer, fall and winter. By February, with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in its infancy, they took the field in front of a small group of family and friends, rather than the packed stands that would normally greet them.
Still, they thrived. And with each memorable moment, from Jack Leiter’s no-hitter to Isaiah Thomas’ late-night grand slam in the NCAA Nashville Regional, they encouraged us to come along.
Coach Corbin built Vanderbilt’s now-storied baseball program on the opportunity to earn a degree from one of the country’s great universities while playing in the most competitive conference in collegiate sports and living in one of the 21st century’s most vibrant cities. Those who embrace the challenge are rewarded with an education that will last them a lifetime.
This team demonstrated the immense power of that model, all while taking on challenges unlike any we’ve ever known.
For that, we will always owe the 2021 VandyBoys a special debt of gratitude.
Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director