GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — "I say all the time. It's the best game I've ever played on. All through junior college, played baseball at University of Pittsburgh, and that 9697 Team best team have ever played." Said Doug Caraway
15 guys from the 1996 and 1997 teams were back in West Michigan today to watch their alma mater go head to head against Calvin. Also at the game was head coach Doug ball back and longtime assistant coach Greg Morris.
"These two teams were special obvious for obvious reasons, right. close knit guys that you know just got a walk in and if you've been around teams before, you know that does not always the case," said Greg Morris.
All American second baseman and Muskegon native Joe trick says their spring training trips were always a little rocky but once the team got back home, they were ready to roll.
"This year we would have a spring trip we'd go down and the team was split into two so we've come back from the screen trip on the record, maybe three and 11. And once we got back to Michigan, it was two years of dominance. I think we maybe lost one or two games once we came back to Michigan. Each world series we we swept 8-0, 8-0 each year and it was just awesome team it was like even the infield practice everything was like choreography. Everything was smooth and clean and best baseball years of my life for sure," said Joe Trigg.
"We went to the World Series that 56 and 10. So you think about that. When you hit up north. You went 54 and two up north. That's a tribute to the players," said Morris.
Today's celebration was a precursor for a much bigger reunion. The team is planning this summer but for Maryland native and former Raider catcher Doug Caraway. It was a trip years in the making.
"I've been wanting to come back for the last 25 years but you know life kind of gets in the way and you don't ever make the trip like you think your time goes really fast and probably one of the main reasons I came here was my wife she said you need to go and see the guy so you know work can wait," said Caraway.
Just excited because this is this was such a fun time for my baseball career and a lot of these guys are still good friends so to see them again. It was amazing. Some of them that I haven't seen in 25 years everything GRCC is very, very, very fond," said Trigg.