Baltimore, Md.—UMBC baseball has been busy this fall, having played fall games against Georgetown and Navy. However one particular moment stands out, as the team retired former major leaguer and Retriever star Jay Witasick's number back on October 7.
Witasick had his number 29 retired, joining former major leaguer and Retriever great Zack Clark (6) and former UMBC skipper John Jancuska (8) on the outfield wall of Alumni Field.
"We were glad to have Jay back, and this ceremony was long overdue for him," head coach Bob Mumma said of the former Retriever. He would go on to say, "He had a great career and is a good friend of the program. It was great to honor him and have his family and child, Luke, there."
Witasick made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics on July 7, 1996 against the then-California Angels. He entered the game out of the bullpen in the eighth inning, going 1.1 innings not giving up a run to become the first Retriever to compete in an MLB game.
He was drafted in the second round of the 1993 draft, as the St. Louis Cardinals selected him with the No. 58 pick, the same draft were Alex Rodriguez went number one. He competed in 27 games over three years with the Athletics and was traded to the Kansas City Royals. Witasick became a starter with Kansas City, posting a 9-12 record in 28 starts in 1999. He competed for seven different organizations and 12 years in professional baseball.
Witasick saw action in back-to-beck World Series, pitching for the New York Yankees in 2001 and the San Francisco Giants in 2002.