Tech to retire Johnny Oates' jersey
By Jimmy Robertson
May 1, 2002

The Virginia Tech Monogram Club, in conjunction with the Tech athletics department and with the Tech baseball team, will retire the jersey of Johnny Oates this Saturday at 11:45 a.m. before the Hokies' BIG EAST game with UConn. Oates, the former manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, played at Tech in 1966 and 1967. The former catcher, who arrived at Tech in 1965 but could not play as a freshman under NCAA guidelines in those days, hit .410 as a sophomore and .342 as a junior. He signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles after his junior season, but came back to Tech and received his degree in 1969.

Oates played in the major leagues for 11 years, with five different teams. He later managed 11 years combined with Baltimore and Texas, earning American League Manager of the Year honors in 1996 after guiding the Rangers to the AL West championship.

These days, Oates lives with his wife, Gloria, in Mataoca, Va., just outside of Richmond. Oates underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his brain this past November and is still fighting the battle against glioblastoma multiforme - an aggressive form of cancer.

Many of Oates' former teammates will be on hand for the ceremony, including David Foster, Jerry Vinson, Mike Knight, George Shorter and Bobby Horton, among others.

Admission to the ceremony and the game is free. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.