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Monday, May 02, 2011Lipscomb welcomed the 1971 “Miracle Bisons” baseball team to Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium last weekend for a 40-year reunion of one of the most historical moments in Bison Baseball history.
On Saturday, 17 members of the ’71 team reunited for an evening designed to remember a season that pioneered Lipscomb athletics to where it is today.
Prior to 1971, Lipscomb had never played in a National post-season tournament in any sport. The ’71 Bisons team changed that with a trip to Phoenix, Ariz. for the NAIA National Baseball World Series.
However, the 1971 David Lipscomb College team earned their “Miracle Bisons” nickname by what they did at the Tournament. After falling 13-4 in the first game, it looked like the Bisons would have a short stint in Phoenix.
Lipscomb moved to game two of the double elimination tournament to face Appalachian State. Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, the Bisons mounted a four-run rally to win 14-13 and keep its hope alive in the Tournament.
From there, the “Miracle Bisons” went on to win three straight games, each time by only one run. In two of those games, the Bisons had to come from behind in the ninth inning to win. In the championship game, Linfield College edged the “Miracle Bisons” in a dramatic 9-8 ten-inning game.
Andy Lane, Executive Director of the National Bison Club, organized Saturday’s reunion. He said it was the 1971 baseball team that forever changed the way people thought of Lipscomb Athletics.
“The games were broadcasted on WSM radio,” Lane said. “They kept coming back and coming back until they made it all the way to the championship game from the loser’s bracket.
“They ended up second, but that started Lipscomb’s winning tradition. As a result of the comebacks they became known as the Miracle Bisons.”
This past weekend’s baseball series with Belmont served as a perfect platform to honor the “Miracle Bisons” on the 40th anniversary. The 17 players who attended the reunion were greeted with colorful “throw-back” uniforms to wear while they took batting practice and infield at Ken Dugan Field.
Later that evening the team sat down to a meal on the Allen Arena patio overlooking Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium and the pristine Ken Dugan Field. The ’71 team stayed for the Bisons game against Belmont that night and all 17 players simultaneously threw out the first pitch.
Will and Jack Dugan, the grandsons of legendary coach Ken Dugan, represented their grandfather on Saturday along with their father Mike. Also representing coach Dugan was his daughter Christi Turner and her son Chase.
Members of the 1971 “Miracle Bisons” Present at Saturday’s Events
David Adams, Jim Glisson, Ronnie Albright, Danny Burns, Dave Lindsey, Mark Massey, Ted Jamison, Farrell Gean, Jim Minnick, Butch Stinson, Ernie Smith, Steve Garner, Mike Santi, Buddy Harston, Jamie Pride, Mike Dennis, John Paul Matthews.