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Former Mizzou Baseball star calls for more investment in program

Mizzou Links for June 21, 2022.

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Zimmerman: Mizzou needs to invest more in baseball

It’s no secret that Mizzou Athletics is just a little strapped for cash. When not being used as a moral punching bag for Jefferson City bureaucrats, Mizzou often fights a battle against the state’s “Show Me” mentality, one that assumes results before investment.

Over the past several years, what limited resources have been available have often been funneled toward the school’s revenue programs — men’s basketball and football. That’s left many other programs starving for resources. That includes baseball, where the gap in investment has been stark since joining the SEC. The SEC has always been a football conference first, but baseball has a strong foothold as well.

At least one Mizzou Baseball alumni is willing to go on record as saying that it’s high time Mizzou catches up.

“I don’t think people realize just how much more money is put into the programs at other SEC schools and how much of a disadvantage that often puts the team at Mizzou,” [former first baseman Peter] Zimmermann said.

“Now, I’m not trying to sit here and create excuses, the results do need to be better. But I do know that with a better investment comes a better product and Coach Bieser is a great coach and that staff does a great job.”

Zimmerman, who was off to an all-conference type of season in 2020 before COVID-19 struck, has played under Steve Bieser’s staff and believes he can get the Tigers where they want to go. But he believes the lack of resources the Tigers get compared to other SEC schools is hurting them in small ways that add up to big disadvantages. Some of the examples he gives to the Missourian are eye-opening.

“I remember we played Texas A&M in ‘19, and we had a travel curfew that ended up in a tie,” Zimmermann said. “Everybody on their team was actually injured, they had no pitching left. And we were going to win that game. So they kind of stalled the game and forced it into a travel curfew tie.

“And if we had the luxury of chartering like other sports at Mizzou and like most of the SEC teams do, that doesn’t happen. We win that game and that win changes us from being a first team out to probably the last team in, and I don’t think people realize that all the time (and) how unfortunate that is.”

Zimmerman also mentioned facilities upgrades at other schools, including Mizzou’s grass outfield which plays differently than the turf fields at other schools. While he thinks better results are on the way — the article does note that Mizzou currently has the 20th ranked recruiting class by Perfect Game — he also believes more investment could go a long way.

For what it’s worth, I agree with him. It’s always struck me as a little strange that the flagship university of Missouri — a state with two very proud baseball fan bases — doesn’t invest more money in the sport. There’s a proud history from the Big XII days, and it doesn’t seem impossible that the excitement could be revived with just a few trips to the NCAA Tournament. Hell, even make it to the SEC Tournament.

However, the reality is what it is at this point. Mizzou will get no help from the traditional venues. They’re going to have to make due with less OR get someone to step up in a big way and pony up for some much-needed upgrades. So... any takers? I’ll chip in a few bucks if needed!


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