A Big Year for Carl Albert State College Baseball – Pollard almost at his 1000th win
This is a big year for Carl Albert State College baseball. In addition to looking forward to a strong showing by the Vikings, head coach Mark Pollard is just a few games shy of his 1000th win.
In his 34th season as the Vikings head coach, Pollard’s success is evident when checking out his accomplishments. Pollard has led the Vikings to five World Series appearances along with seven Region II Championships. He has produced 11 draft picks with two making it to the Major Leagues. He has also produced 15 NJCAA All-Americans; 19 Academic All-Americans and 12 Distinguished All-Americans.
Pollard’s love of baseball has developed over a lifetime. Beginning at age five, he learned to play catcher on a team of 7/8 year olds for Coach Ed Dempsey of Garvin, Oklahoma. The position of catcher was his from there on out in his baseball career. Pollard’s eyes light up as he talks about his baseball journey. “Our team uniforms on that first team consisted of jeans and a t-shirt with “METS” written in magic marker.”
At age eight, his family moved to Stillwater and he had the opportunity to attend OSU sporting events. It was at that time he began to hone his baseball skills, especially while playing with traveling teams. The family moved back to Idabel Pollard’s freshman year in high school and he lettered in football, basketball and track. “My favorite sport, baseball, wasn’t offered at the high school level so I played for the Idabel American Legion team,” stated Pollard.
After graduating in 1975 from Idabel High School, he played two years of baseball at what was then Carl Albert Junior College. He went on to play for Coach Donald Parham at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and during that time participated in two NAIA World Series plus earned his Bachelor of Science degree while there.
When asked about his best college teams, Pollard mentioned his D1 team in 1986 that featured Jeff Frye and Danny Wann. He explained they fell just short to powerhouse Seminole of advancing to the College World Series. He also shared that the seasons of 1993-1995, 1999, and 2000 were when teams made it to the Division II College World Series.
A life threatening experience leading into the World Series in 1993 left Pollard coaching from the dugout. He enlisted the help of former CASC Athletic Director Bill San Millan and Director of HS/College Relations Leroy Nolan to coach first and third base for that year’s series trip.
When discussing his hopes for CASC baseball, Pollard said he wants to see CASC baseball continue and to be prosperous. He stated that when he decides to retire, he will stay in touch with the game he loves – baseball – but plans to spend much of his time following his granddaughters as they pursue their hopes and dreams. In closing, Coach Pollard stated, “I would be remiss if I did not give a sincere thank you to the CASC administration for allowing me to be here all these years. None of this would be possible without them. In addition, a heartfelt thanks goes to every young man who has been a part of the baseball program throughout the years. I appreciate them all, from the stars to the ones who hardly saw the field but were a part of our team, they all helped make it happen and I thank them.”