(5) Bob Melvin
Before being known as the manager of the Oakland A’s or a 10 year vet in the Big Leagues, Bob Melvin started in Berkeley in 1980. Overcoming being born in the city of Palo Alto, Melvin was a young catcher on a Cal squad that went to the College World Series and finished 3rd in the country (the best season since the Bears were the College World Series champ in 1957).
Like the rest of the Cal Baseball alumni, Melvin was a part of the effort to raise money to save the program recently. He also recently spoke out to the donors about the recent upgrades to Evans Diamond which includes the lights that has transformed Evans Diamond into a field that is like a minor league ball park.
Here is a video of Bob Melvin talking about that remarkable 2011 Cal Baseball season that started from the team on the chopping block but ended in Omaha: While there were probably stronger influences than former head coach Bob Milano in turning Bob Melvin into a Manager of the Year winning big league manager, us at CGB will no doubt continues to attribute the bulk of the credit to his one year in Berkeley.
(12) Tony Renda
It is a story that would be too unbelievable it it wasn't true, the way that the 2011 Cal Baseball team goes from the brim of elimination to a trip to the College World Series is surely one of the more memorable Cal Athletics season in any sports. Second baseman Tony Renda is the best player on that team (and the best in conference as in the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year). A Dustin Pedroia (who went to Arizona State, by the way) type, Renda is a high average hitter who also pack quite a bit of power despite being just of regular height. He was also a very accomplished base stealers with 16 (2nd in the Pac) in his last year, but gets his stolen bases more from great read of the situations than pure speed. For his 3 years at Cal, Renda also earned freshman All-American and 2012 All-American honors, as well as being selected to conference first team all 3 years. Since Cal, Tony Renda was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2nd round. In 2013, Renda won the Bob Boone award which was given to the Nats minor league player "who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic the Nationals hope to exemplify."
By the way, Tony Renda was ready to be a Duck had Cal Baseball been eliminated. We are certainly glad that we don't have to share Tony Renda with the UC Eugene.