Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/20/13
Mike Martin remembers the head-to-head meetings with Ron Fraser well. The coaches faced off at least six times a year from 1980, when Martin was hired at Florida State, through Fraser's retirement at Miami after the 1992 season. Fraser held a 42-39-2 edge against Martin. "There were so many unbelievable games," Martin said. But 20 years after they last faced off on the diamond, what Martin remembers more is their friendship and Fraser's ability to market college baseball. Fraser passed away on Sunday at 79. "That man to me the one that is responsible for college baseball being what it is today," Martin said on Sunday. "He was an innovator. The best promoter our game has ever known. Ron Fraser was a special guy." Fraser was known for building Miami into a college baseball powerhouse, winning 1,271 games in Coral Gables from 1963-92. He also guided the Hurricanes to College World Series titles in 1982 and '85 and drew crowds with raffles, promotions and even served dinner on the infield as a fund-raiser. But few remember that Fraser attended Florida State in the 1950s and went 5-2 as a relief pitcher. It certainly wasn't the most distinguished collegiate career, but Fraser earned his degree in physical education in 1960 and three years later was a head coach at Miami. He was inducted into Florida State's Athletics Hall of Fame not as much for what he did in Tallahassee but what he did to put college baseball on the map. "Florida State is proud to honor a former athlete who became a distinguished opponent," read his honor upon induction in 1981. "A brilliant promoter and coach, he advanced collegiate baseball at the University of Miami, across Florida and across the nation." Said Martin: "I think what really sets Fraser apart is how many guys are so called 'average players' at their university and are in the hall of fame. Ron Fraser is that kind of special guy." He won and, of course, that made him special. Fraser never had a losing season and was 833 games over .500 for his career. But he also made college baseball special. Fraser used a variety of promotions to attract fans especially families and raised funds for the Miami program. He also continued to pitch the sport to regional and national networks, and college baseball became a weekend staple on channels like the Sunshine Network. Miami vs. Florida State became a big rivalry. The games were almost always competitive, and Fraser and Martin ensured that the teams continued to play a home-and-home series in Coral Gables and Tallahassee in the 1980s and 90s (because the schools are now both in the ACC, they play just a three-game series annually). As the sport grew in popularity, Miami-Florida State became one of the nation's biggest college baseball rivalries. Weekend matchups between the teams were always big draws. Fraser's teams were always poised, Martin remembered. "He got the best out of the players on the field," Martin said. "He pushed a lot of the right buttons."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp


Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker