In Their Own Words: Erik Morrison

Dec. 18, 2006

Throughout the 2007 season, members of the University of Kansas baseball team will their thoughts on various topics in the first person. This week, junior Erik Morrison shared his opinions on the team’s outlook for the upcoming season. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On the 2007 season:

I’m excited because everything is new. It’s kind of starting over to where we were my freshman year, because there’s a new group of guys. The roles have kind of switched, because our junior class has been forced into a leadership role. It’ll be cool to see them develop into where we are now.

On his role of being a leader this season:

My ideal situation would be for me to be looked upon by the younger guys to be someone they can talk to or come to for advice on and off the field. I’m out there doing everything I can for my team and I want (the younger players) to know that they can come to me for anything they need and I’ll be there for them.

On the growing prestige of KU baseball:

I’ve seen the bar raised significantly since I’ve been here. With Coach Price and the way he recruits and is able to fund-raise, he’s a go-getter. We didn’t have a lot of the things we do now when I got here. We didn’t have that scoreboard; we had almost a manual scoreboard. We had cheap cages down the right field line; we didn’t have that indoor hitting facility. He’s come in and made it so the fans are expecting bigger things out of this program. HeHe’s put us on the map. You see it on the road too. When you go out to places like (Stanford) and you can win a couple of series, people take notice and say `hey, these guys can play’.

On playing for Coach Price:

It’s cool playing for him, just because he’s honest with you and he’ll go to bat for you. If he says he’s going to do something for you, he’ll make it happen. He gets on (the team) when he needs to. He always says he could be the easiest coach to play for in America and he’s probably right. We had a pretty long fall with the growth of our team and he was actually very patient with guys who were going through their freshman slumps. I would definitely say he’s a players’ coach, because he asks (the veterans) for our input on things now. He definitely takes into consideration what some of the older guys have to say about things. He’s definitely the reason the program is where it’s at right now.

On the team’s biggest rival:

It’s Missouri without a doubt. We have a lot of guys on the team who are friends with some guys on Kansas State and have hung out with them in the off-season. There might be a couple of guys on Missouri like that, but for the most part that’s not the case, especially after last season. Coming in from California, I always heard this rivalry was big, but I didn’t really think much of it. But after last year of beating them in the series here and then again at the Big 12 Tournament just brought everything to a whole new level. Missouri tops the rivalry list over K-State by far. There’s no team I’d rather beat.

On Mark McGwire and the Hall of Fame:

I would (vote for him), just because of the numbers he’s put up and there’s never been any proof, he’s never failed a drug test or anything like that. I don’t really know what goes on, even though I have speculation of what goes on (in a Major League clubhouse). But still, there’s never been any solid proof against him. If they don’t let him in now, I don’t see why they’d let him in 10-15 years down the road. From a baseball standpoint, and the progress he made in the game, he’s a Hall of Famer in my mind.