By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
OMAHA, Neb. – Aileen Dean was lounging on a North Carolina beach last Friday enjoying a family vacation. That was before Mississippi State’s baseball team threw her a curveball.
When the Bulldogs defeated Oregon State 4-1 to reach the finals of the 2013 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park, Dean’s vacation plans changed.
“We had another 10 days of vacation left (in North Carolina), but we knew we couldn’t stay there,” she said.
The Dean family, including husband Clint and son Tripp, packed and headed home to Columbus.
In the span of a day, they were headed to Nebraska for the CWS.
“That’s 1,600 miles in 24 hours,” Aileen Dean said, then smiled. “The way we were hustling around getting ready, we would have been a good reality TV show.”
“We’re true Maroon,” Clint Dean proudly stated.
“I’m 37, so this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Tripp Dean added. “I hope it’s not.”
“Our daughter’s flying in from Dover, Del.,” today for the games,” Aileen Dean said. “She’s proud of the Bulldogs and wants to be here to support them.”
The passion for this MSU baseball team – one poised to bring home a national championship to the Magnolia State – was evident everywhere here.
Tupelo’s Scotty West and his adult son, Chad, made the trip with friends.
They came in Sunday and were lucky enough to obtain tickets at face value.
“This is history; we absolutely wanted to be here,” Chad West said.
Scotty West likes the excitement generated by this Bulldogs team.
“This team’s already given me 45 heart attacks,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed watching this young team. They’re so relaxed … and having fun with the crazy video (Bench Mobb) and the beards.
“It’s a different generation.”
UP ALL NIGHT
Jackson’s Michael Fisher and his family drove all night to get here, arriving at the ballpark at 6 a.m. Monday.
They were the first in line for general admission seats.
“I haven’t slept,” said Fisher, a nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “I didn’t think they’d make it this far. How often do you see a Mississippi team play for a national championship?”