Winning For “Donny Baseball”

Game 3 of the College World Series took place on June 26th in Omaha. Vanderbilt, after losing the first game to Michigan, climbed back to win the final game of the series, 8-2. They utilized their playoff experience and senior leadership to beat the passionate and pesky Wolverines. This was Vanderbilt’s second CWS Championship in program history.  

The Commodores attributed their “never give up” mentality to the passing of their never-forgotten teammate,  #41 Donny Everett. Donny was a freshman pitcher for the Vanderbilt team in 2016 and Tennessee’s first-ever “Mr. Baseball.” In the eyes of many professional teams, he was developing as an MLB prospect due to his pitch speed and mechanics. 

In a tragic accident on the eve of a Super Regional Game in 2016, Donny passed away. What began as a relaxing fishing day on the water with teammates, turned into a catastrophic accident that his teammates will never forget. Everett was swimming across the lake to a bridge when he went under. His teammates thought he was “just joking around and didn’t seem to be in distress” when he was calling for their help. He was then found after drowning about one hour later in 25 feet of water.

The team commemorates Donny with a #41 patch on the turf, as well as a flag in right field. The SEC put a logo on the outfield wall during the tournament to remember his 101 MPH fastball. 

Donny Everett’s father Teddy remains one of the largest supporters of the Vandy baseball team and program. After winning the championship three years later, head coach Tim Corbin brought Teddy down to the field to celebrate the moment with the team like Donny would have. His name and number will always be remembered at Vanderbilt. The team felt there was no better way to commemorate him than winning the National Championship.