By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 2, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Fall ball has officially begun for the Florida State baseball team.
There’s quite a few new faces on this year’s team-- 20 to be exact. This could be a daunting task for skipper Mike Martin, but even entering his final year, “11” is more than up for the challenge.
A year ago, Mike Martin was convinced he was entering his last season as the Seminoles’ head coach.
"I think deep down that's what I wanted, I'd already made up my mind that '18 was going to be the last year,” he said.
But once the season ended, former Athletic Director Stan Wilcox had some news; he wanted 11 to stay for year 40 and win game 2,000.
"It really took me back,” Coach Martin said. “It made me feel like I don't think I've ever felt as a coach."
It’s fitting that a man so dedicated to teaching would go out with a squad like 2019’s. Of the Seminoles’ 37-man roster, only 17 are returning players, forcing many into leadership roles.
"I can't say that I can remember having this many young guys, but I can say we got a lot of young guys," said Martin.
Despite all of the new, there are some familiar faces returning to Dick Howser Stadium. Florida State Baseball greats James Ramsey and Tyler Holt are leaving their playing days behind and starting their coaching careers in the familiar Garnet and Gold.
"Two guys that contributed so much to our program and not only outstanding student athletes, they were great leaders," Martin said.
"Guys that have been here in the last 10 years or so and have made it all the way through the minor league ranks and all that,” said infielder Drew Mendoza. “The more experience the better and they definitely bring a lot of it."
A splash of youth with a pinch of experience-- ingredients Martin and his ‘Noles are hoping create the perfect recipe for a swan song in Omaha.