It took 60 years, but the late Dr. Tim Green and his teammates on Oklahoma State University’s 1959 national championship baseball team finally got what was coming to them.

The historic OSU squad, which produced the school’s only national title, was recognized last Saturday before the Cowboys hosted West Virginia at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater.

Former players and their families were surprised when current OSU players presented them with national championship rings, something they never received after winning the title all those decades ago. The 1959 players also received vintage jerseys during the ceremony.

Green, who spent 25 years as the athletic director at East Central University, was represented by his wife, Paula K. Green, his daughter, Kelly Green Maloy and her husband, Jeff Maloy; grandsons Patric and Matt Maloy; and great-grandson Beckett Maloy.

The current Cowboys have been wearing 1959 throwback uniforms throughout the 2019 season to honor the 60th anniversary of the NCAA title team.

“It’s always awesome, especially here at Oklahoma State, where we cherish and respect our past traditions, and obviously our alums – we value them at the highest level,” OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday said.

“To honor those gentlemen, welcome them back and show our respects was cool,” he continued. “Doing so by building the uniform to celebrate their accomplishments has also been a great tribute to those gentlemen. … Nobody appreciates alumni and former players here more than I do. As someone who grew up idolizing many of these guys, I can certainly relate.”

Players from the 1959 squad who attended the festivities included Bob Andrew, Ben Bancroft, Connie McIlvoy, Jim Mihura, Mike Mulvihil, Roy Peterson, Dick Soergel, Tim Smalley and Lew Wade.

“They finally got their rings after 60 years,” said Paula Green.

Green was the captain of the ECU ship when East Central won its 1993 NAIA national championship in football at Norris Field. Green oversaw ECU’s transition from the NAIA ranks to NCAA Division II and saw many of its athletic teams excel on the national level.

Green was a standout player at Asher High School before heading on to Oklahoma State.

Looking back at the champ

To say that Dr. Green was liked by everyone would be an understatement. He was the heart and soul of the ECU athletic department during his tenure.

He also genuinely cared about people. Just ask this sports writer.

I used to sit in his office, and we’d inevitably get around to talking about golf. I never played a whole lot, but back during that time, I gave the painstaking sport the old college try.

Every time I’d see him, he’d ask me about my game, and I’d have to confess that it still wasn’t very good. One time, I mentioned to him that I thought if I could secure my own set of golf clubs and get used to playing with the same ones every outing, it might help. (Wishful thinking).

Days later, he showed up at The Ada News and gave me a set of clubs, complete with an ECU orange golf bag and knitted orange and black club overs (I’m guessing Paula made these).

I was speechless. I gave him a hug and thanked him over and over. I don’t get out to the course much these days, but when I do, I still use most of those clubs.

There are probably 100 stories like this one that no one even knows about.

So when I heard the news that Dr. Tim Green was finally getting a national championship ring for the title he and his Cowboy teammates won in 1959, I couldn’t have been more excited for him and his family.

If anyone deserved the recognition, he did.

I have no idea what took so long, but it was sure better late than never.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.