A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Centennial Series: The unfortunate, hidden irony in SRJC’s first baseball state title

A plaque representing the 1952 championship lies on the Santa Rosa campus.

Clarence ‘Cook’ Sypher led the first Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team to a state championship in 1952, but he was not their coach in the actual game. While the Bear Cubs marched on to a state championship, “coach” Sypher was commanding troops in the Korean War.

Sypher left SRJC five games into his 16th season as head coach of the men’s baseball team to resume lieutenant duties at Camp Pendleton Military Base in Southern California.

Interim head coach Bob Mastin guided Sypher’s carefully picked and developed squad to a state championship against Santa Ana College.

The Bear Cubs lost the first game in the three-game series for the state title, but roared back to win the final two games of the series.

How unfortunate and ironic was it for Sypher that the only team to accomplish a championship winning season during his tenure, was achieved without his expertise.

Coach Sypher officially re-joined the team in the 1955 season. He never got the chance to coach in a state championship game himself, retiring a decade later in 1965.

Sypher was hired in the spring of 1936 as an assistant coach to Dick Blewett for football, basketball and baseball. He eventually took over as full-time head coach of the baseball and football teams the following season.

Sypher entered the Marine Corps reserve in 1933 as a private. He saw five years of active duty during World War II and the Korean War. He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel while stationed in the South Pacific during the Korean War.

Despite Sypher’s absence from the championship winning team in 1952, he left an unheralded legacy at SRJC.

Sypher remains the most successful baseball coach in his 30-year history with the school. His legacy is forever entrenched where the Bear Cubs play baseball at Sypher Field.


Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Attila LS Gero
Attila LS Gero, Staff Writer
Attila was born in Los Angeles Aug. 1997 and moved to Sebastopol in July 2007. He is a second-generation immigrant from Hungary and has an extended family living in Budapest. With a combination of inherited writing skills,obsessive sports fanaticism and constantly seeking approval from his peers, it was a no-brainer for Attila to pursue a career in sports journalism. He is a fan of the Dodgers, Browns and Lakers. Attila is also a fan of: politics; romantic comedies; petting other people's dogs and renaming them when they leave; driving to nowhere with all his windows down in the summer while listening to music; wearing pink; annoying Brandon and feeding his shoe-shopping addiction; geography; hiding from people he went to high school with when he sees them on campus; and that feeling when you get into bed after a long day and a hot shower and the bed has new clean sheets.

Comments (0)

All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *