Chipola retires Showalter and Bautista's numbers

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MARIANNA, Fla- Some big names in Chipola baseball history got the ultimate honor Saturday at the college.

Major league manager Buck Showalter played at Chipola in 1976 before heading to Mississippi State where he was an All-American. He played in the Yankees minor league system before transitioning to the bench.

He has been the manager or the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and currently he's the skipper of the Baltimore Orioles.

The other former player to have his jersey retired is big league home run leader Jose Bautista. He hit 54 homers this past season to lead the majors. Bautista was a player at Chipola before being drafted by the Pirates in 2000.

He plays for the blue jays now, and was fourth in American League MVP voting this past season.

“It's an honor first of all when you take into consideration the people that have played here. I'm as proud of Chipola as hopefully they are of what they've helped allow me to do,“ Showalter Said. “All the great accomplishments in my life started with getting my degree here which opened alot of avenues. I remember coach Dungin and the people advising me told me how important that was to be able to come out of here and open up alot of doors for me to go on to Mississippi State University. It was a special time."

"It's really exciting. I always enjoy coming back here, and try to get back anytime I can,” Bautista added. “Having my jersey retired is just a true testament to being a part of the big family that Chipola is. We have a reunion every year. It's fun to be back and spend some time with the guys."

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