Marianna, FL---Chipola baseball has seen incredible success throughout it's program history, highlighted by some top tier players. Guys who've had success at not only the Juco and collegiate level, but in the Major Leagues.
Today, while the fans were watching the current Indians contest with Walters State, they were a little extra excited to see Indians of the past step into the box for this at the Chipola Baseball Alumni Weekend.
Fans young and old taking in a home run derby between the past players after the Indians win, as legends like four-time MLB All Star Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays returned to Marianna.
While he didn't play at the college himself, Marianna Bulldog hero Jeff Mathis also came back to his hometown.
The derby was won by former Milwaukee Brewer now Atlanta Brave Mat Gamel after he defeated Bautista in the final round.
The day was also highlighted with the return of three-time All Star Russell Martin from the Pirates, as he had his jersey retired alongside that of Bautista and Buck Showalter.
For head coach Jeff Johnson, seeing his former players make the effort to return means the world.
"It's outstanding to get these guys to take the time out of there busy schedules and have the respect to come back to our college," says Johnson. "It's touching to me to have this happen. Especially some of them that come so far. We've got kids from the Dominican Republic. We've got kids from Minnesota. We've got them from all over that come back and take time out of their schedule to do that."
For Bautista, he's come back for Alumni weekend every single year since it began seven years ago, never forgetting his roots or how special he holds his Chipola memories.
"It's great coming back and seeing all the old faces and the familiar guys from back when I played and guys that came in afterwards. This is a special place like you said in my heart and holds that special little corner in there."