The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

June 7, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Whitmore was standout in football and baseball

MORGANTOWN — Darrell Whitmore, a native of Front Royal, Va., was an outstanding two-sport standout for West Virginia University from 1988-91.

He was a four-year starting defensive back in football and starting right fielder in baseball for just two years before being drafted in 1991 by the Cleveland Indians.

Whitmore, who was the only black player on the baseball team, obtained from the late coach Dale Ramsburg assurance he’d be given an opportunity to make the team.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder recalled in a recent interview that he had given the University of Maryland a verbal commitment earlier, but withdrew it when they told him he could play only football — not baseball.

“When I came to West Virginia, coach Don Nehlen said it would be all right with him for me to play baseball if coach Ramsburg agreed,” Whitmore said. “I’d heard a lot of people say things about Ramsburg, and they turned out to be untrue.”

After recovering completely from a broken left leg suffered in the football regular-season finale of the undefeated 1988 football season, Whitmore joined the baseball team in 1989, and he earned a starting job almost immediately.

“I was so happy to play both football and baseball,” he admitted. “My 4 1/2 years in West Virginia were the best of my life.”

Whitmore, who graduated with a degree in sport management, wound up being close friends with coach Ramsburg. It was a player-coach relationship he respected and admired.

Whitmore went on to play about 11 years in professional baseball, including three years in the major leagues with the Florida Marlins. That club took him in the expansion draft.

Besides Cleveland, he played in the minor leagues with Toronto, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati organizations.

He retired as a player in 2002.

Whitmore, who’s 44, posted outstanding statistics in football. He played in 45 games, made 204 tackles — 122 of those solos — and intercepted 14 passes. He ranks No. 6 overall behind Steve Newberry (20), Aaron Beasley (19) and three with 15 each (Tim Agee, Bob Snider and Tom Pridemore), and broke up 11 passes.

In his book “Tales from the West Virgina Sidelines,” coach Nehlen wrote: “Darrell Whitmore was a great football player as well as a great baseball player. Unfortunately, Darrell broke his leg in the final game of ’88 (his freshman year) and that really hurt us for the Fiesta Bowl.”

Whitmore said it hurt him just to watch that national championship loss (34-21) to Notre Dame.

His statistics for baseball as a Mountaineer were: 1989: 26 games, .407 batting average, 14 runs, two doubles, one home run, 18 RBIs. 1990: 45 games, .386 batting average, 43 runs, 16 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBIs.

For his three years in the major leagues with Florida, Whitmore played in 102 games and had a .203 batting average, 11 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 21 RBIs.

Darrell and wife Ayana have been married nearly 10 years and have two young children. They live in McCordsville, Ind., just outside Indianapolis.

Whitmore, whose high school coach was former Mountaineer offensive guard Rick Pennypacker (1973-74-75), did some coaching himself in organized baseball. He also was a school teacher before starting a career in automobile sales. He’s now with Honda.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos