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Leggett’s legacy forever enshrined as baseball retires No. 7

Clemson Athletics // Provided

Former Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett was honored before Clemson’s win against Notre Dame on April 15, 2023, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. 

This past Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, it was all about the No. 7. That is to say, the jersey number belonging to the legendary Jack Leggett, whose jersey was retired from Clemson baseball this Saturday.

In his 22-season tenure as the Tigers’ head coach from 1994-2015, Leggett racked up 955 wins, took Clemson to 21 NCAA Tournaments and is credited with six College World Series berths in Omaha, Nebraska.

On a conference level, Leggett captured three ACC Tournament titles and was named ACC Coach of the Year on three separate occasions.

The accolades are endless for Leggett, who was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, as well as the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 2020.

Following Head Coach Erik Bakich’s hiring in 2023, Leggett found himself back in Clemson’s dugout yet again. Currently, Leggett assists the baseball team with player, staff and program development.

For Bakich, having the Clemson legend on his staff is something that he cherishes. Twenty-one years ago, Bakich was a volunteer assistant coach on Leggett’s 2002 squad that made it all the way to Omaha, Nebraska. For them to be back in the dugout together is truly a full-circle moment.

“I love being around him,” Bakich said. “The coaches love him as well. He’s been a coach to the coaches, and he’s been a mentor to the players.” 

On the heels of a 10-4 loss to Notre Dame on Friday, the team’s energy was different Saturday when playing for a legend. After being presented with his newly retired No. 7, Leggett brought back his famous pre-game ritual with a vintage face-first slide into a mob of Clemson Tigers.

“I love his energy. Everybody feeds off of it… I mean, he’s 69 years old but acts like he is 19 years old,” Bakich added. 

The Tigers certainly fed off this energy, as Clemson took Saturday’s game 5-1 with an outstanding performance from starting pitcher Austin Gordon.

Clemson clinched the series the following day by defeating the Fighting Irish 6-4, with sophomore Billy Amick’s seventh-inning go-ahead double sealing the deal.

Leggett has a lot to be proud of following this weekend. Having a jersey retired is an honor many athletes only dream of, but for someone whose passion for Clemson baseball is second to none, seeing his guys take the series may take precedence.

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Patrick Driscoll, Senior Reporter
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