‘It would be so special’: Archie Manning rooting for Ole Miss baseball in College World Series

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THIBODAUX, La. – Archie Manning won’t be at the College World Series championship to root on Ole Miss baseball against Oklahoma. He had prior obligations at the Manning Passing Academy which started Thursday and runs through Sunday.

But the former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints football quarterback said he will watching every moment of it on TV. Game 1 is Saturday at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska.

“I can’t go to Omaha over the Passing Academy taking place, but I’ve enjoyed following them through the whole World Series,” Manning said Saturday. “They were the 64th team to get in. Now we are two wins away from a chance to win a national championship. It’s been an incredible ride.”

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Manning also played shortstop on the Ole Miss baseball team that advanced to the College World Series in 1969. The Rebels made it to the third round of the tournament before losing to Texas.

Manning said he has reflected on many of his baseball memories while watching Ole Miss this season.

“I’ve been hearing from all my old baseball buddies,” Manning said. “Some of them have even sent me some pictures, so we're all shouting 'Hoddy Toddy!' We’re pulling for the Rebels.”

Manning said playing in the College World Series is something he has never forgotten.

“Just to play against that great competition in that setting in Omaha was amazing,” Manning said. “Fifty-three years later to say they are back there is incredible. It brings back great memories. We just couldn’t get past Texas and pitcher Burt Hooton, who went on to have a great career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Manning knows how important a championship, the first for the Rebels, would be for Ole Miss.

“It would be so special for all the Ole Miss family,” Manning said. “It’ll be great for the state of Mississippi. Mississippi State won national championship last year. If Ole Miss wins it this year, the state of Mississippi will be the king of college baseball, but I’ve got to tell you this Oklahoma team is mighty tough and mighty good.”

Reach Chris Singleton at 985-857-2213 or chris.singleton@houmatoday.com and on Twitter @courierchris.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: College World Series: Archie Manning rooting for Ole Miss baseball