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The Wizard of College Baseball Returns Home

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    Ron Fraser's grandchildren unveil the statue of the legendary coach that that will forever stand in front of Mark Light Stadium.

    Ron Fraser’s grandchildren unveil the statue of the legendary coach that will forever stand in front of Mark Light Stadium.

    UM News

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 26, 2015) — Ron Fraser, the University of Miami’s legendary baseball coach, is back where he belongs—standing outside Mark Light Stadium, bat slung over his shoulder and a twinkle in his eye, welcoming fans to the game he helped elevate to the national stage.

    Immortalized in bronze, his stunningly life-like statue was dedicated Friday, in a ceremony attended by his family, many former players and Sugarcanes bat girls, and scores of fans. Designed and sculpted by Zenos Frudakis, the statue was funded primarily by friends and fans of the late coach, who led the Hurricanes from 1963-1992. In those 30 years, he won two national championships, went to 20 straight postseasons, and never had a losing season.

    But his legacy extended far beyond the score board. A father figure to a legion of young men, his mastery of promoting and marketing college baseball helped develop the sport into a major player in college athletics and Mark Light Stadium into one of South Florida’s premier family entertainment spots.

    “His genius at building a buzz filled this stadium to the rafters,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala of the man widely known as the Wizard of College Baseball. “He helped forge respect for college baseball at a national and even international level.”

    Speaking on behalf of the Fraser family, Fraser’s daughter, Elizabeth Fraser Kraut, said, “The Light has always been a huge part of our life. We are so excited to see Popie here at the gate greeting the fans today and all the fans to come.”

    More than a hundred of Fraser’s ballplayers went on to professional baseball and many more started successful careers. He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s introductory Class of 2006.

    “Coach Fraser was not only the most influential person in college baseball history, but also the most influential in my own professional career,” head baseball coach Jim Morris said. “Having a statue in front of our park, honoring all that he did both on the field and off, is going to be something special for his family, our program, and for our fans.”

    Rick Remmert, the former assistant athletic director who is now UM’s director of alumni, said Fraser is back where he belongs. “This is his ballpark, you’d think he’d be here, and now he is. People can now say, ‘Meet me at the Frase.’

    View a video of the ceremony.

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