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Profiles in Boldness: Ray Tanner and Scott Wingo's Rise from Unheralded Prospect to College World Series MVP

Let's revisit's definition of "bold":


–adjective, -er, -est.

not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.
not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent: He apologized for being so bold as to speak to the emperor.
necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.

2.  modest.

1.  fearless, adventurous, brave, valiant, intrepid, valorous, dauntless. 2. Bold, brazen, forward, presumptuous  may refer to manners in a derogatory way. Bold  suggests impudence, shamelessness, and immodesty: a bold stare. Brazen  suggests the same, together with a defiant manner: a brazen liar. Forward  implies making oneself unduly prominent or bringing oneself to notice with too much assurance. Presumptuous  implies overconfidence, effrontery, taking too much for granted.

bolder, boulder.


o·ver·bold·ness, noun
o·ver·bold·ly, adverb
o·ver·bold, adjective
bold·ness, noun
bold·ly, adverb

before 1000; Middle English bald, bold, Old English b ( e ) ald;  cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German bald, Dutch boud  bold, Old Norse ballr  dire < Germanic *bál-tha-z;  akin to Welsh balch  proud, Irish balc  strong < *bal-ko-

Yesterday, I discussed Christian Walker's bold play for South Carolina in the College World Series; today, we're talking about Ray Tanner and Scott Wingo.

One of my favorite stories about this Gamecocks team is the story of how Scott Wingo made it to Carolina in the first place. As most of you probably know, Wingo is the son of Clemson legend Billy Wingo, who is one of Clemson's all-time greats on the baseball diamond and was also a standout at cornerback on the Tigers football team. You would think Scott would be playing for CU now, right? Well, if he had had his choice, that's probably what would have happened. However, Clemson coach Jack Leggett, otherwhise known as that guy who whined about heated bats when he suffered yet another humiliating loss to South Carolina, didn't think Scott was good enough to play for the Tigers, and he refused to offer him a scholarship. The rest, of course, is history. Ray Tanner decided to take a chance on the unheralded player, and since then Scott has become a Gamecocks legend and a household name in sports.

Keep reading after the jump.

I bring this story up not so much to rag on Clemmy, although I'm certainly happy to take a chance to do that, but more so to point to a key quality in Tanner's success these past two years: boldness. The truth is, you can't really blame Leggett for not signing Wingo. Wingo was undrafted out of high school and was not expected to do big things in major college baseball. Wingo was a kid that other major programs, including Clemson, weren't willing to take a chance on. However, Tanner saw something he liked in Wingo, and the gamble he then took has paid huge dividends for Carolina baseball. Wingo has gotten markedly better with each passing year, and now he's just won a CWS MVP Award after a post-season filled with jawdropping clutch plays both on defense and offense. To top it all off, Wingo was drafted in the 11th round by the Dodgers, something most folks never expected to happen. (Maybe not a blessing considering the current situation in L.A., but I digress.) Scott Wingo, in short, is a true inspiration, and it was Tanner's willingness to take a calculated risk that gave Wingo the opportunity to do the things he's done.