The National Junior College Athletic Association and American Baseball Coaches Association has named Seward County Community College’s Galen McSpadden as the head coach of the NJCAA Baseball All-Star team that will compete against the Taiwan National team June 20-22, 2008, in a three-game series at USA Baseball Stadium in Millington, Tenn. The NJCAA All-Star team will be comprised of the top freshmen and sophomores that played at NJCAA institutions during the 2008 season. McSpadden also helped organize the first-ever NJCAA Freshmen Baseball All-Star Series in the summer of 2007, which was also held at USA Stadium in Millington.

McSpadden, the 27th year head coach of the Saints, will be assisted by Jeff Willis, head coach at Louisiana State University – Eunice, and Marc Rardin, head coach at Iowa Western Community College. Potential players will be nominated by their junior college head coach, and will then be selected by McSpadden and his coaching staff to the official NJCAA All-Star roster.

“This is an opportunity to be involved in baseball at a level that I have never been involved,” McSpadden said of his selection as head coach. “To play against a national team that is going to represent Taiwan in the Olympics is exciting. It is going to be a lot of fun to work with a couple of very good coaches and players from the NJCAA.”

Last summer McSpadden was named to the NJCAA West Freshmen All-Star Team coaching staff, where he helped lead the west squad to a 2-0-1 record in the three-game series.

McSpadden’s valuable experience recruiting for the West All-Star team a year ago has left him aware of certain obstacles that may become roadblocks once the time comes to selecting a final roster.

“Having already talked with Jeff (Willis), Marc (Rardin) and Dave Grant (NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association President), we are going to have some challenges in the selection process. We have to have the best talent that we can select. Fortunately, we are going to be able to take freshmen and sophomores,” McSpadden said. “I explained to them we will need a pre-(MLB) draft roster and a post-(MLB) draft roster. We will do our best to put together the top players that will best represent the NJCAA.”

With the Major League Baseball Draft (June 5-6) and several summer semi-pro leagues preventing some players from participating, the recruitment and selection process will be extensive and could last up until the team’s departure for Millington.

Overall, the veteran coach feels this opportunity is one that he will enjoy.

“The way that this will be administered by Dave Grant, Harry Tholen (NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association), Richard Hitt (South Florida C.C. head coach) and those at USA Stadium will be first-class, a lot of fun, and a tremendous experience for the players.”

McSpadden, who will be inducted later this May into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, considers his appointment as head coach for the NJCAA All-Star team as another way to represent SCCC.

“This also gives me another avenue to represent Seward County Community College, the Liberal community, Region VI and the Jayhawk Conference. I think being asked to coach a team against this caliber of a Taiwan team is quite a privilege and an honor.”

The U.S. junior college players will have the opportunity to complete against the premier talent from the Far East that will be among those chosen to the roster for the Chinese Taipei, which will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The Taiwan All-Star team will also be in action against the USA National Team the week following their three-game series against the NJCAA All-Star Team.

The past two international competitions for the NJCAA Baseball All-Star team at USA Stadium in Millington have been a success. In 2002, the NJCAA All-Stars won 3-of-5 games against the Chinese National Team.

Helping the junior college all-stars that year was former Saints’ All-American Cory Patton. After leading the nation with 31 home runs and 120 RBI, Patton won the series finale for the NJCAA All-Star team with a walk-off bottom of the ninth solo home run in a 5-4 victory over China. Patton was named the NJCAA Player of the Year in 2002.

The NJCAA All-Star team also claimed victory over the Canadian National Team in 1999, winning 4-of-5 games played.

The McSpadden File:
- 27th year as head baseball coach at Seward County
- 896-487 overall career record
- 11 Jayhawk West Conference championships
- Ranks 12th among active NJCAA coaches in career victories
- Has coached 73 MLB Draft selections/free agent signings at SCCC
- Made 2004 NJCAA World Series appearance (5th place)
- Coached 15 NJCAA All-Americans
- 15 straight seasons with at least 33 wins
- Selected in the 6th Round (121st overall pick) of 1974 MLB Draft by San Diego Padres
- Played five seasons in Padres organization and spent two years on major league 40-man roster