NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There’s book smart, and then there’s baseball smart.
Stanford and Vanderbilt have great academic reputations, but what about their fans? Book smarts is good and all, but since this is the road to Omaha, what really matters now is how knowledgeable you are about your baseball team.
With that in mind, before Friday’s Super Regional game at Hawkins Field, a random sample of nine fans from each team were each asked five trivia questions about their team. The topics of the questions ranged from the current team leaders to team history.
All told, Stanford fans provided a correct answer 31 times while Vanderbilt fans provided the right answer 24 times. The one advantage the Commodore fans did have was they were the only ones to go 9-for-9 on a question, with everyone knowing that Vanderbilt had only been to one College World Series.
An interesting idea as to why Stanford fans held the overall was presented by Ken Diekroeger, whose son started the game at first base for the Cardinal.
“Any Stanford fan who flies out here better know something about the team,” said Diekroeger, who flew in from Woodside, California, on Thursday night. “You probably still have some casual Vanderbilt fans showing up today.”
While most of the 3,700 in attendance at Friday’s game were decked out in gold and black, the Stanford faithful who made the trip made their presence known at times. After the Cardinal fell behind 10-0 by the end of the third, they were mostly quiet. But two runs in the fourth and four in the fifth brought out Stanford back into the game and its fans followed suit.
Ultimately, it was the Vanderbilt fans who went home happy -- regardless if they were a casual fan or diehard. One such longtime Commodore fan was Shaun Senn, who was born in Nashville and still lives here.
Stanford may have won the fan trivia battle, but if the Commodores can prevail in the series, Senn will have the option to fulfill a lifelong dream and possibly travel to Omaha, Nebraska, to watch the Commodores in the College World Series.
“I would like to [go] and even as a kid, I grew up watch the College World Series and I always wanted to go,” Senn said. “I don’t think I can make it but I would love to. On my sports bucket list, that’s always been top two or three.”
One thing is certain though -- these fans know their baseball.