NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Watch any classic high school comedy film and there’s bound to be some clash between two cliques: the jocks and the nerds.
At Stanford, that’s a little harder since the jocks are usually nerds, too. At least, that’s the way they appear in the stands at Hawkins Field in the Nashville Super Regional.
Whenever there is a big play for Stanford, chances are you can see black-and-white Stanford class portraits being waved by the Stanford faithful. These aren’t your average class portraits, though; each player is wearing large, black-rimmed glasses with tape in the middle -- the type typically associated with nerds.
“We’re probably humoring ourselves more than anything,” said John Edman, Maureen’s husband, before the second game of the Super Regional.
The look is not unique to the baseball team. One of the more popular examples of Stanford athletes embracing their ‘nerdiness’ comes from the Cardinal football team.
“If you watched football, during their interviews, the players who were being interviewed were wearing their ‘Nerd Nation’ glasses,” John Edman said. “So [the baseball team] definitely embrace that side of themselves. They were saying that this was the ‘Nerd Series.”
That blending of two sports at Stanford had special meaning for Shannon Hoffpauir, whose son Zach plays both sports at the school.
“We were used to wearing the glasses at football and I think it’s awesome that that excitement has poured into baseball,” Hoffpauir said.
Even though Zach is a part of the football team, Hoffpauir said it was still fun to see the nerd side of her son.
“He’s so out of the box, different,” she said. “He’s not really that nerd. So it was pretty funny to see him in nerd glasses.”
While the Stanford players may not be wearing these glasses – or any glass of any sort – out onto the field, that doesn’t mean they take their academic responsibilities lightly. Not even baseball can take them away from the fact that they are students at a school with a great academic reputation.
All that is necessary is to take a look at the Twitter feed from Stanford first baseman Danny Diekroeger.
“If you saw when Danny got drafted [by the MLB on Friday], the first thing he tweeted right after was ‘Played a regional game, got drafted, now I got to take a math exam,’” John Edman said.
So far, the photos haven’t given the Cardinal any luck on the field – in fact, Edman said his wife jokingly suggested burning them after the Game 1 loss – but that doesn’t mean Stanford fans are ready to give up on them.
In fact, while it may not become an every-game feature, Hoffpauir would like to see a reappearance of them at a later day.
“I’d like to see it as something special,” she said. “I think it’s something you pull out in the end when you go out into the other regionals and the United States. They get to see it and know what Nerd Nation is.”