HARROGATE, Tenn. — For the first time in the history of Lincoln Memorial University athletics, a former athletes’ jersey will be retired as Railsplitter baseball alum Scot Shields is set to return for this weekend’s homecoming festivities to see his uniform commemorated.
Scot Shields is scheduled to return to LMU on Friday evening as he will make an appearance at game two of the Railsplitters’ annual Fall World Series, set to begin at 7 p.m.. On Saturday, the spotlight shifts to Shields, as Lincoln Memorial President Jim Dawson and Athletic Director Roger Vannoy will lead the ceremony to retire Scot Shields’ No.10 jersey at 1 p.m. on Lamar Hennon Field. Shields will sign autographs at the conclusion of the ceremony with the LMU alumni game to follow at 1:30 p.m..
In the long history of Lincoln Memorial athletics, you would be hard-pressed to find an athlete with a deeper resume collegiately or professionally than Scot Shields.
During his time at Lincoln Memorial, Shields etched his name throughout the Railsplitter record books. From his arrival in 1995 to his departure in 1997 Scot compiled 20 wins, good for second on the all-time list in school history. In the career record books Shields can be seen in nearly every statistical pitching category as he ranks sixth all-time in appearances (51), fifth in games started (31), second in complete games (18), first in shutouts (4), fourth in innings pitched (224.1), third in strikeouts (190) and fifth in batters faced (1,007).
Shields’ most impressive accomplishment at LMU came on March 16, 1996, as he pitched 16 innings against the University of Montevallo — a single-game record that stands to this day. In that game, Shields also notched the single-game record for most batters faced with 71 and most pitches thrown with 261.
Scot was taken in the 38th round of the 1997 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the then-Anaheim Angels and made his MLB debut on May 26, 2001, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. From 2001-2010 Shields became a fixture in the Angels’ bullpen, highlighted by Scot playing a key role on the 2012 World Series Championship team. That season Shields compiled a 2.20 earned run average over 49 innings.
The right-hander led the American League in holds, a stat that indicates his ability to keep the other team from scoring in the seventh and eighth innings, from 2006-2008. At the conclusion of 2009, Scot was named ‘Best Setup Man of the Decade’ by Sports Illustrated along with earning the distinction of being selected to the All-Decade Team for the years spanning from 2000 to 2009.
Shields announced his retirement in 2011 as the last member of the 2002 World Series team. He is widely regarded as the greatest setup pitcher in Angels franchise history. Among pitchers who recorded more than 500 innings as an Angel, Shields ranks seventh in club history in earned run average, ninth in WHIP (walks plus hits per innnings pitched), fifth in hits per nine innings, third in strikeouts per nine innings, second in games played (491) and ninth in strikeout to walk ratio.
As the most successful alum in the 115 year history of Lincoln Memorial athletics, Shields having his jersey retired is the first event of its kind at LMU. All are invited and encouraged to attend the enshrinement of LMU legend and MLB great Scot Shields’ No. 10 jersey.