Casillas was on a great team

Former Oral Roberts University baseball player Adam Casillas died on Jan. 28, after suffering a heart attack. He was 50.

Casillas was a part of the great teams of the mid-1980s at ORU, coached by Larry Cochell, playing primarily first base and outfield for four seasons (1984-87).

He was just one of those guys that always seemed to have an upbeat attitude and an infectious smile. Whenever I saw him around town or at an ORU event, he always had a kind word or compliment to give me.

While at ORU, the Stockton, California, native had 825 at bats and struck out only 32 times. That’s once in every 26 at bats, and practically unheard of. The Major League Baseball average is about 30 percent – that’s striking out three out of every ten at bats.

After finishing his college career, Casillas played with the independent team in Salt Lake City in the Pioneer League. At the end of that season, his contract was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds, and he was sent to Greensboro, N.C., the next year (1988).

He spent nine seasons in minor league baseball (1987-1995), playing in the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals organizations, and with two teams in the Mexican League. The highest level he played was Triple-A with both the Reds and Royals.

In 1989, as a member of the Cedar Rapids Reds, Casillas led the Midwest League in hitting with a .321 average. That season, he had 146 hits and 69 runs batted in, and was named to the Midwest League All-Star team. He was also voted the Cedar Rapids Most Valuable Player.

One of Casillas’ best statistical seasons came in 1990, when he split time between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Nashville. That year he batted .325 with 135 hits, 65 RBI, and only 32 strike outs in 403 at bats.

He also had another great season in 1992 with 166 hits in 530 at bats. His average that season was .313 and he knocked in 50 RBIs while striking out only 23 times.

Following his baseball career, Casillas worked in private business and most recently he worked for a car dealer in the Tulsa area. He is survived by his wife, Meredith and their three children.

OILERS AT HOME

The Tulsa Oilers are at home this weekend with games Saturday against Utah at 7:05 p.m. at the BOK Center.

Saturday will feature the eighth annual “Pink in the Rink” night, as the Oilers show their support for Turn Tulsa Pink.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Turn Tulsa Pink Director Judi Grove. “Turn Tulsa Pink appreciates the Oilers for their continuous support for cancer patients in Northeast Oklahoma.”

The Oilers will wear special pink uniform jerseys that will be auctioned after the game, raising funds for Turn Tulsa Pink. The group will also have a booth on the concourse where fans can purchase a signature pink shirt and other pink merchandise.

The mission of Turn Tulsa Pink is to bring to light the local grassroots charities that provide services and support to all people affected by cancer in our communities. It supports not only breast cancer awareness, but all those who have been affected by cancer in some form or another.

ORU’S MIRA TURNS PRO

Former ORU men’s soccer player Edgardo Mira has signed a pro contract with Sonsonate FC, a member of the First Division in El Salvador. Mira earned All-Conference honors this past season, his final season with ORU, and finished second on the team with six goals on the year.

He broke into the record book during a 4-1 victory over IPFW earlier in the season. The San Salvador, El Salvador, native, scored the team’s first hat trick since the 2007 season as he cemented himself in the ORU record book. He finished his career with 13 goals and eight assists for 34 career points.

Among other former Golden Eagles playing professional soccer are: Zari Prescod (Kiruna FF), Juan Chang (Canterbury United) and Carlos Pinto (Guabira).