The tradition continues.
Yesterday, FSU Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops received his 5th spiked baseball from FSU's Director of Baseball Operations Chip Baker (who tweeted the photo). The spiked baseball tradition, which Baker began in 1993, signifies that the FSU defense had just "nailed" another shutout.
In case you're not familiar with how this little known tradition got started, according to Baker, the tradition started right after the Seminoles' shutout Kansas 42-0 in the 1993 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford. Baker said he was inspired after witnessing one of college football greatest goal line stands. During that game, the Noles stuffed the Jayhawks 11 consecutive times from inside the 10 yard line preventing them from scoring a touchdown. Baker said that after watching that game is when he decided to expand the baseball tradition to the football team. If you've never seen this amazing goal line stand by the Noles, I urge you to watch this classic performance here.
Baker has continued the tradition, which was carried over from former defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews' tenure, to commemorate a shutout. Over a 17 year period Baker presented Mickey Andrews with 14 spiked baseballs, each time after shutting out an opponent.
As mentioned, Mickey Andrews first spiked baseball came after the Kickoff Classic shutout of Kansas in 1993. Baker decided to give Andrews a spiked baseball for "nailing the shutout."
"It goes back to the goal-line stand in the Meadowlands against Kansas in '93 (42-0) in the Kickoff Classic. I got so pumped up from that I had to do something for Mickey."
Baker mistakenly thought the gesture would be a one shot deal and that is where it would end. He would soon learn differently.
Two weeks later, after shutting out Clemson 57-0, Derrick Brooks asked Baker, "Hey coach, where's our baseball." Baker obliged, again still not expecting a tradition to be born.
Then two weeks after that, FSU recorded their second straight shutout at home, a 51-0 shellacking of Georgia Tech. GT was coincidentally where Baker had been an assistant baseball coach before leaving to become an assistant baseball coach for Florida State, and where he learned from his mentor about the practice of giving a spiked ball to reward the team for a shutout. Once again, Baker drove a spike nail through the ball and presented it to Andrews.