Palmeiro was recruited by Ron Polk and enrolled at Mississippi State University, where he played college baseball for the Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He was the first of two players to have ever won the SEC triple crown, both of whom are Mississippi State products. A teammate of Will Clark, the two were known as “Thunder and Lightning”. Clark and Palmeiro were known to dislike each other, dating back to their time at Mississippi State. On June 11, 1985, Palmeiro signed with the Chicago Cubs as the 22nd pick in the 1st round of the 1985 draft.
Thomas was a standout four-year starter at Mississippi State University.
Thomas was the eighth freshman in the 25-year history of Kodak All-America honors to earn the award and first Lady Bulldog to be named a Kodak All-American. She went on to become just the sixth player in women’s basketball history to be a four-time Kodak All-American. She left her mark in the SEC as well, becoming the first player in the conference to lead the league in scoring all four years of her career. Thomas was a three-time finalist for the Naismith Award and she was also a four-time first-team all-SEC and AP all-SEC selection. Thomas was a finalist in 2003 for Margaret Wade Trophy given each season to the top female college player. Diana Taurasi won the Wade Trophy in 2003.
Thomas is the all-time leading scorer at Mississippi State, for either men or women, with 2,981 career points. She holds the Lady Bulldog records for field goals made, field goals attempted, field goal percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, free throw percentage, rebounds, and blocked shots.
In addition to her numerous all-America honors, Thomas was named the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner, 2003 Mississippi Amateur Athlete of the Year, and 2003 SEC Female Athlete of the Year. Upon graduation, she became the first athlete from the state of Mississippi to be taken as a top pick in a professional draft, going No. 1 to the Cleveland Rockers in the 2003 WNBA Draft.
Cowbells are a significant part of any Mississippi State University experience. The tradition began after a jersey cow wandered onto the football field in the early 1900s, disrupting a game. Subsequently, State won the football game, and the cow became a symbol of good luck. Eventually, the cow was replaced with just the cowbell. Handles were welded onto the bells to ease ringing, and cowbells are now manufactured and sold specifically as athletic noisemakers. Clanging cowbells rung by many of the State fans is a part of the tradition of MSU football games, despite the SEC banning “artificial noise-makers” at conference games–a rule aimed at Mississippi State–from 1974 to 2010. That rule was finally lifted at the beginning of the 2010 season, initially on a trial basis, with cowbells only permitted to ring during halftime, timeouts, and after touchdowns. Bulldog fans complied with these rules, and cowbells have been allowed every season ever since.
College Sports Established
Mississippi State University
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1907 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
1932 – Present / SEC Conference
1921 – 1932 / Southern Conference
1896 – 1921 / Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Bulldogs – As with most universities, State teams answered to different nicknames through the years. The first squads representing Mississippi A&M College were proud to be called Aggies, and when the school officially became Mississippi State College in 1932 the nickname Maroons, for State’s uniform color, gained prominence. Bulldogs became the official title for State teams in 1961, not long after State College was granted university status. Yet references to school teams and athletes as Bulldogs actually go back to early in the century, and this nickname was used almost interchangeably with both Aggies and Maroons, since at least 1905.
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