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ASU unveils statue of historic baseball coach Bobby Winkles

Arizona State University on Friday unveiled a statue of legendary baseball coach Bobby Winkles, who was the varsity baseball team’s first — and most successful — coach.

Winkles’ tenure began in the late 1950s, when baseball became a varsity sport at ASU. He coached the Sun Devils until 1971, guiding the team to three national championships and amassing the highest winning percentage in school history.

Former team captain Roger Detter — a three-sport athlete at ASU — says no one had more impact on him from a mentorship and leadership standpoint.

“He guided us, made us better men as well as better baseball players. He was truly a remarkable man and very successful as his record shows," he says

Detter said a group of former players helped fund the statue of Winkles, who died in 2020. He noted Winkles' effect on the program. 

“With the significant contributions and success, the notoriety, he was the architect of ASU baseball. ASU baseball would never have been on the map the way it was if it weren't for Coach Winkles. He built the program," Detter said.

The bronze sculpture was unveiled on the third-base concourse at ASU’s home park, Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.