Seven former Loyola Marymount University (LMU) baseball players have been selected to the West Coast Conference (WCC)/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team.
The ceremonial team, which commemorates the WCC’s 40 years in baseball, consists of 40 of the top players that have competed in the conference over the past four decades.
With seven of its players selected for the anniversary team, LMU placed second among the conference teams behind Pepperdine University, which led all programs with 13 former players selected.
Only individuals from the conference’s current membership of eight teams were eligible for selection to the anniversary team, with the primary focus on each player’s collegiate accomplishments, WCC officials said.
The 40th anniversary team was selected by a 30-member voting panel comprised of WCC administrators, league institutions, national collegiate baseball writers and local media members.
The seven LMU players selected for the team and the years they played at the school are: Billy Bean (1983-1986); Miah Bradbury (1987-1990); Joe Ciccarella (1989-1991); Chris Donnels (1985-1987); Tim Layana (1983-1986); Russ Noah (1971-1973); and Billy Traber (1998-2000).
All seven players were WCC champions and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament participants during their time at LMU.
Three of the players, Bean, Donnels and Layana, were members of LMU’s 1986 College World Series squad, which will be inducted into the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame as a team Friday, January 19th.
“The West Coast Conference is proud to announce the selection of the WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team,” said WCC commissioner Michael Gilleran.
“The west is traditionally one of the strongest regions in the nation for baseball, and our conference has competed successfully at a national level since 1968, which is a testament to the league’s baseball coaches and the administrations that support our eight programs.”
Rawlings Western Regional sales manager Dave Bracci added, “Rawlings is proud of its longstanding relationship with the West Coast Conference and is honored to be a part of this project.”
The list of honorees to the 40th anniversary team includes 24 players that received either WCC Player or Pitcher of the Year recognition, 27 All-Americans, 11 freshman All-Americans and two academic All-Americans.
Twenty-three of the honorees have played baseball at the Major League level.
Bean, who played outfield for the LMU Lions, was a two-time first team All-WCC selection during his college career.
He is already an individual member of the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame but will be inducted again as part of the College World Series team.
Bean still holds the WCC record for single-season walks with 66 and holds the LMU record in single-season runs scored with 84. He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round of the 1986 draft.
Bradbury, an LMU catcher, was a three-time All-WCC first team selection and was the 1990 WCC Player of the Year.
He is the WCC record holder in career doubles with 72 and single-season doubles with 31. Bradbury also holds the LMU record in career at-bats (846), hits (306), doubles (72) and total bases (490).
LMU first baseman Ciccarella was a first-team All-WCC selection in 1991 and was the 1991 WCC Player of the Year.
Ciccarella, the WCC Freshman of the Year in 1989, holds the LMU single-season record with a .435 batting average in 1991. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 1991 MLB draft.
Donnels, a third baseman for the Lions, was a three-time All-WCC first team selection and was the WCC Player of the Year in his sophomore year.
He is the WCC record holder in career runs batted in (RBI) with 225 and also holds the conference single-season RBI record with 91.
Donnels, who is the LMU all-time home-run leader with 45, was chosen by the New York Mets in the first round of the 1987 draft.
Layana, who was a right-handed pitcher for the Lions, was the WCC Pitcher of the Year, a first-team All-WCC selection and a second team All-American in 1986.
He was inducted into the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992 and his number-54 jersey was posthumously retired following his death in an auto accident in 1999.
Layana is the WCC record holder in innings pitched with 511 and also holds the LMU record for complete games (33), wins (35) and strikeouts (405). He was a third-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 1986.
LMU outfielder Noah was a two-time All-WCC first team selection and was the 1973 WCC Player of the Year. Noah, who was inducted into the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986, is the LMU record holder with a .387 career batting average.
He was a third round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1973.
The most recent LMU player selected for the anniversary team is Traber, who holds the LMU single-season strikeout record with 156 and was the WCC Pitcher of the Year in 2000.
He was a two-time All-WCC first team selection and was named an All-American in both 1999 and 2000.
Currently playing for the Washington Nationals, Traber was selected by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2000 draft.