Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers' Josh Sborz now among the few to win college and pro World Series

“What college is supposed to do is prepare you for life, and that’s exactly what it did,” Sborz said

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Josh Sborz wasn’t expecting to be on the mound for the final out of the World Series.

He entered Game 5 in the seventh inning and was sent out to start the ninth, with each out he recorded moving the Texas Rangers one step closer to its first championship.

But after each out, manager Bruce Bochy remained in the dugout, closer Jose Leclerc remained in the bullpen, and Sborz remained on the mound.

“I was like, ‘Well, let's just try to finish this,’” Sborz told NBC’s Julia Elbaba. “And I can celebrate on the field, I don't have to run out.”

The celebration instead ran out to him after Sborz struck out Ketel Marte looking to give the Rangers their first World Series title in the team’s 63-year history (the first 11 of which were spent as the Washington Senators).

“Something I dreamed of my entire life,” Sborz said.

And something he had kind of already experience once before.

Sborz helped lead the University of Virginia to the program’s first College World Series title in 2015. Named Most Outstanding Player of the series, he didn't allow an earned run over 19 innings pitched during the Cavaliers’ postseason run.

That moment foreshadowed Sborz’s future performance on baseball’s grandest stage with the Rangers as he allowed just one earned run in 12 postseason innings pitched.

With his championship wins in Virginia and Texas, Sborz became just the 22nd player in baseball history to win both the College World Series and MLB World Series, according to the NCAA.com.

“I think any big moment, whether it’s in high school, college or professional sports, prepares you for the next moment,” Sborz said. “It just amplifies, it gets bigger.”

Sborz took the lessons learned and the experiences endured in the College World Series and applied them while pitching in the World Series.

“What college is supposed to do is prepare you for life, and that’s exactly what it did,” Sborz said. “It was very hard, but it makes your life easier because it is so hard.” 

While Sborz may not have been expecting to be on the mound for the final out of the World Series, he has been preparing for that scenario his entire life.

“I think my success in the playoffs kind of stems from I treat every game like it’s a championship game,” Sborz said. “So, when the championship game comes, it’s just a regular game to me. So, the moment is never too big because I always keep the moment big throughout the year.”

How many players have won the College World Series and World Series?

When Josh Sborz recorded the final out of the 2023 Fall Classic, he became the 22nd baseball player to win both the College World Series and World Series.

Here are all of the players to do so, according to NCAA.com.

  • Roger Clemens, Texas (1983) and New York Yankees (1999, 2000)
  • Ed Sprague, Stanford (1987, 1988) and Toronto Blue Jays (1992, 1993)
  • Terry Francona, Arizona (1980) and Boston Red Sox (2004 as manager)
  • Rick Monday, Arizona State (1965) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1981)
  • Sal Brando, Arizona State (1965) and Oakland Athletics (1972, 1973, 1974)
  • Duffy Dyer, Arizona State (1965) and New York Mets (1969)
  • Gary Gentry, Arizona State (1967) and New York Mets (1969)
  • Jackie Jensen, California (1947) and New York Yankees (1950)
  • Ryan Theriot, LSU (2000) and St. Louis Cardinals (2011) and San Francisco Giants (2012)
  • Mike Fontenot, LSU (2000) and San Francisco Giants (2010)
  • Jackie Bradley Jr., South Carolina (2010, 2011) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2018)
  • Ron Fairly, Southern California (1958) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1959, 1963, 1965)
  • Don Buford, USC (1958) and Baltimore Orioles (1970)
  • Ron Smalley, USC (1972) and Minnesota Twins (1987)
  • Rich Dauer, USC (1973) and Baltimore Orioles (1983)
  • Keith Moreland, Texas (1975) and Philadelphia Phillies (1980)
  • Ed Vosberg, Arizona (1980) and Florida Marlins (1997)
  • Billy Bates, Texas (1983) and Cincinnati Reds (1990)
  • Mark Redman, Oklahoma (1994) and Florida Marlins (2003)
  • Justin Turner, Cal State (2004) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2020)
  • Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt (2014) and Atlanta Braves (2021)
  • Josh Sborz, Virginia (2015) and Texas Rangers (2023)
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