Brandon McArthur is a sophomore second baseman for Florida who will contribute a weekly journal to in 2006. McArthur, from Seffner, Fla., made a miraculous return to the baseball diamond last year, two years after being randomly attacked and suffering life-threatening injuries from a punch to the head and fall to the ground. He had a total of three brain surgeries before becoming a key ingredient in the Gators' run to the College World Series title series in 2005. McArthur started 60 games at third base, batting .268 and driving in 30 runs as a redshirt freshman.



Feb. 8, 2006

Great Expectations


Our Opening Night of baseball here in Gainesville is now less than three days away before we host Cincinnati to kick off the 2006 season.


It’s amazing how much different this spring has been compared to the previous two years that I have been at Florida.


Let me start by saying that the fan support has been unbelievable and the season has yet to begin. Hearing that the reserved season tickets are already sold out for the year at McKethan Stadium lets all of us know that will have great Gator fans behind us at every game.


Oddly enough, I was grocery shopping last week in an outfit that had nothing related to UF baseball on it and a fan who I had not seen before came up to me and asked if we could please get back to Omaha. The reason was because he didn’t have tickets to make the trip last year and would love to be there with us for a possible return to Rosenblatt Stadium. I told him that we would give it everything we had to try and earn another opportunity at reaching the College World Series.


I feel that taking the trip last year relieves some of the stress since the program had not been to Omaha since 1998. Although being highly ranked and receiving a lot of publicity, not many people expected us to play for the national championship against Texas.


Entering this season, I feel that we can relax and play the type of game that we were each recruited by the University of Florida to play.


Coming into this year, many people have talked about all the returning guys who we have, but the fact is, there are 15 new faces in our clubhouse. Throughout the fall workouts and practices leading up to Friday, we have grown much closer than expected. Our trainers and strength and conditioning staff have also pushed us harder leading into this season than before. Running and lifting four out of five days during the week has put our team in great shape and helped us become ready physically and mentally.


With the season opener now on the horizon, there is a lot of fire in the air here in Gainesville.

Brandon McArthur

(photo courtesy of Florida Media Relations Office)