The Nebraska Athletics Department has announced that former Nebraska baseball All-Americans Darin Erstad, Alex Gordon and Shane Komine will have their jerseys retired in a ceremony prior to the start of the Huskers’ game against Illinois on Friday, March 24. Erstad, Gordon and Komine become the first three players to earn the high distinction in the program’s 117-year history.
“It is fitting that Darin Erstad, Shane Komine and Alex Gordon are the first Husker baseball players to be honored with a retired jersey,” said Nebraska Vice Chancellor, Director of Athletics Trev Alberts. “Each of them left a lasting legacy of excellence and helped elevate Nebraska baseball to new heights. Darin, Shane, and Alex are members of our Athletics Hall of Fame and have been great ambassadors for Nebraska, and we look forward to honoring them this spring.”
Erstad was a history maker on the diamond, and he was also the starting punter on the Huskers 1994 national championship football team. A three-year letterwinner from 1993 to 1995, Erstad was the first Husker to be a conference player of the year and was NU’s first finalist for a national player-of-the-year award. Despite playing only three seasons, he ended his career with a school-record 261 hits, while also finishing second all-time in doubles (46), third in home runs (41) and RBI (182) and fifth in runs scored (188). Erstad was a first-team All-American, the Big Eight Co-Player of the Year and a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 1995 after hitting .410 with 19 home runs, 79 RBI and a school-record 46 extra-base hits.
After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft, Erstad went on to have a 14-year career, where he became the first player in MLB history to win Gold Glove awards at multiple positions. The three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time All-Star led the majors with 240 hits, won a Silver Slugger Award and became the first leadoff hitter in MLB history to drive in 100 runs in 2000. Erstad returned to Nebraska as a volunteer coach in 2011, before serving as head coach for eight seasons from 2012 to 2019. Under Erstad, the Huskers went 267-193-1, won the 2017 Big Ten regular-season title and had four Regional appearances.
After earning freshman All-America honors in 2003, Gordon was honored as a first-team All-American in both 2004 and 2005. In 2005, he was the consensus national player of the year, winning the Golden Spikes, Brooks Wallace, Dick Howser and the ABCA National Player-of-the-Year Awards. In addition to his accolades at the national level, Gordon was the two-time district player of the year and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year. A third baseman at Nebraska, he led the Huskers to a school-record 57 victories in 2005, when Nebraska captured its first College World Series victory. The Lincoln native hit .353 in his NU career with 53 doubles, 11 triples, 44 home runs and 189 RBI.
A 2004 U.S. National Team member, Gordon went on to have a stellar professional career after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft. Named Baseball America’s 2006 Minor League Player of the Year in his first professional season, he was a three-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner in left field, while also winning the 2014 Platinum Glove Award as the top defensive player in the American League. Gordon capped his 14-year career in the Majors with 1,643 hits, 357 doubles, 26 triples, 190 home runs, 749 RBI and 867 runs with the Royals. Gordon has also given back to the University of Nebraska, donating $1 million toward the Alex Gordon Training Complex, an indoor training facility for the Nebraska baseball and softball programs.
One of the top pitchers in NCAA history, Komine rewrote the Husker pitching record book while leading the program to new heights. He posted a 41-8 record with a 2.84 ERA over 68 career appearances and 59 starts, tossing 18 complete-games and four shutouts. In 431 career innings, Komine posted 510 strikeouts, the fifth-highest totally in NCAA history. He ended his career with the all-time school records for wins, innings, starts, complete-games, strikeouts and shutouts. Along the way, Komine became the first two-time first-team All-American in program history, and he was a three-time All-American overall.
A National Player of the Year finalist in 2000, Komine was selected as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in both 2000 and 2001, after being recognized as the 1999 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and a first-team freshman All-American. Nebraska recorded 190 victories in Komine’s four seasons, including the first two 50-win seasons in program history (2000, 2001). Komine also helped lead the Huskers to the first two College World Series appearances in program history in 2001 and 2002. Following his Husker career, Komine was selected in the ninth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, and he played two seasons for the Oakland Athletics. He also excelled in the classroom at Nebraska, as he was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior.