jason hart (1994 - 1995)
Jason Hart was a slugging first baseman who played on two Bears’ Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship clubs and two NCAA tournament teams in his three seasons competing for coach Keith Guttin. The Bears captured the title of the 1996 MVC tourney to advance to the NCAA regional in Austin, Texas, where MSU knocked off Long Beach State and UCLA and finished third. MSU repeated its league tourney title a year later to grab a spot in the NCAA regional in Lubbock,Texas, where the Bears downed Texas Tech and Nevada to finish second. A native of nearby Fair Grove, Hart led the Bears in batting, home runs and runs batted in both as a sophomore and junior to become the first Bear ever to win the team's triple crown in consecutive seasons. His junior season saw him hit .416 with 28 homers and 91 RBI's to collect All-America second team honors from Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers. A Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America in 1996, Hart was a Bears' co-captain and an all-MVC first team selection in 1998. Hart was the Bears' MVP each of his last two years. Now, 15 years after his playing days, he still ranks sixth in MSU career runs (183), seventh in hits (263), sixth in doubles (52), and ninth in batting average (.377). He remains the Bears’ career leader in extra-base hits (116), total bases (506), home runs (63) and runs batted in (203). Hart was drafted and signed with the Oakland Athletics after his junior season and also played in the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins organizations. He reached the major league level in 2002 with the Rangers. After his nine-year pro playing career, he moved into coaching, and 2013 will be his sixth year in the Texas organization where he currently serves as hitting coach for the Rangers’ class Double-A club in Frisco, Texas.