Videos by OutKick
The NCAA might hate fun, but Virginia Tech baseball isn’t letting “the man” keep them down. The Hokies have found a creative workaround to one of the dumbest rules in sports.
Collegiate athletics have seen a significant increase in props over the last few years. Miami football’s turnover chain might be the best known, but they have also reached sports beyond the gridiron.
Or, at least, they did.
College baseball teams all across the country have celebrated home runs with props over the last few years. Tennessee had the ‘Daddy hat’ and fur coat, Murray State had the ‘home run panda’ after hitting it big at Dave & Buster’s, Pittsburgh had the electrifying ‘home run dunk’ and East Carolina had whatever this is:
Despite the good times being had by all, the NCAA decided to do away with all of the fun. The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee banned all celebratory props on the field in 2023 and took away one of the best parts of the sport.
Interest in college baseball has grown pretty significantly over the last few years. A large part of that growth is because the games are (typically) shorter than their MLB counterparts, there is (typically) at lot of bats on balls and runs scored, and the kids play loud.
The emotion and passion in the college game sets it apart, but the NCAA decided to strip some of its character by removing celebratory props. Lame.
In wake of the new rule change, Virginia Tech has found a loophole.
The Hokies introduced the ‘home run hammer’ in 2021 and it quickly became one of the most electric things in sports. A player that hit a home run was tossed a sledgehammer after crossing the plate, which he then swung and slammed into the ground.
Once the hammer hit the turf, the entire dugout jumped up into the air. It was an exhilarating celebration for a team that hit a lot of dingers.
Until the NCAA put a stop to the fun. The home run hammer was to be no longer. Boo.
However, where the hammer once seemed to be gone forever, it has returned.
To keep its celebration alive within the new set of rules, Virginia Tech went a different route in its home opener. The Hokies replaced the hammer with a bat.
The bat was not nearly as cool as the sledgehammer, but it served its purpose.
And then, upon returning home, Virginia Tech got creative with its loophole. The NCAA bans props on the field. It does not ban props off of the field.
This is where the hammer was able to return! In its first series of the season in Blacksburg, the Hammerin’ Hokies moved the fence next to the dugout so that the celebration could continue “off” of the field.
Virginia Tech is sticking it to the NCAA by continuing forward with its tradition without technically breaking any rules. They’re just just using the hammer to assist with their construction down the third base line, duh!