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One of my favorite photos is the one with Webber and President George H. W. Bush, who invited the Georgia team to the White House following the winning of the College World Series.
The first President Bush was a passionate baseball fan. He kept in the Oval Office the first baseman’s mitt he used when he played in the infield at Yale. He treated that glove with enduring respect, keeping it oiled and looking like it did during his days on campus in New Haven.
Webber took two Georgia teams to the College World Series. His first trip was in 1987 after winning the SEC regular season championship. Stanford won at Omaha, but Webber was inspired by his team’s success that season and worked for a return trip.
In 1990, it would be different. LSU won the SEC title, but Georgia made it to Omaha where the Bulldogs defeated Oklahoma State, 2-1, in the championship final.
When he moved on to professional baseball in 1997, he worked with five different Big League teams as a manager and scout, principally the Yankees in the days when George Steinbrenner was the owner of the team. He also spent time with the Padres, Astros and the Braves. His last year in baseball came in 2016 when he worked for the Braves.
Webber was a softspoken man with an engaging smile. He was a man of great principle and character, one who was highly regarded for his integrity and sense of fair play. He developed a nice rapport with the baseball alumni who were always eager to lend support when he called on them. Vernon Brinson, a highly successful businessman in New Orleans, played for Big Jim Whatley in the late fifties, funded a batting cage soon after Webber took over the baseball program. “I had confidence that Steve was going to develop a successful program and wanted to support him from the start,” Brinson said.
Inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2018, Webber, whose teams averaged 32 wins a year for 16 seasons, is one of Georgia’s national championship coaches who did more with less to win a championship.