Turner number retirement ceremony set for Friday

NATCHITOCHES – Like most everything else set to take place in 2020, the Northwestern State baseball program’s chance to honor its first All-American was pushed back a year.

That moment – one nearly a half-century in the making – arrives Friday when the Demons officially will retire Danny Bob Turner’s No. 7, making it the fifth retired number in program history.

When Turner is honored in a 6:15 p.m. ceremony ahead of NSU’s Southland Conference series opener against McNeese at Brown-Stroud Field, his No. 7 will join four others – Billie Roy Cook’s No. 10, Jim Wells’ No. 17, Jim Willis’ No. 28 and Brian Lawrence’s No. 29 – on the center-field wall in the Demons’ home ballpark.

“This will be a special night for a very special alumnus,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke about Turner, who was initially told about his number retirement when Burke asked him to meet for breakfast in December of 2019. “Typical of Danny Bob’s humble personality, what excites him most about being recognized in the ultimate manner by his alma mater’s athletic program will be the opportunity to share that moment with family and friends.”

Turner earned All-America honors in 1967 after hitting .411 and driving in 27 runs as Northwestern captured the Gulf States Conference championship and reached the College Division Midwest Regional.

Turner earned three All-Gulf States Conference honors in his Demon career, which included a unique doubleheader at then-Southwestern Louisiana when Turner tripled four times across the two games – doing so in four consecutive at-bats.

Turner was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern State, playing on the undefeated 1966 NSU football team under legendary coach Jack Clayton, who also coached Turner in his 1967 baseball season.