Robin's induction speech
Truly one of the greatest collegiate baseball players of all-time…Ventura finished third in Baseball America's "Player of the Century" poll for college baseball behind Bob Horner and another Oklahoma State Hall of Famer, Pete Incaviglia. Ventura still holds college baseball's hitting-streak record at 58 games while boasting a .428 career batting average. In addition to the aforementioned feats, Ventura holds seven Oklahoma State offensive records, including the highest single season batting average at .469. Ventura had an unbelievable freshman year in which he hit .469 with 21 homers and 96 RBI. He earned All-America honors at third base over Arkansas' Jeff King, who was the first player chosen in the 1986 major league draft. In addition, Ventura was named Freshman of the Year by Baseball America. All this came after starting the season as the backup at third base. His 96 RBI led the nation, and he also led the team with his 28 doubles and 21 dingers. Ventura established the school record for runs in a season with 107, which also led the nation. Other honors bestowed to the freshman included All-Big Eight and all-tournament honors as well as being named the Most Valuable Player in the latter.
Ventura proved that there would be no sophomore slump as the left-handed hitter was named Baseball America's Player of the Year in 1987. On the season, he batted .428 with 21 homers and 110 RBIs. It was in this season that he set the record of 58 consecutive games with a hit, establishing himself as one of the best hitters to ever play the college game. He once again claimed All-America and All-Big Eight honors and also claimed the Big Eight Tournament MVP award after going an astounding 11-for-12. Ventura led the Cowboys into postseason play, where he was named to the Mideast All-Tournament team when he hit .417 and led the Cowboys to the College World Series. The Cowboys set a school record with a 61-8 mark in 1988, and once again Ventura was named an All-American. He batted .391 at the plate with a career-high 26 homers and 96 RBIs. He was named to the All-Big Eight team while leading the Cowboys to another NCAA appearance. He also received the Golden Spikes Award as the best player in college baseball for the 1988 season. To cap off his collegiate career he was named the Player of the Decade by Baseball America as well as the starting third baseman on the all-time team. After the 1988 season, Ventura played in the Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox with the 10th pick in the first round.
In December of 2001, Baseball America named him The College Baseball Player of The Last Twenty Years at the magazine's 20th Anniversary celebration in Boston. Ventura retired in 2004 after 16 seasons in the major leagues.