Coach Birmingham, a native of Hobbs, spoke proudly of the young men on his teams and of the state he represents. He said, “New Mexico is a big deal to me, it’s where I was born and raised. I’ve coached young men from every community in the state, they won’t let you down.”
He went on to relay a conversation he had with a representative of Southwest Airlines who reported to him that the UNM baseball team is known across the Southwest to be outstanding guys. They carry themselves very well in airports, helping the elderly and single women with kids. Coach Birmingham concluded, “They are stand-up guys. They represent New Mexico. Ninety percent of them are on the honor roll and the other ten percent are working on it.”
Karen James, of First Church of Christ Scientists in Santa Fe gave the opening prayer for the Senate. She witnessed the “outstanding tribute” Birmingham and the team received.
She wrote, “Those beautiful young men are setting such a good example of sportsmanship, service, scholarship and character…You are to be thanked for your influence beyond coaching a sport to teaching about life, to demanding excellence in all areas of endeavor. Good for you, your students, UNM, and as was emphasized yesterday, our whole state.”