After one of the most historic seasons that Cornell baseball has ever had in its 143-year existence, center fielder Brian Billigen ’12 signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for the 2012-2013 season.
Billigen was passed over in the MLB's 2012 First-Year Player Draft during the first week of June, which meant that his chances of being signed were slim as he became a free agent. However, shortly after Billigen was picked up to start training for Phoenix with the hopes that he would be a standout for the Diamondbacks, just like he was for the Red. Only a month later Billigen was promoted from the Diamondbacks' Rookie-level squad to the Class-A South Bend Silver Hawks after being an offensive leader.
For his career with the Red, Billigen was a crucial part of the success that the team had, especially in its 2012 season — including its first league title since 1977 and its second-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.
“It was a great year obviously. We met some of our goals almost every game. Every game that we played came down to the wire,” said senior Brenton Peters. “We had a season that people aren’t going to forget for a long time.”
Personally, Billigen led Cornell in batting average (.361), triples (3), stolen bases (13) and RBI (40), leading to his second All-Ivy Second Team selection. His career totals rank in the top 10 in program history in numerous categories, including total bases (295, second), home runs (20, T-third), triples (14, T-third), slugging percentage (.561, fourth), batting average (.337, sixth), stolen bases (38, sixth), hits (177, sixth) and RBI (106, seventh).
“He is a good friend of mine and absolutely deserves it. He put in a lot of work, is really talented and I am really happy for him,” Peters said.