As Tim Elko stood on Swayze Field for the last time in his college baseball career Wednesday, he had just one question for the crowd.
"Are you ready?", his voice boomed as the crowd launched into Ole Miss' famed Hotty Toddy chant at the school's College World Series national championship celebration.
The team captain who led Ole Miss to the first baseball national title in school history said tried to tell the nation what the Rebels were capable of. Eventually, college baseball fans found out as Ole Miss swept Oklahoma in the national championship series.
"I tried to warn the country not to let the Rebs get hot, but I don’t know – I think they let the Rebs get hot, baby," said Elko.
It took Ole Miss a while to live up to it's championship potential. The Rebels underachieved for most of the regular season following sky-high preseason expectations. But once it was able to sneak into the postseason, Ole Miss generated enough momentum to carry it to an historic victory.
"It’s been a crazy journey my entire career here, and it’s only right that the first national championship that Ole Miss wins is also a crazy journey," Elko said. "Thank you guys for the support all year. You guys were there in Omaha 20,000-plus strong. I think Omaha felt it, and we couldn’t have done it without you guys – so thank you."
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Elko said he's going to miss the moments he spent bonding with his teammates and the support around the Ole Miss program that made it special in his eyes.
"Thank you guys for these five years. It’s truly been the best five years of my life," Elko said.
The family atmosphere around the Ole Miss program stood out to Elko, and he wanted to make sure fans knew how he felt as he concludes his college career.
"I just want to say thank you to anybody involved with Ole Miss; the family atmosphere that I felt here the last five years has been amazing," Elko said. "There’s just so many people to go to if you need help. Just a true family atmosphere, and I love each and every one of the many people who touched my life."
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Tim Elko: 'They let the Rebs get hot baby' at Ole Miss baseball parade