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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–July has been a winning month for former Rutgers athletes playing in the pros.
Dominant showings by former Scarlet Knights soccer player Carli Lloyd and baseball player Todd Frazier have the nation buzzing about the university on the banks of the old Raritan.
First, Lloyd led the United States Women’s National Team to a FIFA Women’s World Cup Title, the nation’s first since 1999.
The team has been a source of pride for New Jerseyans, with four players coming from New Jersey, including Lloyd, who grew up in Delran.
In addition to a World Cup trophy, Lloyd was also awarded the Silver Boot, which is given to the tournament’s second-leading scorer, and the Golden Ball, awarded to the most impressive player of the tournament.
In addition, she scored the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history by scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes of the championship game against Japan.
Before Lloyd was a national soccer star, she enjoyed a phenomenal career at Rutgers.
Lloyd was named First-Team All-Big East in each of her four collegiate seasons to go along with 2001 Big East Rookie of the Year and 2004 Big East Midfielder of the Year honors.
She is Rutgers’ all-time leader in goals (50), points (117) and shots (295).
Lloyd and the rest of the Women's World Cup team was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City on June 10.
On the same day as the United States' championship game victory, Rutgers fans were given another reason to celebrate, when another Rutgers alum earned national recognition in pro sports.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, a native of Toms River, was named to his second All-Star Game in as many years. And this year, he was named to the starting lineup.
He has had a stellar year so far, with a batting average of .284 and 57 runs batted in through 85 games.
His 26 doubles lead the majors, and his 25 home runs are fifth in the league, just two behind league leader Giancarlo Stanton.
Frazier’s big bat earned him a spot in Monday’s Home Run Derby, where he put on a show.
In the first round of the newly-installed bracket format, Frazier advanced past Rangers slugger Prince Fielder by launching the deciding home run in bonus time after tying in regulation.
In Round Two, Frazier defeated Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson by one home run after leaving the yard with no time left on the clock.
In a dramatic final round, Frazier’s homer in bonus time lifted him past Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson, sending the Cincinnati crowd into a frenzy as their third baseman was named champion.
Those who followed Frazier’s career at Rutgers are likely not be surprised by his power hitting capabilities. He was a consistent home run threat during his time with the Rutgers baseball program.
His 22 homers in 2007 are still the most by a Scarlet Knight in a single season, and his 42 collegiate homers remain the most in Rutgers history.
His home run numbers at Rutgers are even more impressive due to the fact Frazier accumulated that total in just three seasons.
On July 14, Frazier became the first former Rutgers player to start an MLB All-Star Game. He played six innings at third base for the National League before being taken out by manager Bruce Bochy.
While Frazier went hitless in his three at-bats, it was still a night to remember for the Scarlet slugger, who got the start in front of 43,656 in his home ballpark.
After enduring public relations nightmares such as Mike Rice’s player abuse scandal of 2013 and Ray Rice’s domestic violence charges of 2014, it seems the worm is finally turning for the Scarlet Knights.
Since the Mike Rice scandal, Rutgers officially joined the Big Ten, enjoyed an eight-win football season, shocked fourth-ranked Wisconsin at home in men’s basketball, and had four alumni earn Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots.
Add Lloyd and Frazier to the list of things that have been going right for Rutgers lately.