Four numbers have been retired in the history of University of Tampa baseball. All four players are also members of the University of Tampa Athletic Hall of Fame and three represent the Spartans in the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame. Tino Martinez, Lelo Prado, Sam Militello and Joe Urso each had stellar careers for the Spartans and have received the ultimate recognition of having their jerseys retired by the school.
#3 Tino Martinez
In his three years as first baseman for the University of Tampa, Martinez was a three-time first-team all-SSC, all-South Region and All-America pick, in addition to being selected to the Academic All-America team. Playing in his hometown of Tampa, he broke school records for batting average (.398), home runs (54) and runs batted in (222). In 1988, he was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the top collegiate baseball player in the nation at any division level. Martinez was a member of the USA team that won the 1988 Olympic gold medal in baseball in Korea, and was most valuable player of the World Amateur Championships in Italy in 1988. That same year he was also named Tampa Sports Club Amateur Athlete of the Year. Martinez was selected in the first round (14th pick overall) of the 1988 draft by the Seattle Mariners. He also helped the New York Yankees win the World Series in 1996 and 1998-2000. He also made the 1995 and 1997 All-Star rosters.
#1 Lelo Prado
A former Tampa baseball player was head baseball coach for the Spartans for seven years. Prado's record at Tampa from 1989 through 1995 was 278-124-1. His .691 winning percentage ranks among the top 10 in Division II history. Under Prado, the Spartans played in the post-season all seven seasons as he was head coach and won the national championship in 1992 and 1993. He was named National Coach of the Year twice, SSC Coach of the Year three times and South Region Coach of the Year four times. Tampa won two SSC titles and three South Region championships under Prado. Prado coached 17 first or second team All-America selections at Tampa, including national player of the year Sam Militello in 1990, two Academic All-Americans, 43 all-South Region picks and 32 all-Sunshine State Conference Selections. During his tenure at Tampa, seven Spartans were drafted by major league clubs, nine of whom played pro ball and four have reached the major leagues, including Tino Martinez (Yankees), Jeff Carter (Chicago White Sox), Ozzie Timmons (Chicago Cubs) and Militello (Yankees). Prado is the current head coach for the University of South Florida.
#22 Sam Militello
Militello was Division II pitcher-of-the-year in 1990. The three-time, All-America (1988 third team, 1989 and ’90 first team) as a pitcher for the Spartans, was drafted by the New York Yankees after his junior year. While at Tampa, the 1987 graduate of Tampa Jefferson High School set four school records that still stand today – career strikeouts (440), single season strikeouts (182), most innings pitched in a single season (143.2) and most wins in a season (15). He holds the Division II national record for most strikeouts in a season, is sixth in career strikeouts, seventh in career wins (37) and 12th overall in single season victories. Militello was South Region pitcher-of-the-year in ’89 and ’90 and an All-South Region pick three times. The righthander also was an All-Conference choice three times. He was most valuable player in the ’88 South Region tournament and made the All-Tournament team in 1990 at the national championships when Tampa finished third. After posting a 35-11 record in the minor leagues for two and one-half years, Militello was called up to the Yankees in August of ’92 and pitched a one-hit shutout over seven innings against Boston in his debut. He finished the year at 4-4. An injury in spring training in ’93 basically forced him out of baseball despite two comeback attempts. He is now an assistant baseball coach at the University of Tampa.
#7 Joe Urso
A four-time national champion as a coach, and one-time champion as a player, Joe Urso had his number retired at the beginning of the 2016 season. UT's all-time winningest head coach, Urso has led the Spartans to unprecedented success at the helm in terms of national championships, MLB Draft selections and wins. As a Spartan, Urso ranks as one of the University's most popular players. Urso was a four-year starter at second base and was twice named second-team All-American, first-team all-South and first-team all-Sunshine State Conference in 1991 and '92. He was a career .332 hitter, who held the NCAA career record for runs (258). He owned the school mark for runs in a season (76) and still holds school records in walks for a season (54) and career (176). He ranks fourth on the all-time school list for games played (223), is second in career doubles (63) and sixth in stolen bases (70). Among the top players to lead UT to the NCAA II National Championship Series in 1990, he was voted MVP of the Spartans' national championship in '92. In 1997, Urso was named to the NCAA II NCS all-time team as the best second baseman. In two tournaments, he played in eight games, hitting .469 with one homerun and 10 RBI. He was named to the Sunshine State Conference Silver Anniversary team.