When Rich Maloney became Ball State's baseball coach in 1996 he brought with him a simple slogan: You Gotta Believe.
It was a tagline used first by the 1973 New York Mets; a cellar dwelling bunch that went on to the World Series. Tug McGraw later resurected the phrase in 1980 with the World Champion Phillies. Sixteen years later, Maloney would use it to inspire the Cardinals.
The phrase grew roots with the Cardinals, returning every season in Maloney's first seven year tenure. Future Major Leaguer Larry Bigbie even bought his coach a stone with the word 'BELIEVE' etched on the front. It was a symbol of the program.
When Maloney returned to Muncie to coach the Cardinals for the second time in the fall of 2012, the team was in a much different spot then when he left. Ball State had won just 31 games in the prior two years