Chuck "Bobo" Brayton joked about having to play a game during his youth in Birdsview, Wash., a place so small "they had to pipe air in to those people."
Roughly seven decades later, Brayton and 10 others -- including one of his former players and ex-Seattle, Toronto and New York Mets standout John Olerud -- were on college baseball's big stage as they were inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Those aspects were certainly on display for the ceremonies held at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Each inductee was presented with a portrait from their playing or coaching days as well as a commemorative belt buckle symbolic of their visit to Texas.
Golden Spikes Award winner in 1987 ... AAU Sullivan Award for Amateur Athlete of the Year (first baseball player ever nominated) ... Big Ten Athlete of the Year (1988) ... Big Ten Player of the Year (1988) ... Two-time winner of Geoff Zahn Award as Michigan's Most Valuable Pitcher (1986 & 1987) ... Had a streak of 31 scoreless innings and the nine-game winning streak to end '87 season... In the summer he was 8-1 with a 1.70 ERA for Team USA in '87 ... Gained international attention as he beat Cuba 8-3 in Havana... First American pitcher to beat Cuba in Cuba in 25 years... Carried the American Flag in the opening ceremonies of the '88 Pan American Games in Indianapolis ... Pitched the semi-final game, a win over Canada, qualifying Team USA for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea ... Second highest UM draft pick ever going eighth overall to California in 1988.
The "Knute Rockne" of college baseball, as Barry has been called many times, was born in Meriden, Conn. As a player at Holy Cross (1905-08), Barry was named captain of the 1908 Crusader team and helped lead his team to their first 20-win season. His speed, glove, arm and bat qualify him as the greatest shortstop in Holy Cross history.
As a coach, Barry returned to coach the Crusaders in 1921 after playing eight years of professional baseball. Barry led the Crusaders to glory as a player in the early 1900s and sought to do the same as a coach. He returned to Holy Cross in 1921 and started a career that earned him the reputation as the No. 1 man among college baseball coaches.
In his first season, he guided the team to a school record 30-win season. Barry would continue to coach the Crusaders for an unprecedented 39 seasons (1921-1960), finishing with a 616-150-6 (.802) record. He stands as the all-time winningest coach (by both number of wins and winning percentage) in Holy Cross athletics history. Holy Cross had 68 consecutive non-losing seasons from 1893-1960. Barry coached the Crusaders from 1921-60 (40 years) and had two .500 seasons. He never lost more than eight games in a season (and then only once), and his best seasons were 1924 (19-0), 1935 (22-1) and 1940 (15-1). He coached 25 players who played in the Major Leagues.
His 1924 team was undefeated at 19-0. Two other teams finished with only one loss, and eight others had just two losses. His teams recorded eight Eastern Intercollegiate Championships and made six NCAA College World Series appearances. The 1952 team was the NCAA champion. The Crusaders made the NCAA tournament the next three seasons ('53-56), but lost their first game each year. Holy Cross returned to the College World Series in 1958, winning its first two games before dropping two straight to Missouri and USC, ultimately finishing as the third-ranked team in the nation. It was Holy Cross' highest ranking since the 1952 national championship team. The 1960 club went 12-5 and returned to the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in nine years in Jack Barry's final season at the helm of the Crusaders. Barry was inducted into the Holy Cross Hall of Fame in 1956.
As a professional, Barry started his career with the Philadelphia A's when he was drafted by the legendary Connie Mack, who stated that Barry was "the greatest shortstop there ever was." Mack traveled to Worcester, Mass., personally to sign him up for the A's in 1908. As the starting shortstop, Barry figured prominently with his defensive play as a member of the old "$100,000 infield" of the Philadelphia Athletics. This "Baseball Hall of Fame" infield had Stuffy McInnis at first, Eddie Collins at second, Jack Barry at short and Frank "Home Run" Baker at third. They led the A's to the World Series in 1910, '11, '13 and '14. Jack was then traded to the Red Sox and led them to the World Series in 1915 and '16. He became player-manager in 1917 and managed the team to a second-place American League finish that year. He was in the Navy in 1918, the year the Red Sox won the World Series. He returned in 1919 to the Red Sox but retired after being sold back to the A's and suffering a career-ending knee injury. Although his lifetime batting average was only .243, it was his defensive skills and timely clutch hitting that determined his greatness.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Ranked as the fourth winningest baseball coach in NCAA D-I history at the time of his retirement ... Winningest Cougar coach of all-time... Final record was 1,161 wins, 523 losses and eight ties... Received the NCAA's Distinguished Service Awards on behalf of the College World Series and the NCAA Rules Committee and the Lefty Gomez Award for service and contributions to collegiate baseball ... Inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the WSU Athletic HOF and the AACBC HOF... A champion of several rule changes during his career to make college baseball safer and more popular ... Helped develop the College World Series post-season playoff system... Chair of the NCAA Baseball Rules and College World Series committees for seven years ... Named Pacific-10 Conference Northern Division coach of the year five times ... West Coast NCAA regional coach of the year once... Teams won 21 conference titles in his 33 years ... Bailey-Brayton Field at WSU named in his honor.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Second of only three varsity baseball coaches in the history of the Arizona State program ... Led the Sun Devils to a pair of national championships (1977 and 1981) ... Recorded a 1,100-440 record during 23 years at the helm of the Sun Devils... Led ASU to 13 College World Series appearances... The 1977 and 1981 NCAA Coach of the Year... Inducted into the ABCA College Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 ... Five-time winner of the Pac-10 Coach of the Year award (1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1993). Earned three degrees from Arizona State, including a bachelor, master's and doctorate degrees. Coached Sun Devil legends, including first-round draft picks Eddie Bane, Floyd Bannister, Bob Horner, Hubie Brooks, Oddibe McDowell, Barry Bonds and Mike Kelly ... All three of ASU's Golden Spikes Award winners (Horner, McDowell, Kelly) also played under Brock... His number 33 is retired at Arizona State ... ASU baseball facility, Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, named in his honor in 2006.
Career Record: 1,100-440 (.714)
NCAA Championships: 2 (1977, '81)
College World Series Appearances: 13 (1972-73, '75-78, '81, '83-84, '87-88, '93-94)
Conference Titles: 11 (Joined Pac-10 in 1979)
Three-year letterman for the Longhorns (struck out 17 Texas A&M batters in 1920) ... Played professionally for the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians ... Replaced the legendary Joe Jackson in left field when he arrived in the Major Leagues upon graduating from UT in 1920 ... Posted a career batting average of .314 in the majors... Batted .352 in 1924 ... Drove in 99 or more runs in three consecutive years ... Led the American League in pinch hits over the final two years of his playing career while with the Cleveland Indians ... Returned to the Forty Acres in 1942 as head coach ... In 25 seasons as head coach, led Longhorns to their first two National Championships (1949 and 1950), 20 Southwest Conference titles and a 478-176 (.730) overall record ... Also coached nine consecutive Southwest Conference Championship teams ... Between 1946-54 the Horns went 111-19 in league action ... Ranks among the top 15 Division I baseball coaches all-time in CWS history for appearances (10), games (37), winning percentage (.541) and victories (20) ... Inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Longhorns Hall of Honor ... Texas' home venue named “Disch-Falk Field” in honor of Falk and longtime Longhorn coach Billy Disch.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Columbia baseball players have come from almost every state and a number of foreign nations. But the most regarded and revered player in the university's history grew up on Manhattan Island, first in Yorktown and then in Washington Heights.
Lou Gehrig was indeed a chosen man. One of four children born to his parents, he was the only one to survive infancy. He starred in football and baseball at Commerce High, hitting a ninth-inning grand-slam home run in an inter-city game at Chicago's Wrigley Field and was recruited to Columbia by Robert Watt '16, then graduate manager of athletics.
He continued in both sports at Columbia, starting at fullback and defensive tackle on the gridiron. On the baseball diamond, he soon began to attract attention for his prodigious home runs; the two most talked about were an opposite-field shot into a second-story window of the Journalism School and another that landed across College Walk, then a through city street.
On April 18, 1923, when Yankee Stadium opened for the first time, ace Yankee scout Paul Krichell wasn't on hand to see it; he was at South Field to see Gehrig play. And although the big sophomore pitched that day -- he struck out 17 in a losing effort against Williams, still a Columbia record -- Krichell realized that a man who could hit like Gehrig belonged in a Yankees uniform.
"Columbia Lou," as he would come to be known, hit .444 that season and blasted seven home runs in 19 games. Both records stood for many years; the home run mark didn't fall until Mike Wilhite hit eight 55 years later, in 1978. He set a number of other records that have been surpassed over the years. But Gehrig wouldn't get to add to those totals; within two months after his last game, he had signed with the Yankees for a $1,500 bonus.
Many New Yorkers wondered how he could leave Columbia before graduation. Gehrig explained to The New York Times in 1939 that "a fellow has to eat. At the end of my sophomore year, my father was taken ill, and we had to have money ... when there was no money coming in there was nothing for me to do but sign up."
By June of 1925, he had made the Yankees' starting lineup, where he would remain for 14 years, playing in 2,130 consecutive games. He hit 493 home runs, batted .340 and slugged 23 grand slams, still the Major League record. In a 1932 game, he became the first player in the 20th century to hit four home runs in a game.
But his body was failing him and in 1939, he was diagnosed with ALS, later to become known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He bade farewell to the game in July 4 in one of the most stirring speeches ever uttered in sports. Although he never played again, he remained with the team the rest of that season.
Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election and his number was retired, the first professional athlete ever to receive that honor. In January 1940, he became a member of the Parole Board, only to relinquish the job in the spring of 1941 when his illness intensified. He died in his sleep on June 2, 1941, 17 days short of his 38th birthday.[ ^ Jump to top ]
The most recognized power hitter in NCAA baseball history... Had perhaps the most impressive offensive year in NCAA history as a junior in 1985 when he set NCAA single-season records for home runs (48), RBI (143), total bases (285) and slugging percentage (1.140)... Set the NCAA career records for home runs (100) and slugging percentage (.915) ... Holds the Big Eight career records for RBI (324) and total bases (635) ... Named first-team All-America in 1984 and 1985 by American Baseball Coaches Association, The Sporting News and Baseball America ... Named first-team All-Big Eight in 1984 and 1985... Is one of only two players who were ever voted the Most Valuable Player of the Big Eight Tournament twice, earning the honor in 1984 and repeating in 1985 ... First-round draft choice of the Montreal Expos in the 1985 amateur draft and the 15th player selected overall... One of only five position players since the draft began in 1965 to go directly from amateur baseball to the major leagues ... Became the 49th player in major league history to reach 100 home runs in the first four seasons ... Named college baseball's Player of the Century by Baseball America.[ ^ Jump to top ]
All-American shortstop for Minnesota's 1956 NCAA National Championship team ... The last player in CWS history to hit for the cycle ... Played eight years as an infielder in the MLB with the Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota ... Played on the 1965 American League Champion Twins his last year before retiring... Coined the term "Friendly Confines" forever linked to Wrigley Field ... Coached Arizona to three National Championships (1976, 1980 and 1986) in 24 years at the helm ... Led five Wildcat teams to Omaha ... Won three national "Coach of the Year" Awards ... Retired from coaching in 1996 as winningest coach in the Arizona Wildcat history (861-580-7) ... The UA college diamond in Tucson bears the name Jerry Kindall Field ... Served as Head Coach of TEAM USA ... Presently serves on the Executive Committee as Senior Advisor for USA Baseball... On the Board of Directors for the ABCA ... ABCA Hall of Fame member ... Presently broadcasting college baseball for Fox Sports Network and ESPN television.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Played in 158 career games at USC ... Batted .320 in his career (159-for-497) with 28 home runs and 111 RBIs ... Member of three USC national championship squads in three seasons ... First team All-American in 1972 after batting .326 with 14 home runs and 46 RBIs ... Earned All-College World Series honors in 1971 ... Named to the 1970s All-Decade Team for the College World Series ... 1972 all-region and all-conference selection.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Mathewson, who is often regarded as baseball's greatest pitcher, was one of five original members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Bucknell Hall of Fame in 1979. He was three-sport athlete for the Orange and Blue, playing football, basketball and baseball. His football success helped him earn a contract to play baseball for Norfolk of the Virginia League his junior year. Mathewson gained his initial athletic fame as a fullback, punter and dropkicker at Bucknell from 1898-1900 and was named the "12th man" on Walter Camp's 1900 Football All-America team.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Combined to hit .434 (160-369) with 37 doubles, 33 home runs, 131 RBIs and a .824 slugging percentage in WSU career... Was 26-4 on the mound with a 3.17 ERA (85 ER/241 1/3 IP) and 169 strikeouts in 39 career appearances (34 starts) ... Left Pullman as WSU's career leader in batting average (.434), slugging percentage(.824), and in the top five in home runs (33) and pitching wins (26) ... Inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001... Posted arguably the greatest all-around season in college baseball history in 1988 and was honored as the Baseball America NCAA Player of the Year ... Hit .464 (108-233) in '88 with 83 runs, 21 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs, 81 RBIs and a .876 slugging percentage ... On the mound in '88, was 15-0 with a 2.49 ERA (34 ER/122.2 IP) in 19 games/16 starts... Named Pac-10 North Player of the Year ('88) ... First-team All-American by ABCA and Baseball America ('88)... Set WSU single-season records for batting average (.464), hits (108), home runs (23), total bases (204), slugging percentage (.876), hitting streak (22 games), wins in season (15), consecutive wins (16), innings pitched (122 2/3), and strikeouts (113) and tied marks for RBIs (81) and games started (16)... Helped lead the Cougars to a 52-14 record, winning the Pac-10 North and advancing to the 1988 NCAA West Regional.
There is no doubt that Joe Sewell was one of the finest baseball players to ever play for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was surrounded by an all-star cast of players that produced some of the greatest seasons in Crimson Tide lore. As UA's starting second baseman from 1918-20, Sewell teamed with another future Major Leaguer, shortstop Riggs Stephenson, to form a solid double-play combination. Also, Sewell and Stephenson were regarded as two of the hardest hitters in baseball.
Sewell played on teams that posted a 42-4 (.913) record against college teams. Overall, the Crimson Tide went 44-8 (.846) en route to three Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles in 1918, '19 and '20. The 1918 team featured five future MLB players -- Sewell, Stephenson, Dan Boone, Francis Pratt and Lena Stiles. They posted a 13-4 record, including a 13-2 mark against college teams. The 1919 team was just as successful, as Alabama went 16-2, including a 15-1 slate against college teams. The Tide won its third straight SIAA title with a 15-2 record in 1920, including a 14-1 mark against college teams.
Sewell was the cornerstone on those successful 'Bama teams. In 1920, he set every hitting and fielding record at Alabama and was named to the All-SIAA team and every mythical All-America team college baseball had to offer. He batted over .300 but even more impressive was his defensive prowess at second base. He was also captain of the 1920 team.
After leading UA to the 1920 SIAA title, Sewell signed with Cleveland and played in New Orleans in the Southern League, leading them to the AA Championship. Sewell was then called up to the big leagues, where he replaced Ray Chapman -- who was struck in the face and accidentally killed by a line drive -- and became the Indians starting shortstop and helped the Indians to the 1920 World Series championship over the Brooklyn Nationals. Not a bad year for the Titus, Ala., native.
Sewell played 14 years in the big leagues for Cleveland and the New York Yankees, with whom he was Lou Gehrig's roommate. He batted .312 during his career as he amassed more than 2,200 career hits. Sewell also set MLB records for fewest strikeouts in a season (four) and career (114) -- records that will never be broken. He played on two World Series championship teams with Cleveland (1920) and New York (A) (1932). He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
Sewell returned to Alabama in 1964, at the age of 65, to coach the Crimson Tide baseball team. He compiled a 106-79 (.603) overall record in five seasons. He was forced to retire after the 1969 season at the state mandatory retirement age of 70. He led the 1968 team to a 24-14 record and the SEC Championship.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Compiled a 754-360-8 (.676) record in 31 years as Minnesota's Head Baseball Coach ... Two-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1956, 60) ... One of only five coaches in NCAA history to win three College World Series Championships (1956, 1960, 1964)... Second coach in NCAA history to win three NCAA titles ... Coached Jerry Kindall who later won three NCAA titles as a coach ... Won 11 Big Ten titles, good for second-most in conference history ... Third on the Big Ten's all-time victory list with 295 ... Second among Big Ten coaches in NCAA Tournament appearances with 12 ... One of a maximum of three Division I coaches to ever coach two Major League Hall of Famers in Dave Winfield (1971-73) and Paul Molitor (1975-77) ... Minnesota named their venue Siebert Field in his honor.[ ^ Jump to top ]
All-American in 1981 and 1982 ... NCAA Player of the Year in 1982 ... Named one of the three best college players of the 20th century by Collegiate Baseball ... Named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 1982 ... Named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 1982 ... Named Academic All-American in 1982 ... All-Missouri Valley Conference three times ... Holds NCAA records for career hits (418), runs (420), total bases (730), stolen bases (206) and walks (300) ... Led the NCAA in 1981 in hits (119), runs (112), and runs scored per game (1.60) and in 1982 in doubles (30), stolen bases (87) and walks (97) ... Ranks in the Shocker record books in nine career categories.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Led nation in wins ... first NCAA 20-game winner (season) ... Career 40-6, 2.04 ERA, 541 Ks ... 20 consecutive wins in 1978-79 ... 10 shutouts ... 34 complete games ... 20 Ks in one game in 1979... Ranked 10th as college baseball's "Player of the Century" by Baseball America in '99 ... Also on that list, Pete Incaviglia (No. 1, Oklahoma State), Bob Horner (No. 2, Arizona State), Robin Ventura (No. 3, Oklahoma State), Burt Hooten (No. 4, Texas), Dave Winfield (No. 5, Minnesota), Phil Stephenson (No. 6, Wichita State), John Olerud (No. 7, Washington State), J.D. Drew (No. 8, Florida State), and Eddie Bane (No. 9, Arizona State).