Among the 2008 Hall of Fame class were three Vintage Era inductees -– Owen Carroll, pitcher and coach, College of the Holy Cross and Seton Hall; William J. "Billy" Disch, coach, Sacred Heart College, St. Edward's University and Texas; and Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, infielder, Pasadena Junior College and UCLA. The Vintage Era designation is for those who played or coached prior to 1947.
"These are guys that made a significant contribution to the early history of college baseball," Hall of Fame co-chair Mike Gustafson said. "They played in an era before All-American teams and the awards that are commonly used to judge the performance of most recent players."
Steve Arlin helped lead Ohio State to back-to-back appearances at the College World Series in 1965 and 1966. He not only is considered the top pitcher in Ohio State baseball history, but he also is regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the College World Series. He is one of only two pitchers named to the All-Time College World Series team.
In the 1965 CWS, facing elimination against Washington State, Arlin struck out a CWS-record 20 batters in a 15-inning, 1-0 victory by Ohio State. His 15 innings pitched that game is still a CWS record.
The next year, the Buckeyes won the National Championship with Arlin on the mound in five of the team’s six games, twice beating top-seeded Southern California. He allowed just five hits in 20 2/3 CWS innings pitched that year.
Arlin had a two-year record of 24-3 with the Buckeyes and held OSU marks for victories and strikeouts (294) until 1999 and his .889 win percentage is the best in school history. He led the nation in strikeouts as a sophomore with 165 and went 13-2 that year in leading the Buckeyes to a second-place finish at the 1965 College World Series. The next year he went 11-1 and helped Ohio State claim the championship.
Arlin, who went on to pitch six seasons with the San Diego Padres, was a two-time First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten selection and still holds two College World Series records. He was honored by being the Most Valuable Player at the College World Series in 1966 and was an All-CWS selection in 1965. Arlin, who now lives in San Diego, had his Ohio State jersey retired in 2004.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Eddie Bane was a standout pitcher for the Sun Devils during his tenure. He anchored College World Series runner-up teams in his final two collegiate seasons. In his first year he led the ASU pitching staff with 130 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA. He followed that with 213 strikeouts and a 0.99 ERA in 1972, and 192 strikeouts in 1973 when he was selected as the Sporting News Player of the Year.
Bane is ASU’s all-time strikeouts leader with 505 and third in career pitching victories with 40. His ERA (1.64) is fourth all-time at ASU, and he was the author of the only perfect game ever thrown by an Arizona State pitcher, a 9-0 masterpiece in which he fanned 19 batters vs. Cal State-Northridge in 1973.
The curveballer was 40-4 in three years at Arizona State, and he went right from the Arizona State campus to the big leagues, becoming only the eighth player since the draft began in 1965 to go straight to the Majors. Bane made his Major League debut with the Minnesota Twins on July 4, 1973, before 45,890 expectant Minnesota fans, about a month after he signed his first pro contract.
In 1994, Baseball America named Bane to its All-Time College All-Star Team.[ ^ Jump to top ]
The Lefty Gomez Plate Award winner and The Sporting News Player of the Year winner as outstanding amateur baseball player of the year in 1976, Bannister was the No. 1 draft choice of the Houston Astros and first man picked in the 1976 MLB Draft.
He was an All-America in 1975 and 1976, as well as an All-WAC selection both years. Bannister shares the ASU and NCAA record for the most victories in a season with 19 in 1976. He compiled 38 career victories as the No. 1 starter for Arizona State across two full varsity seasons.
He led the nation in strikeouts with 217 in 1975 and 213 in 1976. He tossed 29 career complete games and helped lead the Sun Devils to back-to-back WAC titles and College World Series appearances.
Owen Carroll (1902-75) led Holy Cross to three league championships in a four-year career that saw him compile a 50-2 record as a pitcher while recording 16 shutouts. Carroll captained the Crusaders to an 18-0 record in 1924.
He then went on to a professional career from 1925 to 1934, playing for the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers. After retiring, he returned to the college game and coached at Seton Hall for 25 years, sending five Piraes to the Major Leagues.
Seton Hall plays baseball and soccer at Owen Carroll Field. Carroll was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1977.[ ^ Jump to top ]
“Uncle Billy” Disch (1874-1953) laid the foundation for one of the winningest programs in all of college sports. His UT record was 513-180 (.740), with 20 Southwest Conference championships in 29 seasons, while sending 23 Longhorns onto Major League rosters.
In honor of Disch and his successor, the late Bibb Falk, the Longhorns home stadium is named Disch-Falk Field. Disch became a charter member of the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1966.[ ^ Jump to top ]
"The Heater" holds almost all of Miami’s pitching records, including victories in a season (18) and career (42) and strikeouts in a game (23), season (172) and career (381).
In three years, Heaton was twice named an All-American, by ABCA in 1980 and by consensus in 1981 and in 1981 was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. Heaton is the first Hurricane to play in a big league all-star game and was inducted into the UM Hall of Fame in 1992.
Burt Hooton logged a 35-3 mark in the Burnt Orange and White from 1969 to 1971. He still owns the school career records for ERA (1.14), opponent batting average (.158) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.94). Hooton earned First-Team All-Southwest Conference and All-American honors all three years in Austin.
He made two College World Series appearances with a fourth-place result in 1969 and a third-place effort in 1970. His four career wins at the CWS is tied for the tournament record.
The late Jim Brock, legendary Arizona State head coach and member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, labeled Hooton as the top college pitcher of the era.
“Hooton is the best college pitcher we’ve ever faced — or seen,” Brock, who coached the Sun Devils from 1972 to 1994, once stated.
Hooton is responsible for two of Texas’ most memorable pitching performances, crafting a seven-inning no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Sam Houston State on Feb. 26, 1971, and a 13-inning one-hitter in a 1-0 win against Texas Tech on March 19, 1971. In the shutout over the Red Raiders, he fanned 19 batters in those 13 innings.[ ^ Jump to top ]
The first All-American in Florida State history, Dick Howser led FSU into the District III Playoffs each season from 1956 to 1958, and to the District Championship in 1957. This brilliant shortstop was named All-Region in 1957 and 1958 and earned All-America recognition from the ABCA both of those years.
In 1956, Howser’s .422 batting average set a Florida State season mark. He played professional baseball for Kansas City, Cleveland and the New York Yankees and returned to coach his alma mater to a 43-17-1 record in 1979. Florida State now plays its home games at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Ben McDonald capped a magnificent 1989 season by receiving the Golden Spikes Award, given by the United States Baseball Federation to the nation’s most outstanding amateur player. McDonald was named National Player of the Year by Baseball America, The Sporting News and Collegiate Baseball, and was award the R.E. "Bob" Smith Award as college player of the year.
McDonald, who set an LSU career mark with 373 strikeouts, established Southeastern Conference standards for single-season strikeouts (202), innings pitched (152.1) and consecutive scoreless innings (44.2). A two-time All-American (1988 Baseball America, 1989 consensus All-American) and a 1988 Olympic gold medalist, he finished his LSU career with a 29-14 record and a 3.24 ERA. McDonald also lettered as an LSU basketball player. He was a member of the 1986-87 Tiger hoops squad, which advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
He was the first player chosen in the free-agent amateur draft and made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in September 1989. He enjoyed an excellent 10-year Major League career with the Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers.[ ^ Jump to top ]
Jackie Robinson (1919–72) was the starting shortstop for the Bruins in 1940 and became arguably the most important figure ever in baseball. Robinson starred at shortstop as a freshman and sophomore at Pasadena Junior College. His sophomore year he hit .417, scored 43 runs and stole 25 bases in 24 games, earning regional MVP honors.
At UCLA Robinson became the school’s first four-sport letterman, gaining fame in football, basketball and track.
He had four hits and stole four bases, including home plate once, in his baseball debut for the Bruins, but ended up posting a .097 batting average for the season. The rest is, of course, history.Robinson served in World War II, returned home to play for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues, and was handpicked by Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
Robinson was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and UCLA’s home baseball field is named Jackie Robinson Stadium.[ ^ Jump to top ]
• One of only six players in history to be named a three-time First-Team All-American by the same organization (Baseball America, 1984-86). The others were Wake Forest’s Charles Teague (ABCA, 1947, 49-50), Longhorns Burt Hooton (ABCA, 1969-71) and Brooks Kieschnick (ABCA, 1991-93), Oklahoma State’s Robin Ventura (Baseball America, 1986-88) and Georgia Tech’s Jason Varitek (ABCA, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, 1992-94).
• A three-year letterwinner (1984-86), First-Team All-Southwest Conference honoree and a First-Team All-American as a pitcher at the University of Texas who was tabbed the 1984 Baseball America Freshman of the Year.
• A two-time team MVP (1984 and 1985) who was a three-time finalist for the Golden Spikes Award (1984-86), a First-Team Freshman All-American in 1984 and the 1986 Southwest Conference Player of the Year.
• Named to the 1984 NCAA Central Regional All-Tournament Team as well as the Southwest Conference and College World Series All-Tournament squads in 1985.
• Aided the Longhorns in capturing three consecutive Southwest Conference titles, winning two NCAA Central Regional crowns, capturing the 1984 Southwest Conference Tournament championship and making two College World Series appearances during which the club finished second nationally in both 1984 and 1985.
• The three UT teams on which he played posted a minimum of 51 victories during each of his three seasons and compiled an overall record of 175-42 during that span. Additionally, the 1985 pitching staff that he was a member of registered 511 strikeouts through 550 innings to rank ninth all-time in school season annals. The 1984 and 1985 clubs also tallied victory totals that rank second (64) and fifth (60), respectively, in Texas baseball history.
• Led the Longhorns in wins (14 in 1984, 19 in 1985), ERA (2.04 in 1984, 1.67 in 1985, 2.12 in 1986), innings pitched (132.1 in 1984, 172.0 in 1985, 135.2 in 1986), strikeouts (117 in 1984, 204 in 1985, 180 in 1986), and saves (3 in 1985, 7 in 1986) in two if not all three years during his college career.
• Played 17 seasons at the Major League level with seven different teams after being drafted in the first round (No. 2 overall) of the 1986 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Gary Ward was Oklahoma State’s head baseball coach from 1978 through 1996 and guided Cowboys to an unprecedented 16 straight conference titles, 17 NCAA regional appearances and 10 trips to the College World Series. Seven of OSU’s CWS appearances (1981-87) were in consecutive years, an NCAA record. The Cowboys also appeared in the NCAA championship game three times under Ward.
He compiled a record of 953- 313-1 in 19 seasons in Stillwater before retiring prior to the 1997 campaign.
Ward came out of retirement and was the head coach for two seasons at his alma mater New Mexico State in 2001 and 2002, leading the Aggies to the Sun Belt Tournament championship and an NCAA appearance in 2002.
Ward’s career record of 1,022-361-1 (.739) is 13th best all-time in win percentage and 24th in the NCAA record books in wins.
Ward helped Oklahoma State recapture its role among the most respected and well-known programs in the nation. More than 100 of his players at OSU went on sign professional contracts and nine were named First-Team All-Americans, while countless others received second- and third-team plaudits during his coaching tenure.
Recognized as a leading authority on hitting, Ward’s energetic and enthusiastic approach and demonstrations are still in constant demand at baseball clinics throughout the country. Ward came to Oklahoma State in 1977 after seven successful seasons at Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, Ariz. Yavapai won two national championships and Ward finished with a 240-83 record, a winning percentage of .743. Following his two national championships in 1975 and 1977, Ward was named the NJCAA Coach Of The Year.
His influence and accomplishments extend beyond the playing field at Oklahoma State. Ward was the driving force behind the planning, funding, design and construction of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. His leadership helped raise the necessary funds for stadium improvements in 1995 and is in currently in use today as a major renovation is in the works.[ ^ Jump to top ]