Voting underway for sixth CHOF class
LUBBOCK, Texas –- The College Baseball Foundation announced today that voting is now underway for the 2011 class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The ballot to select this year’s inductees features 36 players and 17 coaches.
“Each class comes with a unique flavor,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “We’ve had certain classes dominated by pitchers while other classes were dominated by hitters. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing the new group.”
The ballot is highlighted by 12 coaches with at least 1,000 wins, and 15 national players of the year.
In addition, 2011 will mark the first year for the Hall of Fame to use a threshold level in the balloting rather than taking the top 10 vote recipients as in previous years.
“Starting with our inaugural induction class in 2006, which consisted of five coaches and five players, we inducted 10 each year for five years,” Gustafson said. “This year we will induct only those who get enough votes.”
For the third year, the ballot features the “small school” category, featuring players and coaches from NAIA, NCAA Divisions II and III, and two-year colleges. This category includes future major league stars Tino Martinez and Alex Fernandez, as well as NCAA Division III “Coach of the Century” Don Schaly.
Schools from across the country also are represented on the ballot, from Maine to the University of Southern California. Several schools have multiple candidates, led by Arizona State and USC with four.
The members of the 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced in mid-February once all the ballots have been tallied and the results verified. Those selected will join previous inductees including coaches Bobby Winkles of Arizona State, Jerry Kindall of Arizona, Bob Bennett of Fresno State, Ron Polk of Mississippi State and the late Rod Dedeaux of USC, and players Barry Larkin of Michigan, Burt Hooton of Texas, Derek Tatsuno of Hawaii and Alan Bannister of Arizona State.
The voting panel is composed of approximately 190 members. It is comprised of national and regional college baseball media, active and retired coaches, media and coaches from the "small school" category, a group of about a dozen former players, a group of "college baseball historians" and about 10 members of the SABR collegiate baseball committee. Past College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees also vote.
“We have added quite a few voters at the recommendation of our existing ballot committee members,” said Gustafson. “The new voters fortify an already credible and knowledgeable group.”
To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must have completed one year of competition at a two-year or four-year institution and/or earned verifiable national acclaim.
This year’s selections will be joined by the inaugural honorees chosen by the Black College Legends and Pioneers committee. They will be inducted as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual celebration of the past and present of college baseball. This year’s induction will take place in conjunction with the College Baseball Awards show on July 3 in Lubbock, Texas.
C.R. “Dudy” Noble