BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Featuring former standouts from Southeastern Conference member institutions, the SEC Baseball Legends Presented by AT&T will be honored at the 2013 SEC Baseball Tournament May 21-26 at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Ala.
“The SEC Baseball Legends Presented by AT&T allows us to honor the deep tradition and history of baseball in our league and show why the SEC is the nation’s premier baseball conference,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “We are grateful to our friends at AT&T for helping to continue to make this program possible.”
The 2013 class features Hal Baird, Auburn; Terry Shumpert, Kentucky; Skip Bertman, LSU; and Gene McArtor, Missouri. Four legends will be recognized each year, with representatives from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Tennessee set to be honored in 2014. The inaugural class in 2013 included: Dr. Jeffrey Laubenthal, Alabama; Kevin McReynolds, Arkansas; Brad Wilkerson, Florida and Rev. Reggie Andrews, Georgia.
“AT&T is excited to be part of the SEC Baseball Legends program. Our presenting sponsorship further solidifies our relationship with and commitment to the Southeastern Conference” said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “We couldn’t be happier to support the conference in honoring these legendary coaches and former student-athletes for their successes on and off the playing field.”
Each SEC Baseball Legend will have on-field recognition and awards presentation by Commissioner Slive on Saturday, May 25, during the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. Fans will have an opportunity for autographs and photos with the honorees at the AT&T Legends Pavilion immediately following. The Legends will also participate in the annual SEC Youth Clinic on Friday morning.
Video elements highlighting the 2013 SEC Baseball Legends Presented by AT&T will be shown on the videoboard at the Hoover Met throughout the entire SEC Baseball Tournament.
2013 SEC Baseball Legends
Auburn – Hal Baird, Head Coach, 1986-2000
Hal Baird was the head coach at Auburn from 1985-2000 and is the all-time winningest coach in school history having guided the Tigers to a 634-328 (.659) record during his 16 seasons on the Plains. Twice he led the Tigers to 50-wins seasons (1995 & 1997), while also taking the Tigers to the College World Series in both 1994 and 1997. A fixture in the Auburn dugout, Baird left an indelible mark on the Auburn baseball program. In his final seven seasons alone, Baird guided the Tigers to three NCAA Regional titles, an SEC Western Division Championship and an SEC Tournament Championship and 10 times during Baird’s stay did his teams finish the season ranked in the top 25. Baird’s teams won at least 30 games in every season he was the head coach and the program participated in nine NCAA Regionals during his stay, including seven in his last eight years at Auburn. During the 1990’s, Baird’s teams won 68.1 percent of their games, the 21st-winningest program in the decade. Ten Auburn players earned All-America honors under Baird’s tutelage while a total of 51 players were drafted off of Baird’s teams, which included Gregg Olson, Frank Thomas and Tim Hudson.
Kentucky – Terry Shumpert, Second Base, 1985-87
A three-year starter in the middle infield for coach Keith Madison’s club, Shumpert was a two-time first-team All-SEC selection (1986-87) and earned All-America honors at second base in 1987. The native of Paducah, Ky., also earned SEC All-Tournament Team honors in 1987. Shumpert led the Wildcats in batting average, at bats, hits, runs, doubles and stolen bases in both 1986 and 1987. As a junior, he hit .376 with 19 doubles, four triples, nine homers and 32 steals. His .376 batting average in 1987 ranks as the 11th-best mark in school history while he ranks sixth (1987; 32) and eighth (1988; 28) on the UK single-season steals list. Following his junior season he was picked in the second round of the 1987 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals, going No. 41 overall. During his 14-year MLB career, he hit .252 during in 854 games, with 49 homers, 223 RBI and 85 steals, playing for the Royals, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
LSU – Skip Bertman, Head Coach, 1984-2001
Bertman directed the LSU baseball team to five College World Series titles and a sterling 870-330-3 mark (.724) in 18 seasons (1984-2001), giving him the highest all-time winning percentage among SEC coaches. Bertman is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to win five national championships. In addition to the five national championships, Bertman’s LSU teams also claimed seven SEC championships 11 CWS berths and six SEC Tournament titles. Bertman’s jersey #15 has been retired by LSU, and the street in front of the original Alex Box Stadium was re-named Skip Bertman Drive. During Bertman’s tenure at LSU, more than 100 players were drafted into professional baseball, with 41 Tigers reaching the major leagues. He also coached 11 LSU first-team All-Americans. Bertman was also an accomplished international coach, serving as pitching coach on the 1988 United States gold-medal squad, then leading the USA as head coach to the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. On January 19, 2001, the LSU Board of Supervisors unanimously approved LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert’s selection of Bertman as the school’s athletics director. As athletics director from 2001-08, Bertman supervised a highly successful 20-sport program. With a diverse and talented coaching staff as well as some of the best facilities in the nation, Bertman enhanced LSU’s status as one of the best athletics programs in the country.
Missouri – Gene McArtor, First Base, 1961-63; Head Coach 1974-94
As a player at Missouri, McArtor won all-conference and all-district honors as a first baseman from 1961-63. He played on two Big Eight Conference championship teams and two squads which advanced to the College World Series. He served as team captain as a senior. He returned to MU as assistant baseball coach in 1969 after coaching and teaching at the high school level in his hometown, St. Louis. McArtor served in that role until 1974 when he succeeded John “Hi” Simmons as the Tigers’ head coach. During his 21 years at the helm, McArtor compiled a 733-430-3 record and won Big Eight championships in 1976 and 1980. He guided six teams to the NCAA Tournament and coached 13 All-Americans and 41 all-conference players. McArtor served on the NCAA Baseball Committee from 1987-92, including two years as chairman, during a period of unprecedented growth for the CWS. Former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, McArtor is a member of the ABCA Hall of Fame, the Webster Groves High School Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. Since retiring as baseball coach, he served MU as director of project management and was the interim director of athletics for several months in 1998. McArtor currently works with the NCAA as an umpire coordinator.