LUBBOCK, Texas -- The College Baseball Foundation announced today the names of 10 collegiate baseball legends that will comprise the inaugural Induction Class into the new College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas. The announcement comes after the conclusion of an intensive voting process that began with nominations in February and two elimination ballots over the last month.
The Class of 2006 includes legendary coaches Skip Bertman of LSU, Bobby Winkles of Arizona State, Ron Fraser of Miami, Cliff Gustafson of Texas and Rod Dedeaux of USC, in addition to standout former players Bob Horner of Arizona State, Robin Ventura of Oklahoma State, Dave Winfield of Minnesota, Will Clark of Mississippi State and Brooks Kieschnick of Texas.
"I am very excited to be included in the very first college baseball Hall of Fame class," said Bertman, who is now LSU's athletics director. "For me to be honored with these coaches and players that I have grown to admire and respect is very special. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in Lubbock."
Bertman guided LSU to five NCAA baseball titles (1991, '93, '96, '97, 2000), seven SEC championships and a record of 870-330-3 (.724) in 18 seasons (1984-2001). He was named National Coach of the Year six times, and his teams drew huge crowds to venerable Alex Box Stadium, as LSU led the nation in attendance in each of his final six seasons (1996‑2001).
Bertman also served as head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that captured the bronze medal in Atlanta. He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January, 2003. In a Baseball America poll released in January, 1999, Bertman was voted the second greatest college baseball coach of the 20th century, trailing only Rod Dedeaux of Southern California.
Prior to his appointment at LSU, Bertman received stellar recognition as one of the nation's brightest assistant coaches while at the University of Miami (Fla.) for eight seasons (1976‑83). He also coached 11 seasons at Miami Beach High School, directing the Hi‑Tides to a state championship and two runners‑up finishes. He was named Florida's Coach of the Year on three occasions.
Bertman spent his collegiate playing days at Miami as an outfielder and catcher from 1958‑60. He earned his B.A. in health and physical education from Miami in 1961 and received his master's degree from UM in 1964.
The collegiate legends will be officially enshrined during a two-day celebration of college baseball in July, which will feature the theme 'The Past Meets Present'. The CBF will kick off the festivities on Monday, July 3rd with the third annual Brooks Wallace College Baseball Player of the Year Award dinner to be held at the United Spirit Arena, on the campus of Texas Tech University. The Inaugural Hall of Fame Class will be in attendance and recognized during the ceremony.
On Tuesday, July 4th, the inductees will participate in the annual 4th on Broadway Parade, and will be accessible to attendees during a 'Fan Fest' following the event. The coaches and players will then make their official Acceptance Speeches as part of the annual 4th on Broadway Festival in Lubbock, considered the "Largest Free Festival in the State of Texas." The official party will attend the city's evening musical concert and 4th of July fireworks spectacular to cap off the ceremonies. Both day's events will be will be carried nationally by Fox Sports Network, as well as the Fox College Sports Networks (Atlantic, Central and Pacific).
"The excitement has been building within the college baseball community since this project was first announced two years ago," said CBF Chairman/CEO John Askins. "Our entire community is thrilled to honor this outstanding group of individuals, whose accomplishments will withstand the test of time."
Over 300 candidates were originally submitted for consideration by universities and CBF members. In conjunction with the Society for the Advancement of Baseball Research (SABR), the ABCA Veteran and CBF Historical Committees comprised the CBF Research Committee, which was charged with evaluating nominees worthy of official consideration. A complete list and short biographies of the 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees are available at: www.collegebaseballfoundation.org
In addition, two final veteran selections will be named later this fall and will be officially inducted with the Class of 2007. This year's list of veteran pre-1947 candidates included coaches Clint Evans of California, John "Jack" Barry of Holy Cross, Ray Fisher of Michigan, Billy Disch of Texas; and players Joe "Rip" Sewell of Alabama, Ted Lyons of Baylor, Christy Mathewson of Bucknell, Lou Gehrig of Columbia, Frankie Frisch of Fordham, Owen Carroll of Holy Cross, George Sisler of Michigan and Bobby Layne of Texas. The Veteran and Historical Committees will research and nominate individuals each year from the pre-1947 era.
Players are eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot 5 years after the student-athlete's final collegiate season, not to include any active player or coach on a professional baseball team roster. Former players must have completed one year of competition at a 4-year institution, and must have made an All American team (post-1947), or an All League team (pre-1947, or have earned verifiable national acclaim).
Coaches are eligible after ending their collegiate career, not to include an active coach on a professional baseball team. They must have achieved 300 career wins, or have won at least 65% of their games. Players and coaches are also evaluated for their citizenship both during and after their active careers.
Those candidates named to the official 2006 ballot, but not selected for induction to the Hall of Fame this year, will become holdovers and automatically appear on the ballot next year.
The 80-member CBF Hall of Fame Voting Committee was split into eight committees of ten members, which chose these elite individuals. Persons assigned to the ABCA Veteran, ABCA Active, National, Historical, NCBWA, Former Players, National Media and Regional Media Committees comprised the total voting group. Each committee member was chosen to achieve a balanced representation from around the country--Far West, Northwest, Southwest, Mountain, Mid-South, South, Southeast, Deep South, Mid-North, Northeast. The entire process was completed online via the Internet. A complete list of names for the Hall of Fame Voting Committee is available on the College Baseball Foundation website.
"One thing that was apparent throughout the voting process was the thought that out voters put into this very difficult task," said Askins. "The history of college baseball predates 1900, and I believe that our voters focused on the individuals who helped lay the foundation of the modern game as we know it today. This first-ever class of inductees will give our event a unique place in the history of sports. The national television exposure on the Fox networks will also showcase to the nation just how vibrant and growing an area the South Plains really is."
The upcoming schedule and location of events, information regarding the sale of tickets, and exact times and dates for clearances around the country on Fox Sports Network and Fox College Sports, will be updated on the CBF website (www.collegebaseballfoundation.org.) as they are made available.
2006 Calendar Of Events
Monday, July 3, 6:30 p.m.
Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award
United Spirit Arena, Texas Tech campus
Tuesday, July 4, 11 a.m. Fourth on Broadway Festival Parade
Hall of Fame Fan Fest
Official 2006 College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies
2006 College Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees
Bob Horner, Arizona State
Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State
Dave Winfield, Minnesota
Will Clark, Mississippi State
Brooks Kieschnick, Texas
Bobby Winkles, Arizona State
Skip Bertman, LSU
Ron Fraser, Miami
Cliff Gustafson, Texas
Rod Dedeaux, USC