Feb. 22, 2011
Two men currently coaching in Major League Baseball headline the 2011 class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Also included in this year's class are the first two inductees selected by the Black College Legends and Pioneers Committee.
"This is a great class," said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Foundation. "This class definitely features some names that baseball fans will know, but every member of this class put up outstanding numbers during his career."
The members of the 2011 class are Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, outfielder, Arizona; Danny Goodwin, catcher, Southern University; Dick Groat, shortstop, Duke; Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, coach, Grambling State; Oddibe McDowell, outfielder, Arizona State; L.A. Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, first baseman, Cal State Fullerton; and Bill Wilhelm, coach, Clemson.
Francona, who played for 2007 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Kindall, said being inducted into the Hall of Fame means a great deal to him.
"I was fortunate to play for the University of Arizona and head coach Jerry Kindall," Francona said. "Not only did he teach us to respect the game of baseball, but also to respect people -- pretty valuable lessons for an 18 year old. I am honored to be selected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame."
Goodwin and Jones were selected by the Pioneers and Legends Committee, which is designed to honor players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities whose careers began prior to 1975.
"We looked at many great players and coaches," said John Winters, a black college baseball researcher and committee member. "These two men were clear-cut choices for our first selections to the College Baseball Hall of Fame."
The members of the 2011 Hall of Fame class will be honored during the induction ceremony on July 3 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the College Baseball Foundation's annual celebration of the greatest players in the past and present of college baseball.
Terry Francona, who was an outfielder at Arizona from 1978 to 1980, was named National Player of the Year in 1980, the same year he also won the Golden Spikes Award. For two years -- 1979 and 1980 -- he led the Pac 10 South in hits, RBIs and doubles. He was named Most Outstanding Player at the 1980 College World Series after helping to lead his Wildcats to the title. He also was named first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association, The Sporting News and Collegiate Baseball.
Danny Goodwin, a catcher at Southern University from 1972 to 1975, still has the distinction of being the only player to twice be the overall No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft. He was a three-time All-American -- twice at the NAIA level and once at the NCAA level -- and was The Sporting News' 1975 College Player of the Year. He had a .394 career batting average and compiled 20 home runs and 166 RBIs.
Dick Groat played shortstop at Duke from 1951 to 1952. During that time, he became one of the most decorated Blue Devil players in history, twice being named ABCA All-American. In addition, he was a two-time recipient of the Southern Conference Sports Writers Association McKelvin Award for outstanding athlete of the year. He also helped lead Duke to its first College World Series appearance in 1952. Groat also excelled at basketball, becoming a two-time All-American in that sport as well. His No. 10 basketball jersey is one of 13 retired by Duke.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones coached at Grambling State from 1926 to 1977. During his tenure, he won six titles in the now-defunct Midwest Athletic League from 1952 to 1958 and five titles in the Southwestern Athletic Conference from 1961 to 1967. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1967. Jones coached 11 NAIA All-Americans including Tommie Agee and Ralph Garr, while compiling a career record of 816-218. Jones was a busy man during his time at Grambling, also serving as the university's president from 1936 to 1977. He was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1992.
Oddibe McDowell was a standout in the outfield for the Arizona State Sun Devils from 1983 to 1984 and played for 2007 College Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Brock. He was a career .380 hitter with 30 home runs and 31 doubles. In 1984, he hit .405 with 23 home runs, a performance that earned him the Golden Spikes Award. That same year he was named Player of the Year by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He also was a two-time All-American and was the first Sun Devil to have his number retired.
Tim Wallach helped bring national attention to Cal State Fullerton while playing first base from 1978 to 1979. During his junior year in 1978, Wallach set school records for batting average (.394), home runs (16), RBIs (80) and slugging percentage (.715) while leading the Titans to the Southern California Baseball Association championship and an NCAA Regional berth. He also was named SCBA Player of the Year. During his senior campaign, Wallach topped nearly every statistic from the previous year with a .392 batting average, 23 home runs, 102 RBIs and a .740 slugging percentage. His 102 single-season RBIs is still a school record. The Titans again won the SCBA title and also went on to win an NCAA Regional Championship and the College World Series. In 1980, Wallach was named a first-team All-American by ABCA and The Sporting News and won the Golden Spikes Award.
Bill Wilhelm led the Clemson Tigers from 1958 to 1993, compiling a 1,161-536-10 career record. At the time of his retirement, he was the fifth winningest coach in college baseball history. He went 36 consecutive seasons without a losing record. During his career, Wilhelm's teams had five 50-win seasons, 11 ACC Championships, 16 Top 25 seasons and six trips to the College World Series. He also coached 20 All-Americans and 88 first-team All-ACC players. He saw 27 of his players go on to play Major League baseball and 100 former players signed professional baseball contracts.
For more information on the National College Baseball Hall of Fame or the 2011 induction class, contact Mike Gustafson at firstname.lastname@example.org.