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2008 College Baseball Hall of Fame Class

LUBBOCK, Texas — From Sun Devils to Longhorns, the greats of college baseball came together Thursday during the third annual induction for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

“The College Baseball Foundation is proud to recognize the members of this year’s Hall of Fame class,” said Mike Gustafson, Hall of Fame co-chair and College Baseball Foundation board member. “This is an exceptional class dominated by some of the best pitchers in the history of college baseball.”

The 2008 induction class included Steve Arlin, pitcher from Ohio State; Eddie Bane and Floyd Bannister, pitchers from Arizona State; Neal Heaton, a pitcher from the University of Miami; the late Dick Howser, shortstop and coach from Florida State; Burt Hooton and Greg Swindell, pitchers from the University of Texas; Ben McDonald, a pitcher from Louisiana State University; and Gary Ward, a coach from Oklahoma State University and New Mexico State University.

Being a part of a class so heavily weighted with pitchers led one inductee to joke about his potential status in the class.

“Looking at all the pitchers up here, in college baseball you have a Friday starter , a Saturday starter and a Sunday afternoon starter,”Swindell said. “I’d be pretty lucky to be a Tuesday starter up here but I’ll take my chances.”

Each of the inductees took time to thank those people most special in their lives as well as those responsible for bringing them to Lubbock for the Hall of Fame induction.

“Thanks to city of Lubbock for hosting this special occasion,” McDonald said. “It truly has been special for me and my family. It sincerely is an honor for me to be included with such a great group of athletes.”

Although Dick Howser died in 1987, his daughters, Jana Howser and Jill Reingold said they were thrilled to be a part of the ceremony.

“It is our privilege to honor our father as an inductee of the 2008 class of College Baseball Hall of Fame,” Jana Howser said.

Earlier on Thursday, members of the Vintage-Era Class were honored with an induction ceremony as well. The 2008 Vintage-Era inductees were Owen Carroll of Holy Cross and Seton Hall, William “Billy” Disch of the University of Texas, and Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson of UCLA.

As these two inductee classes receive their honors, the members of the College Baseball Foundation said it is important to remember why it is imperative to honor the history of college baseball.

“As the game of college baseball approaches its 150th anniversary, we must recognize the efforts of those who have helped build and enrich the game,” said Jeff Chase, Hall of Fame co-chair and CBF board member. “Honoring these individuals is a key step in protecting the legacy of this great sport.”

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