FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LUBBOCK, Texas – The College Baseball Foundation announced today that voting is now under way for the 2009 class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The ballot to select this year’s inductees features 51 players and 18 coaches.
“We’re looking forward to seeing who the voters will elect to this year’s Hall of Fame class,” said Mike Gustafson, co-chair of the College Baseball Hall of Fame and Board of Trustee member for the College Baseball Foundation. “Each person on the ballot was a truly exceptional college baseball player.”
Among those on the ballot are nine “vintage era” (pre-1947) candidates, several of whom, including Branch Rickey, Ray Fisher and Jack Coffey, are recognized for excellence both as players and as coaches.
In addition, 2009 will mark the first year for a “small school” category. It is made up of coaches and players from junior college, NAIA, and NCAA Division II and Division III.
“The decision to incorporate the additional levels of college baseball was a long time coming, relatively speaking,” Gustafson said. “The ballot now includes players and coaches who have never before been considered, and that creates a new level of intrigue.”
The “small school” category of the ballot includes future major league stars Tino Martinez, Ralph Garr and Alex Fernandez.
Schools from across the country also are represented on the ballot, from Maine to the University of Southern California. Several schools have multiple candidates on the ballot, including USC and Texas with four, and Michigan with five.
The members of the 2009 College Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced in late February or early March once all the ballots have been tallied and the results verified. Those selected will join previous inductees including coaches Skip Bertman of LSU, Jerry Kindall of Arizona, Gary Ward of Oklahoma State and New Mexico State, Cliff Gustafson of Texas and the late Rod Dedeaux of USC, and players Dave Winfield of Minnesota, Burt Hooton of Texas, Will Clark of Mississippi State and Floyd Bannister of Arizona State.
“As the ballots come in, we get to watch the class unfold before our eyes,” said Jeff Chase, co-chair of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “The voting panel does a great job of choosing the class each year.”
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.
“As always, we have worked closely with schools across the country to select the best candidates for this year’s ballot,” Chase said.
The 2009 inductees will be honored on July 3 as part of the College Baseball Foundation’s annual celebration of both the past and present of college baseball from July 2 through July 4 in Lubbock.