“This class has plenty of star power,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “We have players who excelled both in college and the pros and a longtime coach who has been successful at both the junior college and Division I level. It is a truly impressive group.”
This year’s class, which will be inducted as a part of the annual celebration of college baseball in Lubbock, Texas, is headlined by former major leaguers Nomar Garciaparra, a standout shortstop at Georgia Tech from 1992-1994; Lou Brock, who shot to stardom patrolling the outfield at Southern University from 1958-1960; and Brad Wilkerson, a multi-talented player at Florida from 1996- 1998.
Brock was selected by the Black Legends and Pioneers Committee, which is designed to honor players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities whose careers began prior to 1975. Brock joins last year’s selections, Danny Goodwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones.
“Selecting Lou Brock to represent the committee’s pick for induction into this year’s Hall of Fame class was an easy one,” said Jay Sokol of blackcollegenines.com. “Though most know him as a Major League Hall of Famer, his baseball credentials at Southern University stand on their own and make him a worthy candidate and deserving to be included amongst the greats of college baseball.”
As a sophomore, Brock played on the Southern team that won the 1959 NAIA College World — more —
Series — the first and only HBCU team to win an NAIA title. During his junior season in 1960, he hit .351 and stole 18 bases before signing a contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Garciaparra was the 1992 ACC Freshman of the Year and was a three-time All-American for the Yellow Jackets. His career average was .372 with 23 home runs and 66 stolen bases.
Wilkerson, a first baseman, outfielder and pitcher for the Gators, was a three-time All-American and was selected as the 1998 Collegiate Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He broke Florida records in numerous categories, including home runs, RBIs, walks and slugging percentage.
Also included in the 2012 HOF class are Ed Cheff, who coached Lewis Clark State from 1977- 2010 and won 16 NAIA national championships; Tim Jorgensen, star shortstop at Wisconsin- Oshkosh from 1992-95; the late Frank Sancet, who coached the Arizona Wildcats from 1950-72; and Wayne Graham, who was named Collegiate Baseball Magazine’s Junior College Coach of the Century for his time at San Jacinto College and led Rice to a national championship in 2003.
In addition to his 16 NAIA championships, Cheff compiled a 1,705-430-2 record in 34 seasons. He was named Coach of the Year eight times and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jorgensen slugged an impressive 70 home runs during his 162-game career at UW-Oshkosh. He finished his career with a .416 batting average with 237 RBIs, 33 doubles and nine triples. He also was a two-time Division III Player of the year and two-time Division III All-American.
Frank Sancet took over the Arizona team in 1950 and spent 23 seasons leading the Wildcats to four conference championships and 10 trips to the College World Series. He retired as the second- winningest coach in the history of college baseball with a record of 832-238-8.
Wayne Graham continues to lead the Rice Owls to successful seasons. He began his head-coaching career at San Jacinto College, where he won five NJCAA National Championships. At Rice, he has won 912 games in 20 seasons.
“This is an outstanding class and we are excited to welcome them to Lubbock and the College Baseball Hall of Fame festivities this summer,” Gustafson said. “They join the ranks of some exceptional college baseball players and we are thrilled to call them Hall of Famers.”
The 2012 class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions celebration June 29-30 in Lubbock, Texas.
For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, College Baseball Hall of Fame executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org.