On June 30th seven individuals will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame during “College Baseball’s Night of Champions” in Lubbock at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center theater beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The 2012 Hall of Fame class will be headlined by Georgia Tech and Boston Red Sox great Nomar Garciaparra, Rice coach Wayne Graham and St. Louis Cardinals legend Lou Brock. The other four inductees include Ed Cheff, Tim Jorgensen, Frank Sancet, and Brad Wilkerson.
Brock became the star of the Southern University baseball team that won the 1959 NAIA College World Series, becoming the first and only HBCU baseball team to win a national title at any level. That year, Brock hit .524 for the season with five home runs, eight doubles and six triples. Following the season, he was selected to play for the United States national team in the Pan American Games.
After his junior year, Lou Brock signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs and after a 19-year pro career, Brock earned entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Prior to having a great career in the Major Leagues, Garciaparra hit .427 with 16 home runs, 73 RBIs and 33 stolen bases in 1994 while leading Georgia Tech to the finals of the College World Series.
At Rice, Graham has amassed 912 wins and maintained a .716 win percentage over 20 full seasons.
The Owls’ winning percentage in the nation over the last 13 full seasons is .742 from 1999-2011, better than every other Division I program.
Graham has coached 30 different Rice players to a total of 45 All-American awards, including three national players of the year (Lance Berkman, Damon Thames and Anthony Rendon). Rice has won 16 conference championships in a row, including Conference USA regular-season and tournament crowns, all nine Western Athletic Conference titles during the Owls’ tenure in that league (1997-2005) and the final Southwest Conference Championship in 1996. The 2011 season was Rice’s 17th straight appearance in an NCAA Regional.
The Owls have been to the NCAA Super Regionals nine times since the format was adopted in 1999. The Blue & Gray has been to the College World Series seven times since 1997. In 2003, Graham led Rice to the school’s first team national championship in any sport.
In 34 years at Lewis-Clark State College, Cheff’s teams won 16 NAIA national championships, and he’s the NAIA all-time wins leader for a coach at one school. He posted a 1,705-430-2 record with LCSC for a .799 winning percentage. His win total ranks second only to Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson’s 1,724 wins with the same program in all of college baseball.
In his 162-game playing career at UW-Oshkosh, Jorgensen set a NCAA Division III-record with 70 home runs. Jorgensen was a big hitter at the plate with 234 hits in 563 at-bats for a .416 batting average, 237 RBIs, 200 runs scored, 33 doubles and nine triples.
Sancet was the head coach at the University of Arizona from 1950-72. Sancet led the Wildcats to four conference championships and 10 trips to the College World Series.
Wilkerson was named as the 1998 Collegiate Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and won the Smith Award given to the National Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year while at the University of Florida.
Also during the “Night of Champions,” awards scheduled to be presented include: the Brooks Wallace Award, honoring the nation’s most outstanding shortstop; the John Olerud Award, recognizing the nation’s top two-way player; the National Pitcher of the Year; the NCBWA Stopper of the Year; the Johnny Bench Award and the 26th annual Dick Howser Trophy, college baseball’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children in the eighth grade and below, and can be purchased at Select-A-Seat outlets and online at www.selectaseatlubbock.com