The College Baseball Foundation announced the names of the 12 players and coaches comprising the 2008 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class Wednesday.
"We are very excited to announce this year's class," said Mike Gustafson, co-chair of the Hall of Fame and member of the CBF Board of Trustees. "There are some exceptional players an coaches in this year's class and they deserve this recognition."
Among the 2008 Hall of Fame class are three Vintage-Era inductees - Owen Carroll, pitcher and coach, College of the Holy Cross and Seton Hall; William J. "Billy" Disch, coach, Sacred Heart College, St. Edward's University and Texas; and Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, infielder, Pasadena Junior College and UCLA. The Vintage-Era designation is for those who played or coached prior to 1947.
"These are guys that made a significant contribution to the early history of college baseball," Gustafson said. "They played in an era before All-American teams and the awards that are commonly used to judge the performance of most recent players."
The remaining members of the 2008 Hall of Fame class are Steve Arlin, pitcher, Ohio State; Eddie Bane, pitcher, Arizona State; Floyd Bannister, pitcher, Arizona State; Neal Heaton, pitcher, Miami; Burt Hooton, pitcher, Texas; Dick Howser, shortstop and coach, Florida State; Ben McDonald, pitcher, Louisiana State; Greg Swindell, pitcher, Texas; and Gary Ward, coach, Oklahoma State and New Mexico State.
"I feel privileged and honored to be a part of college baseball's elite," Arlin said. "And representing Ohio State and the Big Ten makes this all the more special for me since those days were some of the best in my life, spent with some of my closest friends. We shared that wonderful moment in time and came away with the best of memories."
Steve Arlin, who played at Ohio State from 1965 to 1966, helped lead the school to back-to-back College World Series appearances. In a 1965 CWS game against Washington State, he struck out a CWS-record 20 batters in a 15-inning, 1-0 victory. In 1966, he pitched in five of Ohio State's six CWS games, allowing only five hits in 202/3 innings. He was a two-time First-Team All-American and All-Big Ten selection.
Eddie Bane pitched at Arizona State from 1971 to 1973. In his first year, he led the Sun Devils with 130 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA. In 1972, he compiled 213 strikeouts and 0.99 ERA and finished with 192 strikeouts in 1973. That year, he was named the Sporting News Player of the Year. He is the only ASU pitcher to ever throw a perfect game in a 9-0 victory over Cal-State Northridge, in which he struck out 19 batters.
Floyd Bannister, who pitched at ASU from 1974 to 1976, won the Sporting News Player of the Year and the Lefty Gomez Plate awards. He was an All-WAC and All-American selection in 1975 and 1976. He led the nation in strikeouts in 1975 with 217 and in 1976 with 213. He also pitched 29 complete games and led the Sun Devils to back-to-back WAC titles and College World Series appearances.
Vintage-Era inductee Owen Carroll pitched at Holy Cross from 1921 to 1925, compiling a 50-2 record with 16 shutouts. After retiring from professional baseball, Carroll coached at Seton Hall from 1948 to 1972, sending five Pirates to the Major Leagues. He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1977.
Vintage-Era inductee Billy Disch coached at three schools. While coaching at Texas from 1911 to 1939, he won 22 Southwest Conference titles, while compiling a record of 513-180. He became a charter member of the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1966.
Neal Heaton pitched at Miami from 1979 to 1981. "The Heater" still holds nearly all of Miami's pitching records and was named an All-American twice. He was the first Hurricane to play in a Major League All-Star game and was inducted into the Miami Hall of Fame in 1992.
Burt Hooton pitched at Texas from 1969 to 1971. He logged a 35-3 record and still owns several school records including ERA (1.14). He earned first-team All-Southwest Conference and All-American honors all three years he played for the Longhorns. In 1971, he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Sam Houston State and a 13-inning one-hitter against Texas Tech in which he struck out 19 batters.
Dick Howser played shortstop at Florida State from 1956 to 1958 before eventually returning to coach his alma mater to a 43-17-1 record in 1979. As a player, Howser led the Seminoles into the District III Playoffs each of his three seasons and to a District Championship in 1957. He earned All-American honors from ABCA in 1957 and 1958.
Ben McDonald, who pitched at LSU from 1987 to 1989, set an LSU career mark for strikeouts with 373 and set several Southeastern Conference records, including single-season strikeouts (202) and consecutive scoreless innings (44.2). He was a two-time All-American and a 1988 Olympic gold medalist. He also lettered as an LSU basketball player.
Vintage-Era inductee Jackie Robinson played two seasons of junior-college baseball before playing at UCLA in 1940, where he became the first four-sport letter winner in UCLA history. His last year at Pasadena Junior College, he hit .417, scored 43 runs and stole 25 bases in only 24 games. Following his college career, he served in the military before playing baseball in the Negro Leagues and then going on to break Major League Baseball's color barrier.
Greg Swindell, who pitched at Texas from 1984 to 1986, is one of only six players in history to be a three-time First-Team All-American by Baseball America. He helped lead the Longhorns to three consecutive Southwest Conference titles, two NCAA Central Regional titles and two College World Series appearances. Each year he was the team leader in numerous categories including wins, strikeouts and saves.
Gary Ward coached at Oklahoma State from 1978 to 1996 and at New Mexico State from 2001 to 2002. He led OSU to 16 straight conference titles, 17 NCAA regional appearances and 10 trips to the College World Series. He compiled a record of 953-313-1 in 19 seasons in Stillwater. In 2002, he led New Mexico State to a Sun Belt Tournament Championship and an NCAA appearance. He finished with a career record of 1,022-361-1, which ranks 24th on the NCAA all-time wins list.
Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on the votes of more than 90 representatives from across the country. Voters include coaches, media members and previous inductees.
To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must have completed one year of competition at a four-year institution and made an All-American team (post-1947) or an All-League team (pre-1947) and or earned verifiable national acclaim.
Ballot-eligible coaches must have achieved 300 wins or won at least 65 percent of their games.
"This is a great class," said Jeff Chase, co-chair of the Hall of Fame and a member of the CBF Board. "It's kind of funny that it's so dominated by pitchers, but that's just how the voting worked out. We are very excited to welcome all these men into the College Baseball Hall of Fame."
The 2008 inductees will be honored on July 4 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.
For more information about the 2008 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class or the Hall of Fame events, contact Dr. Mike Gustafson at email@example.com or Jeff Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org.