Grambling State University is known for producing prime time athletes. As a result, their long list of Hall of Famers is steadily growing.
Ralph Garr, a Grambling baseball legend, has recently been added to that list.
Garr, who batted .418 in a stellar career at Grambling from 1964-1967 will join the 2013 class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Ralph Garr made a name for himself as an All-Star Major Leaguer, but for the small school venue in which he performed, he’d be just as well known for his college baseball career,” said Jay Sokol of www.blackcollegenines.com. “It is gratifying for those who know what he accomplished at Grambling State University, to see him recognized with such an elite group of College Baseball Hall of Famers.”
Garr 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. Garr joins Lou Brock, Danny Goodwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones as previous honorees in this category.
This year’s class will be inducted as a part of the annual celebration of college baseball in Lubbock, Texas. Along with Garr, this class is headlined by former longtime major leaguers Sal Bando, a standout third baseman at Arizona State from 1964-1965; Tino Martinez of the University of Tampa, for whom the Division II Player of the Year award is named; and Roy Smalley of USC, a shortstop for the Trojans from 1973-1974.
“This class brings a different flavor to the induction process because it features our first Division III coach, perhaps the greatest Division II player ever and three players from the 1950s, ’60s and early ’70s, which is a time period that has been a bit underrepresented in past inductions,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “We are excited to welcome them to the Hall of Fame.”
In his career, Garr led Grambling to a 103-11 record, highlighted by a 33-1 record and a third place finish at the 1967 NAIA baseball championship. His .582 batting average as a senior led the nation and set a national record, as did his 11 triples, on the way to first team NAIA
Martinez was the 1988 National Division II Player of the Year at the University of Tampa. In addition, he was named third-team All-American as a freshman, second-team All-American as a sophomore, and first-team All-American as a junior. Martinez still holds Spartan records for career home runs (54), career batting average (.399), career slugging percentage (.736), single-season batting average (.452) and single-season slugging percentage (.957) and was a leading hitter for 1988 USA Olympic gold medalist baseball team.
Smalley was named first-team All-American shortstop in 1973 and twice joined teammate and 2007 inductee Fred Lynn in leading the USC Trojans to national championships. Twice named first-team All-Pac 8, he was later named shortstop on the College World Series 1970s All-Decade team.
Also included in the 2012 HOF class are the late Tom Borland of Oklahoma State University, who fashioned a perfect 11-0 record on the way to being named first-team All-American in 1955; the late Don Schaly who was named Division III Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball magazine for his legendary career at Marietta College from 1964-2003; and John Winkin, who coached at Colby College, the University of Maine and Husson College from 1954-2006 and led his Maine Black Bear teams to six College World Series appearances.
Borland led the 1954 and 1955 Oklahoma State Aggies to their first two College World Series appearances in the school’s history. He was named first-team All-American on the strength of his 11-0 record and 2.13 ERA. He capped his stellar 1955 season by being named Most Valuable Player at the CWS. In his two-year career in Stillwater, he posted a 19-2 record.
Schaly was named Division III Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball magazine by virtue of the best winning percentage (.812) of any college coach at any level with more than 500 wins, being National Coach of the Year four times, and winning three national championships and more than 1,400 games as coach at Marietta College from 1964-2003.
Winkin won more than 1,000 games in 50-plus years of coaching at Colby College, the University of Maine and Husson College. Best known for his tenure at Maine, he led the Black Bears to 11 NCAA tournament appearances, six College World Series appearances and twice finished third in Omaha.
“I am so happy to welcome a new class of inductees that includes Coach Schaly and Coach Winkin, among the other tremendous inductees,” Gustafson said. “They are extremely well-respected among their coaching peers so this recognition is due.”
The 2013 class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions celebration June 28-29 in Lubbock, Texas.