Posted: Jul 1, 2012 3:16 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2012 3:30 PM
LUBBOCK, Texas - Seven new members were inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday night in the annual celebration of the greatest players in past and present college baseball.
College Baseball's Night of Champions in Lubbock, Texas honored these men for their addition to the Hall of Fame: Southern outfielder Lou Brock; Lewis-Clark State College coach Ed Cheff; Georgia Tech shortstop Nomar Garciaparra; San Jacinto College coach and Rice coach Wayne Graham; Wisconsin-Oshkosh shortstop Tim Jorgensen; Arizona coach Frank Sancet; and Florida outfielder and pitcher Brad Wilkerson.
All of the inductees said they found it special being recognized in such a fashion and were honored to be the seventh class inducted in the Hall of Fame that showcases college baseball's rich past.
"It really is a huge honor," Garciaparra said. "To be honored in this way. It truly is special. You think about all the college players that came through, to be part of a hall of fame and to be recognized, it truly is."
Graham said to be recognized at the highest level is a great honor, especially while still coaching.
"It's amazing," Graham said. "The people we're with, it's just an amazing group of people, and I'm certainly honored to even think about being a part of something like this. It's the pinnacle that you can reach at this level of Division I baseball, and I'm really happy to be a part of it. For coaching honors, I couldn't get any better than this because it honors [my] career."
Brock, who is also a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, particularly mentioned how important the College Baseball Hall of Fame is for the sport.
"They have stepped up and decided that [the] College Hall of Fame is a real issue to a lot of people and a lot of players," Brock said. "Some of them never get to Major League Baseball, but the Hall of Fame is a signal that you were an outstanding player."
Many of them also spoke about the school which impacted their careers and lives. They talked about how honored they were to represent their school, their team and those who played beside them.
"[Rice] is a school that stands on its honor and high academics, and it's in my hometown," Graham said. "When I was growing up, Rice was the most honorable thing in Houston, so to wind up there has really been significant."
Although he was a star shortstop at Georgia Tech, Garciaparra said the recognition he received doesn't belong just to him.
"College was so impactful in my life," Garciaparra said. "And I represent so many: my entire team and the guys that allowed me to be so successful. College really is a time that can enhance your life, and my time in college definitely did that."
Sancet's family was present to honor him, and his grandson, Hank Rowe, shared his gratitude for his grandfather's legacy and other college baseball greats.
"To say it's a cherry on top, it's a bowl of cherries," Rowe said. "It's been a great experience, very humbling, but he deserves it. For me personally, especially helping him out on the field, it is so humbling to be in a room with other great players and coaches. Really, it never is about one person, it's about the team, and it's about the game. It's a wonderful game and it's heartwarming to be a part of.
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