Feb. 16, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Former UCLA ballplayers Jackie Robinson and Paul Ellis have been selected to the ballot for induction to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, the College Baseball Foundation announced this week. The ballot to select this year's inductees features 54 players and 19 coaches.
Robinson, UCLA's only four-sport letterwinner, played baseball for the Bruins in 1940. The first African-American to play Major League Baseball joins 11 other veteran candidates (pre-1947 category) on this year's ballot. Robinson made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, a date celebrated throughout every major league ballpark each season. UCLA's baseball stadium has been named in his honor.
Ellis, a three-year baseball letterwinner for UCLA (1988-90), was named the 1990 Division I Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Ellis, who slugged 29 home runs and hit at a .360 clip as a junior that spring, accompanies eight other players on the ballot from the years 1988-97. An All-Pac-10 catcher in 1990, Ellis set UCLA single-season records RBI (83), hit by pitches (14), intentional walks (13) and total bases (186).
The members of the 2008 College Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced in late February or early March, once all the ballots have been tallied and the results have been verified. Those selected will join previous inductees, including coaches Skip Bertman of LSU, Jerry Kindall of Arizona, Cliff Gustafson of Texas and the late Rod Dedeaux of USC, and players Dave Winfield of Minnesota, Jim Abbot of Michigan, Will Clark of Mississippi State and Derek Tatsuno of Hawai'i.
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.
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, Texas.