March 5, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Former UCLA ballplayer Jackie Robinson has earned induction into the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the College Baseball Foundation announced Wednesday. Robinson will be inducted as one of three Vintage-Era inductees in the 2008 Hall of Fame class.
Robinson, UCLA's only four-sport letterwinner, played baseball for the Bruins in 1940 after having played two seasons for Pasadena Junior College. Owen Carroll, a pitcher and coach at College of the Holy Cross and Seton Hall, and William J. "Billy" Disch, a coach at Sacred Heart College, St. Edward's University and Texas, join Robinson as the other two Vintage-Era inductees in the 2008 class.
Robinson became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball when he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. In two seasons at Pasadena Junior College, Robinson posted a .417 batting average, totaling 43 runs and 25 stolen bases in 24 games. At UCLA, he became the school's first and only four-sport letterwinner, competing for the football, basketball, baseball and track and field teams.
Robinson had a successful 10-year career playing for Brooklyn, hitting at a .311 clip. The former Bruin ballplayer helped lead the Dodgers organization to its first-ever World Series title in 1955.
The remaining members of the 2008 Hall of Fame class include 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).
Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on the votes of more than 90 representatives from around 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-America 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 2-4 in Lubbock, Texas.