July 7, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Former UCLA baseball player Jackie Robinson was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 3, as one of three Vintage-Era inductees in the 2008 Hall of Fame Class. Robinson, UCLA's first four-sport letterwinner, played baseball for the Bruins in 1940 after having played two seasons for Pasadena Junior College.
Owen Carroll, a pitcher at Holy Cross and coach at Seton Hall, and William J. "Billy" Disch of Sacred Heart College, joined Robinson as the other two Vintage-Era inductees.
"As the game of baseball approaches its 150th anniversary, we must recognize the efforts of those who have helped build and enrich our game," said Jeff Chase, Hall of Fame co-chair and CBF board member. "Honoring these individuals is a key step in protecting the legacy of this great sport."
Robinson became the first African-American to play in the major leagues when he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. In two seasons at Pasadena Junior College, he posted a .417 batting average, totaling 43 runs and 25 stolen bases in 24 games. At UCLA, he became the school's first four-sport letterwinner, competing for the football, basketball, baseball and track and field teams.
The College Baseball Hall of Fame also inducted nine former college baseball standouts - 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.