The Florida State League is announcing the establishment of its inaugural Hall of Fame Class and is releasing the names of the first recipients of this tremendous honor. The Introduction will take place on November 9, 2009 at the Plaza Resort and Spa Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla. According to MILB.com the public will also be invited to attend with the details to be announced at a later date.
The following players are the first inductees, selected by the league committee;
Johnny Bench, 1965 Tampa Tarpons
Rod Carew, 1965 Orlando Twins
Gary Carter, 1972 West Palm Beach Expos
Rollie Fingers, 1965 Leesburg Athletics
James “Catfish” Hunter, 1964 Daytona Islanders
Ferguson Jenkins, 1962/1963 Miami Marlins
Al Lopez, 1925/1926 Tampa Smokers
Eddie Murray, 1974 Miami Orioles
Stan Musial, 1940 Daytona Islanders
Jim Palmer, 1967/1968 Miami Marlins
Cal Ripken Jr., 1979 Miami Orioles
Nolan Ryan, 1967 Winter Haven Mets
Joe Tinker, 1921 Orlando Tigers
Early Wynn, 1937 Sanford Lookouts
Two managers are also being inducted; Stan Wasiak, 1983-86, Vero Beach, and John Lipon, 1988-92, Lakeland. These two marquee figures prove to be Hall of Fame caliber as they are the winningest managers in MILB history. Though both have passed away, the amount of knowledge they have passed on to numerous players throughout the years cannot be forgotten.
Mike Moore who was General Manager of the Tampa Tarpons and later became the president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues is also being inducted. Moore’s greatest achievements were bringing a new vision, a new insight on promoting and revising its program to benefit clubs, players, communities and, most of all, the fans.
Umpires are not given enough credit for all that they bring to game of baseball and the name Harry Wendelstedt Jr., is all that is needed to define their contributions. Wendelstedt known for a being an umpire in the Major Leagues has also started his umpiring school in Ormond Beach, Fla. Phil Cuzzi, whose comeback to the Majors began in the FSL is being inducted along with Wendelstedt.
And finally, the inductee, in the builders category, with a name as recognized as any in baseball; George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees and the Tampa Yankees Baseball Clubs has played an integral part in keeping baseball alive in the Tampa area.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.
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