ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 announced

ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 announced

The American Baseball Coaches Association has announced eight individuals to be inducted to the ABCA Hall of Fame in January 2021.

The ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 includes:

Bill Anderson, Occidental College (Calif.)
Hal Baird, Auburn University (Ala.)
Roger Cador, Southern University (La.)
Sammy Dunn, Vestavia Hills High School (Ala.)
Wayne Graham, Rice University (Texas)
George Horton, Cal State Fullerton/University of Oregon
Tony Robichaux, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Don Sneddon, Santa Ana College (Calif.)

The 2021 ABCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held during the 77th annual ABCA Convention on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 at the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C. Tickets to attend the Hall of Fame Banquet will go on sale September 1.

Induction to the ABCA Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the organization. The ABCA was founded in 1945 and the Hall of Fame began in 1966.

 

Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson, Occidental College (Calif.)

Bill Anderson coached baseball at Occidental College (Calif.) for 30 years. In addition to his Hall of Fame coaching career on the diamond, Anderson also coached varsity basketball and football at Oxy, winning more championships than any other coach in school history. Anderson was later named the school’s Athletic Director in 1939.

Anderson arrived on the Oxy campus as an athletic trainer in the fall of 1924, seven years removed from his playing days as an all-star halfback at the University of Illinois. In his first five seasons with the baseball team, he assisted coach Wilkie Clark, doubling as freshman coach, before becoming the Tigers’ head coach in 1930.

Under Anderson’s leadership, Oxy baseball teams amassed an overall record of 144-41 (.778) and notched 10 league titles over 25 seasons. In league play, his teams combined for a 77-9 (.895) record, the highest winning percentage of all Oxy championship teams.

In his final four seasons at Oxy (1951-54), Anderson’s teams captured four consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) titles, twice going undefeated in league play (1952, 1954). His 1932 and 1934 teams also finished the season undefeated in league competition. Only one other team in Oxy history has gone undefeated in league play.

The student-athletes that played for Anderson were some of the best to every play at Oxy. Anderson coached the top five hitters (based on career batting average) and 12 of the top 15 in Oxy baseball history. In addition, seven of the top 10 single-season batting average performances came from Anderson-coached players.

On the mound, he coached three of the top four pitchers (based on career win percentage) in school history and coached the only two pitchers (Dick Sovde ’56 and Frank Bennett ’54) to throw no-hitters in the same season (1954). A total of seven no hitters were thrown by Tiger pitchers during his tenure.

In all, Anderson guided 50 players to 68 All-SCIAC honors between 1933-54 and coached over 60 future Oxy Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. Eventually, four of his Oxy teams (1934, ’43, ’52, ’54) were also inducted into the program’s Hall of Fame.

Anderson accomplished most of this after surviving an auto accident in 1941 that nearly killed him and left him physically impaired for the rest of his life.

In 1954, following his final season at Oxy, Anderson was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Anderson Field, the Tigers’ baseball home since 1950, is named in his honor.

 

Hal Baird

Hal Baird, Auburn University (Ala.)

In 21 seasons as a collegiate head baseball coach, Hal Baird guided his East Carolina and Auburn teams to a combined 12 NCAA tournament appearances, two College World Series berths and a 779-394-1 (.664) overall record.

Following a successful playing career at East Carolina and in professional baseball, Baird joined the Pirates’ coaching staff as an assistant in 1977. Prior to the 1980 season, he was named the 11th head coach in program history and would go on to lead his alma mater to a pair of ECAC-South championships (1982, 1984) and three NCAA tournament appearances (1980, 1982, 1984). Baird finished his career at East Carolina with a record of 145-66-1 (.684) over five seasons.

In 1985, Baird took over at Auburn University, where he would go on to become the winningest coach in school history. Over 16 seasons, he led the Tigers to a 634-328 record, and his .659 winning percentage ranks first among Auburn coaches with more than one season at the helm. Baird’s teams won at least 30 games in every season he was the head coach, including a pair of 50-win seasons in 1995 and 1997. No other coach in Auburn history has won 50 games in a season.

During his tenure, Auburn advanced to College World Series in 1994 and 1997 and competed in nine NCAA Regionals, capturing Regional titles in 1994, 1997 and 1999. Baird was ABCA/Diamond Sports South Region Coach of the Year in 1994.

In conference play, the Tigers captured SEC Western Division titles in 1987 and 1995, along with a pair of SEC tournament titles in 1989 and 1998.

Under his tutelage, 13 Auburn players earned All-America honors and 51 were selected in the MLB Draft. Auburn standout Tim Hudson was named the 1997 SEC Player of the Year.

Prior to his coaching career, Baird was a standout pitcher for the Pirates, leading the staff in strikeouts in his two seasons at East Carolina. A 1971 graduate, Baird helped the Pirates to a Southern Conference title and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1970. In the league championship game that year against George Washington, Baird struck out a Southern Conference record 20 batters. His 105 strikeouts in 1971 ranks among the top performances in school history.

Following his college career, Baird played professionally from 1971-1976 for the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals organizations where he earned All-Gulf Coast League, All-Florida Instructional League and All-Southern League honors.

Baird was inducted to East Carolina University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also honored as an SEC Legend in 2013.

 

Roger Cador Roger Cador, Southern University (La.)

Roger Cador retired from coaching in 2017 with a career record of 913-597-1 (604). He took over the program at Southern University (La.) in 1984 after serving as an assistant coach on the baseball and basketball teams at his alma mater and would go on to build one of the most respected Historically Black University/College (HBCU) programs in the nation.

Over the course of 33 seasons, Cador’s teams won two HBCU national championships (2003, 2005), captured 14 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships and made 11 NCAA Regional appearances. Along the way, he racked up 13 SWAC Coach of the Year awards, coached 10 players to All-America honors and 62 players were drafted by MLB teams, including 2003 Golden Spikes Award winner Rickie Weeks.

Among the many highlights in his illustrious career which spanned three decades, Cador holds the distinction of leading Southern as the first HBCU to win a game in an NCAA regional, upsetting No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, in New Orleans in 1987.

Over his career, Cador added two more NCAA tournament victories en route to posting a dozen 30-win seasons.

His crowning achievement as a coach was spearheading the development of second baseman Rickie Weeks. A two-time NCAA batting champion, Weeks received the 2003 Golden Spikes Award as the top collegiate baseball player in the county, the first from a predominantly black school. Weeks was taken with the second overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, and would go on to have a stellar 14-year MLB career with four teams.

The Louisiana legend also has been active in increasing the exposure for both college baseball and HBCU coverage nationally. He helped organize the Urban Baseball Invitational (now known as the Andre Dawson Classic), which has featured HBCU schools in live national telecasts on ESPN and the MLB Network from Los Angeles, Houston and New Orleans.

Throughout his career, Cador also helped bring baseball back to inner-city communities, working alongside Major League Baseball and their diversity task force.

A standout for the Jaguars from 1970-73, Cador played professionally in the Atlanta Braves organization from 1973-77 after leading Southern with a .393 batting average as a junior in 1972. Cador advanced all the way to the Class AAA Richmond Braves before returning to Southern where he served as an assistant baseball coach from 1978-84 while simultaneously working as a basketball assistant coach from 1980-84.

Cador was honored by the Southwestern Athletic Conference as a 2018 SWAC Hall of Fame inductee and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in the fall of 2019.

 

Sammy Dunn
Sammy Dunn, Vestavia Hills High School (Ala.)

Longtime Vestavia Hills (Ala.) High School baseball coach Sammy Dunn is regarded as one of the most successful coaches in the history of Alabama high school baseball.

Over 27 seasons at Vestavia, Dunn amassed a career record of 647-146 (.816) and led his baseball teams to nine Alabama 6-A state titles from 1991-2000, including a stretch of seven-straight from 1994-2000. Dunn’s 1998 team was named national champions by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHSBCA), for which Dunn received National Coach of the Year honors. He would again be named the National Coach of the Year in 2004.

Dunn, who passed away in 2004, was the winningest baseball coach in Alabama high school history at the time of his passing. His Vestavia teams never posted a losing season, and over 100 of his players earned went on to earn college scholarships. In fact, 12 Vestavia alumni participated on teams in the 1996 College World Series in Omaha.

Throughout his career, Dunn received numerous local coaching honors including six Alabama Baseball Coaches Association (ALABCA) 6-A Coach of the Year Awards and seven Jefferson County Coach of the Year Awards.

Dunn, who presided over the Vestavia baseball program from 1978-2004, also served as an assistant coach on the football staff from 1978-1998 and was an assistant basketball coach.

Dunn served on the 1984 Baseball Olympic Selection Committee as director of the Southern States Conference Baseball Tournament.

Dunn was also instrumental in growing the game of baseball in Alabama, founding the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association in 1995. Prior to that, he served as President of the Jefferson County Baseball Coaches Association from 1993-94.

In Dunn’s honor, the ALABCA now presents the Sammy Dunn Memorial Award annually to one of the Alabama high school baseball state champion coaches for their exemplary season. The award is the association’s highest honor.

Dunn, who was inducted into the Montevallo Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997, played third base for the Falcons for two seasons from 1974-75. He transferred to Montevallo prior to his junior season after being named the Alabama Co-Player of the Year at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham.

Dunn was inducted into the ALABCA Hall of Fame in 2000, the first coach to receive that honor. He was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s first-ever Frank House Award that same year. In 2010, Dunn was inducted into the inaugural class of the Vestavia Hills Sports Hall of Fame, and the school’s baseball stadium is named in his honor.

 

Wayne Graham

Wayne Graham, Rice University (Texas)

Wayne Graham spent 27 seasons at the helm of the Rice University baseball program, and 38 seasons overall as a collegiate head coach. Graham’s highly successful teams at Rice and San Jacinto College combined for a total of six national championships and an overall record of 1848-641-2 (.742).

At Rice, Graham amassed a 1,173-528-2 (.689) record to go along with seven College World Series appearances and the 2003 National Championship, the school's first team national championship in any sport.

Beginning with the 1995 season, Rice appeared in 23 consecutive NCAA Regionals and advanced to the Super Regionals 10 times following the adoption of the format in 1999. His Owls also captured 21 conference championships as part of three different conferences, including 20-straight from 1996-2015.

Graham coached 39 different Rice players to a total of 56 All-America awards and 136 former players were drafted by professional teams. The 14 Rice draft picks in 2007 tied the college record for the most players selected from one school in a single year.

A native Houstonian, Graham's coaching career began at Scarborough (Texas) High School. In nine seasons at Scarborough and one at Spring Branch, Graham's teams compiled a 98-13 (.883) district record, won seven district titles and never finished lower than second in the district race.

After 10 successful seasons at the high school level, Graham moved on to San Jacinto College in 1981, where he proceeded to turn the Gators into a Junior College powerhouse. Following a pair of conference titles in 1982 and 1983, Graham’s Gators made seven-straight NJCAA World Series appearances from 1984-90. After a runner-up finish in 1984, his teams captured three consecutive national titles from 1985-87. The Gators once again came back from a runner up finish in 1988 to claim another pair of national titles in 1989 and 1990.

Named the Junior College Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball, Graham completed his 11-year tenure at San Jacinto with a 675-113 (.857) record and five National Coach of the Year awards. His uniform number (37) was retired by San Jacinto and he was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1995.

Graham’s coaching career was preceded by an 11-year professional career that included stints as a third baseman and outfielder with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets organizations. A Texas native, Graham played two seasons at the University of Texas under legendary coach and ABCA Hall of Fame member Bibb Falk.

Graham’s success led to his induction into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, and he was named one of Houston's 38 Sports Legends in 2004. In addition, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

 

George Horton

George Horton, Cal State Fullerton/University of Oregon

In his combined 28 seasons as a collegiate head baseball coach, George Horton amassed a career record 1,091-546-2 (.666) record. Now a member of the Orange Coast College coaching staff, Horton is known for guiding national power Cal State Fullerton to the 2004 National Championship and for resurrecting a dormant University of Oregon baseball program.

Hired in September 2007, Horton was Oregon’s 12th baseball coach in school history and its first since the program was discontinued following the 1981 season. In 11 seasons with the Ducks, Horton carried a 375-281-1 (.571) record and led Oregon to five NCAA Regional tournaments (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), one Super Regional (2012) and a school-record 48 wins in 2013.

Prior to Oregon, Horton spent 11 seasons at the helm of his alma mater and national power Cal State Fullerton, leading the Titans to seven conference titles and the 2004 National Championship. Overall, Horton posted a record of 490-212-1 (.697) with the Titans, and oversaw six appearances in the College World Series, including a pair of back-to-back berths (2003 and 2004, 2006 and 2007). Following his squad’s title run in 2004, Horton received National Coach of the Year honors from the ABCA/Diamond Sports and Collegiate Baseball. He was also named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America in 2003 and was a five-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year.

Before taking the reins at Fullerton, Horton worked for six years as an assistant coach for the Titans under legendary college baseball coach Augie Garrido before succeeding him 1997.

Horton also served six years as the head coach at Cerritos College before joining the Titans’ staff, compiling a junior college record of 226-53 (.810) from 1985-90 and capturing three California state baseball championships (1985, 1987, 1989).

Horton earned the USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Award after serving as the head coach for the 2016 Collegiate National Team and was a member of the U.S. coaching staff in 2012.

Horton played two seasons at Cerritos College before joining Augie Garrido at Cal State Fullerton. Horton earned All-PCAA honors in 1975 and 1976 as both a junior and a senior and was on the first Fullerton team to go to the College World Series in 1975. Horton is one of 17 men to have appeared in Omaha as a player and a head coach.

In 1994, Horton was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the Downey High School Hall of Fame in May of 2003 and was honored in 2005 with the Orange County Manager of the Year Award, given by the Orange Coast Chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management. In October 2013, Horton was inducted into the Cal State Fullerton Hall of Fame as part of the 1995 team before being inducted in 2017 as an individual.

 

Tony Robichaux

Tony Robichaux, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Longtime University of Louisiana at Lafayette head coach Tony Robichaux spent 25 seasons at the helm of the Ragin’ Cajuns and 33 seasons overall at the Division I level.

During his tenure with the Cajuns, which began in 1995, Robichaux guided Louisiana to 12 NCAA Regional appearances (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), four NCAA Super Regional appearances (1999, 2000, 2014 and 2015) and the 2000 College World Series. His teams earned seven Sun Belt Conference regular season crowns (1997, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018) and four Sun Belt Conference Tournament titles (1998, 2014, 2015 and 2016).

At Louisiana, Robichaux coached 29 All-Americans, 90 All-Sun Belt, six Sun Belt Pitchers of the Year and two Sun Belt Players of the Year.

Robichaux received ABCA/Diamond Sports South Central Region Coach of the Year honors four times (1999, 2000, 2010 and 2014) in his career. He was also named Sun Belt Coach of the Year four times (1997, 2005, 2007 and 2014) and the All-Louisiana Coach of the Year six times (1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2010 and 2014).

In 2015, Robichaux became the 51st coach in NCAA Div. I history to post 1,000 career wins. He posted a career record of 1,177-767-2 (.605) and ranked eighth among active NCAA Div. I head coaches in career victories and 30th all-time among Div. I coaches after the 2019 season.

The all-time winningest coach in school history with 914 victories, Robichaux guided Louisiana to nine 40-win seasons and had 58 former players selected in the MLB Draft including five draftees who have played at the major league level.

Under Robichaux, Louisiana hosted the school's first-ever NCAA baseball regional in 2000, and the program’s and Sun Belt’s first-ever Super Regional in 2014. The Cajuns also hosted an NCAA baseball regional in 2014 and 2016.

The Cajuns received several national rankings throughout Robichaux’s tenure including the school’s first ever No. 1 ranking in 2014. That same year, the Ragin’ Cajuns set the school record for wins finishing 58-10.

Before arriving at Louisiana in 1995, Robichaux served as head coach of his alma mater, McNeese State, for eight seasons. He led the Cowboys to a combined 263-177 (.598) record, including a school-record 41 wins in his last season there. He also led the program to its first-ever national ranking during the 1994 season. Robichaux was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 1988, his first permanent season as head coach at McNeese. He wrapped up his career with the Cowboys as the all-time winningest coach in the school’s history and was inducted into the McNeese Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

Don Sneddon

Don Sneddon, Santa Ana College (Calif.)

Don Sneddon spent 32 years as the head coach at Santa Ana College where he became the all-time winningest coach in California community college baseball history. Sneddon’s tenure ended at Santa Ana with a career record of 1,072-383-3 (.735).

Among those 1,072 victories are three state championships (1993, 1995, 1996) and 16 conference championships. Sneddon also led the Dons to the second round of postseason competition for 25 consecutive seasons from 1988-2012. Sneddon’s teams never finished with a losing record and 22 of his 32 seasons had a winning percentage of .700 or higher. He was named conference coach of the year 16 times, including five-straight seasons from 2007-2011.

After breaking the career wins record in 2006 with his 832nd victory, Sneddon went on to become the first coach to record 900 and 1,000 wins.

Following his retirement from Santa Ana in 2014, Sneddon was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 2016, Sneddon joined the coaching staff of the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League as a third base coach and hitting instructor for, then manager, Jerry Weinstein.

Following Weinstein’s departure, Sneddon’s first season as Wareham’s manager came in 2017 where he led the Gatemen to the West Division Finals.

The following season, Sneddon led the Gatemen to their eighth Cape Cod Baseball League championship in team history. Sneddon became just the fifth manager in Wareham history to win a title. In addition, Sneddon’s 2018 group became the first Wareham team to win a regular season division title since 2001. With a record of 25-17-2, the Gatemen tied their highest win total in the previous 18 seasons.

The 2018 Wareham Gatemen became the first team since the Cape Cod Baseball League changed their playoff format in 2010 to completely sweep through the playoffs and win six-straight games. They also became the first club to win as a No. 1 seed under this new format.

Sneddon stepped down following the 2018 summer after three seasons with Wareham, two of which coming as the team’s manager. His teams combined to go 43-42-3 in his two summers as Wareham’s skipper, boasting an 8-2 record in the playoffs.

Sneddon’s baseball career began under ABCA Hall of Fame coach Wally Kincaid at Cerritos College (Calif.), where he was an All-Southern California shortstop. After two years at Cerritos, he was recruited to play at then NCAA Div. II Cal State Fullerton by eventual ABCA Hall of Fame coach Augie Garrido. While at Cal State Fullerton, Sneddon led the Titans to a California Collegiate Athletics Association championship in 1974 and was the first NCAA Div. II All-American in school history.

Following his graduation, Sneddon joined Garrido’s coaching staff at Fullerton as an assistant in 1975. After two seasons with the Titans, Sneddon became as assistant for then head coach Jim Reach at Santa Ana College, before taking over the program in 1981.