Though he only coached the Florida State baseball team for five years, Fred Hatfield’s impact on the program has been felt long after his departure.
A standout baseball player, Hatfield broke into the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox and played professionally from 1950-57. He then went into managing at the minor league level before being selected as Florida State’s head coach in 1964.
Hatfield wasted no time in keeping Florida State’s winning tradition going as he guided the ’64 Seminoles to a 23-13 record and a No. 6 final national ranking. In his second season, FSU won the NCAA District III Championship and advanced to the third round of the College World Series, finishing fifth nationally. Over the next three years (1966-68), his teams represented FSU at the NCAA District III playoffs. Hatfield went 35-6, his final year, and that winning percentage of .854 ranked as the best single-season winning percentage at the time of his induction.
Hatfield was instrumental in a number of projects for FSU baseball including spearheading the effort to install lights at the baseball stadium. To get the ‘Noles under the lights, Hatfield called on a number of his friends from his years in professional baseball.
After leaving FSU following the 1968 season, Hatfield went back into professional ball where he coached and scouted until 1997.
Hatfield put together a record of 161-57 during his five-year tenure at Florida State. That winning percentage of .737 ranks third all-time at FSU behind only Woody Woodward and Mike Martin, who was a centerfielder for Hatfield from 1965-66.