March 6, 2008
Lubbock, Texas – The College Baseball Foundation announced on Wednesday, March 5 that former Seminole student-athlete and head coach Dick Howser is among a list of 12 players and coaches that will comprise the 2008 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class.
“We are very excited to announce this year’s class,” said Mike Gustafson, co-chair of the Hall of Fame and member of the College Baseball Foundation Board of Trustees. “There are some exceptional players and coaches in this year’s class and they deserve this recognition.”
Joining Howser in this year’s Hall of Fame class is Steve Arlin (Pitcher – Ohio State, 1965-1966), Eddie Bane (Pitcher – Arizona State, 1971-1973), Floyd Bannister (Pitcher – Arizona State, 1974-1976), Owen Carroll (Pitcher – Holy Cross, 1921-1925; Coach – Seton Hall, 1948-1972), Billy Disch (Coach – Texas, 1911-1939; Sacred Heart College and St. Edward’s University), Neal Heaton (Pitcher – Miami, Fla., 1979-1981), Burt Hooton (Pitcher – Texas, 1969-1971), Ben McDonald (Pitcher – LSU, 1987-1989), Jackie Robinson (Infielder – Pasadena Junior College and UCLA), Greg Swindell (Pitcher – Texas, 1984-1986) and Gary Ward (Coach – Oklahoma State, 1978-1996; New Mexico State, 2001-2002).
Howser played shortstop at Florida State from 1956 to 1958 before returning to coach the Seminoles for one season in 1979. As a player, Howser led the Seminoles to the District III Playoffs in each of his three seasons including a District Championship and a berth in the College World Series in 1957. He garnered All-Region accolades in 1957 and 1958 and earned All-America recognition from the ABCA in both seasons. In 1956, Howser hit .422 which currently stands as the second highest batting average in school history between 50 to 100 at-bats in a season.
In 1979, Howser returned to his alma mater as a head coach where he posted a record of 43-17-1 and led the Seminoles to an NCAA Regional appearance.
“I don’t think there is any question that Dick Howser was one of most beloved individuals to ever where the Garnet and Gold,” said head coach Mike Martin. “He was a true gentleman and a guy that was a Seminole through and through. For him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is a very deserving honor and it is certainly a proud moment for all of us that knew and loved him.”
Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on votes of more than 90 representatives from across the country. Voters include coaches, media member 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-American 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.
“This is a great class,” said Jeff Chase, co-chair of the Hall of Fame and member of the CBF Board. “It’s kind of funny that it’s so dominated by pitchers, but that’s just how the voting worked out. We are very excited to welcome all these men into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.”
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 through July 4 in Lubbock.