The Clemson baseball great (1964-67) from Fort Mill batted .444 in 1965 and had a career .379 average. He earned All-State, All-ACC and All-America honors for three years and set conference records for most at-bats without a strikeout and longest hitting streak (41 games)
A native of Columbia, the two-time USC All-ACC and All-American (1974-75) pitched his way to a 34-3 record in a little over two seasons of college ball. Bass held a host of school marks, including most consecutive victories (23, at one time a national record). In 1975, he logged a 17-1 record and finished as runner-up for the Lefty Gomez Plate, awarded to amateur baseball’s top player.
Benson was the first Clemson athlete in any sport to be named the ACC Athlete of the Year as he was named the consensus 1996 National Player of the Year in college baseball. He was a unanimous first-team All-American that year when he posted a 14-2 record and a 204/27 strikeout/walk ratio with a 2.02 ERA in 156 innings. He was also selected as the ACC Athlete of the Year for all sports for the 1995-96 academic year. In 2003 he was named to the ACC’s “50 Year Anniversary Baseball Team.” He was named first-team All-America by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and the Sporting News in 1996. He pitched for Team USA in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (first overall pick) in 1996. During his career he played for the Pirates, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-10. He won 70 games, had a 4.42 ERA, started 200 contests, struck out 806 batters and won 12 contests in 2004 for his best mark.
The fire-baller from Hickory Grove pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 years – primarily with the San Francisco Giants – and recorded an 88-75 record, 50 saves and a 3.40 ERA. In 1968, he ranked second in the National League with a 1.99 ERA, and in 1964, Bolin ranked sixth in strikeouts per nine innings at 7.52. In 1965, he went 14-6 (fourth in winning percentage), ranked seventh in ERA (2.76) and struck out 135 batters in 163 innings. He also pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox, and is a member of the San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame.
A graduate of Columbia’s Brookland-Cayce High, Bouknight was a four-year starting pitcher at USC and set records for innings pitched (482), strikeouts (457), games won (45) and games started (57). He finished with a 45-12 career record, and his 45 wins tied Jeff Brantley of Mississippi State for the all-time Southeastern Conference record for career wins. In 1998 he finished with a 6-1 record and a 2.21 ERA, which earned him the honors of being named first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman team and Freshman All-America.
In 2000, he earned the most wins of any collegiate pitcher with 17 and was a consensus All-American, SEC Pitcher of the Year, SEC Male Athlete of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. Bouknight was a member of the 2000 SEC Championship team that went 56-10, including 25-5 in the conference, and played on three NCAA Regional teams including two squads that advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. A two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Bouknight was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round of the amateur draft.
The three-sport star at Cheraw High and major league All-Star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox recorded a 91-82 eight-year career record, including a 19-9 mark in 1956 when he made the American League All-Star team. For his career, he pitched 13 shutouts and 75 complete games in 217 starts. When he retired, he ranked 10th all-time in Boston for victories and strikeouts.
The Anderson native went from playing at Presbyterian College as a basketball and baseball standout (1941-43) to fighting in World War II. He returned with extensive leg injuries. Nevertheless, he defied the odds and became a major league pitcher, making the All-Rookie team in 1948 and the American League All-Star team in 1949. Pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Indians, he compiled a lifetime 44-48 career record with a 4.07 ERA and 436 strikeouts. Brissie later became an MLB scout with the Dodgers and Braves, and then director of the American Legion baseball program. His biography, The Corporal Was a Pitcher, came out in 2009.
The All-America high school star from Turbeville and Olanta High started varsity baseball in the sixth grade and never lost a game in six seasons as a pitcher. He became a major league shortstop (1956-63) and – playing for the Boston Red Sox – four times led the American League in putouts, assists and double-plays. He also played for the Houston Colt .45s and Detroit Tigers, and finished his career with a .241 lifetime batting average.
Cline starred at Clemson (1956-60) as an outfielder and pitcher, and in 1960, the Hampton native collected All-ACC, All-Atlantic Region and All-America honors. In 1959, he helped the Tigers advance to the College World Series, and he played for the U.S. Pan Am team. He hit .335 for his college career, then played 12 years in the majors. He spearheaded two key victories for the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970 National League Championship Series, and also played for the Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos.
Born in Camden, Doby became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. The first black player ever to play in the American League, Doby led the AL in home runs in 1952 and 1954 (32 each year) and led the league in RBI in 1954 (126). He hit 253 home runs and batted .283 over his 13-year career, playing with the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. In two World Series, he hit .318 and in six All-Star Games, Doby hit one home run and batted .300.
Hilton Head native Dan Driessen played for five teams in his 15-year big-league career. He is best known as a member of the dominating Cincinnati Reds “Big Red Machine” of the 1970s. Driessen attended Michael C. Riley High (which did not have a baseball team) until his senior year. He then went to Hardeeville High which also did not have a team, but made a name for himself as a catcher with the town team, the Hardeeville Boll Weevils. Driessen was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 1969, and made his major-league debut at age 21 on June 9, 1973. In 1976, Driessen became the National League’s first-ever designated hitter in a World Series. He hit .357 with five hits (including two doubles and a home run) and two walks in 16 plate appearances as the Reds swept the series for their second consecutive World Series crown.
He was part of Cincinnati’s 1975 World Series-winning team in the Reds’ seven-game win over the Boston Red Sox. His most productive year was in 1977 when he hit .300 with 17 home runs and a career-high 91 runs batted in along with a career-high 31 stolen bases. Driessen led all National League first basemen in fielding three times and also led the NL in walks with 93 in 1980. Driessen also played for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Wofford College football standout scored 56 points in 1928 to lead the state and was named to the All-SIAA team and was Wofford’s first-ever team MVP. The first Wofford athlete elected to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1961, Finney led the Terriers to their first winning record in football since 1919 with a 7- 1-1 mark. After earning a degree at the Medical College of Virginia, he returned to practice medicine in Spartanburg for many years.
The Converse-born pitcher (1954-64) complied a career 54-51 record for the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, but is probably best known as much-traveled manager Billy Martin’s pitching coach for five different clubs, including three different stints with the New York Yankees. One of Fowler’s most famous protégés was Ron Guidry, who captured the Cy Young Award in 1978.
This Manning native became a star athlete and coach at Presbyterian College and enjoyed a fine major league career (1921-26), hitting for a career high .324 in 1922 and compiling a .264 career average as a starting shortstop with the Philadelphia A’s. He later suited up for the Detroit Tigers, but his career ended prematurely when he suffered a fractured skull in batting practice. He later scouted for the Reds, A’s and Braves.
The upstate native starred in the All- American Girls Professional Baseball League (made famous in the 1992 film, A League of Their Own) from 1944-47. “Tommie” played for the World Series championship team Milwaukee Chicks in 1944 and played in the National Girls Baseball League from 1948-51.
Roberto Hernandez is the most successful athlete USC Aiken has ever produced as he enjoyed a 17-year career pitching in the major leagues. Hernandez transferred to USCA from the University of Connecticut in 1986. After changing from catcher to pitcher and in his one season as a Pacer, Hernandez posted a 10-2 record with 97 strikeouts in 94 innings. At the plate, he belted 19 home runs and led USC Aiken to an appearance in the NAIA College World Series. In 1986, Hernandez was named an NAIA All-American, All-World Series Team member and the NAIA Area 7 player of the year.
He was selected with the 16th pick in the first round of the 1986 draft by the California Angels. For his professional career, he was a two-time All-Star, pitched in 1,010 games, had a 67-71 record, 3.45 ERA, 945 strikeouts and 326 saves. Hernandez began his career with the Chicago White Sox, staying with them for seven years (1991-97). He then spent time with the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers. When Hernandez retired in 2007, he ranked in the top 15 all-time in career saves and was one of only 11 pitchers to have pitched in 1,000 or more major league games.
The Columbia native compiled a 118-101 record as a major league pitcher from 1937-50. The two-time All-Star (1940 and 1946) led the National League in strikeouts in 1940 and in victories in 1941 with a 22-9 record. He recorded a .648 winning percentage against first-division teams while with the Brooklyn Dodgers. After retiring, he returned to Columbia to coach the Post Six American Legion team from 1957-60.
Horton coached baseball at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High for 45 years and owns the most wins by a South Carolina public high school baseball coach (889-261). His teams tied a national record of eight consecutive state titles from 1974-81 and posted additional titles in 1986, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2008 and 2009. Coach Horton’s teams also won four Lower State crowns (1982, 2005, 2007 and 2010). He was named the state coach of the year in 1979 and 1982, and served as the 1985 South Head Coach in the state’s first all-star game. He was the American Baseball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 1997 and the 1993 National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year. He was recognized as South Carolina High School Sports Report’s statewide Coach of the Year in 1992, ’95 and ’08. Horton was honored with the Region III Coach of the Year honors by the NHSAC in 1987, 1993 and 1997 while The Greenville News also recognized him as their coach of the year in 1986 and 1992.
The Columbia product became a fire-balling major league pitcher with a career 98-68 record and a 3.66 ERA. In 1983, he went 24-10 for the Chicago White Sox and won the American League Cy Young Award. In 1985 with the San Diego Padres, he started the All-Star Game and won the game’s MVP Award. He twice led the American League in wins (1982, 1983).
"SHOELESS" JOE JACKSON
Born in Greenville, Jackson started as a mill team player and starred for 13 years in the major leagues. He hit for a .356 career average and played in the World Series in 1917 and 1919 with the Chicago White Sox. Most baseball historians consider him to be among the game’s all-time greatest hitters. He received his famous nickname after playing the second game of a minor league doubleheader in Anderson in his stockings because a new pair of spikes had given him blisters in the first game. In 1921, a Chicago jury acquitted him of aiding a fix to the 1919 World Series, but the baseball commissioner went against the court’s decision and banned Jackson and seven other White Sox players for life. The ban has kept him out of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Veteran former players and fans alike have called the ban an injustice and campaigned to end it. His legendary 48-ounce, 36-inch bat, “Black Betsy,” sold in 2001 for $577,610 at auction.
An All-ACC pitcher from Huntsville, Ala., and designed hitter in 1982 for Clemson, Key moved to a storied major league career from 1984-98, with a 186-117 record, and a lifetime 3.15 ERA. He earned All-Star honors four times, and helped the Toronto Blue Jays capture the 1992 World Series.
After a standout career at the University of South Carolina where he pitched from 1974-77 and recorded a career mark of 15-3 including College World Series appearances in 1975 and ’77, Ed Lynch was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 22nd round of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft. After three years in their farm system, the Rangers sent him to the New York Mets where he debuted on August 31, 1980. Lynch enjoyed a career year in 1985 when he went 10–8 with a 3.44 ERA in a career-high 191 innings pitched. The Mets traded him to the Chicago Cubs in 1986 and he remained with the Cubs through the 1987 season before retiring.
After his playing career, he attended the University of Miami School of Law in his hometown and graduated in 1991. Using his law degree and prior baseball experience, he served as the Director of Player Development for the San Diego Padres and later became the Assistant General Manager of the New York Mets. He eventually returned to the Windy City and became the General Manager of the Cubs from 1994-2000. As the GM of Chicago’s storied National League team, Lynch hired Don Baylor in 1999, becoming the first African-American manager in the Cubs’ history. Lynch arrived on the USC campus on a basketball scholarship and was signed by Coach Frank McGuire.
ELIZABETH "LIB" MAHON
The Greenville native and two-time all-star (1946 and 1949) in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League twice led the league in RBIs and ranks fourth all-time in AAGPBL career RBIs with 400.
The Richburg native became a defensive whiz at shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns from 1940-55. He led the National League in fielding three times, made seven All-Star teams and won the 1944 National League MVP Award.
JAMES "PEPPER" MARTIN
The Furman University football, basketball and baseball star (1938-41) made All-State in three sports and All-Southern Conference in baseball. He later played five years of minor league baseball.
The four-sport athlete at Columbia’s Olympia High shined in baseball and basketball at Spartanburg Methodist College and Furman University (1970-71), and enjoyed an 11-year major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs and a long coaching career in professional baseball. While playing basketball at Furman, he was named the 1971 Southern Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander from Harrisburg, Pa., recruited to USC as a football player, put together an overpowering baseball season as a senior in 1977, going 14-0 and winning the honor as college baseball’s most valuable player. The Chicago Cubs selected Martz in the first round of the 1977 MLB draft, the No. 12 selection overall. He pitched for the Cubs from 1980-82, with his best year coming in 1982 with an 11-10 record. For his four-year MLB career that included time with the Chicago White Sox (1983), he compiled a 17-19 record with a 3.78 ERA.
A graduate of Charleston’s Bishop England High, Meyer was a 2002 All-American at USC and was the first-round pick in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft by the Texas Rangers. He played three seasons at South Carolina (2000-02) before beginning a nine-year career in professional baseball highlighted by a stint in 2006 with the Texas Rangers. The 2000 and 2002 teams at South Carolina that Meyer played on won SEC Championships, with the 2002 squad reaching the College World Series and earning national runner-up honors. The shortstop was named a 2002 second-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Collegiate Baseball. He was named a third-team All-American by Baseball America. He twice was named All-SEC, including a first-team selection in 2002. He was the first player in Carolina history to start 75 games in a season.
In his first year at Clemson, Shane Monahan produced one of the most successful rookie seasons in college baseball history. He was selected as a first-team Freshman All-American after he established six Tiger first-year records.
His hit total led the ACC and his .372 batting average was third-best in the league. As a sophomore, he was named first-team All-America by Baseball America, ABCA and NCBWA, an All-ACC selection and MVP of the ACC Tournament.
He totaled 137 hits, the most in the nation and just five shy of the all-time national record. In 1995, Monahan was selected ACC player of the year after batting .394 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI. He led the Tigers to victory at the NCAA East Regional and to the College World Series, where they finished the season with a No. 8 final ranking. Monahan became the first player in ACC history to be named league MVP, MVP of the ACC Tournament, MVP of an NCAA Regional and first-team All-America. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 2nd round (33rd overall pick) of the 1995 draft and enjoyed a two-year (1998 and 1999) major league career.
VAN LINGLE MUNGO
The Pageland native who never lost a high school game pitched for 14 years in the major leagues (1931-45) and compiled a career 120-115 record with 16 saves. In his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger, he struck out 12 batters, and he led the National League in strikeouts with 238 in 1937. He later played with the New York Giants and his name is used as the title of a song by Dave Frishberg.
LEWIS NORMAN "BOBO" NEWSOM
Newsom came out of Hartsville to pitch 20 years in the major leagues for nine teams, appearing in more than 600 games with a lifetime 211-222 record, often times laboring for poor clubs. The 6-foot-3 colorful character referred to everyone – including himself – as “Bobo” (“Bobo pitched a good game today.”) He led the American League in strikeouts in 1942, and four times led the league in games started and twice in complete games. He was a four-time All-Star and won 20 or more games three times. For his career, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics, New York Yankees and New York Giants.
A left-handed pitcher from Whitmire who played for Clemson, O’Dell made All-Southern Conference in 1952 and 1953 and All-American in 1954, and pitched a no-hitter against USC. He also played three years of football for Clemson before his outstanding major league career in which he never spent a day in the minors. The MVP of the 1958 All-Star Game pitched in the 1962 World Series for the San Francisco Giants and compiled a lifetime 105-100 record and 3.29 ERA from 1954-67.
One of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history, Gaylord Perry left his mark on the Limestone College (now University) baseball team, the city of Gaffney, and Cherokee county. As the program’s founder and first head coach, he guided the Saints for four seasons and compiled an 81-57 (.587) mark with three 20-win seasons. A five-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young Award winner during his 22 seasons in the big leagues, Perry retired with 314 career wins, 3,534 strikeouts, and a 3.11 earned run average. He pitched for eight major league teams and was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Perry became the first player ever to win the Cy Young Award in each league, winning with the Cleveland Indians (1972) and with the San Diego Padres (1978).
In 1988, he started the baseball program at Limestone and promptly guided the Saints to a respectable 17-21 mark in that inaugural season. His teams posted winning records in each of the following three seasons while the 1990 team still holds the school record for the highest single-season winning percentage (.697). He mentored three All-NAIA District 6 selections, including Tracey Sanders who was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 1990 draft. As part of developing the Limestone program, Perry helped secure the funding for the baseball field.
Rhem starred in baseball for Clemson in 1922 and 1923, and left college after his junior year to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had an impressive junior season that caught the eye of scout Branch Rickey. In 1923, Rhem had a 7-2-1 record and completed nine games. He had a total of 136 strikeouts for a 15.1 per game average, and also had a pair of one-hit games that season and gave up only 40 hits all year, or 4.4 hits per game. In a contest against Furman on April 30, 1923, Rhem had 21 strikeouts and gave up only five hits in 13 innings with the game ending in a 3-3 tie. He gave up only six runs the entire year and had a 0.57 ERA with four shutouts. Rhem played for St. Louis from 1924-28, then again from 1930-32 and in 1934 and 1936. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1932-33, and the Boston Braves from 1934-35. He helped the Cardinals win the 1926, 1931, and 1934 World Series and the 1928 and 1930 National League pennants. In 1926, Rhem had a 20-7 record for the Cardinals. In 12 seasons in the big leagues, he had a 105–97 record with a 4.20 ERA and more than 1,500 strikeouts. He was 20-7 with a 3.21 ERA with the Cardinals in 1926, his best season. He struck out 16 batters in the game and made it in Ripley’s Believe It or Not by not allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield.
The Anderson product became an All-Star with the Boston Red Sox (1974-89), winning the American League MVP Award in 1978. He batted .298 for his career, hit 382 home runs and led the AL in homers three times. Rice was an eight-time All-Star, twice captured the Silver Slugger Award and twice led the league in RBI. He earned induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Sumter-born, slick-fielding second baseman for the New York Yankees during the Mantle and Maris era, Richardson played in seven World Series and seven All-Star Games from 1955-66, batting for a career .266 average. In 1960, he was the World Series MVP (from the non-winning team) and set the series record with 12 runs batted in. In his seven World Series with the Yankees, Richardson hit for a .305 average. Richardson coached USC (1970-76) to a 220-91-2 record, took the Gamecocks to three NCAA playoffs, and finished second in the nation in 1975 with a 51-6-1 mark. He later coached at Coastal Carolina College and Liberty University.
The Spartanburg native hit .285 over a long major league career (1947-56), was named an All-Star four times, and won the 1953 American League Most Valuable Player Award when he hit 43 home runs and drove in 145 runs. He was a member of the Cleveland Indians his entire career, and was part of the Indians’ 1948 World Series winning team. Twice the American League’s home run leader and twice the AL RBI leader, he later became a front-office executive with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants.
Small lettered from 1972-75 and is second all-time in career home runs in school history with 48 in his four-year career, and held the career home run record until 2008 when it was broken by current MLB player Justin Smoak.
During those four seasons at South Carolina, the Gamecocks went 155-45-2 including a 51-6-1 record in 1975 to finish as National Runner-Up to Texas at the College World Series, the first-ever appearance by the Gamecocks in Omaha. Small was a two-time All-American, having earned second-team honors in 1974 as well as first-team honors in 1975. He hit .360 his junior season with 17 homers and 65 RBI and did even better his senior year with a .390 average with 19 homers and 66 RBI. Along with being second in career home runs at USC, he ranks all-time in RBI (184), total bases (433) and hits (245).
In 1978, he led the International League with 25 home runs and 101 runs batted in, while hitting .289 and making the All-Star team. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves.
CHARLE "CHINO" SMITH
Charles “Chino” Smith, from Antioch, S.C., attended Benedict College in Columbia. He played six seasons in the Negro Leagues and his .423 career batting average is the best in league history.
Smith played against iconic Black stars and future Hall of Famers such as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Oscar Charleston. He did this two decades before Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color line.
He holds the distinction and record of being the only professional player in any league at any level of play to have a career batting average of over .400. During his career with the Philadelphia Giants (1924), Pennsylvania Red Caps (1925), Brooklyn Royal Giants (1925-27, 1931), New York Lincoln Giants (1929-30), he established himself as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Smith, an outfielder who stood 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds, also was nicknamed “Scrappy” for his aggressive, often pugnacious style. He was a line drive hitter who could hit the ball to all fields, an excellent drag bunter and rarely struck out. He led the Negro American League in home runs (23), batting average (.464) and outfield assists (14) in 1929.
Smith played well in “barnstorming” games against major leaguers and hit .335 in Cuba’s famed winter ball circuit. He was particularly stellar in games at Yankee Stadium, where the Brooklyn Royal Giants played when Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the rest of the Yankees were on road trips. Smith was listed No. 16 on the Sports Illustrated list of the “50 Greatest Sports Figures” of the 20th century from South Carolina.
The Smithfield-born USC football and baseball standout played in the major leagues as a catcher from 1908-15. The Camden native also ranked as a six-goal polo player, and coached The Citadel’s first football team in 1905.
A Cameron native, Spiers journeyed to Clemson (1985-87) to become first-team All-American and an All-ACC baseball star. He punted for the Tigers’ football team before embarking on a 13-year major league baseball career, which he concluded with a .271 batting average. Primarily an infielder, Spiers made versatility a prime ingredient of his resume that included stints with the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets and Houston Astros.
The power-hitting center fielder played most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, and led the American League in home runs in 1979 (tied with Reggie Jackson) and 1982. Over his 13-year career, Thomas belted 268 home runs and drove in 782 runs. The James Island native and James Island High star hit more homers between 1979 and 1982 than anyone else in baseball, and played in the 1981 All-Star Game.
Tolleson starred in football and baseball at Spartanburg High and Western Carolina University, and played 10 seasons of Major League Baseball (1981-90). In high school, he made the Shrine Bowl football team as a senior and became a standout wide receiver at WCU where he led the nation in pass receptions in 1978. In the same school year, he collected Southern Conference honors as the league’s best baseball player and overall athlete of the year. As a major league infielder, Tolleson batted .241 for his career and had a .972 fielding percentage while playing for the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. He enjoyed his best season in 1985 when he batted .313 and stole 21 bases for the Rangers and finished his career with a .241 average and a .972 fielding average. While with the Yankees, he won the New York Press Association’s “Good Guy Award” in 1987.
FRITZ VON KOLNITZ
The Charleston native played football and baseball at USC (1911-13) and played in 115 major league games from 1914-16 with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox.
Hailing from Pacolet, White played (with fellow SCAHOF member Marty Marion) for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1940-43, going 17-7 in 1941 and pitching a crucial complete-game shutout against the New York Yankees in the third game of the 1942 World Series. After the Cardinals completed their series victory, White took three years off to fight in World War II (including the Battle of the Bulge), and returned to pitch for the Boston Braves from 1946-48. In a seven-year career, White recorded an overall 30-21 pitching record and 2.78 ERA. He served as general manager of the Columbia Reds minor league team.
A four-year baseball letterman at The Citadel who was an All-State performer, Wieters, a native Charlestonian, was twice named South Carolina Player of the Year at two different positions and was a third-team All-American as a designated-hitter. Wieters earned Academic All-America citations and was twice named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year (1976 and 1977). He helped the Bulldogs to a 77-40 overall record and a 35-18 SoCon mark during his career.
He led The Citadel in hitting three consecutive years, paced the team in wins two straight seasons and captured the Senior Class Sportsmanship Award in 1977. At the plate, Wieters had a .343 career batting average that spanned 117 games, 431 at bats with 11 homers, 84 RBI and a .391 on-base percentage. On the mound, he pitched in 35 career games, started 28, marked an 18-10 record with two saves and 15 complete games, three shutouts, and a 2.10 ERA with 176 strikeouts to 85 walks.
Wieters played minor league ball for the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox organizations, and his coach, Chal Port, a member of the SCAHOF, stated that Wieters “was the best player I ever coached.”
The speedy, Bamberg-born switch-hitter starred at Bamberg High and Spartanburg Methodist College, then led USC to the 1977 College World Series before moving to a major league career that culminated in a 1986 World Series title with the New York Mets. (The famous “Buckner Ball” – the grounder that famously rolled under Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner’s glove in Game 6 – was hit by Wilson.) Over his 12-year career, Wilson compiled a .274 average with 327 stolen bases. He also coached for the Mets for a number of years.