College baseball has a nascent Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas. (It’s just as logical a place as Cooperstown, N.Y., when you think about it.) The first class of inductees was installed last year on July 4, and this year’s second class includes 11 players and coaches as well as four figures from the pre-World War II era (i.e., before there was a College World Series).
The inductees included coaches Jim Brock (Arizona State), Chuck “Bobo” Brayton (Washington State), Bibb Falk (Texas), Jerry Kindall (Arizona) and Dick Siebert (Minnesota), in addition to standout former players Jim Abbott (Michigan), Pete Incaviglia (Oklahoma State), Fred Lynn (Southern California), John Olerud (Washington State), Phil Stephenson (Wichita State) and Derek Tatsuno (Hawaii).
There were no huge surprises; all those guys deserve to be honored, and it’s good to see Tatsuno and Stephenson, who had relatively insignificant professional careers, put in. This Hall should be and is about college baseball, and what they do as pros really shouldn’t (and thankfully doesn’t) matter.
Professionalism obviously does matter, though, and that’s why it’s so good to see Kindall honored. I’ve been fortunate to get to know Coach Kindall some over the years through his broadcast work, first for CBS at the CWS, then for Team USA, and also through his continued involvement in the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Jerry Kindall embodies a lot of the best things about college baseball. He was a winner as a player for Siebert at Minnesota, hitting for the cycle in Omaha while helping the Gophers win the 1956 national championship. After a nine-year big league career, he went into coaching and won three titles at Arizona (1976, ’80, ’86).
That he had a Hall of Fame career is easy to see. I just want to make sure BA readers know what a Hall of Fame man Kindall is.