PROSPECT LEAGUE HALL OF FAME
Prospect League: DuBois County Bombers (2011)
Inducted into Prospect League Hall Of Fame In 2018
The Prospect League is proud to announce pitcher Sean Manaea as the league's inaugural Hall of Fame inductee.
Manaea pitched for the DuBois County Bombers in 2011 and was named the league's top prospect following the season.
The Wanatah, Ind., native started nine games, collecting a 2.88 ERA and a 2-3 record. Manaeastruck out 59 batters, while allowing 40 hits and walking 27 over 53 innings on the season. He threw an eight-inning one-hitter, striking out seven, against the Nashville Outlaws July 10, 2011.
"Being selected is an honor," said Manaea. "The Prospect League helped get me where I am today. The People that I met were amazing and the experiences I had got me ready for professional baseball."
"I loved my time with the Bombers and wouldn't trade that for anything," Manaea added.
Manaea went on to pitch in the Cape Cod League the following season, earning a spot on the West All-Star team and "Most Outstanding Prospect" honors. Manaea went 5-1 with a 1.21 ERA that summer, striking out 85 batters in 51 2/3 innings while walking seven and allowing just 21 hits.
Prior to his junior season at Indiana State University, Manaea was named a Preseason All-American and added to the National Pitcher of the Year watchlist.
With a fastball reaching 97 miles per hour, Manaea was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the first round with the 34th overall pick in the Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft in 2013. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2015 and made his Major League debut April 29, 2016, against the Houston Astros.
PROSPECT LEAGUE ALUMNI IN NATIONAL & COLLEGE BASEBALL HALLS OF FAME
Central Illinois Collegiate League: Peoria Pacers (1969), Springfield Capitals (1970)
Inducted into National Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1995
(National Baseball Hall of Fame bio)
“If you could equate the amount of time and effort put in mentally and physically into succeeding on the baseball field and measured it by the dirt on your uniform, mine would have been black,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt was a second-round pick out of Ohio University in 1971, one pick after George Brett was selected by the Royals. Signed by legendary Phillies scout Tony Lucadello, Schmidt didn’t spend long in the minors, making his major league debut on Sept. 12, 1972. He took some lumps as a rookie in 1973, hitting just .196 in 132 games. But Schmidt turned things around in a hurry – making the All-Star team in 1974 and never looking back. Schmidt was a 12-time all-star during his career.
Home runs were Schmidt’s calling card at the plate. He led the National League in homers eight times during his career and his 48 home runs in 1980 set a since-broken Major League record for third basemen. On April 18, 1987, Schmidt became the 14th member of the 500 home run club and finished his career with 548.
Along with the power, Schmidt also led the National League in walks four times and retired with a .380 on-base percentage.
In the field, Schmidt was a graceful defender at third base and occasionally the Phillies’ emergency shortstop. He led all NL in assists seven times and double plays six times.
Schmidt was a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and won six Silver Slugger Awards. He was voted the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1980, 1981 and 1986.
The Phillies won the World Series in 1980, beating the Royals in six games, and Schmidt was named World Series MVP. It was the first World Series championship in franchise history.
Schmidt was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995.
Central Illinois Collegiate League: Quincy Gems (1981)
Inducted into National Baseball Hall Of Fame in 2001
(National Baseball Hall of Fame bio)
Few men have played the game of baseball with the youthful enthusiasm of Kirby Puckett. His ever-present smile, leadership skills and outgoing personality made him a fan-favorite in Minnesota.
His clutch skills on the diamond made him one of the best all-around players in the game.
“Kirby Puckett is the kind of player you hope and dream that your franchise will have,” said Andy MacPhail, former general manager of the Twins. “He does everything on the field to help you win, and what he does in the clubhouse and the community is remarkable.”
Born on March 14, 1960 in Chicago, just a mile from Comiskey Park, Puckett was the youngest of nine children. An All-American third baseman in high school, Puckett received no baseball offers following graduation. After a free agent tryout, Puckett eventually earned a baseball scholarship to Bradley University, later transferring to Triton College.
Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1982 as the third overall pick in the January Draft, Puckett raced through the minor leagues and made his big league debut on May 8, 1984, recording four hits in his big league debut. He would hit .296 in 128 games that year and finish third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
In 1986, Puckett added power to his game, belting a career-high 31 home runs while earning the first of six Silver Slugger Awards. In 1987, Puckett led the AL in hits with 207 while helping the Twins win their first World Series title, hitting .357 in Minnesota's seven-game victory over the Cardinals. He paced the AL in hits again in 1988 and 1989, leading the league in total bases in 1988 (358) and batting average in 1989 (.339).
In 1991, Puckett led the Twins back to the postseason, winning ALCS MVP honors after hitting .429 to lead Minnesota past the Blue Jays. In the World Series, Puckett's performance in Game 6 became part of baseball history. He robbed the Braves' Ron Gant of an extra base hit with a leaping catch at the Metrodome's center field wall in the third inning, then gave the Twins a 3-2 lead with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly. And with the game tied at three in the bottom of the 11th inning, Puckett homered to give the Twins a win and force Game 7 – where Minnesota would win on the strength of Jack Morris' 10 shutout innings.
“He never had a bad day,” said fellow Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. “I don’t care how bad things were going on or off the field, Kirby found a way to make you laugh. He was a breath of fresh air in this game.”
A six-time Gold Glove Award winner, Puckett was named to 10 consecutive All-Star teams from 1986-1995 and was named MVP of the All-Star Game in 1993. He finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting seven times during his 12-year career.
Puckett’s career was cut short because of retina damage in his right eye, ending his playing days following the 1995 season. He finished with a .318 batting average, 414 doubles, 207 home runs and 1,085 RBI in 1,783 games.
Puckett was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001. He passed away on March 6, 2006.
Central Illinois Collegiate League: Galesburg Pioneers (1972)
Inducted into National College Baseball Hall Of Fame in 2011
(College Baseball Hall of Fame bio)