Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
The Arizona Fall League, regarded throughout professional baseball as the "graduate school" for the Major Leagues' top prospects, has had over 1,200 players who came through the league reach the Majors. In addition, 18 former Fall League managers/players have gone on to manage a Major League club. With such a high number of talented players and managers to choose from, the selection of the Hall of Fame inductees is difficult. To qualify for consideration for this prestigious honor, a player must have achieved recognition at the Major League level as a Rookie of the Year, a league MVP, an All-Star or a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Award winner. Players meeting these criteria are placed on the AFL Hall of Fame ballot for consideration by the AFL Selection Committee, comprised of baseball executives who have participated in the Fall League's growth over the past 14 years. This year three more AFL alumni will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame: Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano, Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay and Dodgers manager Grady Little. "This year's three inductees epitomize the contributions the Arizona Fall League is making to Major League Baseball," offers long-time baseball executive Roland Hemond, the "Architect of the Arizona Fall League" who chairs the AFL Hall of Fame selection committee. "Roy Halladay, Alfonso Soriano and Grady Little all catapulted to Major League prominence after developing their skills in Arizona." Here are the inductees of the AFL Hall of Fame, listed by year: 2001 Nomar Garciaparra
The Boston Red Sox shortstop played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994. He went on to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1997, and won batting titles in 1999 and 2000. Derek Jeter
The Yankee shortstop and captain played in the 1994 AFL season for the Chandler Diamondbacks and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1996. He won both the All-Star Game and World Series MVP Awards in 2000. Mike Piazza
Piazza was a part of the first AFL class, in 1992, playing for the Sun City Solar Sox. He became the first of 10 AFL alumni to win Rookie of the Year honors, earning the NL award in 1993. The perennial All-Star won the Midsummer Classic's MVP Award in 1996. Dusty Baker
The first manager enshrined in the AFL Hall of Fame, Baker got his managerial feet wet with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1992. The following year he took the helm of the San Francisco Giants, the team he guided to the 2002 World Series before leaving to take over the Chicago Cubs. 2002 Jason Giambi
Giambi played on the 1994 AFL champion Peoria Javelinas. He has gone on to win the AL MVP in 2000 with the Oakland A's and wsa just the ninth player in MLB history to increase his batting average in six or more consecutive seasons. Jerry Manuel
Managing in 1994, Manuel led Maryvale to an Eastern Division crown. He served as Felipe Alou's third base coach from 1991-96, then was Jim Leyland's bench coach on the 1997 World Series-winning Florida Marlins. He took over as the Chicago White Sox' skipper in 1998. 2003
Green spent time with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1993. He spent his first full season in the majors in 1995 and has since gone to two All-Star Games, won a Gold Glove and hit 40+ homers three times.
Helton played for Peoria in 1996. He finished second to Kerry Wood in NL Rookie of the Year voting and has hit well over .300 ever season in his career, driving in 100 or more runs for five consecutive seasons. Mike Scioscia
Scioscia skippered the Peoria Javelinas to a championship in 1997. The team set an AFL record with a .317 batting average and led the AFL that season in ERA. After one season of managing in the Pacific Coast League in 1999, Scioscia took over as manager of the Anaheim Angels in 2000, leading them to a World Series Championship in 2002. 2004
Anderson played for the 1993 Tempe Rafters as a standout outfielder. In 2003, Anderson became the first player ever to win the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game Most Valuable Player at the same Midsummer Classic. He also led the Angels to the 2002 World Series Championship.
Pujols played for the 2000 Scottsdale Scorpions as a stellar third baseman. He has been selected to the Major League All-Star Game multiple times and has finished in the top five in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player voting in each of his first four seasons. Tony Peña
Peña managed the Maryvale Saguaros club in 2000. The team was comprised of top prospects from the Astros, Brewers, Expos, Phillies and Yankees organizations. In 2003, Peña was named the American League Manager of the Year as skipper of the Kansas City Royals. 2005
Percival pitched for the 1992 Scottsdale Scorpions as a stellar closer. He holds the distinction of being the first former AFL pitcher to record over 300 saves at the Major League level. Percival was the first former AFL pitcher elected to the AFL Hall Of Fame.
Francona has served the AFL twice: First as a Coach of the 1992 Grand Canyon Rafters and his second stint as Field Manager of the 1994 Scottsdale Scorpions. His 1994 Scottsdale team showcased notable players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Randa, Michael Tucker and Michael Jordan. 2006
A four-time American League All-Star (2002-03, '05-06), Halladay, who hurled for the Grand Canyon Rafters in 1998, is the first AFL pitcher to win a Major League Cy Young Award. He joins Troy Percival as the only two pitchers in the AFL Hall of Fame. Halladay was the 2003 American League Cy Young winner.
Little managed the Grand Canyon Rafters during the Arizona Fall League's inaugural season of 1992 en route to becoming the first former AFL manager to win 1,000 games in the Minor Leagues. He has completed his 33rd year in professional baseball as a manager, coach, or player as the first-year manager of the Dodgers. He also skippered the Boston Red Sox in 2002-03. Little's 93 wins with the 2002 BoSox were the most by a rookie Major League manager since 1980. Alfonso Soriano
Soriano is the first AFL player to post a either a 40/40 or a 30/30 season (home runs/stolen bases) in the Major Leagues. Soriano made his U.S. professional debut in the 1998 AFL after signing with the Yankees. In 34 games for the Grand Canyon Rafters, he hit .254 with six homers and 28 RBIs. He was third in the AFL with 17 extra-base hits and fourth in RBIs. Soriano was named AFL Player of the Week twice. Soriano reached 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases in fewer games (929) than any player in baseball history. The five-time All-Star became the fourth player ever to reach the rarefied air of a "40/40" campaign in 2006, while also breaking the Nationals/Expos single-season franchise record for home runs in a season, previously held by Vladimir Guerrero.