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Barons Hall of Fame

Class of 2005

Lorenzo "Piper" Davis

A four-time Negro League East/West All-Star, Davis played for the Birmingham Black Barons from 1942-1950. He served as a player/manager from 1948-1950.

Willie Mays

One of the greatest all-around players in baseball history. Mays began his career with the Black Barons and played in Birmingham from 1948-1950. The owner of 660 career HR and a .302 lifetime average, Mays played in a record-tying 24 All-Star games and four World Series. At age 17, he competed in the final Negro League World Series as a member of the Black Barons.

Carlton Molesworth

After he began his Barons career as an outfielder in 1906, which included a Southern Association championship, Molesworth managed Birmingham from 1908-1922. Molesworth became a three-time single-season hits leader for the Barons as a player and continued his success in the managerial realm. He won 1,908 games as a manager and guided the Barons to a pair of Southern Association titles in 1912 and 1914.

A.H. "Rick" Rickwood

The owner of the Barons from 1910-1937, Woodard helped build historic Rickwood Field, which represented the first concrete and steel stadium in the minor leagues at the time. The Barons won five championships during the "Woodward Era", which marks the most during that time.

Class of 2006

Art Clarkson

After five seasons without baseball, the sport returned to the Magic City in 1981 thanks to the efforts of Clarkson, who engineered the move of the Montgomery Rebels to Rickwood Field. As the owner of the Barons, he provided the vision and the drive for the team's move to state-of-the-art Regions Park in 1988.

Terry Francona

A future Major League Manager, Francona became one of the most successful managers the Barons organization has seen since the franchise's inception. Francona guided the club from 1993-1995 and earned Southern League Manager of the Year and Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year in 1993. In addition, Baseball America labeled him as the Top MiLB Managerial Prospect in 1994. Birmingham won the Southern League crown in 1993 under Francona's watch.

Wayne Martin

A longtime Barons beat writer for The Birmingham News, Martin covered the team from 1971-1996. Martin earned induction into the Alabama Sportswriter's Association Hall of Fame in 2006, which marked its first inductee since 2003. Marting holds the distinction as one of just two journalists to cover every day of Michael Jordan's career with the Barons. He served as the Barons' official scorekeeper, in addition to his beat responsibilities, during the early-1990s.

Rondal Rollin

One of the most fearsome sluggers ever to don a Barons uniform, Rollin earned team MVP honors in 1985 and 1987. His 39 home runs during the 1987 season remains a Barons single-season record.

Class of 2007

Joe Drake

At the time of his passing in 2008, Drake was the longest-serving member of the Birmingham Barons staff after he began his tenure with the team in 1953. The Barons renamed the ticket office in Drake's honor during the 2009 season.

Walt Dropo

As part of his lone season with the Barons in 1948, Dropo led the team to a Dixie Series victory after he recorded a co-team-high .359 average. Among his many Barons highlights included a 467-foot home run in the 1948 Dixie Series. Dropo earned American League Rookie of the Year distinction with Boston in 1950, which represented the first of his 12 seasons in the majors.

Reggie Jackson

Jackson led the entire Southern League in runs (84) and triples (17) in 1967, and also paced the squad with 26 doubles, 17 stolen bases, and one hit-for-the-cycle. The future "Mr. October" went on to hold a 21-year career in the Major Leagues. He clubbed 563 home runs, claimed American League MVP in 1973 and earned selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Norm Zauchin

Zauchin began his professional career in 1950 with the Barons and set a Rickwood Field record with 35 home runs (a record which stood until 1987).

Class of 2008

Rollie Fingers

After he earned a Southern League title in 1967 with the Birmingham A's, Fingers led the 1968 squad with a 10-4 record and added 93 strikeouts with a 3.00 ERA. He debuted with Oakland later that year, which launched a 17-year career. It culminated with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Rubin E. Grant

A Birmingham print journalist legend, Grant covered the Barons for 22 years as a writer for the Birmingham Post-Herald chronicled the early careers of several future big-leaguers, including Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas, and Robin Ventura. After he left the Post-Herald in 2004, Grant began covering the Barson as a freelance writer for The Birmingham News.

Burleigh Grimes

In 1914, Grimes helped the Barons to their third Southern Association title and paced the 1915 team with 158 strikeouts. The 1916 season marked his most-prominent as a Baron as he led the team to wins (20), games (40), and innings pitched (276). Grimes earned selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

Leroy "Satchel" Paige

Perhaps the most well-known Negro League player of all-time, Paige began his four-year stint in Birmingham in 1927 with an 8-3 mark. After a storied Negro League career, he became MLB's oldest rookie of all-time (42) in 1948 and became the first Negro Leaguer inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Class of 2009

Sam Hairston

The patriarch of the Hairston family, Sam Hairston played in the Negro Leagues from 1945-1950 and won the league's Triple Crown in 1950. He became the first American-born black player to don a Chicago White Sox uniform in 1951. Hairston returned to the Barons as a coach in 1985 and remained with the team until he passed away in 1997.

Harry Hardin "Zipp" Newman

"Zipp" was the dean of Southern Sportswriters. The youngest sports editor in the history of the Birmingham News at 25 years old, Newman spent 44 years as the official scorer of the Southern League. In 1969, he helped found the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Harold Josepth "Pie" Traynor

At the age of 22, Traynor hit .336 and collected 37 stolen bases as a member of the Barons during the 1921 season. He went on to hit .320 in 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and became the first third baseman elected to the Hall of Fame in 1948.

Glenn West

West began his baseball career as the manual scoreboard operator at Rickwood Field in 1948 and later became the Birmingham Barons general manager form 1964-1965. He returned as the Birmingham A's general manager in 1968 and oversaw the desegregation of Rickwood Field. He is famous for convincing A's manager Gus Niarhos to convert Rollie Fingers from a starter to a reliever.

Class of 2010

Ray Caldwell

Caldwell's big-league career was well behind him by the time he pitched for the Birmingham Barons after suited up for 12 seasons with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians. He complied a career record of 134-120 with a 3.22 ERA throughout his MLB career. The native of Croydon, Pennsylvania, pitched until 1933 at the age of 45.

Eddie Glennon

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Glennon had a way with the fans who flocked to Rickwood Field from the time he took over as the Barons general manager in 1946 until he left following the 1961 season. Glennon's innovative style made the game more fan-friendly and targeted previously overlooked sectors of fans.

Frank Thomas

The Big Hurt, as he came to be known during the 19-year Major League Baseball career which saw him hit .301 with 521 home runs, cemented himself as one of the most feared hitters of his era. Thomas' uncanny combination of power and average led him to five MLB All-Star teams and back-to-back MVP seasons in 1993 and 1994. Thomas earned selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Robin Ventura

Considered by many to be ne of the most-prolific college hitters of all-time after he posted a record 58-game hitting streak in 1987, the Chicago White Sox selected Ventura with the 10th pick of the 987 First-Year Draft.

Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf was the President and General Manager of the Barons during the 1992-1998 seasons. The Barons led the league in attendance in four of his seven seasons. He was named Southern League Executive of the Year in 1994. He guided the organization during the famous Michael Jordan year when the Barons became one of the most visible teams in all of sports. He felt every baseball game was an opportunity to make a special memory for fans, and he helped create enduring promotions such as Used Car Night, 25-Cent Hot Dog Nights and The Rickwood Classic. He also helped bring other attractions to the Hoover Met, including the SEC Baseball Tournament, Hoover High Football games and a banquet facility. Prior to coming to the Barons, Bill was the Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Southern California from 1985-1991. After leaving baseball, he served as the CEO of a Birmingham company and a nonprofit organization.

Class of 2011

Elliot Bigelow

The prolific outfielder played for the Barons in 1927-1928 and led the team to the 1928 Southern Association Championship. In his two seasons with the club, Bigelow enjoyed great success and paced the Barons in several categories, including home runs in 1927 (19) and a .395 average in 1928.

Roy Majtka

Majtyka compiled a record of 1832-1747 over a 27-year managerial career, including three seasons with the Barons in 1981 and 1983-1984. Under his direction, the Barons captured the 1983 Southern League Championship after they compiled a record of 91-54 during the regular season. Majtyka also spent three years as a coach for the Atlanta Braves from 1988-1990.

George "Mule" Suttles

Fondly referred to as "Mule", George Suttles was one of the most feared hitters in Negro League history and crushed 237 home runs over 19 seasons. Twenty-five home runs came during a three-year span while he played for the Birmingham Black Barons. In addition to his prodigious power, Suttles also owned a career .321 average and posted a .428 clip in 1926 with the Black Barons.

Class of 2012

Bob Scranton

Over a 40-year period, Scranton went from traveling secretary to concession manger to part-owner of the Birmingham Barons. He joined the Barons in the 1940's and became part of Art Clarkson's ownership group, which proved instrumental in returning the Barons to Birmingham in 1981.

Alf Van Hoose

A longtime sportswriter who covered the Barons with The Birmingham News for 43 years, including 21 as a sports editor and 10 as a featured columnist, Van Hoose attended the University of Alabama before he was drafted for duty in 1942 during World War II. After the war, he returned to Alabama and begun working for The Birmingham News in 1947. Throughout his career, he covered the Birmingham Barons and Southeastern Conference football, as well as other national sporting events. Van Hoose earned induction into the Alabama Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Artie Wilson

Wilson played for the Birmingham Black Barons from 1942-1948 and earned All-Star selection as a shortstop four times from 1944-1948. During Wilson's time with the Black Barons, the team won the league championship in 1943, 1944, and 1948, and advanced to the Negro League World Series each time. Wilson batted .402 throughout the 1948 regular season. Wilson is credited as the last player in a top-level league to bat over .400.

Class of 2013

Bert Campaneris

Hit .321 over two seasons with the Barons from 1963-1964 when the team was affiliated with the Kansas City A's. Known as the "Road Runner" Campaneris hit .325 with 25 stolen bases and 11 triples for the Barons during the 1964 season. A six-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion, he also led the American League in stolen bases six times and still holds the A's franchise record for games played (1,795), hits (1,882), and at-bats (7,180).

Jimmy Piersall

Piersall played outfield for the Barons in 1951-1952 and hit a combined .345 with 16 home runs. He batted .346 in 1951 and tallied 15 home runs, 30 doubles, and 12 triples in 121 games. Piersall enjoyed a 17-year MLB career, made two All-Star teams and won two Gold Glove Awards. After retirement, Piersall launched his broadcast career in 1974 and served as the voice of the White Sox from 1977-1981.

Curt Bloom

The longest-tenured radio broadcaster in Barons history joined the organization prior to the 1992 season. "CB" has spent 26 years (and counting) behind the mic for the Barons, including 21 of the 25-seasons at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Bloom was the broadcaster during the 1993, 2002, and 2013 championship seasons and has twice been named the Southern League Broadcaster of the Year. He has been the team's broadcaster for all 18 Rickwood Classic games, as well as Michael Jordan's famous season with the Barons in 1994.

Ben Cook

A lifelong contributor to Birmingham baseball, Cook worked as the public address announcer at Rickwood Field in the late 60's and early 70's. He later started and hosted the WJOX radio show "Triple Play" from 199-2002. Cook also served as a sports columnist for the Birmingham Post-Herald from 2002-2005, founded the Triple Play Club and wrote the book "Good Wood", which chronicled the history of Rickwood Field.

Class of 2014

Joe Grzenda

Grzenda pitched for the Barons during five separate seasons, which started with a 17-7 record for the 1958 championship team. He bookended his Barons career with another title and went 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 52 relief appearances for the Barons during the championship year of 1967, which marked his last with the club. Grzenda finished his Barons career with a record of 31-15 and a 3029 ERA over 126 appearances, including 53 starts. His career spanned 18 years with several stops in the majors for eight different teams. He owned a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage over eight major-league seasons and pitched in 219 MLB games.

Johnny Dobbs

Dobbs managed the Barons from 1925-1929 and posted a record of 437-323, which included three consecutive 90-plus win seasons from 1927-1929. The dominant stretch included a franchise-record 99 wins in 1928 and back-to-back championships in 1928-1929. After they fell in their first Dixie Series appearance to Houston in 1928, Dobbs and the Barons capped off the 1929 season with a Dixie Series victory against Dallas. Dobbs is one of just two managers in franchise history to win multiple league titles, joining fellow Barons Hall of Famer Carlton Molesworth.

Mike Cameron

Cameron played for the Barons during portions of the 1995 and 1996 seasons. In a stellar 1996 campaign, Cameron hit .300 with 28 home runs, 34 doubles, 12 triples, 77 RBI, 39 stolen bases, and a team record 120 runs scored in 123 games. After the season, Cameron earned First Team Minor League All-Star Outfielder distinction by Baseball America. The Chicago White Sox also named him their Minor League Player of the Year. Cameron retired from baseball following the 2011 season and capped a 17-year career which saw him win three Gold Gloves Awards and play in the 2001 MLB All-Star Game. Cameron is one of just 16 players in MLB history to hit four home runs in one game after he accomplished the feat as a member of the Seattle Mariners on May 2nd, 2002.

Gabby Bell

Forever known as the "Voice of the Birmingham Barons" Bell served as the team's play-by-play broadcaster during the Southern Association's glory years starting in 1948 and spanning into the late 1950's. He helped form a 38-station network in four states for Barons broadcasts and later worked on television in Kentucky and South Florida after he departed Birmingham in 1960. Bell's booming golden tones brought Barons games to fans throughout the southeast and provided the backdrop for Barons baseball during one of the sport's iconic era's.

Class of 2015

William Greason

A member of the Birmingham Black Barons from 1948-1951, Greason went on to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954. Greason, a 29-year old t the time, became the first black pitcher to take the mound for the Cardinals. He spent six-to-seven weeks with the big-league club and retired as a member of the Cardinals farm system in 1959. The right-hander's career spanned more than 12 years. Greason resides in Birmingham and is the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church Berney Points.

John McNamara

McNamara managed the Barons in 1965 and 1967 and claimed a championship under the newly-formed Southern League un his final season in Birmingham. In the Barons' first season back at Rickwood Field after a two-year absence, McNamara led Birmingham to a 84-55 record and helped capture the championship by three and a half games. McNamara broke into the majors in 1969 with Oakland and spent two seasons with the A's. During his 19-year career, McNamara also managed in San Diego, Cincinnati, California, Boston, and Cleveland.

Doug Segrest

Segrest entered the Barons Hall of Fame as a decorated member of the media. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Segrest covered the Barons for 13 consecutive seasons before he left The Birmingham News after the 2012 season. Segrest earned the Southern League Sports Writer of the Year honor three times and won Alabama Sports Writer of the Year in 2012.

Bo Landreth

Landreth become the first bat boy elected the Barons Hall of Fame with his induction in 2015. He worked as a full-time bat boy from 1991-1995 and spent five more seasons as a part-time bat boy after the 1995 season. During his time in the dugout, Landreth worked with skippers Terry Francona and Tony Franklin. Through the help of Francona, Landreth made his big-league debut with the Chicago White Sox on September 17th, 1995 at Comiskey Park. He went on to make appearances with the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox while Francona was the manager.

Class of 2016

Don Heinkel

Named the "Most Valuable Pitcher" from the 1983 Southern League Championship-winning Barons. Heinkel went 19-6 during the regular season with a 3.39 ERA and 13 complete games in 30 starts. Listed at six feet and 185 pounds, the right-handed Heinkel struck out 113 hitters in 2001.1 innings pitched. He threw two complete games for the 1983 Barons, whose 57 wins at home remain a franchise record, and added a pair of playoff wins as Birmingham secured the Southern League title. Heinkel accumulated a 25-16 record over 49 starts from 1982-1985. He threw 18 complete games in 328.1 total innings and posted 190 strikeouts with a career 3.54 ERA with Birmingham.

Class of 2017

Craig Grebeck

A two-year member of the Birmingham Barons, Grebeck compiled 133 RBIs from 1988-1989 before his promotion to Class-AAA Vancouver in 1990. Grebeck went on to play in 752 MLB games across parts of 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins, Anaheim Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox before his retirement following the 2001 season. He eclipsed the 500-hit plateau during the 2000 campaign.

Class of 2018

Mike Raita

A multi-time Emmy Award-winner throughout his longtime broadcasting career, Raita served as the voice of the Barons for 28 seasons. Raita's tenure with the Barons began in 1989 and he went on to win numerous Associated Press Awards for his reporting, which included the full production of a series centered on a Barons road trip during the 1993 season. Raita was a member of the television broadcast for Michael Jordan's first home game as a Baron in 1994.

Billy Bancroft

A native of Livingston, Alabama, Bancroft suited up for the Barons from 1930-1933 and helped the franchise reach the Dixie Series Championship twice. Bancroft fell just two hits shy of the 1,000 mark throughout his playing career, which spanned 10 seasons and 982 games. In addition to his accomplishments on the diamond, Bancroft served in World War II and coached football at Howard College from 1935-1939. Bancroft is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (1974).

Class of 2019

Wally Backman

Backman became manager of the Birmingham Barons in 2002 after a nine-year major league career while playing for the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Seattle Mariners. While with the Barons Backman led the Barons to a 79-61 record, and a Southern League title. During his two-year stint with the Barons, Backman had a winning record of 152-125.

Joe Crede

After being drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 MLB draft, Crede made his way to Birmingham during the 1999 season. During the 1999 season, Crede played in 74 games and recorded a .251 batting average, 73 hits, 14 doubles, four home runs, and 42 RBI's. After a brief stint with the Chicago White Sox in 2000, Crede returned to Birmingham where he proceeded break his previous high's in Birmingham. Following the conclusion of the 2000 season, Crede ended with a .306 batting average, 163 hits, 35 doubles, 21 home runs, and 94 RBI's. Crede enjoyed a nine-year MLB career with the White Sox and Minnesota Twins.