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FSL reveals Hall of Fame inductees

Florida State League to honor Jeter, Pudge, Hurdle, Nelson
October 7, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Florida State League Hall of Fame Committee announced that Derek Jeter, Pudge Rodriguez and umpire Jeff Nelson will be among the 2011 Class of Inductees.

The 2011 Class of Florida State League Hall of Fame Inductees will be inducted on Nov. 2, 2011 at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla. Tickets for the 3rd Annual Event will be $75 per person. The cost of the ticket includes a reception, dinner, and the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. Dress is coat and tie. The ceremony is open to the public, and rooms will be available at the rate of $99 plus tax. If you contact the Plaza Resort and Spa at 1-800-329-8662, reservations are under the Florida State League Hall of Fame. The Florida State League can be contacted at 386-252-7479 for ticket information. Event will start at 6 p.m.

The 2011 Class is listed below with a short biography.


Gene Nelson - Gene was in the Florida State League in 1980 and won 20 games and lost three. His ERA was 1.97. He started 25 games and completed 16 with five shutouts. He pitched 196 innings and had 130 strikeouts. Pitched in the Major Leagues from 1981-1993. Gene was a key member of the ace relief staff of the Oakland Athletics from 1988-1990.

John Ivory Smith - In 1955 John was in the Florida State League and was 19-14 with a 3.66 ERA. He started 37 games and pitched 253 innings and struck out 320 batters which is the all-time strikeout record in the league .


Derek Jeter - Derek was the 1994 Florida State League Most Valuable Player and Minor League Player of the Year. He played 69 games in the Florida State League, had 13 doubles, eight triples, 39 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases. His batting average was .329. He has won 11 All-Star selections, five Gold Gloves, four Silver Slugger Awards, and was 1996 America League Rookie of the Year. In 2000, he was the MVP of the All-Star Game and World Series.

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriquez - Played in the Florida State League in 1990 with the Charlotte Rangers. In 109 games, he had 117 hits, 17 doubles, seven triples, and two home runs. His batting average was .287. He was voted to the Florida State League All-Star Team. In the Major Leagues, he had 14 All-Star selections, 13 Gold Gloves, and seven Silver Slugger Awards. Career .298 hitter with 309 home runs, and 1313 RBIs in 21 big league seasons.


Clint Hurdle - Clint directed the St. Lucie Mets to a 153-120 combined record in 1988 and 1989. In 1988, St. Lucie won the Florida State League Championship. In 1989, they won the playoff spot, but lost the championship. Clint is a former Major League outfielder, and former manager of the Colorado Rockies. He is currently the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and 2011 marks his 37th year in professional baseball.

Darold Knowles - Knowles was the pitching coach for Clearwater from 1991-1999 and is currently the pitching coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays. He has 16 seasons as a coach in the FSL and is best known as a member of the Oakland Athletics' bullpen in early 1970's. He's the only player ever to pitch in all seven games in one World Series and finished his career with 143 saves.


Warren Keyes - Warren was known as "Mr. Baseball," and worked as a business manager for several Major League Clubs in Class A. He will be long remembered as the business manager of the Daytona Beach Islanders. He was a lifelong member and past president of the Daytona Beach Kiwanis, involved with Meals on Wheels, Clothes for Kids, and Christmas Food Programs.

Bob Sowers - Bob bought the West Palm Beach Expos in 1977 and ran it until his death in 1985. Mike Moore, a past President of Minor League Baseball, called Bob a fascinating man. Sowers had been with one of the largest advertising agencies in the world in New York City, when he retired and bought the team in West Palm. It was considered his baby -- he had a very innovative mind, and talked a lot about the tremendous potential of the National Association, and what is should be, and could be if organized properly.

Chuck and Emo Murphy - Chuck has been the president of the league since his election in late 1989. During his tenure, the league established a Scholarship Program, Sports Turf Awards, and the Hall of Fame. The league is built on sound checks and balances, and is financially stable. Chuck has received the Warren Giles Award in 1991, and the Friends of Baseball Chapel Award in 1994.

Alongside has been his wife Emo, who as a baseball fan and executive has been a tremendous support and adviser. Emo is active in the office as a financial consultant, and is always available and willing to help. Chuck and Emo celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in October 2010.


Jeff Nelson - An umpire in the Florida State League in 1990-92, Nelson worked the playoffs and in 1992 was promoted to the Eastern League. He was named Top Prospect at the Joe Brinkman Umpiring School in 1989 and was promoted to National League prior to the 1999 season. Nelson is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the Major League's Umpire Union, the World Umpires Association.