JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former Jacksonville Suns first baseman Andrés Galarraga, who was the 1984 Southern League Most Valuable Player and went on to play 19 major league seasons, will be inducted into the Southern League Hall of Fame this year, the Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced on Monday.
A panel of 20 voters chose the league's fifth induction class, which will also include Birmingham/Huntsville radio broadcaster Curt Bloom, Memphis outfielder and Birmingham manager Terry Francona, and Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays, who played for the Negro American League's Birmingham Black Barons in the late 1940s. The inductees will be celebrated at the 2018 Southern League All-Star Game June 19 in Birmingham, Alabama. Jacksonville is the only franchise with at least one representative in each of the first five Southern League Hall of Fame classes.
For Jacksonville in 1984, he led the team in runs (81), hits (154), home runs (27), RBI (87), batting average (.289) and slugging percentage (.508), with a league-best 271 total bases to be named Southern League MVP and precipitate his major league debut the next season.
In a 19-year MLB career from 1985 to 2004, Galarraga was a five-time All-Star with two Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards. He amassed 2,333 hits, a .288 career batting average and 399 home runs in the major leagues. He qualified with a .300 batting average eight times, including a .370 average to win the 1993 NL batting title. In 1988, he led the NL in hits (184), extra-base hits (79) and total bases (329). He hit 40 home runs in three straight seasons from 1996 to 1998, including an NL-best 47 in 1996. He also led the NL in RBIs in 1996 (150) and 1997 (140). He won MLB Comeback Player of the Year in 2000 after missing a season for cancer treatment. He reached the postseason five times, appearing for the Rockies (1995), Braves (1998, 2000) and Giants (2003).
Below is a list of previous Jacksonville inductees into the Southern League Hall of Fame:
Peter Bragan, Sr., Owner, 1984-2012
Randy Johnson, Left-handed pitcher, 1987
Peter Bragan, Jr., Owner, 1984-2015
John Shoemaker, Manager, 2001, 2005-07
Larry Ward, Broadcaster, 1981-84
Gabe Kapler, Outfielder, 1998.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp open the 2018 season presented by Community First Credit Union on April 5, in Jackson, Tennessee. The 2018 home opener is Wednesday, April 11, at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Season ticket renewals and new packages for the 2018 season may be reserved with a nonrefundable 25 percent down payment by calling a Jumbo Shrimp account representative at (904) 358-2846 or at the ballpark Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp offer affordable family fun at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Their inaugural season garnered the Southern League's Don Mincher Organization of the Year, Promotional Trophy, and Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year, won by General Manager Harold Craw. To experience the excitement with the terrific value of ticket and group options, call the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visit www.jaxshrimp.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.