LANSING, Mich. - Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb and the 1959 Hamtramck Little League World Series Champions comprise the 2017 class of the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
The induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 15th, prior to the Lansing Lugnuts/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The greatest player in Detroit Tigers history, Ty Cobb's career batting average of .366 still stands as the Major League Baseball record. The Georgia Peach starred for 22 years with Detroit, spending the last six as a player-manager. Cobb was noted for his aggressiveness, his fearlessness, and his skill at the plate and on the bases. He amassed 4,189 hits and 897 stolen bases in his career, winning the 1909 Triple Crown, the 1911 American League MVP Award and 12 batting titles, including nine in a row from 1907 to 1915. Cobb regularly set atop the league leader board, seven times leading the Majors in hits and scoring over 100 runs in 11 separate seasons. When the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced its first class in 1936, Cobb was the leading vote-getter, topping Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.
Led by Art "Pinky" Deras, the 1959 Hamtramck Little Leaguers steamrolled into Williamsport and then defeated Puerto Rico (5-0), Hawaii (7-1) and California (12-0). It remains the only time a Michigan team has won the Little League World Series. Deras pitched 75 scoreless innings in Hamtramck's 13-game run to the title, capping a season with 10 no-hitters, 16 shutouts and 298 strikeouts in addition to a .641 batting average and 33 home runs. Two years later, Hamtramck captured the 1961 Pony League World Championship, winning 29 straight games between the two tournaments. Reporter John Beauge, who covered every Little League World Series dating back to 1957, ranked Hamtramck as the fourth-greatest LLWS champion in the history of the tournament in a 2014 article.
The inductees were determined by a vote of a special Hall of Fame committee: Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster and Michigan State University alum Joe Block, longtime Western Michigan University baseball coach Fred Decker, longtime umpire Mark Ditsworth, WLNS TV 6's Fred Heumann, Detroit Tigers broadcaster Mario Impemba, former University of Michigan head baseball coach Rich Maloney, WILX TV 10's Tim Staudt, the MHSAA's Mark Uyl and Detroit Tigers scout Clyde Weir.
To purchase tickets to the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame event or for more information, stop by the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, call (517) 485-4500 or visit lansinglugnuts.com.
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