For the past three years, the California League has inducted a Hall of Fame class to recognize individuals that have helped make it one of the premier Leagues in Minor League Baseball. The four honorees that will be inducted this year during the All-Star break in Lancaster, CA on June 19 are Roberto Alomar, Joe Morgan, Lenn Sakata and Larry Jackson. Half of this group, Morgan and Sakata, are part of Modesto's history.
Joe Morgan was a member of the Modesto Colts in 1963 and hit .263 with 21 steals in only 45 games. He was inducted into MLB's Hall of Fame in 1990. During his 22-year MLB career, Morgan was an All-Star 10 times, won five Gold Gloves, and two World Series rings as part of the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 and 1976. He was also named the NL MVP in those years.
Lenn Sakata was the Modesto A's manager in 1989, and the Modesto Nuts manager in 2012 and 2013. Sakata holds many Cal League managerial records including: Most wins (757), most years managed in the League (11), most consecutive winning seasons (8), most Cal League Championships (3), most Playoff Appearances (8), and most Playoff games won (33). In 2012, Sakata lead the Nuts to the California League Finals.
Of the 23 inductees over the three Hall of Fame classes, Modesto has been home to six of the individuals-topping the league with most inductees from an organization. The six individuals that set Modesto atop the organization list for most Hall of Fame inductees in the Cal League are as follows: Rickey Henderson (A's, '77); Reggie Jackson (Reds, '66); Dave Duncan (Reds, '66); Tony La Russa (Reds, '66); Joe Morgan (Colts, '63); Lenn Sakata (A's, '89; Nuts, 2012, '13).
The Cal League Hall of Fame is a virtual one on the league website: californialeague.com. The new class will be available to view on the day of the induction ceremony.