The National Baseball Hall of Fame's 2015 Induction Ceremony will take place Sunday with Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz being honored as the Hall's newest members.
Three of those players also spent time in the Pacific Coast League during their professional careers. Martinez developed his talents as a member of the Albuquerque Dukes from 1991-93, while Biggio and Johnson both called Tucson home during their PCL careers. Biggio played one season with the Tucson Toros in 1988, while Johnson toed the rubber for the Tucson Sidewinders in five rehab games between 2003-08.
Martinez owned a 10-9 record and 3.76 ERA in his three seasons with the Dukes. His best season came in 1992 when he won seven games, struck out 124 batters, and was named a PCL All-Star. He is the first former Triple-A All-Star to ever be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Following his time with the Dukes, Martinez went on to win three Cy Young Awards and compile 3,154 strikeouts over 18 years in the Major Leagues.
Biggio batted .320 and recorded 90 hits in 77 games for the Toros in 1988, while splitting time as a catcher and outfielder. He also swiped 19 bases that year, the fifth-highest total on Tucson's roster. Biggio's lone season in the PCL would be his last in the minors, as the Houston Astros called him up on June 26, 1988, and stayed with the club his entire 20-year career. He accumulated a franchise-record 3,060 hits with the Astros, and helped the team to it's first World Series appearance in 2005.
Johnson's PCL career spanned 26 innings, in which time he tabulated 22 strikeouts, 4.15 ERA, and one win during rehab assignments with the Sidewinders. That one win came against Salt Lake on April 19, 2007, as he held the Bees to two runs off six hits in six innings. Johnson started the Sidewinders' home openers at Tucson Electric Park in both 2007 and 2008, earning no decisions each time vs. Colorado Springs. In the majors, the Big Unit was a ten-time All-Star, won five Cy Young Awards, and ranks second all-time with 4,875 strikeouts.
The three Hall of Famers increase the PCL's alumni total in the National Baseball Hall of Fame to 57. They are also the first former PCL players to be enshrined in Cooperstown since Roberto Alomar (Las Vegas 1988/Tucson 2004) and Bert Blyleven (Edmonton 1992) in 2011.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.