California League Announces Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

January 20, 2016 8:58 PM

San Jose, CA- The California League announced it's inaugural Hall of Fame class with George Brett representing the San Jose franchise. Brett, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, spent the 1972 season with the San Jose Bees before a 21-year major league career.

The California League is celebrating its 75th anniversary season in 2016. Founded in 1941, the league has produced 19 Hall of Famers, 16 MVP winners, 19 Cy Young recipients and 32 Rookie of the Year awards. Over 2,600 former California League players have reached the major leagues.

The league announced a 14-player inaugural Hall of Fame class. Additionally, a 15th player will be selected via an online fan vote during spring training that includes former San Jose Giant Bill Mueller as well as current San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy. The league will host a Hall of Fame celebration on June 21 in Lake Elsinore prior to the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. 

Brett is the only former San Jose player to have been selected to the inaugural California League Hall of Fame class. As a 19-year old in the California League, Brett hit .274 for the Bees (a Kansas City Royals affiliate) in 117 games. He led the team with 68 RBI's and was tied for second with 10 home runs. Brett debuted in the major leagues with the Royals a year later. 

Brett spent all 21 of his major league seasons with Kansas City. His 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in history and 16th all-time. Brett finished his major league career with a .305 batting average and 317 home runs. He is one of only four players in major league history with 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and a .300 batting average. Brett was a 13-time All-Star and the 1980 American League MVP. He won a World Series with the Royals in 1985. Brett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 - the only former San Jose player to have achieved the honor.

In addition to Brett, the inaugural California League Hall of Fame class includes: Jose Cruz, Jr. (Lancaster), Don Drysdale (Bakersfield), Ken Griffey, Jr. (San Bernardino), Rickey Henderson (Modesto), Reggie Jackson (Modesto), Sam Lynn (Bakersfield), Pedro Martinez (Bakersfield), Xavier Nady (Lake Elsinore), Vada Pinson (Visalia), Gary Sheffield (Stockton), Bob Talbot (Visalia), Fernando Valenzuela (Lodi) and Omar Vizquel (Salinas).

The San Jose Giants will honor George Brett during a home game this season with several promotions planned surrounding the night. Be sure to visit sjgiants.com in the coming weeks for the entire action packed 2016 promotional schedule. 

The San Jose Giants 2016 season begins Thursday, April 7 at Municipal Stadium against the Lancaster JetHawks. Ticket packages are on sale now. For more information, visit sjgiants.com or call (408) 297-1435.

 

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