Randy Boyd helped ensure the continued operations of the Johnson City Cardinals when Boyd Sports assumed management of the team in 2016 and gave roughly $400,000 in investments to the Cardinals' baseball facilities, including an artificial turf infield, party deck pavilion, locker room upgrades, on-line ticketing system and concessions renovations. Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business, and was appointed interim president of the University of Tennessee in September 2018. Boyd Sports operates the Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Reds, and Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League and the Double-A Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League.
The purpose of the Appalachian League Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals for their accomplishments and/or contributions to the League on the field of play or in an executive or an administrative capacity. This shall include but not necessarily be limited to: players, managers, coaches, umpires, and team and league executives. Entry into the Appalachian League Hall of Fame shall be made available to anyone previously or currently associated with the league regardless of the duration of the association, beginning with the 1957 season.
Players must be retired from active roster status from all classifications of professional baseball for a minimum of two full seasons before becoming eligible. All non-playing candidates are eligible at any time.
The primary, but not exclusive, consideration for nominating, selecting, or voting individuals to the Appalachian League Hall of Fame shall be their accomplishments and/or contributions to the League. The totality of an individual's career in whatever capacity may be taken into consideration.
Hall of Fame plaques shown here are shared with permission from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Boyce Cox is credited with keeping baseball in the city of Bristol after being named president of the Bristol franchise in 1983 and working as General Manager until the time of his death in 2007. He was named the Appalachian League Executive of the Year multiple times and was honored by the city of Bristol by officially naming the Bristol facility as "Boyce Cox Field at DeVault Memorial Stadium." Cox was a first baseman in the Appalachian League in 1943 and 1946 for the Bristol Twins, serving in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and 1945.
Chauncey DeVault was President of the Appalachian League from 1947-79. In 1979, the National Association presented him with the George Trautman Award for outstanding service to baseball. The Bristol stadium is named in his honor, as "Boyce Cox Field at DeVault Memorial Stadium." He was named King of Baseball in 1969.
Bobby Floyd was the Kingsport Mets manager from 1987-88, winning the 1988 Appalachian League Championship and Manager of the Year honors. Floyd, currently a Senior Advisor for the New York Mets, has spent 55 years in the Major Leagues and Minor Leagues as a player, manager, or coach, 34 of which have come in the New York Mets organization. Floyd played seven years (1968-74) in the Major Leagues for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals.
David Hagan is the owner of Calfee Park Baseball and is credited with bringing the New York Yankees affiliate to the small, rural community of Pulaski. Hagan and the Shelor Automotive Group purchased Calfee Park from the Town of Pulaski in 2014 to ensure baseball would remain in Pulaski and have since invested more than ten million dollars in renovations to the ballpark facilities, field, team, and hotel where the players stay. Under Hagan's leadership, the Pulaski Yankees have led the Appalachian League in attendance each year since 2015 and were recognized with Minor League Baseball's John H. Johnson President's Award in 2019 and the Bob Freitas Award for the Short Season classification in 2016.
Bill Halstead was President of the Appalachian League from 1982-95. He played for the Kingsport Cherokees in 1947, appearing in 43 games. He played an additional seven seasons in the Mountain States League, making the All-Star team five straight years. Halstead served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46 before attending Appalachian State where he earned four letters in football and two in baseball.
Jim Holland served as General Manager of the Princeton, WV Appalachian League franchise for 24 years, earning the League's Award of Promotional Excellence five times and being named Appalachian League Executive of the Year in 1993. He created the Mercer Cup in 1992, a trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Princeton-Bluefield regular season series. In 2015, he received the Appalachian League President's Award for his long-term service to the game. He was the Corporate Secretary for the Appalachian League from 2002-12 and a former member of the League's executive committee.
Andruw Jones began his professional career with the Danville Braves in 1994, where he batted .336 with 48 hits in 36 games. He went on to play 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, during which he was a five-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, Silver Slugger Award winner and Hank Aaron Award winner for the National League. He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2016.
Lee Landers served as President of the Appalachian League from 1996-2018, earning multiple awards during his tenure, including King of Baseball (2017), the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a Minor League President (2001), and the Bowie Kuhn Award from Baseball Chapel (2008). Under his leadership, four Appalachian League teams were honored with the Bob Freitas Award for the Short Season classification. Landers' career in professional baseball began in 1959 in Fresno and included a 12-year tenure with Springfield (IL) during which he was named Vice President of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986.
George McGonagle, a former Air Force Veteran, has been club President in Bluefield since 1988 and has been with the organization since 1951. He was General Manager for Bluefield from 1995-2007, and has since served three stints as the Interim GM. In 2012 he was honored as the King of Baseball and has been named Appalachian League Executive of the Year three times, as well as leading Bluefield to recognition of the Bob Freitas Award for the Short Season classification in 1996.
Scott Niswonger is credited as one of the main individuals responsible for bringing Minor League Baseball to Greeneville, TN, contributing $9.5 million to Tusculum University athletic facilities in 2004 to attract professional baseball. Niswonger, co-founder of Landair Services and founder of Forward Air Corporation, is also the Chairman of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville and established the Niswonger Educational Foundation in 2001 to create opportunities for individual and regional growth through educational programs, scholarships, and other charitable activities. Mr. Niswonger is a member of the Presidents Executive Council at Purdue University and also the Deans Council for Purdue as well as a Chairman of Purdue Aviation. He also serves on various Boards throughout the region at the collegiate level.
Ray Smith has been manager of the Elizabethton Twins since 1987, amassing 1403 wins and a .612 winning percentage. He has led Elizabethton to nine Appalachian League championships and has been named Appalachian League Manager of the Year seven times. Smith played in the Appalachian League in 1977 before appearing in 83 Major League games with the Minnesota Twins from 1981 to 1983.
Miles Wolff brought the Burlington franchise to the city of Burlington in 1986. Under his leadership, the organization was recognized with the Bob Freitas Award for the Short Season classification in 1996 and has won the Appalachian League Promotional Trophy five times and the Community Service Award in 2017. Five different General Managers have been recognized as the Appalachian League Executive of the Year for a total of eight honors during Wolff's tenure as President. Wolff was selected as the 79th most important person in baseball history by John Thorn and Alan Schwarz in the eighth edition of Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia and the 8th best owner in sports by ESPN 25, a history of the network.
Pitched and served as DH for Johnson City in 2001. Had a .638 slugging percentage with 10 HR and 35 RBI in 105 at-bats. Went 5-3 in 14 games pitched, striking out 158 in 87 innings. Named Rookie Level Player of the Year, Appalachian League All-Star left-handed pitcher, Rookie League All-Star starting pitcher, Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year, and Appalachian League All-Star designated hitter. Ankiel is the only player other than Babe Ruth to both start an MLB postseason game as a pitcher and hit a home run in the postseason as a position player.
Served as the general manager of the Bluefield Baseball Club, Inc. for 37 years. Before the arrival of the Orioles in 1957, he was the General Manager for teams of the Red Sox and Braves organizations. Over the years, he assumed the majority of the responsibilities associated with baseball operations, including running the front office, overseeing the concessions and assisting with field maintenance. When player contracts were handled locally, Fanning helped sign major league all-star Boog Powell to his first professional baseball contract.
Born in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Dale started his professional umpire career in the Appalachian League. Dale worked 25 years as an MLB umpire from 1974 until 1999. He umpired two World Series and three MLB All-Star games. He also worked numerous MLB playoffs and league championships. In addition, Dale served 3 terms in TN House of Representatives and is an Army Veteran. Each year, a top-rated umpire in the Appalachian league receives the Dale Ford Umpire Award.
Played for Bluefield in 1967. Won 4 gold gloves, was a 6-time MLB All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award in 1981, when he led the AL in HR. Played in 2008 MLB games with 1833 hits, 1033 runs, 320 2B, 47 3B, 224 HR & 104 SB. Finished his career with a .266 BA, .424 OBP, 125+ OPS & an 8.3 WAR, the best in AL history. In 1973, led all 2B in fielding % at a .9947 with five errors, 509 assists, 431 putouts & 130 double plays turned and started all 162 games. Grich led the AL in 1973-75 in assists, putouts & DP's turned. Member of both the Angels and Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.
Played for Johnson City in 1971. Went 2-2, with 2.11 ERA in 47 IP and 61K. Pitched 14 years in MLB, going170-91 with a career ERA of 3.29 and 26 SHO. 1,778 career Ks. Won Cy Young in 1978, going 25-3. Named MLB player of Year in 1978. Won 5 Gold Gloves and was 4-time MLB All-Star. Won Roberto Clemente Award in 1984. Won 2 ERA titles. New York Yankees retired his #49 and he is a Monument Park honoree at Yankee Stadium.
Lenny was a perennial fixture for the Bluefield Orioles as the first base coach from 1984-2010. While in Bluefield, he was awarded the Herb Armstrong Award for significant contributions to baseball and the Orioles organization. Member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Awarded Cal Ripken Sr. award for player development in 2007. Was a mainstay in minor league baseball for 57 years. Coordinated Bluefield's player appearances and community service projects, with players required to participate in community events every day club was in town.
Played for Pulaski in 1985, hitting .245 in 66 games with 10 HR and 46 RBI. Named NL Rookie of the Year in 1990, when he hit .282 with 28 2B, 28 HR and 78 RBI. Justice is a two-time World Series champion, an ALCS MVP in 2000, three-time MLB All-Star, and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2007.
President of Elizabethton Twins Baseball Commission for 25 Years (1993-2018), serving as team Chaplain entire time. Instrumental in gaining political support needed for facility improvements at Joe O'Brien Field, including an irrigation system, new restrooms, new stadium lighting system, new dugouts and batting cage facility, new stadium drainage system, new outfield wall and stadium fencing, and new stadium entrance. Was a fixture at the stadium to fans, scouts, coaches and players as he was known for his hospitality, professionalism and love of the game.
Served as the General Manager of the Elizabethton Twins for 20 years, from 1999-2018. Named Executive of the Year four times (2001, 2005, 2006, and 2011) and won Appalachian League Promotional Award twice (2003 and 2014). Served several seasons on League Executive Committee, won Appalachian League Community Service Award in 2017. Served as Baseball Chapel Representative and member of the Baseball Chapel Advisory Board for numerous seasons. Oversaw a $2.3 million renovation to the home clubhouse and a renovation to umpire's room and visiting clubhouse.
Served as vice president of Burlington Baseball Club, Inc for 23 years (1995-2018). During this time, staff claimed 8 League Executive of the Year Awards and club won Bob Freitas Award for Short Season. Appalachian League corporate secretary from 1995-2001 and on the league's executive committee for several seasons. Began Minor League Baseball career in 1987. Has been involved with clubs in Charleston, SC; Springfield, IL; Watertown, NY; Fayetteville, NC and Butte, MT. In 2018, the Kansas City Royals presented him with the Matt Minker Award for dedication and leadership. On January 1, 2019, he became Appalachian League President.
Played for Kingsport in 1974. Played 18 seasons in MLB. Won two NL MVP Awards (1982 & 1983). Named to 7 MLB All-Star Games. Won 4 Silver Slugger Awards and 5 Gold Glove Awards. He has earned several honors because of his integrity, character and sportsmanship including the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1985), "Sportman of the Year" (1987), Roberto Clemente Award (1988), Bart Giamatti Community Service Award (1991) and World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame (1991 Induction). Member of both Oregon and Georgia Sports HOF. Atlanta Braves HOF and his #3 are retired by Atlanta.
Played for Wytheville in 1961. Lead all organized baseball with .410 BA. In 249 AB, struck out only 22 times. Played in 64 games, hitting 10 HR with 81 RBI. Year later was in MLB playing for the Minnesota Twins (1962-76). A member of the Twins initial HOF class in 2000. Had No. 6 retired by Twins on 7/14/91. Statue unveiled at Target Field on 4/8/11. Eight-time MLB all-star, AL Rookie of the Year in 1964. Gold Glove winner in 1966. 3-time AL Batting Champion. Only on-field team member to appear in all three Twins World Series: player in 1965, hitting coach in 1987 and bench coach in 1991.
Played for Wytheville in 1960. Minnesota Twins Farm Director and Appalachian League Director 1986-2012. Long-time member of league's Executive Committee. From 1971-1985, he was Twins assistant minor league director. During his career, he developed generations of home-grown players that contributed to the Twins World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Winner of the inaugural Sheldon "Chief" Bender award in 2008 for his distinguished service in player development. Inducted into Minnesota Twins HOF in 2007.
Played for Martinsville in 1993. National League Rookie of the Year in 1997. Named to seven MLB All-Star Games. Won eight Gold Gloves. Won Silver Slugger Award in 2002. Member of St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame (2019). On June 15, 2011, he became the fourth third baseman ever to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs and 1,200 RBI, along with Mike Scmidt, George Brett and Chipper Jones.
Born in Bristol, Virginia, Jim managed Danville to a 41-25 record and first place finish in 2004. Coached Bluefield from 2007-2009 and served on the Board of Bristol Baseball for two years. Spent more than 50 years in professional baseball, all but three at the minor-league level. Was an MLB coach with Chicago Cubs (1975-76) and Oakland Athletics (1979). From 1973-2004, he managed the Angels, Cubs, Yankees and Braves organizations.
Managed in Johnson City for three seasons (2009, 2010 and 2011), winning championships in 2010 and 2011. Named both Appalachian League and St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Manager of the Year in 2010. Won the George Kissell Award for excellence in player development in the St. Louis organization. Managed AAA Memphis for two seasons before being named St. Louis Cardinals quality control coach in 2017. St. Louis Cardinals manager: 2018-present. Named NL Manager of the Year in 2019.
Played in 42 games for Bristol in 1975. By 1977, was in Detroit playing for Tigers where he remained through 1995. Named American League Rookie of the Year in 1978, hitting .285 with 71 runs and .381 OBP. Five-time MLB All-Star. Won four Silver Slugger Awards. Won three Gold Gloves. One of only 19 players to hit a baseball over the roof of Tiger Stadium. Detroit Tigers scheduled to retire his No. 1 at an Aug. 29, 2020 ceremony in Detroit.
Played for Kingsport in 2001, hitting .300 with seven doubles, four home runs, 17 runs batted in and nine stolen bases. Served as New York Mets captain from 2013-18. Was a seven-time National League All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time Sliver Slugger recipient. Holds the Mets franchise record for hits (1,777), RBI (970), runs scored (949), doubles (390), total bases (2,945), extra base hits (658) and walks (762).
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1999, Orlando Cepeda played for Salem in the Appalachian League in 1955. He followed his time in the Appy League with 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, where he hit 379 home runs, held a career .297 batting average, was an 11-time All-Star, won NL Rookie of the Year (1958) and was named the NL MVP in 1967. During his career, he led the National League in doubles in 1958 (38), home runs in 1961 (46) and twice led the NL in RBI (142 in 1961; 111 in 1967).
Dotty Cox joined the Board of Bristol Baseball, Inc., as a volunteer in 1984 and served as the team treasurer for 30 years. During this time, Dotty was a fixture at the ballpark. She and her husband, Boyce, volunteered their time handling all promotions, programs, merchandise, tickets, player housing, travel, meal allowance and community involvement. Due to her contributions to the team, the souvenir stand at Boyce Cox Field is named in her honor.
Mahlon Luttrell is in his 18th year as President of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Bristol Baseball, Inc., and has served as the general manager of the Bristol club since 2007. Over the past two years, the Bristol Club generated more than $940,000 in gift-in-kind charitable contributions under his volunteer leadership. He was instrumental in keeping organized baseball in Bristol, having met with elected officials in Washington, D.C. on multiple occasions to promote baseball in the Appalachian League. A member of the Tennessee Army National Guard for nearly eight years, he was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant, having served as a Tank Commander and Squad Leader. He was elected to the Bristol, Tenn., City Council in 2019 and was elected to serve as Mayor in July of 2020.
Joe Mauer began his professional career in 2001 with Elizabethton, where he hit .400 in 32 games. He followed with 15 seasons with the Minnesota Twins where he finished his career with a .306 batting average. He was a six-time MLB All-Star, earned Silver Slugger honors five times, won three Gold Gloves, is the only catcher to win three batting titles and was the second catcher to win the AL MVP in over 33 years when he received the award in 2009. On Aug. 27, 2018, Mauer set a Twins franchise record by playing his 832nd game at catcher. Minnesota later retired his uniform number, 7. He also represented Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in 2013.
On May 13, 1952, while pitching for Bristol, Ron Necciai struck out all 27 batters in a 7-0, no-hitter victory. He is the only pitcher in history to strike out all batters faced in a nine-inning professional game. In his next start, he struck out 24 batters and gave up just two hits. Necciai finished the 1952 season with 109 strikeouts in 43.0 innings for Bristol. He later became a member of the United States Air Force before receiving his medical discharge.
Jimmy Rollins played in Martinsville in 1996 and later spent 17 years in Major League Baseball. He was named the NL MVP in 2007 after leading the league in runs scored (139) and triples (20). Rollins won a Silver Slugger award, earned four Gold Gloves and was a three-time MLB All-Star. Additionally, he was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 2014 due to his community involvement and philanthropy, which he continues to this day. He established the Johari and Jimmy Rollins Center for Animal Rehabilitation in New Jersey, and he holds the annual BaseBOWL, a charity bowling tournament to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Rollins also represented Team USA twice in the World Baseball Classic. His uniform number, 11, is left out of circulation by the Philadelphia Phillies in his honor.
Leyland began his managerial career in the Appalachian League with the Bristol Tigers in 1971 at age 26, guiding the team to a 31-35 record. He served as a coach for the Chicago White Sox from 1982-85. He garnered National League Manager of the Year honors with Pittsburgh in 1990 and ‘92, and was named AL Manager of the Year with Detroit in 2006. Leyland managed 3,499 MLB games for the Pirates, Marlins, Tigers and Rockies, recording 1,769 wins in 22 MLB seasons. He is the only manager to win a World Series (Marlins, 1997) and World Baseball Classic (2017, USA) title. In 2017, Leyland was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
Drafted by Cleveland in the first round (20th overall) of the 1998 MLB Draft, Sabathia made his professional debut that season in Burlington, N.C., at age 17. He went 1-0 in five starts, striking out 35 in 18 innings. Sabathia compiled a career record of 251-161 with 3,093 strikeouts in 19 MLB seasons for Cleveland, Milwaukee and New York (AL). He received six All-Star selections and was a three-time Warren Spahn Award winner (given annually to baseball’s best left-handed pitcher). Sabathia won the American League Cy Young Award with Cleveland in 2007 at age 26, going 19-7. He was the 2009 ALCS MVP and won a World Series title with the Yankees that season.