WICHITA, KS The National Baseball Congress is proud to announce the 2015 Hall of Fame class. Six worthy inductees will be honored during the 81st NBC World Series, July 24th to August 8th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Since the inaugural Hall of Fame Class in 1991 the National Baseball Congress has chosen to recognize some of the great contributors to the NBC legacy. The 2015 class is comprised of; Emmett Ashford, Ron Gardenhire, Chris Hmielewski, Frank Leo, Gil Carter and John Braden.
Ashford, inspired by Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier as a player, became Major League Baseball’s first African-American umpire in 1966. Ashford umpired five seasons in MLB, including the 1967 All-Star game and the 1970 World Series. After his retirement from MLB, Ashford served as Umpire-In-Chief for the Alaska Baseball League in the early 70’s, then worked the NBC World Series for a couple of years.
Gardenhire managed the Minnesota Twins for 13 season, compiling a win-loss record of 1068-1039. He earned the AL Manager of the Year in 2010 after his team finished the season 94-68. Gardenhire played in the NBC World Series in 1977 and 1978 for Wichita (KS) Coors. Gardenhire also logged five years of MLB service as a short-stop and second baseman for the New York Mets.
Hmielewski is in his 10th year as the Director of Athletics at Southwest Minnesota State University. However, around Wichita, he?s known to have one of the best World Series performances ever. As a slugging first baseman and pitcher for Kenai (AK) Peninsula Oilers during the 1991 NBC World Series, Hmielewski smacked 8 homeruns, a record 25 RBI and 42 total bases.
This is Frank Leo’s 33rd season as manager for the Hays Larks. During his tenure, the Larks have won six NBC Midwest Regional titles, and eight Jayhawk League titles. Leo has coached the Larks in 23 trips to the NBC World Series. Finishing as Runner up in 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2007. Leo was inducted into Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Carter is known as the man who hit the longest homerun in organized baseball, a record 733 feet!!!! Carter helped the Wichita Rapid Transit Dreamliners to NBC World Series Championships in 1962 and 1963. Belting six homeruns during the 62′ World Series. In July, Carter will be inducted into the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame. Recently, his family was presented the Pride of Kansas Award by the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Braden, became the first manager to guide teams to five NBC World Series Championships with teams from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He racked up four straight from 1947 to 1950, with number five happening in 1956. A dominating run though the NBC World Series in the early years has earned him a place in the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame.
The 2015 Hall of Fame class will be inducted on six different nights during the World Series. The 81st National Baseball Congress World Series will be held in Wichita, KS on Friday, July 24th with a National Champion crowned on Saturday, August 8th. For more information visit www.nbcbaseball.com or call the NBC Office at 316-977-9400.