Former Gastonia Rangers player Mike Hargrove, former Asheville Tourists manager Ray Hathaway and Frank Perdue, former President/CEO of Perdue Farms, are the Class of 2011 for the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame, as announced by league president Eric Krupa.
The three new inductees will be honored as part of the festivities surrounding the 52nd Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game, scheduled to be played on June 21, 2011, at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland, home of the Delmarva Shorebirds.
Hargrove led the Western Carolinas League with a .351 average and 160 hits in 1973 while playing for the Gastonia Rangers in the Western Carolinas League. Hargrove earned his way onto the Texas Rangers roster in 1974, and was honored as AL Rookie of the Year in his first of 12 seasons as a MLB player for the Rangers, Padres and Indians. After retiring as a player, Hargrove turned to managing. During his 16-seasons as a MLB manager (9 in Cleveland, 4 in Baltimore and 3 in Seattle), Hargrove won 721 games, five consecutive divisional titles (with Cleveland 1995-1999) and two AL pennants (with Cleveland in 1995 and 1997). Hargrove is currently a consultant with the Cleveland Indians.
Hathaway was the manager of the 1961 Asheville Tourists, champions of the South Atlantic League with an 87-50 record and considered to be the best team in Asheville history. Hathaway’s managerial career started in 1947 when he guided the Santa Barbara Dodgers to the California League championship series, losing to the Stockton Ports. He won the Ohio-Indiana League title as skipper of the Zanesville Dodgers in 1948. His other managerial stints include the Pueblo Dodgers in the Western League (1949-50, 1956-57), Asheville Tourists in the Tri-State League (1951, 1953-54), Newport News Dodgers in the Piedmont League (1953), Elmira Pioneers in the Eastern League (1955), Tri-City Braves in the Northwest League (1958), Columbus/Gastonia Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1959), Savannah Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1960), Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League (1961-64), Gastonia in the Western Carolinas League (second half of 1964), Raleigh Cardinals in the Carolina League (1965), Lewiston Broncs in the Northwest League (1967), Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League (1969), Savannah Indians in the Southern League (1970), Jacksonville Suns in the Dixie Association (1971), Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League (1972) and the Wilson Pennants in the Carolina League (1973). Throughout his 25-year managerial career, Hathaway won 1,441 games.
In the mid-1990s, Perdue agreed to donate approximately four million dollars to the joint venture to build a minor league baseball stadium, now known as Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. In addition to the monetary gift, Perdue also donated 39-acres of prime real estate for the construction site of the stadium.
The keynote speaker at the All-Star Luncheon at The Fountains Wedding & Conference Center in Salisbury, MD will be Andy MacPhail, President of the Baltimore Orioles. Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium for the beginning of the All-Star festivities, including a home run derby. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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