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Meulens, Montoyo are IL HoF Class of 2016

International League logoThe Class of 2016 of the International League Hall of Fame has been announced: former League MVP Hensley Meulens and former League Manager of the Year Charlie Montoyo.

The two men were elected to the IL Hall by a vote of living Hall of Famers, longtime executives, broadcasters, and members of the media.

Hensley Meulens spent parts of five seasons playing for the Columbus Clippers, including unforgettable campaigns in 1990 when he was named IL Most Valuable Player, and in 1992 when he led the League in home runs, RBI, and runs scored to spark Columbus to the Governors’ Cup. “Bam Bam” later played a season with the Ottawa Lynx, and after his playing career ended he returned to the circuit in 2005 for a four-year stint as hitting coach in Indianapolis. Since 2010 Meulens has been the hitting coach of the San Francisco Giants, where he’s won three World Series rings.

The all-time winningest manager in Durham Bulls history is Charlie Montoyo, who departed the IL in 2015 to become third-base coach of the Tampa Bay Rays. In eight seasons at the helm in Durham, Montoyo guided the Bulls to seven division titles and a League record six appearances in the Governors’ Cup finals, winning it all in 2009 and 2013. The two-time IL Manager of the Year has also been honored as the Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year and the Minor League Baseball Mike Coolbaugh Award recipient.

With the inductions of Meulens (Curaçao) and Montoyo (Puerto Rico), the IL Hall of Fame now has eight members born outside of the United States. Three current members were born in Canada: Joe Knight, Ben Mondor and George Selkirk. Frank Herrera of Cuba, Roberto Petagine of Venezuela, and Jimmy Walsh of Ireland are the other three IL Hall of Famers born outside the United States.

Members of the Class of 2016 have been added to the International League Hall of Fame plaque display. The inductees will be presented with “The Curtain Call” statue during individual enshrinement ceremonies yet to be scheduled. The IL Hall of Fame plaque display does not have a permanent home, but rather serves as a traveling testament to the storied legacy of the International League.

The IL Hall of Fame, established in 1947, was dormant from 1964 until the League’s 125th Anniversary season in 2008. Following a three-year transition period (2008-10) in which a total of 50 individuals were inducted after having been selected by a committee, the Class of 2016 was the sixth chosen by the current annual election process. Each year the top three vote-getters who also receive a vote on the majority of ballots returned will be elected. In the most recent election, Meulens and Montoyo were the only two candidates to receive a vote on the majority of ballots, resulting in a reduced size Class of 2016.

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