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Florida State League announces 2012 Hall of Fame class

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Florida State League Hall of Fame

Al Lang, Bob Tewksbury, Ken Carson and Sonny Hirsch are among the 13 members of the 2012 Class of Inductees to the Florida State League Hall of Fame, to be honored this November.

The 2012 Class is listed below with a short biography.

Pitchers

Jeff Suppan -- Jeff was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1993.  He was in the Florida State League in 1994. He won 13 games, had a 3.26 ERA and pitched 174 innings. He started 27 games and struck out 173 batters. His Major League debut was with Boston in 1995. He has 17 years in the Major Leagues and was with San Diego in 2012. 

Bob Tewksbury -- Bob was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1981. He was in the Florida State League in 1982 and part of 1983  In 1982 he won 15 games and posted a 1.88 ERA. He pitched in 182.1 innings while starting 23 games.  He completed 13 games, had five shutouts and struck out 92 batters. Bob made his Major League debut on April 11, 1986 and spent 13 years in the Major Leagues. 

Position Players

Elliot Bigelow -- Elliot Bigelow was born in 1897 in Tarpon Springs, FL. He played in the Florida State League with St. Petersburg for five of his 12 year Minor League career. He was originally a pitcher/outfielder, but after an arm injury he dropped pitching. For the St. Petersburg Saints in 1920 he hit .287 with 10 homeruns in his first year. He played for the Saints in 1921 and he hit .312 and .343. In 1923, he had his best year, hitting .388 in 397 at bats with 12 homers, 10 triples, and 30 doubles.   

Lloyd Moseby -- Lloyd was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1978.  In 1979, with the Dunedin Blue Jays, he played in 129 games and had 446 at bats. He had 148 hits for a .332 average and his hits included 18 homeruns, six triples, and 23 doubles. He stole 16 bases. He made his Major League debut on May 24, 1980. Lloyd played in the Major Leagues for 12 years.

Lou Whitaker -- Lou was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1975. He played with Lakeland in the Florida State League in 1976.  In 124 games, he had 343 at bats and collected 129 hits for a .376 batting average. His hits included one homerun, five triples, and 12 doubles. He stole 48 bases. He scored 70 runs and had 62 RBI. Lou was the Florida State League Most Valuable Player in 1976. He made his Major League debut on September 9, 1977. Lou spent 19 years in the Major Leagues.  He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1978.

Manager/Coaches 

Fredi Gonzales -- Fredi managed in the Florida State League in 1990-91 in Miami and Brevard County from 1994-96. He was named the Florida State League Manager of the Year in 1994. Fredi is currently the manager of the Atlanta Braves. As manager of the Florida Marlin he won more games than any other manager in Marlins history.

Dave Huppert --This season was Dave’s 24th as a Minor League manager, and second season with the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He began his managerial career in 1986 with the Helena Brewers. On June 4, 2012, Dave notched win number 1,700. He entered the season with 1,672 wins and became the winningest active Manager on April 23, 2012 when he passed Tom Kotchman with win number 1,675. (Stan Wasiak is the all-time leader for managers in Minor League Baseball with 2,530 wins.)  Dave has been named Manager of the Year twice, once in the California League with the Stockton Ports, and once in the Florida State League with the Brevard County Manatees.

Dave Trembley – Dave is a former manager of the Baltimore Orioles and currently Minor League Field Coordinator with the Atlanta Braves. Before managing with the Orioles, Dave was a Minor League manager for 20 years. He was manager of the Daytona Cubs in 1995-96 and 2001-02. Under his leadership the Daytona Cubs won the Florida State League Championship in 1995  He was also named the Florida State League Manager of the Year in 1995. He was also named Manager of the Year in the Southern League in 1999 after guiding the Class AA West Tenn Diamond Jaxx to first place finishes in each half of the split-season.

Executives

Sonny Hirsch -- Sonny Hirsch was a local Miami sport legend and worked in radio and TV and also in the Marlins/Orioles front office for about 30 years.  He started with the Miami Orioles as a batboy for the team back in the 1950s.  He would become the team’s play-by-play announcer, statistician, and General Manager.  Hirsch did play-by-play of Miami football, basketball, and baseball game from 1958 to 1971 and again from 1983 to 1997.  Hirsch also hosted sportscasts and sports talk shows.  He was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in 1998.  He was an official scorer at Florida Marlins games since their first season in 1993.  Hirsch passed away suddenly on March 25, 1999 from coronary artery disease.  On December 4, 1999 the day of the Miami–Temple game, Northwest 14th Avenue was re-named and dedicated Sonny Hirsch Way in memory of the late Sonny Hirsch.  

Ken Carson – Ken was named Director of Florida Operations and General Manager of the Dunedin Blue Jays in 1987.  In 2006, Ken retired and was then named as a consultant to the Dunedin Blue Jays.  He is the first and only representative of the Florida State League on Minor League Baseball Board of Directors.   Ken became a US Citizen in September 2006.  He has been with the Toronto Blue Jays Organization since the team was founded in 1976.  Prior to the Blue Jays Organization, Ken was with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League starting in 1967. He was there for its first ten seasons.  In the 1980 Major League All-Star Game in Los Angeles, Ken was named Athletic Trainer for the American League All-Stars. His career and experience, especially in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, has made him many friends in professional sports.         

Jay Miller -- Jay is currently the executive VP of Rangers Enterprise for the Texas Rangers. He has spent 29 years in baseball. In 1987, he was the first General Manager of the Florida State League Charlotte Rangers, and successfully coordinated Texas’s move of its entire spring training operation to Port Charlotte. Jay was hired by Nolan and Reid Ryan as Vice President and General Manager of the Double A Round Rock Express in September 1998. In the inaugural 2000 season in Round Rock, the Express established a new Double A home attendance record with over 660,000 fans and repeated that accomplishment the next four years. Miller has earned Executive of the Year honors multiple times at the Single A, Double A and Triple A levels.  He was the Sporting News Minor League Executive of the Year in 2001 and 2003 and earned the same honor form Baseball America in 2005.

Al E. LangAl is former Florida State League President from 1923-1925. Around 1910, Lang moved from Pittsburgh to St. Petersburg on the advice of his doctor, who told him he had six months to live due to respiratory problems. He owned one of Pittsburgh’s largest laundries and was well known among baseball players and managers there. He lured the first teams to train in St. Petersburg with the St. Louis Browns in 1914. He believed baseball in St. Petersburg would boost tourism. After he attracted the Phillies in 1915, he was elected Mayor the following year. In 1940, St. Petersburg voters agreed a better ballpark was needed for Spring Training. The ballpark was opened in 1947 named for Mr. Baseball himself. In 1977, a more modern ballpark was built and it kept Lang’s name, Al Lang Field.

Umpire 

Brian Gorman -- Brian will complete his 20th year as a Major League Umpire at the end of the season. He graduated from the Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1982.  Brian was an umpire in the Florida State League from 1983-85. He joined the Major League Staff in 1993. He worked the All-Star Game (1998, 2009), Division Series (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011) League Championship Series (2002, 2007, 2008, 2010), and World Series (2004, 2009). Brian worked the 2008 ALCS. His father, Tom, was a Major League Player with the New York Giants and a National League Umpire from 1951-1976. Tom and Brian both wore and wear Number 9 in the Major Leagues. Brian and Tom make up the only father and son umpire combo to work home plate at the same park in World Series play. Tom was behind the dish for Games 1 & 7 of the 1968 Fall Classic at Busch Stadium, while Brian had the honors at Game 3 of the 2004 World Series.     

The ceremony is open to the public, and tickets are $75 per person. Dress is cocktail attire. More information will be available closer to the event.  Please call 386-252-7479, or email fslbaseball@cfl.rr.com  with any questions.

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