Former Tider Into Baseball Hall Of Fame
The Tampa, Fla., native and hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox offered high praise to his alma mater during his 15-minute acceptance speech.
"I obviously owe a lot to The University of Alabama," Magadan said. "I can't think of a better place for a 17 to 18-year old student-athlete to start their adult life. Not only did I get a quality education, but I learned the game of baseball at a level that I never thought I could. It was the perfect school for me at the perfect time. It not only allowed me to mature as a baseball player, but allowed me to mature as a person."
He is the second UA player inducted in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, joining former UA All-American and head coach Joe Sewell, who was a member of the inaugural class in 2007.
The top vote-getter among this year's inductees, Magadan was joined by Alan Bannister (SS, Arizona State), Bob Bennett (Head Coach, Fresno Stare), Eddy Furniss (1B, LSU), Don Heinkel (P, Wichita State), Wally Kincaid (Head Coach, Cerritos College), George Sisler (P/OF, Michigan), B.J. Surhoff (C, North Carolina), Charles Teague (2B, Wake Forest) and Richard Wortham (P, Texas) in the Class of 2010.
Magadan and Furniss were the only two former SEC players honored on Thursday night in Lubbock. Heinkel, who won 50 career games on the mound at Wichita State, later played on the Birmingham Barons 1983 Southern League championship team. He is current a medical doctor and resides in Oneonta.
"I am honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with these fine players and coaches," Magadan added. "I'd like to thank my college coach Barry Shollenberger for the things he taught me both on the field and off the field."
Shollenberger, who coached Alabama from 1980-94, and current head baseball coach Mitch Gaspard were in attendance at the induction ceremony.
Magadan had a stellar three-year career with the Crimson Tide, capped by a phenomenal junior season that saw him set the SEC single-season record with a .525 batting average. The Alabama junior shattered school and Southeastern Conference records that still stand today in becoming the 1983 Golden Spikes Award winner, presented annually by USA Baseball.
Magadan, who concluded the 1983 season with six school career records (at-bats, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, total bases and batting average), was a major contributor in Alabama's national runner up spot to Texas at the College World Series. In addition, he paced the Crimson Tide to the NCAA South Region and Southeastern Conference titles en route to a 46-11 record, one of the most successful campaigns in school history.
He batted an incredible nation-leading .525 (114-for-217) as a junior, was voted the 1983 College "Player of the Year" by Baseball America, and led the team in hits (114), doubles (31), total bases (180) and slugging percentage (.829) during his record-setting campaign.
Magadan was a consensus first-team All-America selection by The American Baseball Coaches Association, The Sporting News, Baseball America and The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association during the 1983 season and was a three-time All-SEC selection at the Capstone.
He hit safely in his initial 27 games as a freshman in 1981 and batted an incredible 10-for-11 (.909) at the 1983 SEC Tournament in Starkville, Miss., which included a five-hit game (including two doubles and two home runs) against Florida in second-round action en route to being named the Most Valuable Player. He also set the CWS record by hitting safely in his first eight trips to the plate and wound up batting .550 (11-for-20) at Omaha, Neb., in five games.
Shollenberger was the Crimson Tide's head coach from 1980-94. He had the best seat in the house during Magadan's record-setting season that ended with in the national championship game at the College World Series.
After his freshman season at Alabama, he led his American Legion team to the 1981 American Legion World Series Championship and in the process was named the "Sports Club Amateur of the Year" when Tampa Post 248 won the national title. Magadan is also recognized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his amateur accomplishments in 1981.
He played in 162 games in his Alabama career and batted .439 (268-for-610) with 64 doubles, 14 home runs and 188 RBI. His .439 batting average still ranks among the leaders in Division I baseball and still sits atop the SEC standings as the highest career average in league history.
He still holds Alabama records for highest single-season batting average (.525, 1983), highest career batting average (.439, 1981-83), single-season hits (114, 1983), single-season home runs (31, 1983) and career doubles (64, 1981-83) and single-season RBI (95, 1983). He also set the Alabama standards for highest batting average for a freshman (.399, 1981) and junior (.525, 1983) and most RBI (95, 1983) by a junior. He also shares the single-game record with five hits, a feat he accomplished an Alabama-record three times, against Alabama Christian (April 16, 1983), Florida (May 13, 1983) and Arizona State (June 4, 1983).
Magadan was drafted by the Boston Red Sox out of Tampa's Jesuit High School and then was one of six UA players taken in the 1983 MLB Draft. He signed with the New York Mets and was assigned to the Columbia, S.C., Mets in the Class A South Atlantic League in his first pro ball assignment. In that first summer, Magadan batted .336 with three home runs and 32 RBI for the Class A Mets.
He made his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 17, 1986 as the starting first baseman at Shea Stadium. In the game, Magadan went 3-for-4 with two RBI, including the game-winner in the eighth inning that clinched the National League Eastern Division title for the eventual World Champions.
He played 15 years in the Major Leagues before retiring from the game after the 2000 season. In those 15 seasons, he batted .289 (1,165-for-4,031) with 41 home runs and 483 RBI in 1,491 career big-league games. In 1990, he finished third in the NL batting race with a career-best .328 (148-for-451) average.
After his playing days, he was named roving minor league hitting instructor by the San Diego Padres before being promoted to the Padres hitting coach prior to the 2003 season. He currently serves as the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox, where he helped the Red Sox to a World Series championship with a four-game sweep over the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
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