The Class of 2015 is here, and for the first time we will have two players entering the ULB Hall of Fame. Both players were considered one of the greatest at their respective positions throughout the early decade and a half of the ULB.
Mike Mussina (Vancouver Canucks,1996-2003; St. Paul Saints, 2004, Las Vegas Vipers, 2004; New Mexico Suns, 2007)
Elected with 82.3% of Votes, Second Year on Ballot (62.5%, 2010)
Mussina was a dominant force in the early history of the ULB, helping the Vancouver Canucks to reach the Union Cup in 1996 and 1997. Mussina totaled 144 wins in the ULB and added 89 in the MLB for a total of 233 wins in both leagues. He led the ULB in wins in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He amassed 3 Nolan Ryan Trophies (1996, 1998 and 2002) and was elected to the All Star Game 7 times in his 10 years in the ULB.
|Honors and Awards|
|Nolan Ryan Award||1996, 1998, 2002||3|
|All-Star||1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004||7|
|Pitcher of the Month||7/97, 9/97, 6/98, 4/00, 6/00, 5/02, 6/04||7|
Frank Thomas (Boston Colonials, 1998-2004; Oklahoma City RedHawks, 2005; Phoenix Fire, 2008-2009)
Elected with 76.5% of Votes, First Year on Ballot
The Big Hurt came over to the ULB signing a 5 year contract with the Colonials in the 1997-1998 offseason worth a then record $102,500,000 million. Gripes about him being overpaid were quickly quieted as he led the league in Home Runs and Runs Batted in his 1998 season. He would go on to hit 243 Home Runs with the Colonials and added 9 more in short seasons plagued by injuries with the Oklahoma City RedHawks and Phoenix Fire. Thomas added a Fielding Bible Award at 1B in 2000 and was elected to the All Star Team four times with the Colonials. Thomas would add another 248 Homers in his MLB career to reach a total of 500 home runs. In his combined ULB and MLB career he had a total of 2,233 hits, and was also an MVP in 1993 and 1994 in the MLB with the Chicago White Sox.
Former San Jose Jedi General Manager Mak Dolnick, now an executive assistant to White Sox Owner Joe Reinsdorf, commented on Thomas’ election.
“He’s the Big Hurt, what else needs to be said?”
|Honors and Awards|
|Fielding Bible Award Winners||2000 (1B)||1|
|All-Star||1998, 1999, 2000, 2001||4|
Of those not making the cut, Washington’s Larry Walker fell just short of getting ‘The Call’ in his 4th year of eligibility. He appeared on 58.8% of ballots this season. Walker has to be encouraged by the fact that his percentage climbed higher than in 2010, when he had 50% of the vote. Manno Wickey, the New Orleans Gold Sox poster boy for a decade, received 52.9% of the vote in his first year on the ballot, but will have to wait another year before hopefully receiving his call.
|2011 ULB Hall of Fame Ballot Results|
|SP||Pedro Luis Lazo||7||41.2|