1978 Hall of Fame Inductions

Posted by Drew / on 06/06/2009 / 1 Comment

Four veterans have retired as we draw a close to the 1978 season in the Backyard Baseball League, and not a day went by before they were inducted into the BBL Hall of Fame (and rightly so!)

These four players have been giants in the league for years, and will go down in history as four of the best.

Saturday, October 21st, 1978: David Toon Enters Hall Of Fame
Someone once said, "There's no crying in baseball." But the tears were flowing in abundance today at the Hall of Fame induction of baseball great David Toon. They were tears of joy.

The superstar hurler got quite emotional at times during his installation speech as he retraced his journey from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of success in the baseball world.

He told the audience, "The greatest feeling in the world is to win a major league game. The second greatest feeling is to lose a major league game. For someone who truly loved playing baseball, I couldn't really lose either way. Just to be on a baseball diamond is a wonderful feeling. Life just doesn't get any better than that. I will really miss it."

Baseball newest legend ended his career at age 41 with 315 wins and 161 defeats and compiled a 2.60 ERA. Toon made 665 appearances and struck out 4256 in 4558.1 innings. Teams hit a composite .913 against him.

Saturday, October 21st, 1978: Backyard Baseball League Honors Summerfield
"From the first time I saw him play, I knew he had the potential to be one of the best," Roger Summerfield's first manager said, "and the more I saw him play, the more certain I was that he would reach that potential."

This manager was just one of the people there at Summerfield's enshrinement in the Backyard Baseball League Hall of Fame. It was a celebration of the career of one of the shining stars of his generation. His teammates loved him and opposing fans loved to hate him, but respect followed him everywhere, as evidenced by the large crowd at the ceremony. Not only were teammates there, but opposing players and managers as well, along with a large throng of fans.

The man of the moment was overcome with emotion when he finally took his turn at the podium to speak. "This is one of the greatest moments of my life, and to share it with all of you here is... simply amazing. I would just like to thank my family and all of my teammates for their support during my journey here. Individual honor was never my goal, winning was, but this is more than I could have ever dreamed."

Summerfield retired at the age of 38 with a .314 career batting average. He mainly played left fielder, participated in 2338 games, hit 209 home runs and batted in 1202 runs.

Saturday, October 21st, 1978: Guthrie in Backyard Baseball League HOF
The journey took a while, but he finally arrived -- one of baseball's finest hurlers, Keith Guthrie, is now a member of the Backyard Baseball League Hall of Fame.

Commenting on his election, one of his longtime managers said, "My idea of managing is giving the ball to Keith Guthrie and sitting down and watching him work. He certainly made my job easier. And he certainly made me a better manager."

And pitch he certainly did -- Guthrie appeared in 472 games in his career, tossed 2876.2 innings with 2680 strikeouts and compiled an impressive 212-99 record and 2.66 ERA.

One of his opposing managers had this to say about Guthrie, "Keith was one of the greatest pitchers I ever saw. He had knowledge, movement and form. It was wonderful to watch him pitch when he wasn't pitching against you. It was poetry in motion."

The newest member of the Hall of Fame retired at age 38 and will be inducted at ceremonies this weekend.

Saturday, October 21st, 1978: Hall of Fame Welcomes Allshouse
The newest member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame looked impressive standing in front of the assembled crowd. The bronze plaque shined in the bright sun, gleaming from the fresh polish. "Man, that guy is handsome!" Melvin Allshouse commented. "I never realized that I looked so good!"

One of the most colorful characters in league history, Allshouse was also one of the league's most dominant starting pitchers. Racking up a career record of 201-124, he was a pitcher that no manager ever worried about while he was on the mound. Off the field, however...

"We always had to be careful in the locker room," one of his former managers remembered with a laugh. "If you weren't paying attention, you would fall victim to one of his infamous pranks. There was never a dull moment when this guy was around."

"I always felt that if I could bring the guys together by making them laugh, then I was doing my job on the days I wasn't pitching," Allshouse explained. "We play a kids' game, after all, so why shouldn't we have some fun? In fact, it was probably the key to my success. I just hope the other statues in the Hall are prepared; I'm sure this guy will keep them on their toes."

He retired at the age of 39. In his outstanding career Allshouse appeared in 447 games, pitched 3034.1 innings, fanned 2769 batters, walked 767 and compiled a 2.97 ERA.




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  • Tempus says:

    that's pretty 4 incredible players to be retiring at the same time.

    June 7, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Permalink


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