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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Auburn baseball dedicates Wall of Fame

It's a good crowd out here at Plainsman Park for Auburn's Wall of Fame dedication.

Four players -- Bo Jackson, Gregg Olson, Frank Thomas and Tim Hudson -- make up the inaugural class, who's who of Auburn baseball players.

The team unveiled pictures of each of the stars on the outfield wall at Plainsman Park to celebrate the occasion.

I'll have more in a bit, but here's each player's bio:

Bo Jackson
From Bessemer, Jackson lettered for the Auburn baseball team in 1983, 1985 and 1986. An outfielder, Jackson hit .401 during the '85 season, blasting 17 home runs and driving in 43 during his most productive season on the Plains, which concluded with his selection to the ABCA All-South Region Team. His .864 slugging percentage from that season remains an Auburn record, while his career slugging percentage mark of .715 is second all-time. A fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1986, he made his MLB debut that same season and would spend a total of eight years in the majors with the Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels. In 1989, he was voted to the All-Star game and named the game's MVP.
Gregg Olson
From Omaha, Neb., Olson was a three-time letter winner on the mound at Auburn from 1986-88. As a 6-4, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, he is Auburn's only two-time All-America selection. He was also a member of the 1987 USA National Team after going 11-1 with 10 saves and leading the nation with a 1.26 ERA in 42 appearances, all in relief. The following season, he led the SEC with a 2.00 ERA while also going 7-3 with 10 saves in 36 appearances en route to becoming Auburn's highest-ever draft pick when the Baltimore Orioles selected him fourth overall in the 1988 draft. He would g on to enjoy a 14-year MLB career, six of them in Baltimore, which included being named the 1989 American League Rookie of the Year and a 1990 All-Star before finishing his career in 2001 with 217 saves.
Frank Thomas
From Columbus, Ga., Thomas played at Auburn from 1987-89 after coming to the school as a football recruit. Auburn's first consensus All-America pick in 1989, he hit an SEC-best .403 while manning first base. He also drove in 83 runs and hit 19 home runs as Auburn won the SEC tournament and advanced to the Atlantic Regional. He finished his Auburn career with a .382 batting average, which is second all-time in Auburn history, and a school-record .722 slugging percentage. His 49 career home run are third in school history, his 104 extra-base hits are fourth and his 205 RBIs are fifth. The seventh overall pick of the 1989 draft by the White Sox, he was a two-time American League MVP (1993 and 1994) and a four-time All-Star Game participant, earning starts in both 1994 and 1995. The 21st member of the 500 home run club, he recently retired following a 19-year career.
Tim Hudson
From Phenix City, Hudson was a two-year letter winner (1996-97) at Auburn and was named the 1997 Rotary Smith Award Winner as the top player in college baseball. In 1997 he went 15-2 with a 2.97 ERA on the mound while also hitting .396 as the Tigers tied the school record for wins (50) and advanced to the College World Series for the fourth time in school history. His 15 wins led the nation and he was named a consensus All-American and the SEC Player of the Year. A sixth-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in 1997, he is a two-time All-Star (1999 and 2004) and is entering his 12th major league season and sixth with the Atlanta Braves.

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