Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Finalists for the Class of 2018

The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s advisory committee has released its candidates for the Class of 2018, and enshrinement will be conducted by voting from local fans.

The Committee also announced that fans will select the three candidates that accrue the most votes. Ballots may now be cast in person at all remaining RiverDogs home games leading up to the induction pregame on Saturday, July 28th. Ballots can also be cast online.

The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame is coordinated and operated by the Charleston RiverDogs. An advisory committee consisting of knowledgeable local volunteers was created to come up with the names as potential nominees. The Hall of Fame is located inside Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the Class of 2018:

  1. Rhame B. “Chip” Cannon - Hailing from North Charleston, the versatile first baseman/pitcher earned All-America honors from Baseball America in 2004 prior to being drafted in the eighth round by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was an All-Southern Conference selection in 2003 and ’04, and Baseball America listed him among the best pro prospects in the league while also labeling him with “the best raw power” in the SoCon.  He played on two Southern Conference championship teams and made a pair of NCAA Regional appearances.  After his graduation in 2004, Cannon was second all-time in school history with 40 home runs and his three grand slams were tops in the league that year.  Cannon walked 156 times, recorded 169 RBI and tallied 399 total bases, all of which ranked him among the school’s all-time leaders.  Pitching in the weekend rotation, he won eight contests in 28 appearances and posted a 4.00 ERA.  He had three complete games and fanned 107 batters in 153 innings.  He was enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
  2. Joe Clayton – Joe Clayton is a native of Charleston and is currently one of the oldest members of American Legion Post 147 on James Island. In 1968, he was instrumental in beginning the American Legion Baseball program at Post 147, serving as the baseball manager responsible for travel, meals and transportation to games. He also served on the state-wide American Legion Baseball committee for many years. After a long tenure as a member of the committee, he became the State Commissioner for American Legion Baseball in South Carolina in the 1990s. As commissioner, he was responsible for scheduling of all games in the state, as well as working closely with the National Committee in Indianapolis.   He remained active in supporting American Legion Baseball until the age of 85, when he “retired”.
  3. Josh Hamilton – The first overall selection in 1999 draft, Hamilton was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and played in the outfield in the 2000 season with the Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League, while tallying a .301 batting average in 96 games, 13 home runs and 61 RBIs. He was selected to the South Atlantic League All Star game and took home MVP honors after going 2-for-6 with two triples and two runs scored.  He was named to the 2000 All-Star Futures Game and voted the Minor League Player of the year by USA Today.   Hamilton went on to a very successful pro career playing in the MLB for the Cincinnati Reds (2007), Texas Rangers (2008-2012, 2015), and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2013–2014). Hamilton is a five-time MLB All-Star and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2010, the only former RiverDog to capture the top honor in either league to this point.
  4. Dick Jones - A two-sport standout on the 1958-61 Citadel basketball and baseball teams, Jones was All-Southern Conference in baseball as a junior and senior with batting averages of .367 and .375 before he signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1961. A member of the Class of 1961, Jones was enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978. Jones was the first Director of Recreation for the Town of Mt. Pleasant and former Mayor of the town from 1984-91 before his passing.
  5. Jerry Stoots.  Coach Stoots has coached high school baseball for 45 years, notching 890 wins through the spring of 2018.  He won nearly 600 games as the head coach at Stall High School (31 years) before exiting the SCHSL to coach at SCISA school Northwood Academy (11 years). He compiled 261 wins at Northwood Academy before retiring. He then became the head coach at Oceanside Collegiate, a SCHSL program, and now has 631 public school (SCHSL) victories officially. Coach Stoots led Stall to the Class AAA state title in 1985 and coached fifteen region championships; he took Northwoods Academy to five consecutive state finals appearances.  He has been named Region Coach of the Year multiple times and the SCHSL AAA State Coach of the Year.  Coach Stoots was elected into the SCACA Hall of Fame in 2008.

RiverDogs single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are now available for the 2018 campaign, the club’s 25th season as the RiverDogs and their “175th season in dog years.” Ticket information can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com/tickets.

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