A Wing of the BBA Hall of Fame
These are the first ones. The old-timers, the pioneers of the league, the guys who stepped into the uniforms from the moment the league started and set the course of history. Some were of such an age on that fateful season that their careers lasted only a "brief while" (if seven seasons can be considered brief), but they were still brilliant--and even if their career numbers fade relative to guys who came later that brilliance is what you see here.
(Right Field, MARQUETTE SUNS)
1,292 Hits, 94 HR, 426 RBI, 389 SB, .317/.398/.449, 43.8 WAR
1976 Frick League Hitter of the Year
All-Star: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
Peter Pete was a feared hitter that combined line-drive power with wiley speed. He was 32 years old when the league was founded--which is an age when most players are fading. But Pete hit 22 homers that season, stealing 70 bases. His 80.7% Stolen Base success rate turned a lot of singles into doubles.
Pete played with San Antonio and Huntsville before playing his last five seasons with Madison.
WILLIE MAYS HAYES
(Center Field, WASHINGTON BOBWHITES)
1,212 Hits, 34 HR, 404 RBI, 477 SB, .286/.347/.393, 32.3 WAR
Landis Memorial Ring: 1975, 1978
All-Star: 1974, 1976, 1977
Slick Fielder: 1977
The prototypical speedster with a huge glove. Hayes was a can of condensed excitement. Just add a walk and stir.He led the league in stolen bases and triples in each of its first five seasons, and in runs scored in 1976. Love him or hate him, his teams won.
(Second Base, MARQUETTE SUNS)
1,078 Hits, 230 HR, 768 RBI, 77 SB, .260/.360/.508, 36.1 WAR
All-Star: 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Hayfu Sobah was among the era's steadiest power hitters. He entered the league at 30 years of age and blasted 45 round trippers. His intense plate discipline made up for a lack of contact, and when he hit one it had a tendency to go a very long way. Highly respected around the league, he played 8 seasons and went to six all-star games.
(Right Field, LAS VEGAS HUSTLERS)
1,334 Hits, 117 HR, 547 RBI, 366 SB, .323/.410/.506, 53.3 WAR
Landis Memorial Ring: 1976
Owner's Choice - Hitter Award: 1976
All-Star: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
Futon was a true five-tool player and a premier lead-off hitter in an age of offense. He led the league in hitting in 1974, and in on-base percentage four times. Entering the league at age 31, he still stole over 50 bases his first six seasons. You could write him down for 15-20 homers and 40 doubles a season.
(Center Field, SEATTLE STORM)
1,682 Hits, 227 HR, 895 RBI, 156 SB, .284/.340/.476, 41.9 WAR
Slick Fielder Award: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983
All-Star: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
Hell was a fixture in the Seattle outfield for the first decade of the team's existence. His best year was 1979, when he blasted 31 homers and posted 6.9 WAR as a 33-year-old. A steady hitter his whole career, Hell also flashed elite level leather.
Hell also played brief stints with Phoenix (YS9) and Des Moines during his career.
(Left Field, HAWAII TROPICS)
1,791 Hits, 205 HR, 818 RBI, 42 SB, .311/.365/.512, 48.2 WAR
Landis Memorial Rings: 1973
All-Star: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980
A bit of a vagabond, Futon played with six organizations in his eleven seasons, but was a force everywhere he put up shop. He entered the league at age 28.
(Left Field, MARQUETTE SUN)
1,197 Hits, 268 HR, 840 RBI, 56 SB, .253/.384/.481, 44.7 WAR
Landis Memorial Rings: 1974
Owner's Choise Hitter of the Year: 1974, 1975
All-Star: 1974, 1979
Devastating in his peak years and almost as good in the rest, Joe Gillstrom became a household name in the early days of the league, leading the New Orleans franchise to a Landis Memorial Series championship and being named as the Frick and Johnson League Hitter of the Year at various times.
(Center Field, VANCOUVER MOUNTIES)
1,766 Hits, 180 HR, 819 RBI, 578 SB, .286/.340/.455, 53.7 WAR
Owner's Choice Hitter Award: 1979
Slick Fielder Award: 1974, 1975
All-Star: 1975, 1978, 1981
Bucher entered the league as a relative youngster at age 24 and had five "peak years." In Bucher's case, however, those five seasons were liberally scattered across his career and he posted 6+ WAR in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1981 as he lost bits and parts of seasons to the string of injuries that would eventually bring his career to an end at age 35.
(Third Base, CALIFORNIA CRUSADERS)
2,498 Hits, 377 HR, 1,326 RBI, 95 SB, .291/.335/.470, 49.9 WAR
Landis Memorial Series Rings: 1979
All-Star: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981
McNecrity came into the league at age 25, and retired fifteen seasons later with just two hits shy of 2,500. He played with the Crusaders all those seasons with the exception of his last, which was spent with Greenville. He was a solid hitter who gathered his HoF credentials by his durability and longevity. Never played less than 154 games until age 36.
(Right Field, WASHINGTON BOBWHITES)
2,447 Hits, 206 HR, 1,060 RBI, 483 SB, .311/.376/.468, 72.9 WAR
Landis Memorial Series Rings: 1975, 1978
Owner's Choice Hitter Award: 1973, 1978
All-Star: 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983
Miles Dalrymple entered the league at the ripe age of 22. He was a dangerous hitter who led the league in hits twice wile taking three batting crowns. He had 30 homer power and stole bases at a 77% rate.