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. These were the first ones who proudly earned the tag of Staff Ace, the ones who took the mound and dominated the opposition.
Roy Hobbs Jr
177 - 115, 2.95 ERA, 3,156 K, 97.2 WAR
Owner’s Choice Pitcher Award: 1978
All-Star: 1975, 1978, 1981
Born in July 1944 he made his BBA debut in 1973 aged 28 after being selected seventh overall in the inaugural dispersal draft. He spent the first five seasons in Hawaii where he was a strikeout machine, three times posting over 11 WAR. Mid 1977 he was traded to Montreal where he played in the Landis Memorial Series of 1978 & 1980, unfortunately losing both times. After four winning seasons with the Blazers he returned at the age of 37 to the Tropics for the 1982 season. That was to be his last active season, he retired and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996
228 - 191, 3.83 ERA, 2,469 K, 58.6 WAR
Landis Memorial Rings: 1975, 1978
Dunne was drafted by Washington in the fourth round of the 1973 dispersal draft and made his BBA debut that year aged 22. He posted five straight winning seasons going 83-56 until 1978 when he was 13-13. He only had one more winning season for the Bobwhites before he headed for Omaha in mid-1981. He returned to top form at the Barnstormers remaining with them until he was 36, posting five winning seasons, a total of 90-62 in 209 starts with a 1.12 WHIP. He made seven starts for Phoenix Talons in the second half of 1987 but was an Atlanta City pitcher by the start of 1988. He played his last two seasons in the Gambler’s colours posting a 17-28 record, finishing at the age of 38. He was inducted into the Hall in 1996.
382-116, 2.04 ERA, 6,156 K, 248.9 WAR
LANDIS Series Rings: 1975, 1978
Owners Choice – Rookie Award: 1973
Owners Choice – Pitcher Award: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977 – 1986 (10 straight), 1989.
All-Star: 1973-1984 (12 straight), 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
Nebraska was drafted in the second round of the 1973 dispersal draft, 28th overall by Washington. Just what were the other 23 teams looking at? At the age of 20 Nebraska was destined to become the greatest BBA pitcher of all time, 34 years after he last played in the BBA he still owns the single season records for shutouts (11), strikeouts (423), WHIP (0.62) and WAR (18.7) as well as the career records for ERA (2.04), Wins (382), winning % (.767), games started (658), shutouts (53), IP (4,774.1), strikeouts (6,156), Hits allowed / 9 (6.0), K/9 (11.6), WHIP (0.83) and WAR (248.9). He won the Pitchers Award 14 times and the league named the Award after him, he appeared in the first 12 All-Star games of the BBA and 16 overall, what more can you say? He played seven seasons for Washington wining 20+ games in all but one and only twice being tagged with more than five loses (both 7 losses) before Buffalo Bison secured his services in 1980 at the age of 27. He played on for them until he was 38 obliterating records left, right and centre. In his 19 seasons in the BBA the last two were his only losing seasons, he had 11 20-win seasons, 10 seasons with more than 35 starts, 15 seasons with more than 300 strikeouts and 15 seasons under 0.90 WHIP.
199-82, 2.70 ERA, 2,922 K, 83.3 WAR
Landis Memorial Ring: 1979
Owner's Choice - Pitcher Award: 1976, 1980
All-Star: 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980
Schmatzhagen, already 30, was drafted fifth overall in the 1973 dispersal draft by the Chicago Black Sox. 1974 though saw him on the mound for the Hackensack Bulls, for 19 games at least before he headed for his third BBA franchise. He stayed with the Madison Wolves for the next five seasons, finding his form and producing four straight 20-win seasons. His overall record in Madison was 104-29 with a 2.11 ERA and over 1500 strikeouts. Then mid-1979 he headed for the California Crusaders, in his first 54 starts he posted a 40-8 record but the sands of time were beginning to catch up with him. In his late-thirties Schmatzhagen was still producing winning seasons but nowhere near the 20-win seasons of his peak. Finally at the trade deadline 1983 at the age of 40 he was traded to Des Moines, 12 starts that year produced a 5-4 record but in 1984 he spent his last BBA season in the Kernels bullpen posting a 1-2 record in 35 outings with an ERA just below 5.00. It had been a short career but in 1996 he was inducted to the Hall of Fame.