NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The annual Baseball Alumni Weekend will have even more significance this spring when five former baseball players are inducted into the Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame.
Lipscomb Athletics Director Philip Hutcheson has announced that Larry Breedlove, Phillip Dickens, Glenn Eddins, Trey Hartman and Wayne Wright will be honored at a Hall of Fame Luncheon at noon, Saturday, April 30 in Allen Arena.
“Out of the thousands of talented student athletes who have ever worn the purple and gold, only a select few have ever made it into our Hall of Fame,” Hutcheson said. “Each of those selected have written memorable chapters in the story of our programs and their accomplishments and contributions have stood the test of time. We are thrilled to have the chance to celebrate this honor with them.”
Breedlove played baseball for Lipscomb from 1981-1984. While playing in 193 games, he compiled a .358 career batting average that included 47 doubles, 15 triples, 21 home runs, 182 runs batted in, 146 walks and 229 runs scored. He also stole 76 bases.
During Breedlove's All-Conference career he helped lead Lipscomb to 169 wins, including three District 24 Championships, two Area 5 Appearances and a 1981 appearance at the NAIA National Tournament as the Bisons won a school record 51 games.
In 1982 Breedlove was named Lipscomb’s Most Valuable Player after compiling one of the greatest seasons the history of the program as he led the Bisons in virtually every offensive category – a .380 batting average, 12 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 69 runs scored, 44 RBI and 30 stolen bases. He also compiled a .967 fielding percentage.
"Larry Breedlove would have been an all-star in any era,” Hutcheson said. “A leader in every area of play, he could hit for average and power, run, field and throw.
“His 1982 season was certainly one for the ages and any Lipscomb fan who watched him play would agree with the committee's selecting him for our Hall of Fame."
Dickens also played from 1981-1984 where he compiled arguably the greatest hitting career of any player in Lipscomb baseball history. While playing in 185 games, his .359 career batting average included 29 doubles, seven triples, a school record 66 home runs, a school record 228 RBI, 184 walks and 226 runs scored.
He will always be a part of Lipscomb baseball history as result of his mammoth home run that landed on top of McQuiddy Gymnasium and was measured to have traveled 500 feet.
In 1984 Dickens was named First Team NAIA All-American and team MVP as he batted .400, drove in 78 runs, hit 21 home runs and scored 72 runs.
"By every statistical measure at the plate, Phillip Dickens was an all-time Lipscomb great,” Hutcheson said. “The numbers bear out that he could hit for average and power, but if you ask those who watched him play, the word 'power' doesn't do some of his home runs justice. He was one of those players that everyone stopped what they were doing to watch each of his at-bats and he certainly serves as one of the standards by which future Bison hitters are measured."
Eddins played from 1976-1979 compiling one of the most decorated careers in Lipscomb baseball history. Eddins, an outstanding third baseman, was named NAIA All-American in 1977, 1978 and 1979 while leading Lipscomb to two NAIA National Championships in 1977 and 1979.
In 211 games, Eddins compiled a .364 career batting average that included 48 doubles, 16 triples, 28 home runs, 212 RBI, 164 walks and 202 runs scored.
In 1979, Eddins was named Lipscomb’s Most Valuable Player after compiling one of the greatest seasons in Lipscomb baseball history. During the memorable season Glenn hit .393 totaling 64 hits that included 13 doubles, five triples, nine homeruns, scored 48 runs, totaled 41 RBI, while totaling an impressive .917 fielding percentage.
"Few Lipscomb athletes in any sport in any era can match the success of Glenn Eddins,” Hutcheson said. “Whether it was by his numbers individually, by his recognition nationally as an NAIA All-American or by his contributions as a part of two National Championship teams, Glenn’s career accomplishments made him one of the easiest selections into the Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame."
Hartman played from 1983-1986 and is considered to be one of Lipscomb’s top outfielders and leadoff hitters. While playing in 181 games, Hartman compiled a .336 career batting average that included 39 doubles, eight triples, 31 home runs, 157 RBI, 142 walks, 214 runs and 29 stolen bases.
In 1986 Hartman was named Lipscomb’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .353 with 15 doubles, eight home runs, 53 runs scored and 48 RBI. He also recorded a .988 fielding percentage.
"Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest Bison players of any era, Trey Hartman continued that tradition of excellence during his time in a Bison uniform,” Hutcheson said. “He had not only a strong bat but also a great glove. He was an integral part of some of the strongest teams Lipscomb ever put on the field during the early and mid-80s and he's certainly a worthy recipient of this honor."
Wright played from1952-1955 where he was an outstanding outfielder and middle infielder hitting .300 during his career. He led the Bisons as the team captured Lipscomb’s first-ever Volunteer State Athletic Conference Championship. In both 1954 and 1955 Wright was honored as Lipscomb’s top athlete.
After leaving Lipscomb Wright headed west where for 34 years he made a tremendous impact on Pepperdine University and collegiate athletics. After coaching golf and baseball Wright was named Director of Athletics at Pepperdine, a position he held from 1976-97. He built Pepperdine into one of the NCAA's most successful athletic programs winning seven NCAA Division I titles in four different sports.
"Wayne Wright's career is a great example of what we hope for all of our Lipscomb student athletes,” Hutcheson said. “Not only was he a standout student-athlete while he was at Lipscomb, but more importantly, he continued to excel after his time here ended.
“His contribution to collegiate athletics as coach, a director of athletics and through his work with the West Coast Conference and the NCAA has touched countless lives throughout the years and we are proud to welcome him to our Hall of Fame."
The Hall of Fame luncheon will be a special event during Baseball Alumni Weekend as all former players are encouraged to return to campus for the event.
The Bisons will play New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the newest member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, Friday, April 29, the two teams play at 6 p.m.
In addition to the luncheon Saturday, a complimentary Bison Baseball Alumni Reception on the Allen Arena South Concourse and Patio is scheduled for 4 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m. all baseball alumni should report to Dugan Field where the 2016 Hall of Fame class will throw out the first pitch and then join the current Bisons at each of their former positions.
The second game in the NJIT series will begin at 6. The three-game series ends Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m.
The Hall of Fame Luncheon is open for anyone to attend as we honor these outstanding Bison baseball players. Individual tickets for the luncheon can be purchased for $25 each and $15 each for Bison Baseball Alumni.