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Kirk Gibson inducted to the (college football) Hall of Fame

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Former Tigers and Dodgers great and 1988 National League MVP Kirk Gibson has been inducted to the Hall of Fame! The College Football Hall of Fame, that is. The inductees were announced this morning. In addition to Gibson, Peyton Manning, Steve Spurrier and a whole bunch of other dudes got the call. The entire list below if you care. Unlike baseball, college football voters do not get the shakes when they induct more than one or two dudes.

Most of us know Gibby as an outfielder, manager and now as a Tigers broadcaster, but the guy was way more famous for football at the time he was drafted. He was a standout wide receiver for Michigan State — an All-American — who helped lead the Spartans to some of their best seasons in a decade. When he graduated in 1978 he had only one year of college baseball under his belt, but it was a fantastic year. So fantastic that the Tigers took him in the first round of the 1978 draft with the 12th overall pick. The rest was baseball history.

In addition to Gibson, inductees are Bob Crable (Notre Dame), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State); Peyton Manning (Tennessee); Bob McKay (Texas); Dat Ngygen (Texas A&M); Adrian Peterson (the other one — from Georgia Southern); Mike Roth (Boston College); Brian Urlacher (New Mexico); Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas); Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina); Larry Kehres (Mount Union).

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.