LUBBOCK, Texas – Two of the top players in Southeastern Conference history and a coach who led a storied program to Omaha 14 times headline the National College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
The latest class will be inducted as part of the virtual College Baseball Night of Champions ceremony scheduled for June 26 and hosted by Dani Wexelman, currently a host for MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM and the host of the 2020 event.
Headlining the class are 1995 National and SEC Player of the Year Todd Helton from Tennessee, one of the top two-way players in college baseball history, and Auburn pitcher Gregg Olson, the first two-time All-American in Tigers history, as well as legendary Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, who spent 41 years with the Cardinal and retired in 2017 as the eighth-winningest coach in NCAA history.
“This is another outstanding class,” said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the College Baseball Foundation and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. “With players from coast to coast and across so many levels of college baseball, this group has a little bit of everything.”
Rounding out the 2021 induction class are Clemson outfielder/infielder Rusty Adkins, a three-time first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection; Danny Litwhiler, who coached at Florida State and Michigan State over a 28-year career; Frank Quinn, a 31-game winner and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-American from Yale; Rich Dauer, a first-team All-American third baseman for Southern California and junior college Player of the Year at California State College-San Bernardino; Terry Kennedy, a catcher for Florida State who was a two-time The Sporting News National Player of the Year; coach Frank “Porky” Vieira, who founded the program at Division II University of New Haven and led the program until his retirement in 2006 and won more than 1,100 games; Lewis University pitcher Tom Brennan, the 1974 NAIA National Player of the Year; Tim Burzette from University of La Verne, a catcher who is one of only two three-time NAIA All-Americans; Robert “Bob” Lee, who coached at Southern University from 1949 to 1961; and umpire Dave Yeast, who worked games from 1982 to 2015, worked two College World Series and served as the NCAA National Coordinator of Baseball Umpires from 1996 to 2008.
From the contributor’s section of the ballot is longtime ABCA Executive Director Dave Keilitz, who helped grow the organization into what it is today and also was a first-team NAIA All-American at Central Michigan.
In three seasons with the Volunteers, Helton was a career .370 hitter with 38 home runs and 238 RBI, capped by a junior season in 1995 where he hit .407 with 20 home runs and 92 RBI, and on the mound went 8-2 with a 1.66 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 76 innings. He earned the 1995 National Player of the Year award from the ABCA, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and was a two-time first-team All-American.
Olson, a member of the 1987 USA National Team, led the NCAA in ERA in 1987 at 1.26 and led the SEC in ERA in 1988 at 2.00. He was named All-American by Baseball America in 1987 and 1988 and by the ABCA in 1988. He became Auburn’s highest-drafted player when he went to the Baltimore Orioles fourth overall in the 1988 Major League Baseball draft.
When he retired from coaching following the 2017 season, Marquess had compiled a record of 1,627 wins, 878 losses and seven ties for a winning percentage of .649. He led Stanford to the College World Series 14 times with back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988. Of his 41 seasons as a coach, 30 of his teams reached the postseason and he sent more than 200 players into professional baseball.
Adkins was a first-, second- or third-team ABCA All-American in all three seasons he spent at Clemson (1965-67), and his 41-game hitting streak remains the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history. He was a career .379 hitter with 11 home runs and 66 RBI in 97 games and was named a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002.
Litwhiler led Florida State to its first seven NCAA tournament appearances and first three College World Series appearances in nine seasons before moving to Michigan State. He led the Spartans to three NCAA tournament appearances and two Big Ten championships. An innovative mind, Litwhiler is credited with the idea of Diamond Dry and the radar gun.
Quinn, a teammate at Yale with former president George H.W. Bush for four seasons (1945-48), racked up 410 strikeouts in his career while pitching the Bulldogs to the 1947 and 1948 College World Series, earning victories over Clemson (1947) and North Carolina (1948) in the postseason, finishing with a 3-1 playoff record.
Dauer played two seasons at San Bernardino and was the junior college Player of the Year in California in 1972 after earning All-Mission Conference honors as a freshman. At USC, he led the nation in hits, total bases and RBI in 1974 and was an all-conference selection in both 1973 and 1974.
Kennedy was a two-time Sporting News first-team All-American (1976-77) and was named Most Valuable Player in 1977. He earned all-region honors in 1976 and all-Metro Conference honors in 1977 and was the MVP of the 1977 Metro Conference Tournament. Drafted sixth overall in the 1977 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, he finished with a career .352 average, 30 home runs and 118 RBI in 130 games.
In 44 seasons at New Haven, Vieira won 1,127 games, including 42 straight seasons with a winning record from 1963 to 2004. He ranks second among Division II head coaches all-time in both career winning percentage (.776) and total wins. His teams reached the NCAA Division II College World Series 15 times and the NAIA World Series twice.
Brennan is the first three-time NAIA All-American (1972-74) and was named to the 20th anniversary NAIA all-tournament team. He was named the MVP of the 1974 NAIA World Series and is tied as the winningest pitcher in NAIA tournament history with five wins.
Burzette earned the NAIA Charles Berry Hustle Award in 1977 and was named to the NAIA All-Tournament team at the NAIA World Series in 1978. He was named the National Baseball Congress Catcher of the Year and to Team USA in 1976 and was a three-time All-SCIAC and All-Regional first-team selection (1976-78).
In Lee’s 13 seasons at Southern, the Jaguars captured eight outright Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and shared another. His .831 winning percentage (172-35) is the highest lifetime mark of any coach in the country with a minimum of 10 years as a head coach at a four-year institution. The 1959 NAIA national title earned by Southern is the first and only baseball national championship won by a historically black college and university (HBCU).
During his time as an umpire, Yeast called games in nine different conferences and served as a conference umpire coordinator for six different conferences: Pac-12, Big West, WAC, Missouri Valley, Metro and Conference USA. He served as a regional umpire coordinator from 1994 to 1996. On the field, he worked the 1991 and 1995 College World Series, a 1999 Super Regional and 14 regionals.
Under Keilitz’s tutelage at the ABCA, membership and the number of coaches attending the annual conference grew dramatically, and he helped establish the ABCA Board of Directors and shepherded several legislative accomplishments, including bracket expansion in all divisions, establishing ball and bat standards, and recruiting, practice and organization rules in 1982. He remains a member of the ABCA Board of Directors.
“Our voting committee did a fantastic job again,” Gustafson said. “It will be great to see these guys take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame.”
More information about the virtual Night of Champions will be released soon at www.collegebaseballhall.org.
For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, National College Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO, at [email protected].
2021 National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee extended bios
Rusty Adkins, Clemson, 1965-67 (Outfield, Second base)
- Second-team ABCA All-American, 1965
- Third-team ABCA All--American, 1966
- First-team ABCA All-American, 1967
- Three-time first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference
- Hit safely in 41 consecutive games over two seasons (April 10, 1965 to May 17, 1966)
- Still tied for the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history and longest in Tiger history. Had to go to his last at-bat to get a hit only three times. Had at least two hits in 23 of 41 games
- During the streak, hit .438 (74-for-169)
- Hit .444 as a sophomore, a record broken in 2002, by National Player of the Year Khalil Greene. Hit .379 in his career, an ACC record for the wooden-bat era
- Named to the ACC's 50-Year Anniversary Team, the second-oldest Clemson athlete in any sport selected
- Had his jersey retired and was inducted into the Clemson Baseball Ring of Honor in 1998
- Also a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame
Tom Brennan, Lewis University, 1971-74 (Pitcher)
- 1974 NAIA National Player of the Year
- First player in NAIA history to be named a three-time All-American (1972-74)
- Named to the 20th anniversary, NAIA all-tournament team
- Tied for winningest pitcher in NAIA tournament history with five wins
- Named MVP of the 1974 NAIA World Series
Tim Burzette, University of La Verne, 1976-78, (Catcher)
- One of only two three-time, first-team NAIA All-America selections in history (1976-78)
- NAIA Charles Berry Hustle Award winner in 1977
- NAIA All-Tournament Team at the NAIA World Series in 1977
- Member of Team USA Baseball (1976)
- National Baseball Congress Catcher of the Year (1976)
- All SCIAC and All-Regional first-team selection (1976, 1977, 1978)
- Member of University of La Verne Athletic Hall of Fame
- Played professionally with the St. Louis Cardinals organization
Rich Dauer, California State College-San Bernardino, 1971-72; Southern California, 1973-74 (Third Base)
- First-team All-American in 1974 by Sporting News and ABCA
- Led the nation in 1974 in hits (108), total bases (181) and RBIs (92) - all totals that set single-season NCAA records
- All-Conference (1973-74)
- Led team with .387 average with 15 home runs, 92 RBI, 108 hits and 75 runs scored for the 1974 national champions
- Led team with .361 average with 11 home runs, 43 RBI, 73 hits, 24 doubles and 49 runs scored for the 1973 national champions
- Named Junior College Player of the Year in California as a sophomore in 1972, hitting .515
- Named to All-Mission Conference Team as a freshman in 1971
Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1993-95 (First base, Pitcher)
- 1995 Dick Howser Trophy winner
- 1995 National Player of the Year by ABCA, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball
- 1995 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year
- Twice named first-team All-American
- Twice named All-SEC
- 1993 Freshman All-American
- Tossed complete game four-hitter in the first game of the 1995 College World Series
- Career .370 hitter with 38 home runs and 238 RBI with a career .636 slugging percentage
Dave Keilitz, Executive Director, American Baseball Coaches Association, 1994-2014
- During time as executive director, ABCA membership and number of coaches attending the annual convention grew significantly
- Helped establish ABCA Board of Directors and led several legislative initiatives
- Bracket expansion in all divisions
- Change of season legislation in NCAA Division I
- Ball and bat standards for college play
- Recruiting, practice and playing rules
- Served on several ABCA committees
- President of the organization in 1982
- Remains a member of the ABCA's Board of Directors
- As a player at Central Michigan University, received first-team NAIA All-American honors in 1964
- Served as the Chippewas head coach from 1970 to 1984 and athletic director from 1984 to 1994
- Member of the NCAA Council from 1989 to 1992 where he chaired the NCAA Baseball Committee, was part of the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Committee, the NCAA Committee to Review Legislative Process and the NCAA Television Committee
Terry Kennedy, Florida State, 1975-77 (Catcher)
- The Sporting News National Player of the Year (1977)
- In both 1976 and 1977, was named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News
- Most Valuable Player recognition from the The Sporting News in 1977
- Earned 1976 All-Region and 1977 All-Metro honors
- Named MVP of 1977 Metro Conference tournament
- From 1975-77, drove in 122 runs and hit 32 home runs
- His 64 RBI, 21 home runs and .810 slugging average were school records in 1976
- Drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Cardinals
Robert 'Bob' Lee, Southern University 1949-1961 (Coach)
- Served as the head coach at Southern University for 13 years
- His teams won eight Southwestern Athletic Conference championships outright and shared one more title
- According to official NCAA records, Lee's overall record was 172-35 for an .831 winning percentage. As recorded in the NCAA record book through 2020, Lee has the highest lifetime winning percentage of anyone in the country with a minimum of 10 years as a head coach at a four-year institution.
- In 1959, led Southern to the NAIA National Championship
- First and only national baseball title won by an HBCU institution
- The following year (1960), Lee again led Southern to the NAIA national tournament and finished third
- In 1961, was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year
- Elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1967
Danny Litwhiler, Florida State/Michigan State, 1955-82 (Coach)
- Led Florida State to the school's first seven NCAA tournament appearances and first three CWS appearances
- Moved to Michigan State in 1964 and led the Spartans to three NCAA tournament appearances, winning two Big Ten titles
- Coached Dick Howser, Kirk Gibson, Rick Miller and Steve Garvey
- Tallied 678 wins in his college coaching career
- Credited with developing the idea for Diamond Dry and the radar gun
Mark Marquess, Stanford, 1977-2017 (Coach)
- Served as Stanford head baseball coach for 41 years and left as the eighth-winningest coach in college baseball history
- Retired from coaching in 2017 with a career record of 1,627-878-7 (.649)
- During his tenure, led Stanford to 14 trips to the College World Series, including back-to-back national titles in 1987 and 1988.
- A three-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1985, 1987, 1988)
- His teams advanced to postseason play in 30 of a possible 41 seasons
- During his tenure, more than 200 players were chosen in the Major League Baseball draft, including 25 first-round or compensation picks
- One of only 10 people to have played and coached at the College World Series
- Three-year starter at first base for Stanford (1967-69)
- Earned first-team All-America honors in 1967 and garnered second-team All-America recognition in 1968
Gregg Olson, Auburn, 1986-88 (Pitcher)
- Auburn's first two-time All-American
- 1987 Baseball America All-American
- 1988 ABCA and Baseball America All-American
- 1987 USA National Team member
- Led NCAA in ERA in 1987 (1.26) and led SEC in 1988 in ERA (2.00)
- Became Auburn's highest-ever draft pick as the Baltimore Orioles selected him fourth overall in the 1988 draft
Frank Quinn, Yale, 1945-48 (Pitcher)
- 1948 first-team ABCA All-American who won 31 games and struck out 410 in his career
- Pitched Yale to 1947 and 1948 College World Series
- Beat Clemson 7-3 with 10 Ks in the 1947 Eastern Playoffs
- Beat USC 8-3 in game two of the 1948 CWS
- Beat North Carolina in the 1948 Eastern Playoffs behind a five-hit complete game in which he struck out 15
- Finished career with a 3-1 record in NCAA post-season play
- Finished career with a 17-2 record in conference play
- Notable performances in his career
- Beat Harvard, 1-0, to clinch the 1947 EIL championship
- Shut out a powerful Army team, 1-0
- Struck out 20 in an 11-inning two-hitter won by Yale over Penn, 1-0
Frank "Porky" Vieira, University of New Haven, 1963-2006 (Coach)
- Founded the Division II New Haven program in 1963
- Retired in 2006 with an all-time record of 1,127-324-6 in 44 seasons
- Racked up 42 straight winning seasons from 1963 to 2004
- Second among all-time Division II coaches in both career winning percentage (.776) and total victories
- Over the program's first 44 seasons, the University of New Haven earned 17 College World Series berths (15 NCAA, two NAIA) and was the 1989 NCAA runner-up to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which later had its participation vacated due to ineligible players
- Under Vieira, UNH produced more than 75 professional players, including 10 who advanced to Major League Baseball. Most notable was 1987 Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian of the Philadelphia Phillies
Dave Yeast, Umpire 1982-2015
- NCAA National Coordinator of Baseball Umpires, 1996-2008
- NCAA Regional Umpire Coordinator, 1994-1996
- Conference Umpire Coordinator, 1993-1999 & 2015-Present
- Pac-12 Conference, 2015-Present
- Big West Conference, 2015-Present
- Western Athletic Conference, 2016-Present
- Missouri Valley Conference, 1990-1994
- Metro Conference, 1993-1995
- Conference USA, 1996-1999
- NCAA Division I College World Series, 1991, 1995
- Division I Baseball Super Regional, 1999
- Division I Baseball Regional, 1987-1996, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2011
- Officiated in the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, Metro Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West Conference, Southeastern Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Western Athletic Conference, West Coast Conference, 1982-2015
- International Baseball
- XXVI Olympic Games, 1996 (Atlanta, Georgia)
- IBAF Intercontinental Cup, 1999 (Sydney, Australia)
- IBAF Intercontinental Cup, 1993 (Parma, Italy)
- IBAF World Championships, 1990 (Edmonton, Canada)