George Sisler (1913-15)
Feb. 18, 2010
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Former University of Michigan baseball great George Sisler (1913-15) will become the fourth Wolverine in the last three years enshrined into the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the College Baseball Foundation announced Thursday (Feb. 18). Sisler joins former U-M coach Branch Rickey (1910-13) and players Jim Abbott (1986-88) and Barry Larkin (1983-85) in the Hall.
Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on the votes of more than 110 representatives from coast to coast. Voters include retired and active coaches, media members and previous inductees. To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must have completed one year of competition at a two-year institution in the CCCAA or NJCAA or a four-year NCAA (Division I, II or III) or NAIA institution.
Sisler and the rest of the 2010 inductees will be honored on July 1, 2010, as part of the College Baseball Foundation's annual celebration of both the past and present of college baseball from July 1 through July 3 in Lubbock, Texas.
Sisler made his mark at Michigan both on the mound and at the plate, but it was his exploits with a bat that gained him the most fame, tallying a career average around .445. Sisler's U-M career began as a member of the first-year engineering school team as a freshman in the intramural league. At the time, freshmen could not play for the varsity squad. His MVP performance over the juniors of the law school in the championship was enough to catch the eye of varsity coach Rickey.
Sisler became an immediate starter in his sophomore season of 1913, leading the Wolverines to a 21-4-1 record, their first 20-win season in history. Sisler finished the 1913 season with a .445 batting average and earned All-America honors for his pitching and outfield play. In 1914, Sisler battled arm trouble on the mound but still managed to hit near .500 at the plate. He returned for the 1915 season, earning All-America accolades for the second time with a .451 average.
Following the 1915 season, former Michigan coach Branch Rickey signed Sisler to a free agent professional contract with the St. Louis Browns where he became an instant star. In 1920, Sisler won the batting title with a .407 average with a record-setting 257 hits in a season. That record stood until 2004 when Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki set the new standard. Sisler also posted a career-high 122 runs batted in that season and won the first-ever AL MVP award for his 1922 season, batting .420 with 105 RBI.
In 1939, Sisler was honored for his professional achievements by being inducted into the first-ever class to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
College Baseball Hall of Fame