INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WLTX) - Sumter County native and former New York Yankees’ star Bobby Richardson has been selected for the 2017 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.
Bobby Richardson was a high school baseball and basketball standout in South Carolina before he eventually gained notoriety with the New York Yankees. Richardson lettered three years in baseball and basketball at Edmunds High School in Sumter, South Carolina. He led the baseball team to two state titles and played an integral role in the success of his American Legion team, which was crowned state champ in 1950 and 1952.
At the age of 17, Richardson signed with the Yankees on the day he graduated from high school quickly rose to the major leagues, where he was affectionately known as one of the Milkshake Twins because of his clean lifestyle.
As the second baseman on the Yankees’ teams with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, Richardson was a seven-time American League all-star. He was a part of three World Series championship teams (1958, 1961, 1962), and was World Series MVP in 1960, when the Yankees lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was also runner-up to Mantle for the 1962 American League MVP.
In 1966, Richardson retired at the age of 31 and, in 1970, began a six-year run as baseball coach at the University of South Carolina. Known as the father of South Carolina baseball, Richardson led the Gamecocks to the 1975 College World Series. He later coached at Coastal Carolina College and Liberty University. Richardson continues to reside in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina, where he remains active in his community and throughout the state.
"Richardson exemplifies the reason we do what we do in the world of educational athletics, said South Carolina High School League Commissioner Jerome Singleton. "He remains a shining beacon of inspiration for athletes across the country."
Richardson will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, along with ten others. The 35th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 98th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and performing arts programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 458.
NFHS member associations nominate inductees, who are then selected first by a screening committee and then by a final selection committee. Committees are composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders.
In addition to Richardson, the Class of 2017 includes:
- Joe Dial, who set a national record in the pole vault in 1981 as a senior at Marlow (Oklahoma) High School;
- Lisa Fernandez, who posted a remarkable 0.07 career earned-run average in softball during her days at St. Joseph’s High School in Lakewood, California;
- Melissa (Missy) West, a three-sport standout (basketball, softball, soccer) at Franklin Academy in Malone, New York, who later played basketball at Duke University;
- Russ Cozart, who has posted a remarkable 647-6 dual-meet record in 42 years as wrestling coach at Brandon (Florida) High School;
- Joe Lombard, a girls basketball coach at Canyon (Texas) High School who ranks second nationally in career coaching victories;
- Steve Shondell, who won almost 1,200 matches and 21 state titles in 34 years as volleyball coach at Muncie (Indiana) Burris High School;
- Bernie Walter, who won 10 state titles in 36 years as baseball coach at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland;
- Jerry Winterton, who had a 621-16 record in 30 years as wrestling coach at Cary (North Carolina) High School;
- Bill Laude, a football, basketball and baseball official from Frankfort, Illinois; and
- Rick Wulkow, who had significant contributions to high school sports during his 35 years with the Iowa High School Athletic Association.