Nov. 3, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's University Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed the Class of 2006 at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday night. The dinner, held at the Campion Student Center on the Saint Joseph's campus, honored Kevin Kirkby '01 and the 1971 team. In attendance from the squad were captains Norm Kraft and Dave Landers, as well as Jim Flanagan, Joe Levins, Tom Pippet, John Reusche, Bill Simpson, Gordon Slivinski, Rick Stauffer, and Joe Spiecker. Also in attendance was head coach Harry Booth, himself an SJU Baseball Hall of Famer (1997) and a 2006 inductee of the Saint Joseph's University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Kevin Kirkby enters the SJU Baseball Hall of Fame atop the program's all-time hit list with 263. He also holds numerous other school records, including games played (206), games started (205), and runs scored (163). He also holds the single-season records for hits (84), doubles (24), and runs scored (58). In addition to his exploits at the plate, Kirkby holds the school record for saves in a season (7) and in a career (12). His name is at or near the top of most major offensive top-ten lists, including batting average (.367, 3rd), at bats (717, 3rd), doubles (51, 2nd), RBI (126, 6th), and walks (104, 6th). His stellar play on Hawk Hill earned him local, conference, and national accolades throughout his career. He was twice named the American Baseball Coaches Association's Eastern Player of the Year, and was a four-time All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection. In 2001, Kirkby was named the Atlantic 10's Scholar Athlete of the Year and the NCBWA District I Player of the Year as well as being honored as a Third-Team All-American.
The 1971 Hawk baseball team, led by Booth and Marty Pollock, was the first Saint Joseph's squad to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, compiling a 19-7 record and winning the Middle Atlantic Conference championship for the first time. In addition, a 6-0 Big 5 record gave the Hawks their first city title as well. A 7-3 victory over Lafayette in the MAC championship game sealed the NCAA bid for the Hawks and sent them to Princeton, NJ, for the District II playoffs. The Hawks were eliminated by Seton Hall just two victories short of a trip to the 1971 College World Series. The 19 wins were a school record that would stand for 11 seasons, and their .722 winning percentage ranks third all-time in SJU history. The team broke eight school records, including most victories (19), longest winning streak (6), and most RBI (159). Three members of the team - Landers, Levins, and Bill Miller - were eventually drafted or signed by major league clubs.
The 2007 Hawk baseball squad begins its season on February 9, as Saint Joseph's travels to Virginia to take on Norfolk State in a weekend series.