Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Southern League starting Hall of Fame

Billy Hitchcock, whose name is synonymous with Auburn University athletics and who spent nine years as president of the Southern League, will be part of the inaugural Southern League Hall of Fame induction class.

Don Mincher and Jimmy Bragan, also former league presidents, will be inducted with Hitchcock.

The Southern League announced the creation of a Hall of Fame today. It will be part of the league's 2014 celebration of the 50th season of its modern era. The league moved up to Double-A status in 1964.

Hitchcock, who died in April 2006, was the Southern League president from 1971-80 and the league's championship trophy is named in his honor. He lived in Opelika.

Auburn's baseball field is named for Hitchcock and his late brother, Jimmy, the school's first All-American in both baseball and football. The Auburn men's golf team annually hosts the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate.

Bragan, who was born in Birmingham, succeeded Hitchcock as league president and was involved in baseball for more than 40 years. Mincher, a Huntsville native who helped the Stars move to town in 1985, was league president from 2000-11. Mincher was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

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