SEC to honor former AU baseball coach Hal Baird - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

SEC to honor former AU baseball coach Hal Baird

AUBURN, Ala. – The all-time winningest coach in Auburn history, Hal Baird will join four others as the SEC Legends presented by AT&T will be honored at the 2013 SEC Baseball Tournament May 21-26 at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Ala.

"The SEC Baseball Legends presented by AT&T allows us to honor the deep tradition and history of baseball in our league and show why the SEC is the nation's premier baseball conference," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said.

The 2013 class features Baird, Terry Shumpert (Kentucky), Skip Bertman (LSU) and Gene McArtor (Missouri).

The inaugural class in 2013 included: Dr. Jeffrey Laubenthal (Alabama), Kevin McReynolds (Arkansas), Brad Wilkerson (Florida) and Rev. Reggie Andrews (Georgia).

Baird was the head coach at Auburn from 1985-2000 and guided the Tigers to a 634-328 (.659) record during his 16 seasons as the head man on the Plains. Twice he led the Tigers to 50-win seasons (1995 & 1997), while also taking Auburn to the College World Series in both 1994 and 1997.

A fixture in the Auburn dugout, Baird left an indelible mark on the Auburn baseball program. In his final seven seasons alone, he guided Auburn to three NCAA Regional titles, a SEC Western Division Championship and a SEC Tournament Championship.

Ten times during his stay did his teams finish the season ranked in the top 25. Baird's teams won at least 30 games in every season he was the head man and the program participated in nine NCAA Regionals during his stay, including seven in his last eight years at Auburn.

During the 1990's, Baird's teams won 68.1 percent of their games, the 21st-winningest program in the decade. Ten Auburn players earned All-America honors under Baird's tutelage while a total of 51 players were drafted off of Baird's teams, which included Gregg Olson, Frank Thomas and Tim Hudson.

Each SEC Baseball Legend will have on-field recognition and awards presented by Commissioner Slive on Saturday, May 25, during the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. Fans will have an opportunity for autographs and photos with the honorees at the AT&T Legends Pavilion immediately following.

The Legends will also participate in the annual SEC Youth Clinic on Friday morning.

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