Posted March 9th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Feature

The late Billy Disch, a former UT coach, and former Horns' hurlers Burt Hooton and Greg Swindell are elected to Hall of FameTexas coaching legend and baseball stadium namesake Billy Disch is one of three Longhorns elected to be a part of the 2008 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class. Joining Disch will be former Longhorns pitchers Burt Hooton and Greg Swindell, bringing the total number of Horns in the Hall of Fame to six.

Disch coached the Longhorns for 29 years from 1911-1939, winning 22 Southwest Conference titles while compiling a record of 513 wins and only 180 losses. He was one of the first people inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1966.

Hooton pitched for the Horns from 1969 to 1971 and finished his career with an incredible 35-3 overall record. His career ERA of 1.14 is still a school record, one that will likely never be matched in the metal bat era. Hooton was drafted by the Cubs in 1971 and made his major league debut that season without ever throwing a pitch in the minors.

While he didn’t have the MLB career his college teammate Roger Clemens did, Greg Swindell’s career at Texas from 1984 to 1986 was one of the best in college baseball history. At Texas, he compiled a 43-8 record with an ERA of only 1.92 and put up the two best single-season strikeout totals in school history. Swindell is one of only six players in history to be a three-time First Team All-American by Baseball America. His successful 17-year Major League career ended in 2002.

The three Longhorns will be joined in the 2008 class by Jackie Robinson, Dick Howser, and Ben McDonald, among others. The inductees will be honored on July 4 as part of the College Baseball Foundation’s annual celebration of both the past and present of college baseball in Lubbock.

Read profiles of the three inductees from after the jump.

Billy Disch

Disch, who coached the Longhorns for 29 years (1911-39) and served as advisory coach for a dozen more years, guided Texas baseball teams to 513 victories against only 180 defeats. While compiling a career .740 winning percentage, Disch coached 20 Southwest Conference championship teams.

His outstanding service to The University, as a person as well as coach, endeared him to the memory of his players and others closely connected with Longhorns athletics. Honors that have come to him include induction into the Longhorn Hall of Honor and election to both the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

While his teams competed in an era when there were no NCAA playoffs, at least six of his teams would have been in strong contention had such a prize been awarded. Among his famous squads were 1914 (30-5), 1919 (22-3), 1924 (29-1), 1927 (16-6), 1930 (30-8) and 1939 (18-6).

Burt Hooton

Hooton pitched at Texas from 1969 to 1971. He logged a 35-3 record and still owns several school records, including career ERA (1.14). He earned first-team All-Southwest Conference and All-American honors all three years he played for the Longhorns. In 1971, he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Sam Houston State and a 13-inning one-hitter against Texas Tech in which he struck out 19 batters.

Known for his knuckle-curve, Hooton enjoyed a 15-year major league career, playing for three teams, including the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers. He logged a 151-136 career record with 1,491 strikeouts and a 3.65 earned-run average.

Hooton broke into the major leagues during the 1971 season, appearing in three games for the Chicago Cubs. He posted a 2-0 record and a 2.11 ERA, striking out 22 batters in 21.3 innings. He weaved a three-hitter with 15 strikeouts to beat the New York Mets in his second major-league start and six days later registered a two-hitter to top the Mets once again.

In his first start of his second season, Hooton pitched a no-hitter, topping the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on April 16, 1972.

Arguably his finest season came during the 1981 season, when Hooton helped guide the Dodgers to their first World Series crown since 1965. He crafted an 11-6 mark with a 2.28 ERA in 23 regular-season appearances. He went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 14.2 innings to earn National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player distinction and went 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings of work in the Dodgers’ World Series triumph over the New York Yankees. Hooton earned the victory in the series-clinching game six win.

Greg Swindell

One of the most decorated pitchers in college baseball history, Swindell helped UT capture three straight Southwest Conference titles, post at least 51 wins during each of his three seasons and finish second at the College World Series in 1984 and ’85. During his tenure on the Forty Acres, Swindell boasted a 43-8 record, registered a 1.92 ERA and appeared in 77 games. He made 50 starts for the Longhorns, pitching 32 complete games and notching career school records for shutouts (14) and strikeouts (501). Swindell posted 13 career saves, which ranks sixth on the school career charts and presently holds the top two single-season strikeout totals in UT history (204 in 1985 and 180 in 1986).

Swindell put together his best season in 1985 when he posted a 19-2 record and 1.67 ERA to go along with 15 complete games, six shutouts and 204 strikeouts over 172 innings. He was chosen as the Baseball America National Player of the Year that season as he set the UT single-season records for wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts. The left-hander was selected a first-team All-American and All-Southwest Conference performer all three seasons and received Freshman All-America honors as well as Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year Award in 1984. He was also tabbed a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award three times.

Following his junior season, Swindell was selected second overall by the Cleveland Indians in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Immediately after signing with the club, Swindell made three starts at the Triple-A level and then embarked on a 17-year Major League career that included stints with Cleveland (1986-91 & 96), Cincinnati (1992), Houston (1993-96), Minnesota (1997-98), Boston (1998) and Arizona (1999-2002). One of his best years on the mound came in 1988 when he collected 18 wins for the Indians to go along with a 3.20 ERA and 180 strikeouts over 242 innings. He earned a spot on the American League All-Star Team in 1989. Swindell made four appearances in post-season play (1998, ’99, 2001, ’02) and helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series by making seven post-season relief appearances. He ended his career with 123 wins and 1,542 strikeouts over 2,233 innings and posted a 3.86 ERA after making 664 appearances, which included 269 starts.


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