Wedge to enter AFL Hall of Fame
Tribe skipper to be inducted before Friday's game in Scottsdale
Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge will be honored as the newest inductee into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame at Scottsdale Stadium Friday night during ceremonies prior to the 7:05 p.m. game between the Peoria Javelinas and Scottsdale Scorpions.
The six-year Cleveland manager guided the Indians to a Major League-best record of 96-66 (tied with Boston) in 2007 en route to the Tribe's first division championship since 2001. Wedge's Indians bested the New York Yankees three games to one in the American League Division Series before falling to the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox four games to three in the A.L. Championship Series.
Cleveland's 96 victories were the seventh-highest total in franchise history, earning Wedge American League Manager of the Year accolades from the BBWAA, Sporting News and Negro League Baseball Museum.
Entering the 2008 season, the Indians boasted the fifth-best composite record in the Major Leagues since 2005 (267-219, .548) and won at least 93 games in two of the three previous seasons.
The Fort Wayne, Indiana native managed his first club in 1998 at Class-A Columbus in the South Atlantic League. The Carolina League Manager of the Year at Class-A Kinston in 1999, Wedge spent the 2000 season managing Double-A Akron before spending 2001-02 skippering Triple-A Buffalo, where he was named Manager of the Year after both seasons.
Runner-up for College Player of the Year after leading Wichita State University to the 1989 NCAA national championship, Wedge was selected in the third round of the amateur draft by Boston in 1989 and later chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft. He appeared in nine games during the Rockies' inaugural season in 1993. He spent parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues and played professionally for nine campaigns before embarking on his managerial career in 1998 following eight surgeries over the course of his playing career that ended after the 1997 season.
The former catcher played for the Fall League's Tucson Javelinas in 1993 as a member of the Rockies' organization. After finishing with the league's best record, the Javelinas lost a three-game championship playoff to the Tempe Rafters.
AFL Hall of Fame - The Arizona Fall League, founded in 1992, formed its Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor the top Major League players and managers who honed their skills in the AFL.
Wedge and fellow 2008 inductee Jimmy Rollins, currently headed for the 2008 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies, increase the Fall League Hall of Fame to 23 members. Rollins will be honored later this Fall League season.
Previous inductees were Garret Anderson, Dusty Baker, Jermaine Dye, Terry Francona, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Giambi, Shawn Green, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Torii Hunter, Derek Jeter, Derrek Lee, Grady Little, Ken Macha, Jerry Manuel, Tony Pena, Troy Percival, Mike Piazza, Albert Pujols, Mike Scioscia, and Alfonso Soriano.
The selection committee, chaired by baseball ambassador Roland Hemond, the "Architect of the Arizona Fall League," bases its appointments upon individual achievement at the Major League level since participating in the AFL.
Visit www.mlbfallball.com for current Arizona Fall League information.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.