News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Tide's Sewell, Gehrig head to College Baseball HoF

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Lou Gehrig was a college baseball star long before he became "The Iron Horse."

His impressive power-hitting displays as "Columbia Lou" more than 80 years ago earned him election to the first veterans class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Joining Gehrig were former Bucknell pitcher Christy Mathewson, Alabama second baseman and coach Joe Sewell, and Holy Cross shortstop and coach Jack Barry.

The four will be officially enshrined, along with several other inductees to be elected later this year, in July during a ceremony in Lubbock — the site of the new Hall of Fame.

As Alabama's starting second baseman during 1918-20, Sewell teamed with another future major leaguer, shortstop Riggs Stephenson, to form a solid double-play combination. Also, Sewell and Stephenson were regarded as two of the hardest hitters in baseball.

Sewell played on teams that posted a 42-4 record against college teams. Overall, the Crimson Tide went 44-8 en route to three Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles in 1918, 1919 and 1920. The 1918 team featured five future Major League Baseball players —Sewell, Stephenson, Dan Boone, Francis Pratt and Lena Stiles.

In 1920, Sewell set every hitting and fielding record at Alabama and was named to the All-SIAA team and every mythical All-America team college baseball had to offer.

Sewell played 14 years in the major leagues and helped the 1920 Cleveland Indians and 1932 New York Yankees to World Series championships.

He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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