Updated Mon, Feb 18, 2013 8:07 pm
Former Ohio baseball All-American Mike Schmidt was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 after 548 career home runs with the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, 17 years later, Schmidt will be honored on Thursday, May 17,th as a member of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame Induction Class at the Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland.
“Being recognized by the Mid-American conference now as a hall of famer is a nice honor,” Schmidt said. “It [playing in the MAC] was a great, great period in my life.”
Schmidt played baseball for Ohio from 1967-71 and lettered those four years, despite being a walk-on to start his career. He was named an All-American during the 1970 and 1971 seasons and in 1970, was one of the key contributors when the team made it to the College World Series. Schmidt played shortstop in college and was also named First Team All-MAC in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
“Those were the formative years of my life,” Schmidt said. “I arrived at Ohio University as a walk-on. I never had any scholarship money, but I tried out for the freshmen team and ended up an All-American.”
“You knew he was someone special when you were playing with him,” Ohio baseball head coach Joe Carbone said.
Schmidt was the 30th overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft and played for 18 seasons in Philadelphia. He was a member of the 1980 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies, a three-time National League MVP, named to 12 All-Star teams and received 10 Gold Glove Awards.
“His professional career speaks for itself, but what people forget is what a great college career he had with helping us get to the college world series, so it [induction] is obviously deserved,” Ohio athletic director Jim Schaus said. “He is as good as any athlete in any sport in our conference ever.”
The MAC Hall of Fame started with the charter class in 1988 and other classes were added in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994. Yet, it was suspended until it was reinstated earlier this month. The 2012 class will bring the total members from 52 to 58.
Joining Schmidt in this year’s class is Karen Fitzpatrick (Ball State-Field Hockey coach), Herb Deromedi (Central Michigan-Football coach), Ben Curtis (Kent State-Golf), Wayne Embry (Miami-Basketball), and Bob Nichols (Toledo-Men’s Basketball coach).
“There is no question that it is a point of pride to Ohio University, and our athletic department and our baseball program to have a Mike Schmidt as part of our history, but there are a lot of those athletes in the MAC and we are very proud of them,” Schaus said.