Wallach Elected into College Baseball Hall of Fame
Feb. 21, 2011
Lubbock, Tex. - The College Baseball Foundation announced today that Tim Wallach, one of the finest players to ever wear a Cal State Fullerton baseball uniform, will be enshrined in the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Tex, on July 3 at the annual College Baseball Award Show.
Wallach will join Terry Francona (outfielder, Arizona, 1978-80), Danny Goodwin (catcher, Southern University, 1972-75), Dick Groat (shortstop, Duke, 1951-52), Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (coach, Grambling State, 1926-77), Oddibe McDowell (outfielder, Arizona State, 1983-84) and Bill Wilhelm (coach, Clemson, 1958-93) in the seven-man 2011 induction class.
"The Titan family would like to congratulate Tim on this very deserving honor," said Titan Head Coach Dave Serrano.
"He was a very large part of building the foundation of our historic program and we are very proud and celebrate this momentous occasion with him and his family."
After prepping at University High School (Irvine, Calif.) and playing junior college ball for two years at Saddleback College (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Wallach transferred to Fullerton where he had a pair of monstrous seasons that eventually led him to being selected in the first round of the 1979 Major League Draft by the Montreal Expos.
At Cal State Fullerton Wallach posted a career .392 batting average (2nd all-time at CSF), 39 home runs (7th all-time at CSF) and 182 RBI (6th all-time) in just two seasons (1978-1979) under legendary Head Coach Augie Garrido.
"In 1979, Tim inspired his Cal State Fullerton teammates, his university, the city of Fullerton, Orange County and the college baseball nation by leading a little known team to the national championship," said Garrido, now the head coach at the University of Texas.
"In doing so, he taught me more about what it takes to be a champion than I taught him in the two years he played for me."
He hit .394 in with 16 home runs and 80 RBI while slugging .715 in 1978, setting single-season school records in all four categories as a junior, and led the Titans to a Southern California Baseball Association (SCBA) championship and a Regional appearance at USC. At season's end, the first baseman was named the SCBA Player of the Year and was drafted in the 8th round of the MLB draft by the California Angles.
Wallach decided to return for his senior season at Fullerton, but not before being named the MVP of the World Amateur Baseball Championships in Italy, and the Alaskan Summer League in which he won the Triple Crown.
In 1979 Wallach was the best college baseball player in the nation and guided the Titans to the school's first Div. I national championship with a 60-14-1 record. Behind his .392 batting average, 23 home runs, and 102 RBI (still a school record), the Titans again won the SCBA title, a Regional championship at Fresno State and the College World Series title in Omaha, Nebraska.
Wallach was again named the SCBA Player of the Year as well as an All-American by both The Sporting News and the ABCA, and later went on to win the Golden Spikes Award and The Sporting News' National Player of the Year Award as the nation's top amateur player.
Wallach went on to a 17-year major league career with the Expos, Dodgers and Angels and was a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove-winning third baseman and five-time National League All-Star. He broke into the majors with a home run in his first official at bat, and finished his long career with a .257 batting average with 260 home runs and 1,125 RBI.
In 2000, Wallach briefly returned to Fullerton as an assistant coach with friend and then-Head Coach George Horton.
"I find it very fitting that the College Baseball Foundation committee has voted Tim into its prestigious Hall of Fame. Not only was he a great baseball player, but he is a tremendous person and a great family man," said Horton, now with the University of Oregon.
"His two-year career at Fullerton was so spectacular, that he is still represented as the most significant player in one of the most prestigious baseball programs in all of college baseball."
So significant, that in 2005, Wallach was among the seven inaugural members of the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame, joining his former college coach (Garrido) as representatives of the baseball program. He is one of 18 former Cal State Fullerton student-athletes in the hall of fame, and one of just five baseball players with such an honor.
Wallach resides in Yorba Linda, Calif., with his wife, Lori, and three sons, Matt, Brett and Chad. Matt Wallach played for the Titans under Horton in 2007 and is now a Dodgers farmhand at the double-A level. Brett is in the Chicago Cubs farm system at the single-A level. Tim's youngest son, Chad, is a freshman on the 2011 Cal State Fullerton roster under Serrano.
Wallach will be the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. He has spent the last two seasons managing the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers' triple-A affiliate.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame is run by the College Baseball Foundation in Lubbock, Tex. This year is the sixth year of Hall of Fame inductions by the College Baseball Foundation.
The 2011 class marks the first class to be inducted using a "threshold vote" rather than taking the top vote-getters. Starting in 2006, each class consisted of five players and five coaches, representing the top five in voting. This year, only those receiving enough votes to get in (appearing on more than 50 percent of the ballots), were elected.
To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must have completed one year of competition at a two-year or four-year institution and/or earned verifiable national acclaim.
The voting panel is composed of approximately 190 members. It is comprised of national and regional college baseball media, active and retired coaches, media and coaches from the "small school" category, a group of about a dozen former players, a group of "college baseball historians" and about 10 members of the SABR collegiate baseball committee. Past College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees also vote.
Goodwin and Jones were selected by the Pioneers and Legends Committee, which was designed to honor players and coaches from historically black colleges and universities whose careers began prior to 1975.