The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s advisory committee has released its candidates for the Class of 2021, and enshrinement will be conducted by voting from local fans. The Charleston RiverDogs will host an online vote on their website beginning today and in-stadium voting during the team’s upcoming homestand (July 27th to August 8th). Voting is limited to 5 total votes per participant.
The Committee also announced that fan-voting will select the two individuals that collect the most votes while the committee may vote in one additional member. Fans can click here to vote on the official ballot or visit riverdogs.com to place their vote.
Voting will conclude on Sunday, August 8th at 8 pm. The individuals with the most votes will be inducted prior to the August 22nd RiverDogs’ home game against the Columbia Fireflies.
The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame is coordinated and operated by the Charleston RiverDogs. An advisory committee consisting of knowledgeable local volunteers was created to cultivate names as potential nominees. The Hall of Fame is located inside Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the Class of 2021:
Steve Arrington (Player) – A Lowcountry native, Steve Arrington was a right fielder/pitcher who was the 1973 Southern Conference baseball player of the year as he led the league in strikeouts (93 in 65 innings), home runs (6) and RBI (28). Named to the South Carolina College Coaches All-Star team at both positions, Arrington was a member of the 1971 SoCon Championship team (22-9) under Coach Chal Port. He had a pair of one-hitters, and held the school single-season record for total strikeouts (213 in 196 innings in 1973), complete games (8 in 1972), and shutouts (3 in 1971), and was second in ERA (0.96 in 1973). After graduation, he spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Air Force in worldwide assignments, and attained the rank of full colonel. He was enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. Resides in Hanahan, SC.
Rhame B. “Chip” Cannon (Player) – Hailing from North Charleston, the versatile first baseman/pitcher earned All-America honors from Baseball America in 2004 prior to being drafted in the eighth round by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was an All-Southern Conference selection in 2003 and ’04, and Baseball America listed him among the best pro prospects in the league while also labeling him with “the best raw power” in the SoCon. He played on two Southern Conference championship teams and made a pair of NCAA Regional appearances. After his graduation in 2004, Cannon was second all-time in school history with 40 home runs and his three grand slams were tops in the league that year. Cannon walked 156 times, recorded 169 RBI and tallied 399 total bases, all of which ranked him among the school’s all-time leaders. Pitching in the weekend rotation, he won eight contests in 28 appearances and posted a 4.00 ERA. He had three complete games and fanned 107 batters in 153 innings. Enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ralph Ciabattari (Coach)– Ralph Ciabattari’s served as head baseball coach at Charleston Southern (then Baptist College from 1983-88) and College of Charleston (1991-99) for 15 seasons and finished with a 378-311-2 overall record. During his tenure at CSU, Ciabattari posted a 163-94 record including wins over nationally-ranked South Carolina and North Carolina. Ciabattari led the Cougars to a 22-12-1 record in 1991, the program’s first season since 1948, and 215 overall wins (215-217-2). As a member of the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) from 1992-98, Ciabattari’s teams competed against some of the nation’s top programs. He led the College of Charleston into Southern Conference play in 1999 and helped them to a 31-24 overall record, 19-10 league mark and a second -place SoCon regular season finish. His record at College of Charleston included wins over South Carolina, North Carolina State, Michigan State, Boston College, Seton Hall and a 3-0 win at top-ranked Florida State on March 8, 1994. While at CofC, he coached 12 all-conference honorees, one All-American and four Academic All-Americans. The Bugettstown, Pa., native attended Burgettstown High School before earning his bachelor’s degree from Charleston Southern in 1977. He was a four-year letter winner at third base for the Buccaneers from 1973-77. He began his coaching career as an assistant under Charleston Southern head coach Bill Bustle in 1982.
Oscar Fordham (Coach) – Oscar Fordham began working for the City of Charleston Department of Recreation in 1960 as a playground leader in the downtown area. Mr. Fordham served as a youth sports coach for thousands of children during his 61 (and counting) work history. Many of those years were spent at Harmon Park on fields that are now named in his honor and he still works today at McMahon Playground Hampton Park). Mr. Fordham was a wonderful coach and teacher and always had youth teams in baseball as well as football and basketball. Mr. Fordham has retired twice from the city but has come back to work because he loves it and he loves working with young people as a sport baseball coach.
Augustus “Gus” Jimmy Holt (Coach/Organizer/ Historian) – Gus Holt spent the last 25 plus years bringing attention to the Cannon Street All-Stars, an all-black youth baseball team from the 1950s.who shed a national spotlight on an African American Little League baseball team from Charleston, He was a tireless advocate for youth baseball. In 1994, Augustus Holt succeeded in bringing Little League back to Charleston. Holt became president of the Charleston American Little League, overseeing the sports program and organizing a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars baseball team.
Bo Parks (Player) – A Summerville baseball standout, Parks was inducted into the Dorchester School District 2 Hall of Fame in 2000. He played on Summerville’s 1978 and 1979 state championship baseball and football teams. On the mound, he posted a 56-6 career record, with seven no-hitters and also holds the state record for consecutive wins in a season with a 16-0 record in 1979. In the all-time state rankings, Parks is tied for third in consecutive shutouts (4), fifth in consecutive wins (20) and tied for second in single-game strikeouts (20).
All RiverDogs tickets for the 2021 season are available for purchase online and will be delivered digitally. Once purchased, tickets can be printed at home or scanned on a phone. For answers to frequently asked questions, fans are encouraged to visit the RiverDogs Digital Ticket Guide. In addition to tickets, the entire RiverDogs gameday experience will be cashless including parking, the team store and concessions. Fans who do not have credit or debit cards will be able to use cash to purchase gift cards at Fan Services on gamedays. Masks are no longer required, but suggested for non-vaccinated guests. The RiverDogs also have a no bag policy, with the exception of medical bags, diaper bags, and clutch-style purses no larger than 6.5in x 4.5in.
RiverDogs season tickets, flexible ticket plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are now available for the 2021 campaign at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule for the 2021 season is available at riverdogs.com.
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