Election fever: Vote Swindle for Charleston HOF

CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s advisory committee has selected its Class of 2016, and enshrinement will be conducted by voting from local fans.

The Committee also announced that fans will select the two that collect the most votes while the committee will vote in two members. Official ballots will be at Riley Park beginning today and on-line voting is also available.

LHP R.J. Swindle (Vancouver, BC) is one of the finalists. His name is in the record book of the Charleston Southern University Buccaneers record book, pitched in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers as well as wearing Canada’s uniform internationally. 

Voting will conclude on Friday, July 21. On Friday, Aug. 5, the top two individuals with the most votes will be inducted in August prior to a RiverDogs’ home game. 

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 come up with the 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 2016:
Ted Byrne - The South Atlantic League’s 1984 Broadcaster of the Year, Ted Byrne, who brought Charleston its first sports talk radio show, has been a sports broadcaster since 1967. He currently is the Operations and Traffic Manager for Kirkman Broadcasting and oversees all six of their radio stations. In 1984 he was named South Carolina’s Broadcaster of the Year. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Byrne was part of a group that won his industry’s highest award, The Peabody Award, which recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television broadcasters, and has been the “voice” of The Citadel and College of Charleston, and has worked TV broadcasts for Fox Sports, SportSouth, Comcast and ESPN. He twice broadcasted the SAL All-Star Game, and also did play-by-play for Georgia Southern basketball and baseball from 1997-05. He served as the public address announcer for the River Dogs and SC Stingrays, and was the sidekick to Bobby Hartin on the long-running sports talk show, “Fan Talk,” until 2012 when Ted was diagnosed with lymphoma, the type that is incurable but treatable, and currently is in remission.

Chris Campbell - Chris Campbell played second base for the College of Charleston from 2004-07, and when he graduated, he ranked as the program’s all-time leader in games played (240), hits (355), doubles (79) and RBIs (290). In 2007, Campbell led the nation in RBIs per game with 1.41 while his 87 RBIs in 2005 rank second all-time in Southern Conference history. When he finished in ‘07, Campbell’s 290 career RBIs were tied for first in SoCon history, while his 355 career hits were tied for second in the league record books. Campbell was the 2004 SoCon Freshman of the Year, while earning First Team All-SoCon honors in 2005 and Second Team All-Conference accolades in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He played on the Cougars first three NCAA Regional teams and was the only player in Southern Conference history to record two seasons of at least 100 hits.

Nick Chigges - College of Charleston’s Nick Chigges was a two-time Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year and collected first team All-Conference accolades in 2006 and 2007. Named co-MVP of the 2006 SoCon Tournament, Chigges earned second team Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger and NCBWA All-America honors in 2006 and second team ABCA All-American recognition in 2007. He had a 31-5 career record and a .861 winning percentage, and when he finished, the 31 wins ranked first all-time at CofC and fifth in SoCon history. Chigges’ ERA of 1.40 in 2006 ranked third in the country. He was named to the 2006 Kentucky Regional All-Tournament team after a complete-game, 13-strikeout performance in the win over Ball State in the semifinals. A 2004 member of Collegiate Baseball’s All-America Freshman Team, Chigges was drafted by the NY Yankees and played for the 2008 Charleston RiverDogs. He led the Cougars through the program’s most successful four years, winning three SoCon regular season championships in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and the 2006 SoCon Tournament title, and is a member of the Cougars’ Baseball Wall of Fame. 

John Couch - St. Andrew’s High product who played minor league baseball for the Charleston White Sox (1958-63), John Couch, a local CPA, attended Baseball Umpire Development School in St. Petersburg, Fla. He umpired classes A (Western Carolina League) and AA professional baseball in addition to American Legion and college baseball. Couch was an umpire during the 1975 NCAA College World Series in Omaha.

Timmy Linker - Local volunteer youth coach with St. Andrews Parks and Playground for more than 45 years and named the state’s volunteer coach of the year in 2004.

John Pawlowski - John Pawlowski is a former Clemson pitcher who reached the majors with the Chicago White Sox (1-0 MLB record) and was later the former College of Charleston head coach who led the Cougars to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, the first three in school history (2004-06), and a Super Regional in 2006. Elevating the program to national status, he signed and coached many standout Cougars, including Brett Gardner of the Yankees. Pawlowski left College of Charleston to become the head coach at Auburn, and served as the pitching coach at San Diego State before becoming the head coach at Western Kentucky.

R.J. Swindle - R.J. Swindle etched his name in the Charleston Southern record book thanks to a brilliant 2003 season. He set the still-standing single-season records for wins (10) and strikeouts (140) en route to finishing the year 10-5 with a 2.21 ERA. He capped his collegiate career as the Bucs’ all-time leader in wins (24), while placing second in innings pitched (349.2) and games started (51). Swindle, a native of Vancouver, Canada, suited up for the Canadian National Team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Germany, and the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the US. Swindle also enjoyed two stints in the major leagues, a three-game run with the eventual World Series Champion Phillies in 2008 and a six-game stretch with the Brewers the following year. After starting his pro career in the Red Sox organization, Swindle signed with the Yankees and pitched for the Charleston RiverDogs. He concluded a nine-year career in 2012, pitching with the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals’ AAA affiliate).
2015 - Pete Ayoub, John Chalus, Lee Curtis
2014 - Reese Havens, David Hoffman, Billy Swails, Jr.
2013 - Steven Jackson, Drew Meyer, Britt Reames
2012 - Gettys Glaze, Tom Hatley, John Rhodes
2011 - Bill Ackerman, Roberto Alomar, Mike Kimbrell

2010 - Lee Glaze, Fred Jordan, D.K. Walters, Kenny Wilkinson
2009 - John Dodds, Jr., W.S. “Bull” Durham, Donald Morillo, Doug Pounder
2008 - Bryce Florie, Danny Jones, Charley Smith, Richard Wieters
2007 - 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Star Team, 1990 Citadel World Series Team, Anthony Jenkins, Modie Risher
2006 - Ty Cline, Mike Cook, Gary McJunkin, Chal Port

2005 - John Candelaria
2004 - David Cone
2003 - Willie Randolph, Gorman Thomas