Union County inducts 17 into Hall of Fame


By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times

The 2007 Union County High School Athletic Hall of Fame will include 17 athletes, as selected by committee.

With the consolidation of Union, Jonesville and Lockhart high schools, the UCHS Athletic Hall of Fame now includes the best athletes from across the county.

The inductees will be honored during halftime of Friday's Hall of Fame Game - Union County versus Eastside - at Union County Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

 

The honorees are:

Dr. Harold Buddy Broome (LHS, 1953 - 1956) played basketball and baseball. He was an MVP in both sports. He played in the 1956 North-South basketball game. He is the former superintendent of Union County Schools.

Bobby Bailey (LHS, 1946 - 1950) played in the 1950 North-South basketball game. He was all-state in baseball and basketball. He went to Newberry College, and played baseball for three years with the Phillies organization in Indiana.

Carl Rochester (JHS, 1947 - 1951) had 50 wins as pitcher and struck out 24 batters in one game - a high school record. He was drafted by the Pirates and played in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marion "Mo" Brown (UHS, 1956 - 1959) was a four-sport letterman - football, baseball, basketball and track. He was third in the pole vault in 1957 and placed in the 100 and 220 dash. He was voted most valuable track athlete in 57-58.

Mike Maness (JHS, 1964 - 1967) was a three-sport athlete - football, basketball, baseball. He was captain of the basketball and football teams. The football team won the 1966 championship.

Ray Spencer (Sims, 1960 - 1964) was a captain of the baseball team, his sophomore through senior years. He had a 28-3 record, including 12 shutout wins as pitcher. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved to triple A, before an arm injury.

Steve Morris (UHS, 1969 - 1970) was pitcher for the baseball team, which won the 1969 upperstate championship and defeated Southside (Florence) for the state title in 1970.

Jim Youngblood (JHS, 1966 - 1968) was a three-sport star - football, basketball and baseball. His football jersey was retired - the only Wildcat to be honored this way. He played college football at Tennessee Tech and was an All-American his junior and senior years. He played in four all-star games after college.
Youngblood was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with their first draft choice and played 13 years in the NFL. He was an All-Pro six consecutive years. He played in the 1980 Super Bowl. He was inducted into the Tennessee Tech Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and is on the list for the NFL Hall of Fame.

Pat Littlejohn (JHS 1966 - 1968) lettered in three sports. He played on two upperstate title teams - 1966 baseball and 1967 basketball (captain). He became head football coach at Jonesville in 1981. He led the Wildcats to the 1990 state championship. He was coach of the year in 1990.

Roger Vanderford (LHS, 1969 - 1972) played on four state championship teams - three in baseball and one in football. In 1971, he played in the North-South football game. He was all-conference in basketball, 1971-72.

Jimmie Stroud (LHS, 1968 - 1972) played on three state championship baseball teams and a state championship football team. He went to SC State on a scholarship and was all-conference his last two years for the Bulldogs.

Robert Mickey Sims (LHS, 1970 - 1973) was a three-sport standout. He played on the 1971 football championship team. He played at SC State and was all-conference four consecutive years at defensive tackle. He was an AP All-American. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns and played three years in the NFL.

Wayne Grady (LHS, 1970 - 1974) was a four-sport athlete and played on three consecutive state championship baseball teams, which won 50 straight games. He was all-conference and all-state for two years. He played in the 1973 North-South Game. Grady holds the school record for a 50-yard field goal. He played baseball at Spartanburg Methodist and was all-region two years.

Ronnie Crocker (LHS, 1969 - 1973) was a three-sport athlete and played on five state championship teams - four in baseball and one in football. He had a 24-0 record as a pitcher, appeared in Sports Illustrated in 1973 and was among the Spartanburg newspaper's top 100 athletes of the century in 1999.

Randy Crocker (LHS, 1972 - 1974) was a three-sport athlete and played on three straight state championship baseball teams, which won 50 games in a row. He had a 21-1 record as pitcher and had three no-hitters, the last in the 1973 state title game. He was featured in Sports Illustrated and was among the Spartanburg newspaper's top 100 athletes of the century.

Jimmy Crocker (LHS, 1972 - 1975) was a four-sport athlete and played on two consecutive state championship teams. He was all-conference in basketball, all-state and played in the 1975 state championship team. He played at Newberry College  and had the highest batting average in 1978. He is the head magistrate for Union County.

Ed Davis (UHS, 1980 - 1984) was a four-year member of the rifle team. He was the 1984 small bore state champion. He received a scholarship from Tennessee-Martin, where he was all-conference and a 1989 NCAA All-American. He was selected to the Hall of Fame in 2002. He is a member of the Charleston Police Department's Pistol Team.

 

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