The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame Class of 2024 was officially announced on Wednesday morning. Among the inductees was West Virginia State University’s former Head Coach Cal Bailey who led the baseball program for 36 years. He was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame posthumously.
Induction to the ABCA Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the organization. The ABCA was founded in 1945 and the Hall of Fame began in 1966, with more than 350 inductees so far.
In Cal Bailey’s incredible 36 years at the helm of the WVSU baseball program, he led the Yellow Jackets to 19 conference championships and two World Series appearances. He coached 16 All-American players and tallied over 1,000 wins in his nearly four decades in charge of the program.
Bailey was named WVIAC Coach of the Year on eight occasions and was selected West Virginia College Coach of the Year in 1980. He was the first baseball coach to receive the honor. In 1999 and 2005, he was also voted North Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
Bailey is the winningest college coach in any sport in the state of West Virginia with a record of 1,063-521-4 (.670). He was inducted into the WVSU Hall of Fame in 1985 and the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
A native of Netwon, W.Va., Cal Bailey graduated from Spencer High School in 1960 and went on to pitch for West Virginia State where he earned All-WVIAC honors. He became the first Yellow Jacket to be drafted when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 23rd round of the 1966 MLB Draft.
Bailey spent six years in the minor leagues before joining the WVSU coaching staff in 1974 as an assistant. He was named head coach in 1978 and remained in the position until 2014.
Born April 8, 1943, Bailey passed away at 77 years old in April of 2020. West Virginia State’s baseball field will be forever named in his honor.
The 10-member ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2024 included:
Cal Bailey, West Virginia State University
Danny Hall, Georgia Tech
Pat McQuaid, Nova High School (FL)
Jim Morris, University of Miami (FL)
Brian O’Connor, University of Virginia
Tim Pettorini, The College of Wooster (OH)
John Vodenlich, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Jim Wells, University of Alabama
Wayne Welton, Chelsea High School (MI)
Jeff Willis, LSU Eunice