Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Peter Bragan, Sr. heads Inaugural Southern League Hall of Fame

Today the Southern League announced the ten members of the Inaugural Southern League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Each one of the ten S.L. teams has a representative member in addition to former S.L. Commissioners Billy Hitchcock, Bobby Bragan, and Don Mincher, who were announced in July, 2013.

***The Inaugural 2014 Southern League Hall of Fame Class***

*Jacksonville Suns...Peter Bragan, Sr. (Sun's owner)

*Montgomery Biscuits...Alan Trammell(1977 Montgomery Rebels/1977 SL MVP)

*Mississippi Braves...Dale Murphy(1976 Savannah Braves)

*Mobile Bay Bears...Mike Darr(1998 Bay Bears)

*Jackson Generals...Bo Jackson(1986 Memphis Chicks)

*Birmingham Barons...Reggie Jackson(1967 Birmingham A's)

*Tennessee Smokies...Ryne Sandberg(2009 Tennessee MGR)

*Pensacola Blue Wahoos..Tim Wakefield(1991 Carolina Mudcats)

* Chattanooga Lookouts...J. Frank Burke(Lookouts GM)

*Huntsville Stars...Rosemary Hovatter(30 years front office)

As a Detroit fan I'm proud that the greatest shortstop in Tigers history is being recognized for his 1977 MVP season as a Montgomery Rebel.

Trammell hit .291 with a S.L. Record 19 triples.

I'm also very proud that Peter Bragan, Sr., the longtime owner of the Jacksonville Suns, will be honored in this first class.

Mr. Bragan, who passed away in 2012, bought the struggling franchise here in Jacksonville in 1984, and with his son, Pedro, made the Suns the standard for all minor league baseball.

The Sun's first ever Southern League Championship came under the Bragan leadership, in 1996, then the Double A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

The Sun's have won five S.L. titles under the Bragan's ownership.

More than the winning baseball, the Suns have become a Jacksonville love affair between the fans, players, and ownership.

I saw my first Sun's game in 1981, before the Bragan's ownership, and will always have a special place in my heart for Mr. Bragan, Pedro, his staff, the players, and the great baseball fans here in Jacksonville.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Bobby Bragan, Peter's brother, at the J. C. Penny store I was working at , in 1983, when Bobby was working for the Texas Rangers.

The Bragan's are the reason we have the beautiful Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Suns home since 2003.

The Suns had played in old Wolfson Park since the early 1960s.

After his passing, the Suns renamed their home Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Congratulations to all the inductees, it should be a great ceremony at this year's S.L. All-Star Game, to be played in Chattanooga on June 17th.

Play Ball!

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