Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame finalists announced

Former Stratford High School head coach John Chalus is a finalist for the 2015 class of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. (file/Staff)

The seven-member list of finalists for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 includes three with College of Charleston ties. Former Cougar players Lee Curtis and Chris Campbell and former coach John Pawlowski, plus former high school coach and executive Pete Ayoub, former Stratford head coach John Chalus, former Charleston RiverDogs manager Torre Tyson and late Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler were selected by the Hall of Fame’s advisory committee.

Fans can vote at Riley Park or online at www.riverdogs.com until July 24. The two candidates with the most votes will be inducted prior to the RiverDogs’ Aug. 7 game against the Savannah SandGnats.

H.A. “Pete” Ayoub is a Charleston native who was a three-year starter at Clemson; a First-Team All-ACC second baseman as a senior and hit .318 for his career; returned to North Charleston High to coach and led his baseball teams to state championships from 1965-67; served as Executive Director of the S.C. High School League from 1986 until his retirement in 1998.

Chris Campbell played second base for the College of Charleston from 2004-07; Campbell ranks 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; Campbell’s 87 RBIs in 2005 rank second all-time in Southern Conference history; his Campbell’s 290 career RBIs are tied for first in SoCon history, while his 355 career hits are 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; played on the Cougars’ first three NCAA Regional teams.

John Chalus coached baseball for 28 years at Stratford High before being promoted to the position of Athletic Director in 2014. He served as baseball coach from 1992-2014; 463-192 and averaged 20 wins a season; won seven region championships and two state titles (1996 and 2005); 12 of his players were major league draft picks, including Matt Wieters and Justin Smoak; named region Coach of the Year six times, and Lowcountry Coach of the Year five times; named 2005 Coach of the Year by SCACA.

Lee Curtis hit .404 in his two years which is still the College of Charleston’s all-time career mark and ranks third in Southern Conference history; his career slugging percentage of .742 and his 20 career triple lead the SoCon and school record books; won the SoCon Player of the Year award in 2002 and 2003. Curtis earned All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, Curtis batted .399 with 11 homers, 64 RBIs and 20 stolen bases and was the only player in college baseball to have double-figure totals in homers, doubles (26), triples (11), RBIs and stolen bases. Curtis was drafted in the eighth round by the Boston Red Sox in 2003.

The late Kiki Cuyler is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (elected in 1968), one of only two former Charleston minor league players so enshrined (Roberto Alomar is the other); played for the Charleston Pals in 1922 (131 games) at Hampton Park; was a big league outfielder for 18 seasons (1921-38) with the Pirates, Cubs, Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers; burst into the Pirates lineup in 1924, batting .354 as a rookie and the next year led the NL in triples (26) and runs (144), batted .357 while leading the Pirates to the World Series; later led the NL in runs (113) and stolen bases (35); hit over .300 10 times in his career.

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

Torre Tyson, a Mount Pleasant resident, is the winningest manager in Charleston RiverDogs history, having amassed a 232-186 (.556 percentage) record including a high of 80 wins during the 2008 season; played second base in the minor leagues and at the University of Missouri; was the RiverDogs’ hitting coach in 2005-2006; currently works for the Scott Boras Agency.

Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame inductees:

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.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff