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Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame voting opens for Class of 2021

Chip Cannon leads 6 into Citadel athletic hall of fame (copy)

Former Citadel baseball star Chip Cannon is one of six candidates for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Staff/File

Bo Parks was an incredible 56-6 as a high school pitcher. Gus Holt worked tirelessly to build and promote baseball in Charleston's Black communities. Chip Cannon was a Citadel slugger for the ages.

Oscar Fordham has contributed 61 years to youth baseball. Ralph Ciabattari was the first head coach in the modern College of Charleston baseball era and also coached at Charleston Southern. The Citadel's Steve Arrington was the 1973 Southern Conference Player of the Year.

They add up to a stellar group of candidates for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021, a list released July 21 by the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame’s advisory committee.

The Charleston RiverDogs will host an online vote on their website beginning July 21 with in-stadium voting during the team's upcoming homestand July 27-August 8.

Voting is limited to five total votes per participant.

The Hall of Fame committee also announced that fan-voting will select the two individuals that collect the most votes while the committee may vote in one additional member. Fans can click here to vote on the official ballot or visit riverdogs.com to place their vote.

A look at the 2021 finalists, in alphabetical order:

• Steve Arrington. A right fielder and pitcher who was the 1973 Southern Conference Player of the Year when he led the league in strikeouts (93 in 65 innings), home runs (6) and RBI (28). Named to the South Carolina College Coaches All-Star team at both positions, Arrington was a member of the 1971 SoCon Championship team (22-9) under coach Chal Port.

After graduation, he spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Air Force in worldwide assignments, and attained the rank of full colonel. He was enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017 and resides in Texas.

• Chip Cannon. The Citadel's first baseman/pitcher from North Charleston made Baseball America's 2004 All-America team and was picked in the eighth round of the 2004 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cannon played on two Southern Conference championship teams for head coach Fred Jordan. Cannon upon graduation in 2004 was second in school history with 40 home runs. As a pitcher, he had 107 strikeouts in 153 innings. He was enshrined in The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

• Ralph Ciabattari. Served as head baseball coach at Charleston Southern (then Baptist College from 1983-88) and College of Charleston (1991-99) for 15 seasons and finished with a 378-311-2 overall record.

During his tenure at CSU, Ciabattari posted a 163-94 record including wins over nationally-ranked South Carolina and North Carolina. Ciabattari led the Cougars to a 22-12-1 record in 1991, the program’s first season since 1948, and 215 overall wins (215-217-2). His Cougar teams beat the likes of South Carolina, North Carolina State, Michigan State, Boston College, Seton Hall and top-ranked Florida State.

• Oscar Fordham. He started working for the City of Charleston Department of Recreation in 1960 as a playground leader in the downtown area and served as a youth sports coach for thousands of children over 61 years.

Fordham "retired" twice from the city but came back to work both times.

• Augustus “Gus” Holt. As a coach, promoter and historian, the late Holt brought national recognition and attention to the 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars, an all-Black youth baseball team from the 1950s, and restarted Little League baseball on the Charleston peninsula as president of the Charleston American Little League.

• Bo Parks. A Summerville High School baseball standout, Parks was inducted into the Dorchester School District 2 Hall of Fame in 2000. He played on Summerville's 1978 and 1979 state championship baseball and football teams.

As a pitcher, Parks had a 56-6 career record with seven no-hitters, a record for most consecutive wins in a season On the mound, he posted a 56-6 career record, with seven no-hitters. He was 16-0 in 1979, a state record for consecutive wins in a season. In the state record book, Parks is tied for third in consecutive shutouts (4), fifth in consecutive wins (20) and tied for second in single-game strikeouts (20).

For RiverDogs ticket information, including promotions and 2021 policies, see riverdogs.com or call 843-577-3647 (DOGS).

Gene Sapakoff is the oldest, fastest, hardest-hitting sports journalist in S.C. As columnist at The Post and Courier he covers Clemson, South Carolina and other interesting things. He likes food and has won the prestigious Judson Chapman Award 3 times.

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