COLUMBUS, Ohio The College Baseball Foundation announced today that Steve Arlin, the great Ohio State pitcher who led the team to its only national title in 1966, has been selected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. This is just the third class of enshrines to the Hall of Fame, which is located in Lubbock, Texas.
Arlin helped lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back appearances at the College World Series in 1965 and 1966. He not only is considered the top pitcher in Ohio State baseball history, but he also is regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the College World Series. In the 1965 CWS with Ohio State facing elimination against Washington State, Arlin struck out a CWS-record 20 batters in a 15-inning, 1-0 victory by Ohio State. The next year, the Buckeyes won the national championship with Arlin on the mound in five of the team’s six games, twice beating top-seeded Southern California.
“I feel privileged and honored to be a part of college baseball’s elite,” Arlin said. “And representing Ohio State and the Big Ten makes this all the more special for me since those days were some of the best in my life, spent with some of my closest friends. We shared that wonderful moment in time and came away with the best of memories.”
With a two-year record of 24-3 with the Buckeyes, Arlin held OSU marks for victories and strikeouts (294) until 1999 and his .889 win percentage is the best in school history. He led the nation in strikeouts as a sophomore with 165 and went 13-2 that year in leading the Buckeyes to a second-place finish at the 1965 College World Series. The next year he went 11-1 and helped Ohio State claim the championship.
“I have to attribute the successes we had to Coach Marty Karow,” Arlin said from his home in San Diego. “He was a bulldog. He was an All-American football player and he had that tough mentality. He taught us the fundamentals because we weren’t a bunch of .350 hitters. We were hard workers, though, and we had great defense and great pitching. Plus Marty had a knack for picking out talent and putting players in the right places.”
Arlin felt a key element of the 1965 and 1966 teams was the fact everyone got along so well.
“The thing I remember most is how well we all got along,” Arlin said. “We had Chonko (Arnie) and Harkins (Donald) and Bo Rein … these were football players who were together with young baseball players. Arnie had fantastic abilities and he was our leader. We all followed him. We just had so much fun together and that is the overwhelming memory I have of those teams.
“One road game, for example: Bo and Harkins and Chonko were used to having managers and everyone do things for them. That wasn’t the case with baseball. Bo forgot his shoes one time and Marty made him take infield barefoot. Then someone gave him some shoes.
“Marty had fun with that episode and it was hard to make Marty laugh. But I think he laughed more those two years than of his other years.”
Arlin, 62, who went on to pitch six seasons with the San Diego Padres, was a two-time, first team All-American and All-Big Ten selection and still holds two College World Series records. He was honored by being the Most Valuable Player at the College World Series in 1966 and is a member of the All-Time College World Series Team. His Ohio State jersey, No. 22, was retired in 2004.
To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must have completed one year of competition at a four-year institution and made an All-American team (post-1947) or an All-League team (pre-1947) and or earned verifiable national acclaim. Ballot-eligible coaches must have achieved 300 wins or won at least 65 percent of their games.
Among the 2008 Hall of Fame class are three Vintage-Era inductees – Owen Carroll, pitcher and coach, College of the Holy Cross and Seton Hall; William J. “Billy” Disch, coach, Sacred Heart College, St. Edward’s University and Texas; and Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson, infielder, Pasadena Junior College and UCLA. The Vintage-Era designation is for those who played or coached prior to 1947.
The remaining members of the 2008 Hall of Fame class, in addition to Arlin, are: Eddie Bane, pitcher, Arizona State; Floyd Bannister, pitcher, Arizona State; Neal Heaton, pitcher, Miami; Burt Hooten, pitcher, Texas; Dick Howser, shortstop and coach, Florida State; Ben McDonald, pitcher, Louisiana State; Greg Swindell, pitcher, Texas; and Gary Ward, coach, Oklahoma State and New Mexico State.
Arlin and the rest of the 2008 inductees will be honored July 4 in Lubbock, Texas as part of the College Baseball Foundation’s annual celebration of both the past and present of college baseball. At that time they will join previous inductees including coaches Skip Bertman of LSU, Jerry Kindall of Arizona, Cliff Gustafson of Texas and the late Rod Dedeaux of USC, and players Dave Winfield of Minnesota, Jim Abbott of Michigan, Will Clark of Mississippi State and Derek Tatsuno of Hawai’i.