Baseball: Louisiana Lightning Headed To UL Athletics Hall of Fame
LAFAYETTE – Ron Guidry has come full circle.
The former Ragin’ Cajuns pitcher and New York Yankees All-Star will be inducted into the UL Lafayette Athletics Hall of Fame during halftime of the Ragin’ Cajuns homecoming football game versus ULM, which begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Guidry, who is from Carencro, La., will ride in the Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m. that day. He will sign autographs at 2 p.m., at the Alumni tent near the Gate A entrance of Cajun Field.
"Ron Guidry epitomizes the integrity and character of the University," said Ken Meyers, president of the Ragin’ Cajuns Lettermen Club and a UL Lafayette baseball player from 1988 to 1992.
Guidry, after a standout career at UL Lafayette, was chosen in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft in 1971. He spent several years in the minor leagues, then, in 1975, began a brilliant, 14-year playing career with the Yankees.
No year was brighter than 1978, when the team won its second straight World Series. Guidry posted a 25-3 record, a winning percentage that is among the Top 10 in baseball history. He earned the Cy Young Award as the top pitcher in the American League. Sports Illustrated called him "the man the New York Yankees couldn’t have won the world championship without…"
Guidry, whose blazing fastball earned him the nickname "Louisiana Lightning," posted a career record of 170-91, and 1,778 strikeouts. He retired in 1988, and later spent several years as a pitching coach for the Yankees. In 2003, the team retired his No. 49 jersey.
The University’s Hall of Fame recognizes men and women who distinguished themselves as student-athletes and have made significant contributions to their professions and their communities.
This year, new eligibility criteria for the Hall of Fame were adopted to allow the nomination of coaches and administrators, as well as alumni whose collegiate careers were shortened by the chance to pursue professional sports, explained Rob Stewart, UL Lafayette associate director of athletics for external affairs.
Student-athletes are nominated and selected through a process that is overseen by the board of directors of the Ragin’ Cajuns Lettermen Club.
Meyers said members of the University’s Hall of Fame serve as role models. They remind "each new generation of athletes of the tradition they must uphold and the ideals they should strive for while wearing the UL Lafayette uniform."
For more information, contact Tiffany Harris, Hall of Fame chairman, at [email protected] or (337) 278-1097.
Athletic Network footnote by Ed Dugas: