EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University baseball legend Danny Litwhiler will be the first-ever Spartan to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
The former MSU head coach will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the rest of the Class of 2021 on June 26 in part of a virtual College Baseball Night of Champions Ceremony hosted by the MLB Network’s Dani Wexelman.
Litwhiler passed away in 2011 at the age of 95, but his legacy has not been forgotten. Now, thanks to the College Baseball Foundation and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, that legacy will be memorialized.
Danny was lovingly known as “Skip” by teammates and players he coached. MSU’s current baseball head coach Jake Boss says Litwhiler deserves this recognition for his work on and off the field.
"I think what was going on in the country, with, you know, African American players coming up and starting to play football here at Michigan State, which was started by Duffy Doherty, really in that kind of a big impact on college football, you could say the same about Coach Litwhiler," Boss said. "He had that kind of impact."
Although this is the university’s first-ever showing in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Litwhiler is no stranger to honors of this merit. In 1980 he was inducted into the American Association of College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and was awarded a “Lefty Gomez Award” for his contributions and decades of service to college baseball. Over the years Litwhiler has also entered the Hall of Fame at Michigan State, Bloomberg University and Florida State University.
Skip spent 19 seasons with MSU and led the team to three NCAA tournament appearances in 1971, 1978 and 1979. During his time with the Spartans, the team also bagged two Big Ten Championship titles in 1971 and 1979.
The NCAA tournament landscape was no stranger to Litwhiler. Before he found his way to East Lansing, the baseball legend spent nine years coaching the Florida State Seminoles to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the College World Series.
The College Baseball Foundation and National College Baseball Hall of Fame recognized Litwhiler as a pioneer and an innovator as well as a coach. Off the field, he not only became an author he was also an inventor of two products still used in the game today.
“The thing every coach deals with now, two things, certainly radar gun and diamond dry,” President of the College Baseball Foundation Mike Gustafson said. “The sort of moisture, moisture drying product that he was instrumental in helping create, it's just an innovative guy and a special guy. And so that was certainly part of his nomination.”
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