Four area baseball players and contributors will be inducted into the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame at the 26th annual hot stove banquet Thursday at the Salem Civic Center, including former Glenvar standout Jason Anderson.
Gary Gilmore, NCAA Division I Coach of the Year from Coastal Carolina, will be the guest speaker.
This year’s inductees are Anderson, Chad Beagle, Buddy Bolding and Scott Smith. Also, long time area volunteer Mike Cromer will receive the Wayne LaPierre Sr. Community Service Award at the banquet.
Anderson led Glenvar to the 1994 Group A state baseball championship before going on to a collegiate and professional career. He was 35-5 in four years on the Glenvar mound with 550 strikeouts in 300 innings and a career ERA of 0.98, and he was also an excellent hitter. Anderson went on to pitch at Radford University before being drafted by the Oakland A’s. He was on the California League All-Star team in 1998.
Beagle, was an all-state pitcher at Cave Spring High School, leading the Knights to a state runner-up finish in Group AAA his senior year. He went on to play for Gilmore at USC-Aiken and was the NCAA Division II baseball statistical champion for strikeouts per innings pitched in 1995. He played two years in the Florida Marlins organization.
Bolding was a player and coach at Staunton River High School before moving on to coach the Longwood University baseball team for 35 seasons. He won 953 games at Longwood with a winning percentage of .640, and the baseball stadium at the university, Bolding Stadium, was named in his honor.
Smith was a manager and board member with the Cave Spring Little League group. In recent years he’s coached the Roanoke Post 3 American Legion team and he was instrumental in taking the Roanoke Badgers AAU/USSA team into a newly established Wood Bat League, which eventually merged into the current Junior Legion.
Cromer will receive the Wayne LaPierre Sr. Commuity Service Award. He was president of Salem Little League for 15 years and assistant district administrator for District 12 for 17 years. He was instrumental in bringing the first Little League Major Boys Baseball Tournament to Salem in 1987 and helped build the first building at the Civic Center field. Mike was a long time employee of Graham-White, and was president of the Salem Little League when the company donated the land that is now home for the James I. Moyer Complex.
Gilmore will be the guest speaker at the banquet. A native of Franklin County, he’s been the baseball coach at Coastal Carolina since the 1996 season. Under Gilmore, Coastal Carolina has qualified for 14 NCAA Tournaments, including 2016 when the team made its first appearance in the College World Series and won the 2016 NCAA National Championship. Gilmore was inducted into the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the USC Aiken Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tickets for the banquet are available at the Salem Civic Center box office. The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 and honors players and contributors from the counties of Alleghany, Roanoke, Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin and Montgomery and the independent cities located within the boundaries of those counties. The Hall of Fame building is located on the grounds of the James E. Taliaferro Complex, next to the Salem Red Sox administrative office behind the third base seating area of Salem Memorial Ballpark.