May 20, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Former Clemson pitcher Jimmy Key to be one of ten inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 30.
A native of Huntsville, Key played collegiately at Clemson University from 1980-82 where he compiled a 20-14 record. He is the only baseball player in Clemson history to be first-team All-ACC at two positions in the same season, as a pitcher and designated hitter. He hit .325 during his three years at Clemson and hit 10 home runs.
Drafted in the third round of the ’82 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, he made the team roster in `84. He set a club record for a rookie with ten saves. In ’87 his 2.76 ERA led the American League and his 17 wins tied a Blue Jays record for most wins in a season. He holds the most wins by a lefty in Blue Jays history (116). He is the only pitcher in the majors to win 12 games per season from ’85-94. In ’92 he helped the Blue Jays reach and win their first World Series, recording two wins against his childhood favorite team the Atlanta Braves.
In ’93 he signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees (’93-’96) and posted his best record 18-6 with a 3.00 ERA. He won the deciding game in the ’96 World Series for the Yankees again against the Atlanta Braves. He was voted to the All-Star game four times (’85, ’91, ’93, ’94). Named the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year twice (’87 and ’94). His career numbers were 186 wins, 117 losses, 3.51 ERA, and .614 winning percentage. Twice he was runner-up in the Cy Young voting for the best pitcher in the American League. He finished his 15 year career with the Baltimore Orioles.
Other members of the Class of 2009 include: Larry Blakeney (football), Stephen Bolt (track), Tommy Brooker (football), Janelle Kirtley Godfrey (water skiing), Charley Hannah (football), Lee May (baseball), and John Mitchell (football). The Distinguished Alabama Sportsman is Ronald G. Bruno and the Distinguished American Sportsman is Nicholas J. “Nick” Bollettieri.
To order tickets for the Saturday, May 30 Induction Banquet at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel call the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame toll free at 877-323-6665.
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