Jan. 27, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Former University of Alabama baseball player David Magadan will be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on May, 17, 2014. Magadan will be one of eight inductee in the 2014 class, which included former Alabama football player Major Ogilvie, current Alabama football play-by-play announcer Eli Gold, Ruthie Bolton, Red Cochran, Bill Cody, Travis Grant and Walter Jones.
Never before or since has an Alabama baseball player had a season at the plate like Magadan did in 1983. The Alabama junior shattered school and Southeastern Conference records that still stand today in becoming the 1983 Golden Spikes Award winner, presented by the United States Baseball Federation, to the nation's top collegiate baseball player.
Magadan, who concluded the 1983 season with six school career records (at-bats, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, total bases and batting average), was a major contributor in Alabama's national runner-up spot to Texas at the College World Series. He led the Crimson Tide to NCAA South Regional and Southeastern Conference titles en route to a 46-11 record, one the most successful campaigns in program history.
After batting an incredible nation-leading .525 (114-for-217) as a junior, Magadan was also voted the 1983 College Player of the Year by Baseball America. He also led the team in hits (114), doubles (31), total bases (180) and slugging percentage (.829) during his record-setting campaign. Magadan was a consensus first team All-America selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the Sporting News, Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association during the 1983 season.
A three three-time All-SEC selection at the Capstone, Madagen hit safely in his initial 27 games as a freshman in 1981 and as a junior, went an incredible 10-for-11 (.909) at the 1983 SEC Tournament in Starkville, Miss., which included a five-hit game (2 doubles, 2 HRs) against Florida, en route to being named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He also set the CWS record by hitting safely in his first eight trips to the plate and wound up batting .550 (11-for-20) at Omaha in five games.
After his freshman season at Alabama, Magadan led his American Legion team to the 1981 American Legion World Series title and was named the "Sports Club Amateur of the Year" when Tampa Post 248 won the national title. Magadan also is recognized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his amateur accomplishments in 1981.
The Tampa, Fla., native played in 162 games during his Alabama career and batted .439 (268-for-610) with 64 doubles, 14 home runs and 188 RBI. His .439 batting average still ranks among the leaders (10th all-time) in Division I baseball and remains atop the SEC record books as the highest career average in league history.
Magadan still holds the Alabama and records for single-season batting average (.525, 1983), career batting average (.439, 1981-83), single-season hits (114, 1983), single season doubles (31, 1983) and single-season RBI (95, 1983). He also set the Alabama standards for highest batting average for a freshman (.399, 1981) and junior (.525, 1983) and most RBI (95, 1983) by a junior and shares the single-game record with five hits, a feat he accomplished an Alabama record three times against Alabama Christian (April 16, 1983), Florida (May 13, 1983) and Arizona State (June 4, 1983).
First drafted by the Boston Red Sox out of Tampa's Jesuit High School in 1980, Magadan then was one of six Alabama players selected in the 1983 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut for the Mets against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 17, 1986, as the starting first baseman at Shea Stadium. In the game, he went 3-for-4 with two RBI, including the game-winner in the eighth inning that clinched the National League Eastern Division title for the eventual world champions.
In 1990, Magadan finished third in the National League batting race with a career-best .328 (148-for-451) average. He played 16 years in the Major Leagues before retiring from the game after the 2001 season. In those 16 seasons, Magadan hit .288 (1,197-for-4,159) with 42 home runs and 495 RBI in 1,582 career big-league games. He played with seven teams during his career, including the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros.
After his playing days, Magadan was named the roving minor league hitting instructor by the San Diego Padres, before being promoted as the big-league hitting coach prior to the 2003 season. After four seasons with the Padres, Magadan was named the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox in 2007. After working six years in Boston, Magadan began working as the hitting instructor for the Texas Rangers in 2013.
In June of 2010, Magadan joined former Alabama All-American and head coach Joe Sewell as the only Tide players to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
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