PHOENIX - Arizona Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez will be inducted into the Tampa Bay Sports Club Hall of Fame tomorrow, Feb. 12 at 4:00PM (AZ time) at the Embassy Suites USF in Tampa Bay. Gonzalez will join former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde and former Tampa Bay area baseball player Tony Saladino for the 32rd Tampa Bay Sports Club Hall of Fame induction class.
Gonzalez is one of only 19 players in Major League history to collect at least 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 350 home runs and 1,000 RBI, joining Baseball Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Andre Dawson, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Tony Perez, Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski, as well as Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez.
The Cuban-American played 19 years in the big leagues, compiling 596 career doubles, the 15th-highest total in baseball history. He posted a .283 batting average, 2,591 hits, 354 home runs and 1,439 RBI during his career with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins and D-backs.
The five-time All-Star retired as the D-backs' all-time leader in games played (1,194), hits (1,337), doubles (310), home runs (224), walks (650), runs (780), RBI (774), at-bats (4,488), total bases (2,373), slugging percentage (.529) and on-base percentage (.391).
For his contributions as a player and a member in the community, Gonzalez became the first former player to have his number retired by the D-backs during a pregame ceremony on Aug. 7, 2010. Last month, he was inducted into the Latin American Sports Hall of Fame.
One of the most popular figures in D-backs history because of the way he interacted with fans and his game-winning single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series to give the organization its first World Championship, Gonzalez begins his fifth full season as a Special Assistant to D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall.
The Sports Club of Tampa is celebrating 53 years in 2014 and began the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame Award in 1982. The first induction class featured Al Lopez, Tampa's first Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias of Olympic Track and Field Hall of Fame and Professional Golfer. Since 1982, 71 men and women athletes and coaches representing football, baseball, basketball, swimming track and field, tennis, bowling and race car driving have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Past inductees also include men and women, who through their civic contributions have furthered amateur and professional sport in the Tampa Bay Community. In addition to Al Lopez, other notable baseball players who have been inducted into the Tampa Hall of Fame include, Lou Piniella, Steve Garvey, Wade Boggs, Tony LaRussa, Dave Magadan, Dwight Gooden, Mike Heath, Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez.