BINGHAMTON, NY - The 2013 Regular Season Eastern Division Champion Binghamton Mets are pleased to announce that Pete Van Wieren, Tom Tresh and Willard Hershberger will be inducted into Binghamton's Baseball Shrine in an on-field ceremony prior to the B-Mets 7:05 PM tilt against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Friday, August 30.
Van Wieren, the long-time broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves, got his first start behind the microphone professionally calling games for the Binghamton Triplets on WNBF radio. The Rochester, NY native moved on to broadcast for the Tidewater Tides (Triple-A) before joining the Braves radio booth in 1976.
Known as "The Professor" for his extensive baseball knowledge and in-depth research, Van Wieren called more than 5,500 Braves games over 33 seasons, sharing most broadcasts with the late Skip Caray. His calm, conversational delivery accompanied Braves fans through more than three decades of baseball in Atlanta and earned him the Georgia Broadcaster of the Year award ten times from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 and will be in attendance for the ceremony on Friday.
Tresh, a two-time All-Star and 1962 American League Rookie of the Year with the New York Yankees, spent two summers in the Southern Tier. After spending parts of the 1959 and 1960 seasons with the Binghamton Triplets, the shortstop ascended to the Big Leagues at the age of the 23. The Detroit, MI native hit .286 and slugged 20 home runs in his first full season and ran away with Rookie of the Year honors.
The switch-hitter also shined in the postseason, hitting .321 with a home run and four RBI in the Yankees' seven-game World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants. He led the club in hits, runs and batting average in New York's second straight World Series championship.
Tresh was named to the American League All-Star team in 1962 and 1963 and finished in the top 20 in Most Valuable Player voting four times. Converted to outfield after regular shortstop Tony Kubek returned from military service, Tresh won a Gold Glove as the Yankees centerfielder in 1965.
Hershberger, a former Binghamton Triplet, spent three years in the Major Leagues as a backup catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. The Lemoncove, CA native hit .304 for the New York-Penn League Champion Triplets in 1933, the club's first full season as a Yankees farm team.
After a December 1937 trade to the Reds, Hershberger made his Major League debut in Cincinnati the following April. He spent three years as a reliable understudy to Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi, compiling his best season in 1939 with a .345 batting average and just four strikeouts over 63 games played. Tragically, he took his own life in August 1940 during the Reds' pennant run. He is the only known in-season suicide in Major League Baseball history.
Created in 1993, Binghamton's Baseball Shrine honors all the individuals who contributed to America's Pastime in the Southern Tier. The elite club boasts 61 members with additional worthy candidates inducted annually. See below for a full list of all the inductees.
Tickets are still available for Binghamton's final homestand of the regular season as they welcome in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for a four-game set starting Friday, August 30. Fans can catch the induction ceremony and enjoy another edition of the Toyota Fireworks series after the game. Visit www.bmets.com or call 723-METS to purchase tickets.
Playoff tickets are also on sale as the Binghamton Mets will host postseason baseball for the first time since 2004. Visit www.bmets.com for more information concerning dates and times.
Be sure to follow the B-Mets on Facebook, Twitter and at the team's official website (www.bmets.com) for more team information. Fans can also stay up to date with all the action on the field by visiting "B-Mets Buzz with Tim Heiman" at bmets.mlblogs.com.