Sports

Scotch Plains Native Jeffrey Hammonds, Eight Others Inducted into NJSIAA's Bollinger Hall of Fame

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Jeffrey Hammonds and Reggie Hammonds Credits: Bill Flagg
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ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- Jeffrey Hammonds, the only Scotch Plains-Fanwood resident in memory to play in the Major Leagues, was among the group of nine Garden State sports luminaries being inducted into the NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) Bollinger Hall of Fame on Monday, Dec. 7.

The Class of 2015 also included former New York Mets manager Jeff Torborg of Westfield, an NFL Pro Bowler, and an Olympic sprinter once recognized as the "world's fastest human."

Among the finest athletes ever produced at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, Jeffrey Hammonds earned baseball All-Conference and All-County honors in 1987, 1988 and 1989. In addition, he was NJ's Gatorade Player of the Year in 1989.

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Hammonds went on to an All-American career at Stanford University. In 1990, he set the Pac-10 single season stolen base record as a freshman by stealing 102 bases in 174 career games. Hammonds was voted NCAA Freshman of the Year and was also named an All-American. He batted .380 and was again named an All-American while leading Stanford to the 1992 College World Series.

In the 1992 draft, Jeffrey Hammonds was selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles -- ahead of Derek Jeter, who was chosen by the Yankees. Hammonds played a dozen seasons in MLB with the Orioles, Reds, Rockies, Brewers, Giants and Nationals. He was an All-Star in 2000, when he hit .335 with 20 home runs and 106 RBI. For his career, Hammonds hit .272 and slugged 110 home runs.

A catcher at Westfield High School, Jeff Torborg was named All-State, First Team by the Star-Ledger. He continued his athletic career at Rutgers, where he spent three seasons on the varsity, once batted .537, and was named an All-American. He signed a professional contract with the Dodgers, spent 10 seasons in MLB. And after his playing days ended managed the New York Mets (1992-'93), as well as the Indians, White Sox, Expos, and Marlins. In 1990, he was the AL's Manager of the Year.

Art Still was a football stand-out at Camden High School, where he was named to the All-South Jersey Team by the South Jersey Press. He was also a major contributor to Camden's 1974 State Group 3 championship basketball team, which had a record of 28-1. Still played football at Kentucky, where he was a unanimous AP All-American selection in 1977, as well as Southeastern Player of the Year. In the NFL, he played for 12 seasons with the Chiefs and Bills, and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1980, '81, '82, and '84.

Frank Budd, who passed away in 2014, was an exceptional athlete at Asbury Park High School and  Villanova. He competed in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, finishing fifth in the 100-yard dash. A year later assumed the title of "world's fastest human" by establishing a new, 100-yard dash world record (9.2 seconds) at the National AAU Championships. Budd also spent two seasons in the NFL as a receiver for the Eagles and Redskins.

Winslow Township High School state champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs competed for the University of Nebraska, where he was an undefeated national champion both as a junior and senior. A three-time collegiate All-American and the 2011 InterMat Collegiate Wrestler of the Year, Burroughs won an Olympic gold medal in London in 2012. He was a World Champion in 2011 and 2013, and following a defeat at the 2014 World Championships in Uzbekistan, he recaptured his title in September in Las Vegas.

Gary Williams played basketball for Collingswood High School and received a scholarship to the University of Maryland, where the point guard and led his team to victory in the 1965 Sugar Bowl Tournament of Champions. His coaching career began at Woodrow Wilson High School, where he captured an NJSIAA state title in 1970 with an undefeated squad. On the college level, he coached at Lafayette, Boston College, American University, and Ohio State. From 1989 to 2011, he coached at Maryland, where his teams earned 14 NCAA Tournament berths, had seven Sweet 16 appearances, and won the 2002 National Championship. With 649 career NCAA victories, Williams is the fifth winningest head coach in NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball history.

Over the course of 27 years and 74 different seasons, Montclair High School's Clarence “Clary” Anderson coached five different sports -- football, baseball, hockey, basketball, and swimming -- and compiled a remarkable .768 winning record. As a football coach, Anderson -- who passed away in 1988 -- won 16 Group IV football championships, while his baseball teams were 10-time sectional champions. Further, he's widely recognized as being instrumental in the development of the North Jersey Scholastic Hockey League. On the college level, Anderson coached football and baseball for seven seasons at Montclair State, then served as Fairleigh Dickinson's baseball coach in 1977.

A baseball legend at Union High School, pitcher Al Santorini was an All-State, First-Team performer in 1964, 1965, and 1966. He graduated with a career 35-1 record, recorded 552 strikeouts, and had an earned run average below 1.0. A first round draft pick of the Braves in 1966, then a first round expansion draft pick by the Padres in 1969, he played ten seasons in the Major Leagues.

Representing one of New Jersey's smallest schools, the 1989 girls basketball team from Hoffman High School (now South Amboy High School) stunned their competition by capturing the state's inaugural Tournament of Champions event. The Lady Governors, who finished 1989 with a 35-5 mark, were coached by future NJSIAA Bollinger Hall of Famer Reggie Carney. They're the first team to earn hall of fame induction.

Established in 1995 and named for Short Hills-based sponsor Bollinger Insurance, a provider of sports-related insurance products, the NJSIAA’s Bollinger Hall of Fame receives nominations annually from high schools across the state. The submissions are reviewed by a selection committee that makes final decisions regarding inductees. 

Established in 1918, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization comprised of 435 accredited public, private, and parochial high schools. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the NJSIAA conducts tournaments and crowns champions in 32 sports.

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