Heinkel, Mays, Norris, Watt, Wilson, Willett, 1989 Shockers elected to Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame

Wichita State WSU Shockers Athletics.jpg

WICHITA, Kan. (Wichita Sports HOF) – The 1989 NCAA World Series champion Wichita State team, along with former Shocker Don Heinkel will headline those to be inducted at the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual induction on February 8 in Wichita. The ceremony will be held at LaVela, 6147 East 13th Street North.

Don Heinkel helped lead Wichita State to its first-ever College World Series in 1982. Heinkel’s 51 wins from 1979-82 remain and NCAA record. He was drafted and signed by Detroit and pitched in the majors for the Tigers and and St. Louis. Heinkel, who is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, is now a physician practicing family medicine in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The late Carl Mays pitched for town teams in Mulvane and Protection in 1911. While pitching for the Yankees in 1920, Mays threw a pitch that hit Cleveland’s Ray Champman in the head. Chapman died the following day. This pitch overshadowed a 15-year major league career in which Mays won 207 games.

Derek Norris, from Goddard, was signed out of high school in 2007 by Washington. After a trade, he made his major league catching debut with Oakland in 2012 and was named to the American League All-Star team in 2014. Norris caught for San Diego in 2015-16 and Tampa Bay in 2017.

Mike Watt has won 16 state baseball championships as the head coach at St. Mary’s Colgan High School in Pittsburg. The Panthers won seven straight state titles between 2004-10 and four straight between 2013-16. Following the 2016 season, Watt was named ABCA national coach of the year. Watt began coaching at Colgan in 1986 and has won more than 600 games.

Craig Wilson was a first-team All-American and Big 8 Player of the Year for Kansas State in 1992. Wilson played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team before going on to a seven-year major league career with Pittsburgh, the Yankees and Atlanta.

The late Ed Willett was raised in Caldwell. He pitched for the Wichita Jobbers in 1905 and 1906 and jumped directly from the Jobbers to the Detroit Tigers to begin a 10 year major league career in which he won 102 games. After his playing career, Willett lived in Wellington, where he died at age 50. He is buried in Caldwell.

The 1989 Wichita State Shockers were beset by injuries and had to win three elimination games in their regional. At the College World Series, they lost their second game. But the fourth-seeded Shockers roared back to beat Arkansas, #1 Florida State twice and #2 Texas, 5-3, in the championship game.


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