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Pulaski inducts 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame class

PULASKI – The Pulaski Mariners and Pulaski Baseball Inc. has announced its second class of the Pulaski County Baseball Hall of Fame. The 2009 group includes five outstanding ballplayers and coaches. They were inducted during Saturday’s game versus Elizabethton.
The five 2009 inductees are:
Smokey Burgess, a former major league player and hitting coach with the Pulaski Braves
Bill Flint, a star first-baseman at Jefferson High School in Roanoke who played with the Pulaski Counts and was a sports editor for the Southwest Times newspaper
Ray Rudisill, a Pulaski Counts’ outfield as a playing-manager
Ed Goodson, the only major league baseball player to have been born in Pulaski
J.B. Brillheart, first Pulaski County-born player to reach the major leagues, with the 1922 Washington Senators

Smokey Burgess
Forrest Harrill "Smoky" Burgess was a catcher in Major League Baseball who later in his career became known for his ability as a pinch hitter. In his playing days, he stood 5’8" (173 cm), weighed 188 pounds (85 kg), batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Born in Caroleen, North Carolina, Burgess was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1944 and broke into the majors in 1949. By the time he had retired from baseball in 1967, Burgess had played for the Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.
When his playing career ended, Burgess spent many years with the Atlanta Braves as a scout and minor league batting coach with the Pulaski Braves. He died at age 64 in Asheville, North Carolina. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1975.

Bill Flint
Bill Flint was a star first-baseman at Jefferson High School in Roanoke in the mid-30s, batting .458 in his junior year and .500 as a senior. He only struck out twice during his entire high school career, and was captain of the team in his senior year. Bill also played basketball for three years in high school. Jefferson won the state championship during his junior year, and was runner-up when Bill was a senior. Playing both center and forward, Bill won All-State honors in his senior year.
Prior to the 1942 season the Harrisonburg (Virginia League) team had been transferred to Pulaski, and veteran catcher Jack Crosswhite had been named manager. Jack lived in Salem and undoubtedly was familiar with Bill’s work at Jefferson High School. As soon as Bill graduated, he signed with the Pulaski Counts. In his first pro season, he appeared in 102 games for the Countswith two home runs and 32 RBIs.
With World War II in full swing, Bill joined the Army after the 1942 season and was stationed in Canada. While in Edmonton, Alberta, he was a member of both the baseball and basketball teams at his base.
After the War, Bill returned to Pulaski, where the Counts had become a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He returned to his old first-base position, but an additional four years of maturity showed. This time, in 118 games Bill batted .301, and had 109 RBI.
The next year back in Pulaski, 1947, was the best of Bill’s career, as he hit .339 with four homers and 101 RBI in 100 games. In one game, Bill set an Appalachian League record with three hits in one inning. Pulaski finished in first place, 12 games ahead of the Bluefield Blue-Grays, but in the post-season playoffs among the top four teams, the Counts lost four games to two in the finals to Jack Crosswhite’s New River Rebels (Narrows).
He would leave baseball to become a sportswriter, for what people thought, in 1947. But in 1955, the Pulaski Phillies suffered injuries to the two first-basemen on their roster, and Bill put his Sports Editor hat aside to fill in for two games, until the Phillies could get another first-sacker to town.
After several years at The Southwest Times, Bill became co-owner of the Western Auto store in Pulaski.

Ray Rudisill
Ray Rudisill came to Pulaski by accident, and ended up spending the rest of his life here.
Born into a ball-playing family in Lincolnton, NC (his two brothers also played minor league baseball), Ray began his career in 1940 by signing with the Harrisonburg Turks of the Virginia League. The left-handed hitting outfielder hit .306 his first season as a pro, and followed that up with a .314 season in 1941.
Due to financial troubles, the Harrisonburg franchise was transferred to Pulaski for the 1942 season. For its first entry into organized minor league baseball, Pulaski found itself in the Virginia League, with teams from much larger cities – Lynchburg, Newport News, Petersburg, Salem-Roanoke, and Staunton.
In 1946, Ray Rudisill was in the Pulaski Counts’ outfield as a playing-manager, batting .342, with 20 stolen bases, 93 RBI, and 169 runs scored in 118 games. Ray’s 169 runs scored still stand as an all-time Appalachian League season record.
Ray would bat .363, 162 runs scored, and career highs in hits (157) and RBI (101). The 130 walks he received are still the Appalachian League single-season record.
1949 turned out to be Ray’s last season in professional baseball. Sixty years after he last played, he remains Pulaski’s all-time career leader in games played, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, and bases on balls.

James Ed Goodson
Ed Goodson is the only major league baseball player to have been born in Pulaski. Goodson’s parents moved to Richmond when he was a toddler, but he eventually returned to Southwest Virginia. When his parents later divorced, he went to live with his grandparents in Ivanhoe, near the Wythe-Carroll county line.
Goodson was drafted out of high school by the Houston Astros in 1966, but rather than sign, he elected to attend East Tennessee State, where he was an All-American as a sophomore. He was later chosen by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 1968 "secondary phase" for players who had been drafted previously. Ed signed, and rose steadily through the Giants’ system, and earned his first big-league call-up in September 1970, after batting .314 with 19 homers from Fresno. Originally signed as a shortstop, the Giants moved Ed to first-base in 1969, and he spent the rest of his career alternating between first and third.
The Giants ended up with six lefty swingers in their starting lineup, and in an effort to even things out, they traded Ed to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Craig Robinson in early June. After the 1975 season, the Braves traded Ed and outfielder Dusty Baker to the Los Angeles Dodgers for four players.
He returned to Grayson County in 1982 and became the baseball coach at Independence High School, staying on after the merger with Fries to become Grayson County High School in 1990. He led the team to more than 170 wins over 12 years and coaching 20 players who received college baseball scholarships. Ed was a founder of Dixie Youth Baseball, was a member of the Grayson County Baseball Authority, and was a coach with the Pulaski Rangers in the late 1990s.
Ed and his wife, Brenda currently live in Galax, where he is an Environmental Science High School Teacher and Jobs for Virginia Graduates Specialist. In addition, he operates “Ed Goodson Hitting,” giving private batting instruction to boys and girls. Their son Kirk starred at Virginia Tech, and pitched one season in the Chicago Cubs minor league system.

James Benson Brillheart Sr.
J.B. Brillheart was the first Pulaski County-born player to reach the major leagues, with the 1922 Washington Senators. Jim was born and grew up in Dublin, the son of James Walter Brillheart, a local merchant. He pitched extensively in the Dublin/Pulaski area, before entering Roanoke College, where he was the star pitcher on the baseball team. He is a member of the Roanoke College Athletics Hall of Fame.

Brillheart’s career at Roanoke College was cut short when he signed with the Washington Senators, and was farmed to the Greenville (Appalachian League) club. Even though he had only modest success at Greenville, he still made the Senators’ opening day roster in 1922. At only 18 years, 6 months, and 20 days of age when he made his major league debut against the Philadelphia Athletics, and was the youngest player in the American League that season. He pitched his first complete game on July 8, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 (Ty Cobb got a single in four at-bats), and ended the season with a 4-6 record. He would eventually be sent to the minors where he would play an amazing 20 seasons.

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Pulaski inducts 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame class

PULASKI – The Pulaski Mariners and Pulaski Baseball Inc. has announced its second class of the Pulaski County Baseball Hall of Fame. The 2009 group includes five outstanding ballplayers and coaches. They were inducted during Saturday’s game versus Elizabethton.
The five 2009 inductees are:
Smokey Burgess, a former major league player and hitting coach with the Pulaski Braves
Bill Flint, a star first-baseman at Jefferson High School in Roanoke who played with the Pulaski Counts and was a sports editor for the Southwest Times newspaper
Ray Rudisill, a Pulaski Counts’ outfield as a playing-manager
Ed Goodson, the only major league baseball player to have been born in Pulaski
J.B. Brillheart, first Pulaski County-born player to reach the major leagues, with the 1922 Washington Senators

Smokey Burgess
Forrest Harrill "Smoky" Burgess was a catcher in Major League Baseball who later in his career became known for his ability as a pinch hitter. In his playing days, he stood 5’8" (173 cm), weighed 188 pounds (85 kg), batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Born in Caroleen, North Carolina, Burgess was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1944 and broke into the majors in 1949. By the time he had retired from baseball in 1967, Burgess had played for the Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.
When his playing career ended, Burgess spent many years with the Atlanta Braves as a scout and minor league batting coach with the Pulaski Braves. He died at age 64 in Asheville, North Carolina. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1975.

Bill Flint
Bill Flint was a star first-baseman at Jefferson High School in Roanoke in the mid-30s, batting .458 in his junior year and .500 as a senior. He only struck out twice during his entire high school career, and was captain of the team in his senior year. Bill also played basketball for three years in high school. Jefferson won the state championship during his junior year, and was runner-up when Bill was a senior. Playing both center and forward, Bill won All-State honors in his senior year.
Prior to the 1942 season the Harrisonburg (Virginia League) team had been transferred to Pulaski, and veteran catcher Jack Crosswhite had been named manager. Jack lived in Salem and undoubtedly was familiar with Bill’s work at Jefferson High School. As soon as Bill graduated, he signed with the Pulaski Counts. In his first pro season, he appeared in 102 games for the Countswith two home runs and 32 RBIs.
With World War II in full swing, Bill joined the Army after the 1942 season and was stationed in Canada. While in Edmonton, Alberta, he was a member of both the baseball and basketball teams at his base.
After the War, Bill returned to Pulaski, where the Counts had become a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He returned to his old first-base position, but an additional four years of maturity showed. This time, in 118 games Bill batted .301, and had 109 RBI.
The next year back in Pulaski, 1947, was the best of Bill’s career, as he hit .339 with four homers and 101 RBI in 100 games. In one game, Bill set an Appalachian League record with three hits in one inning. Pulaski finished in first place, 12 games ahead of the Bluefield Blue-Grays, but in the post-season playoffs among the top four teams, the Counts lost four games to two in the finals to Jack Crosswhite’s New River Rebels (Narrows).
He would leave baseball to become a sportswriter, for what people thought, in 1947. But in 1955, the Pulaski Phillies suffered injuries to the two first-basemen on their roster, and Bill put his Sports Editor hat aside to fill in for two games, until the Phillies could get another first-sacker to town.
After several years at The Southwest Times, Bill became co-owner of the Western Auto store in Pulaski.

Ray Rudisill
Ray Rudisill came to Pulaski by accident, and ended up spending the rest of his life here.
Born into a ball-playing family in Lincolnton, NC (his two brothers also played minor league baseball), Ray began his career in 1940 by signing with the Harrisonburg Turks of the Virginia League. The left-handed hitting outfielder hit .306 his first season as a pro, and followed that up with a .314 season in 1941.
Due to financial troubles, the Harrisonburg franchise was transferred to Pulaski for the 1942 season. For its first entry into organized minor league baseball, Pulaski found itself in the Virginia League, with teams from much larger cities – Lynchburg, Newport News, Petersburg, Salem-Roanoke, and Staunton.
In 1946, Ray Rudisill was in the Pulaski Counts’ outfield as a playing-manager, batting .342, with 20 stolen bases, 93 RBI, and 169 runs scored in 118 games. Ray’s 169 runs scored still stand as an all-time Appalachian League season record.
Ray would bat .363, 162 runs scored, and career highs in hits (157) and RBI (101). The 130 walks he received are still the Appalachian League single-season record.
1949 turned out to be Ray’s last season in professional baseball. Sixty years after he last played, he remains Pulaski’s all-time career leader in games played, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, and bases on balls.

James Ed Goodson
Ed Goodson is the only major league baseball player to have been born in Pulaski. Goodson’s parents moved to Richmond when he was a toddler, but he eventually returned to Southwest Virginia. When his parents later divorced, he went to live with his grandparents in Ivanhoe, near the Wythe-Carroll county line.
Goodson was drafted out of high school by the Houston Astros in 1966, but rather than sign, he elected to attend East Tennessee State, where he was an All-American as a sophomore. He was later chosen by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 1968 "secondary phase" for players who had been drafted previously. Ed signed, and rose steadily through the Giants’ system, and earned his first big-league call-up in September 1970, after batting .314 with 19 homers from Fresno. Originally signed as a shortstop, the Giants moved Ed to first-base in 1969, and he spent the rest of his career alternating between first and third.
The Giants ended up with six lefty swingers in their starting lineup, and in an effort to even things out, they traded Ed to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Craig Robinson in early June. After the 1975 season, the Braves traded Ed and outfielder Dusty Baker to the Los Angeles Dodgers for four players.
He returned to Grayson County in 1982 and became the baseball coach at Independence High School, staying on after the merger with Fries to become Grayson County High School in 1990. He led the team to more than 170 wins over 12 years and coaching 20 players who received college baseball scholarships. Ed was a founder of Dixie Youth Baseball, was a member of the Grayson County Baseball Authority, and was a coach with the Pulaski Rangers in the late 1990s.
Ed and his wife, Brenda currently live in Galax, where he is an Environmental Science High School Teacher and Jobs for Virginia Graduates Specialist. In addition, he operates “Ed Goodson Hitting,” giving private batting instruction to boys and girls. Their son Kirk starred at Virginia Tech, and pitched one season in the Chicago Cubs minor league system.

James Benson Brillheart Sr.
J.B. Brillheart was the first Pulaski County-born player to reach the major leagues, with the 1922 Washington Senators. Jim was born and grew up in Dublin, the son of James Walter Brillheart, a local merchant. He pitched extensively in the Dublin/Pulaski area, before entering Roanoke College, where he was the star pitcher on the baseball team. He is a member of the Roanoke College Athletics Hall of Fame.

Brillheart’s career at Roanoke College was cut short when he signed with the Washington Senators, and was farmed to the Greenville (Appalachian League) club. Even though he had only modest success at Greenville, he still made the Senators’ opening day roster in 1922. At only 18 years, 6 months, and 20 days of age when he made his major league debut against the Philadelphia Athletics, and was the youngest player in the American League that season. He pitched his first complete game on July 8, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 (Ty Cobb got a single in four at-bats), and ended the season with a 4-6 record. He would eventually be sent to the minors where he would play an amazing 20 seasons.

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