Mike Fuentes, Alex Gordon, and Steve Kemp Elected to National College Baseball Hall of Fame

Trio of former CNT stars join 47 other Team USA alums in HOF

Former Collegiate National Team standouts Mike Fuentes, Alex Gordon, and Steve Kemp were elected to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, as announced by the College Baseball Foundation on Thursday.

The trio joins 47 other Team USA alumni–including 43 who played for the Collegiate National Team–in the Hall of Fame, which began inducting members in 2006.

Fuentes played for the U.S. in 1980, when it took on Japan in a six-game series in California and Nebraska. Fuentes and Team USA went 5-1 versus Japan, dropping the opener before rattling off five straight wins to secure the series. The outfielder was on a roster featuring two other future College Baseball Hall of Famers: three-time CNT alum Oddibe McDowell and three-time MLB All-Star Frank Viola. Following his stint with the stars and stripes, Fuentes returned to Florida State and had a sensational season en route to winning the Golden Spikes Award in 1981. He became a second-round pick by the Montreal Expos following that season and went on to play seven seasons of professional baseball.

A fellow Golden Spikes Award winner, Gordon played for Team USA in 2004. The U.S. played in 25 games that summer, going 18-7 and sweeping the II FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tainan, Taiwan, to take home a gold medal. Gordon–who was named the top offensive player of the FISU Championships–played in 24 games that summer and was a key cog in the U.S. offense, batting .388 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Gordon was one of the best players in University of Nebraska history, as the 2005 GSA winner batted .355 with 44 career homers. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Year was chosen with the second overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 2005 MLB Draft, for whom he played 14 seasons in the big leagues and won eight gold gloves.

Kemp played two summers for Team USA, patrolling the outfield in both 1974 and 1975. Led by fellow Hall of Famer and longtime baseball coach Rod Dedeaux, Kemp was joined in 1974 by Keith Moreland and Rick Wortham, both who were also elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. The USC alum returned to the stars and stripes in 1975 and was again coached by a Hall of Famer, as John Scolinos was at the helm of the club. In his college days, Kemp helped lead the Trojans to several College World Series appearances, including their fifth consecutive in 1975. The outfielder was the first overall pick by the Detriot Tigers in 1976 and played 11 seasons in the bigs, making the All-Star Game in 1979 and getting MVP votes in both 1979 and 1981.

In total, 50 Team USA alumni are currently in the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Six members of the 1988 team that won gold at the Seoul 1998 Summer Olympic Games are in the Hall of Fame, in addition to four players from the 1984 Olympic squad. Three players from both the 18U and Professional Teams have also previously been inducted, in addition to 19 former coaches or administrative staff.

To be eligible for the College Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, players must be out of college for 15 years and have completed one year of competition at a two-year institution in the CCCAA, NJCAA or a four-year NCAA (Division I, II or III) or NAIA institution. Ballot-eligible coaches must be retired for two years or be active and no less than 75 years old. 

The class will be honored at the Night of Champions presented by Prairiefire on February 15, 2024, in Overland, Kansas.