published Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Chattanooga Lookouts owner Frank Burke among inductees to Southern League Hall of Fame

Reggie Jackson, Dale Murphy and Ryne Sandberg are among the 10 new inductees to the Southern League Hall of Fame.

Representing the Chattanooga Lookouts as an inductee is owner Frank Burke.

"Frank has not only been a good friend to me and the league, but he has just been a wonderful representative of our league over the years," Southern League president Lori Webb said Tuesday. "Whether working on one of our committees or one of the Minor League Baseball committees -- I know he has just brought so much innovation to the Chattanooga Lookouts and loves the Chattanooga community. I think his selection as a Hall of Fame inductee for Chattanooga was the best one they could have picked."

The inductees were chosen by each of the league's 10 clubs and will join the first three inductees -- former league presidents Billy Hitchcock, Jimmy Bragan and Don Mincher -- who were unanimously selected by the league's board of directors last July. The class of 10 inductees is helping commemorate the 50th anniversary of the league's modern era.

Burke bought the Lookouts in 1995 along with his late father, Daniel, and Charles Esbach, and helped oversee the opening of AT&T Field in 2000. He is in his 20th season as team owner but is in the process of selling the club.

"There are a lot more worthy people than me, but it's very nice that my efforts were noticed," Burke said. "It's very flattering and very nice, and the best part about it for me is that I'm in a club that Don Mincher is a member of. Besides my father, he was my closest friend in baseball."

Other inductees selected by their respective Southern League franchises include former players such as Jackson (Birmingham), Murphy (Mississippi), Sandberg (Tennessee), Tim Wakefield (Pensacola), Bo Jackson (Jackson) and Alan Trammell (Montgomery). Jacksonville selected former owner Peter Bragan, while Huntsville picked Rosemary Hovatter, who has worked at Joe Davis Stadium for the past 30 years.

Webb said the league would move forward with three inductees a year with the possibility of an extra selection from a representative before 1964.

"We actually started talking about a Hall of Fame back in 1994, but it kept getting pushed aside," she said. "A couple of years ago, we decided we're either going to do it or stop talking about it."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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