The new “Joe” has a new attraction for fans to check out. Sewell-Thomas Stadium’s Hall of Fame opened over the weekend for the University of Alabama’s weekend baseball series against Texas A&M.
The “Legends of the Joe” exhibition is located on the main concourse behind home plate, adjacent to the team store. It includes displays from every era of Alabama baseball history.
Alabama’s All-Americans have honoring their accomplishments, and every draft pick and Major League Baseball player in program history is listed on a plaque on the wall. There’s also an interactive display where fans can search for former UA players by their professional teams.
“There’s multiple levels, for fans, former players, even recruits,” associate athletic director Chris Besanceney said. “All of those elements are part of it.”
Among the highlights of the hall of fame is a glass case stacked with scores of baseballs. Former players who visit the stadium are invited to sign a ball, which will then become part of the display.
The program’s trophies are all encased in the hall of fame, and several team and individual records are displayed on a scoreboard on the wall.
Another display honor’s the stadium’s namesake. Joe Sewell starred on the Alabama baseball team in the late 1910s before going on to play in the majors. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Sewell returned to Alabama to coach the baseball program from 1964-69, winning the SEC in 1968.
His bat and one of his major league contracts are among the items now displayed at the stadium bearing his name
“His grandson Foots just had an amazing collection over the years that he kept and his daughter kept,” Besanceney said. “Just a treasure trove of items that they were able to allow us to display.”