Seward County's Galen McSpadden Elected Into Southeast Missouri State Hall of Fame
September 6, 2012
After coaching for more than 30 years and racking up more than 1,000 wins, Seward County Head Coach Galen McSpadden has taken home his fair share of awards and has been inducted into three different Hall of Fames including the NJCAA Hall of Fame but this call was different. McSpadden, whose roots were grown in the Southern part of Missouri, received a very special call last week from Southeast Missouri State Athletic Director Mark Alnutt. Alnutt informed McSpadden that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame of his alma mater, Southeast Missouri State, and before Alnutt could finish the invitation, McSpadden had accepted the invite back to Cape Girardeau and penciled in his February 8th induction date on his calendar.
Much has changed at SEMO since McSpadden’s playing days there in the early 70’s. The school who was known as the Indians when he donned the red and black, are now the Redhawks. Capaha Field, where McSpadden and the current Redhawks play their games has changed just a touch as well. Instead of the chain link outfield fence and manual scoreboard, the park now sports a state of the art press box as well as an advertisement laden wooden fence and top notch scoreboard. However, there are a few things that haven’t changed in the nearly 40 years since McSpadden toed the rubber for SEMO, his record 12.14 strikeouts per nine innings, as well as his feat of leading the team in ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, and wins in back to back seasons, as he is still the only pitcher in school history to accomplish that.
McSpadden lettered four times for the Indians from 1971-1974. He still ranks in the top 10 of nine different single season school records including his 1.47 ERA in 1973 and his 1.53 mark in 1974, which rank 4th and 5th respectively. Impressive enough numbers by themselves, McSpadden still laughs when he recalls the dimensions of his home stadium in Cape Girardeau “I’ll never forget those numbers” McSpadden said. “305 and 307 down the lines and 350 to center field” he continued. Just a bit different than the pitcher friendly 315, 335, and 400 foot dimensions at the renovated park of today. McSpadden won 18 games with the Indians, a number that doesn’t standout until you realize that SEMO played just 91 games total during his four years with the team.
Following his career with SEMO McSpadden was selected in the 6th round of the MLB draft by the San Diego Padres, still the highest selection of any player in school history. McSpadden played five seasons with the Padres and looked to be on track for the San Diego rotation before injuries derailed a promising career. Through twists and turns he ended up in Liberal, Kansas where he had played his summer ball for the Liberal BeeJays. McSpadden was hired as the baseball coach at Seward County Community College and eventually was named the Athletic Director for the Saints. 32 years and 1,065 wins later, McSpadden still draws up the lineup for the green and white in the Spring. He has been inducted into the NJCAA, Kansas Baseball, and Seward County Athletics Halls of Fame which makes Southeast Missouri State his fourth call to the hall.
The 11th Hall of Fame class at Southeast Missouri State is comprised of McSpadden as well as Ron and Mary Hines, Jim Hamby, Christine Ridenour, Beverly Slaughter, and the school’s only NCAA Basketball Tournament team from 1999-2000. The Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony will take place on February 8th at the Show Me Center and is open to the public. On February 9th the inductees will be recognized at the half of SEMO’s basketball game against Eastern Illinois.
When asked what the induction meant to him, McSpadden said “to be able to go back to a place where it all began, the place that set the path for my life, and be a part of something like the Hall of Fame is truly humbling. I am very excited to be able to go back and share this moment with my family, all of whom had a part in me receiving this honor today.”