2012 Peninsula Oilers Hall of Fame

Coral Seymour (1930-1998), Organizational/Support

Coral Seymour was truly one of the original founders of Peninsula Oilers Baseball. For many of the early years, Coral was the face of the Oilers. He held nearly every title and position possible within the organization. Initially Coral assumed the duties of field maintenance, which he took great pride in. Coral served multiple terms on the Oilers’ Board of Directors but was probably best known for his service as General Manager.

During his tenure, Coral was a cornerstone of the organization. He was instrumental in establishing the Oilers as one of America’s top summer collegiate baseball programs in the 70s and 80s. It is safe to say that the Oilers would not exist today if not for the tireless dedication and support of selfless people like Coral Seymour.

In July 1998, the Oilers’ Ballpark was rededicated by Kenai City Mayor John Williams and Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre. The Park was renamed Coral Seymour Memorial Park to honor Coral and all he accomplished in bringing and keeping quality summer baseball in Kenai.

The Board of Directors and Hall of Fame Committee are grateful for Coral Seymour’s contributions to the Peninsula Oilers by inducting him posthumously into the Oilers Hall of Fame. 

Vince O’Reilly (1926-2008), Organizational/Support

Vince O’Reilly was born in 1926 in Bayside, NY. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1949, Vince worked for Solomon Brothers brokerage firm. Vince’s employer sent him to Alaska to explore the investment potential of a little project called The Alaska Pipeline. Vince so loved Alaska that he returned in 1971 with wife Marge and family. The day after arriving in Kenai, Vince was hired as Kenai Peninsula Borough Finance Director. Vince served as Borough Mayor in 1975 and as Kenai City Mayor from 1977 to 1983. Govenor Sheffield then appointed Vince as Alaska’s Director of Economic Development.

Despite his busy schedule, Vince still made time for his local community, becoming a staunch supporter of the newly founded Peninsula Oilers. Vince served in many different capacities with the Oilers. Wife Marge also helped out wherever she could; acting as Housing Director and even running the P.A. system during many games. Oilers Baseball became entwined with the O’Reilly Family. Vince’s family (Wife Marge and children Sean, Vince, Patty, Margaret, Tommy and Deirdre) opened their home and hearts as Summer Hosts, housing last year’s HOF inductee Frank Viola.

Vince and Marge are no longer with us, but their Oilers legacy lives on and their contributions to the community will never be forgotten. The Board of Directors is pleased to recognize Vince O’Reilly and all he did for the community, for Alaska and for Oilers Baseball, by inducting him posthumously into the Oilers Hall of Fame.    

Jimmy Key, Pitcher

James Edward “Jimmy” Key was born in 1961. Jimmy’s baseball legacy began at S.R. Butler High School in Huntsville, Alabama. A couple years later Jimmy showcased his pitching and batting skills at Clemson University. Jimmy earned the prestigious honor of being the only Clemson player named to the first-team “All Conference” in two positions (Pitching and DH). Even today Jimmy Key is the only ballplayer to have achieved that status at Clemson.

In 1981 Jimmy brought his talents north to Alaska, playing under Oilers Hall of Fame Coach, Mark Newman.

In 1984 he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and 8 years later Jimmy led them to their first playoff appearance and into a World Series championship. Key pitched two winning games in the 1992 World Series. The following year, the New York Yankees signed Jimmy to a 3 year contract, where he posted a 49-23 record. In his last game with NY, Key outgunned Greg Maddux of the Braves to take the deciding game of the 1996 World Series.

Jimmy finished his career with the Baltimore Orioles, the only team he played for that did not win a World Series title. After retiring from his distinguished baseball career in 1998, Jimmy took up golfing and today is a prominent amateur golfer in Palm Beach Gardens.

As a pro, Jimmy Key compiled impressive stats, with a win/loss record of 186-117, 3.51 ERA and 1,538 strikeouts. Key was named to the MLB All-Star Team 4 times (1985, 1991, 1993, 1994), was twice named as TSN Pitcher of the Year (1987, 1994) and received both the Player’s Choice Award Outstanding Pitcher of the Year (1994) and the Associated Press All-Star Award (1987). 

It is with great pride that the Peninsula Oilers Board of Directors welcomes Jimmy Key as a member of the 2012 Hall of Fame Class.

Christopher Curtis Nyman, Infielder

Christopher C. Nyman was born in 1955 in Pomona California and went to high school in Rancho Cordova (CA). Chris attended Arizona State University where his baseball skills were put on display. While in college, Chris played summer ball for the Peninsula Oilers in 1975 and 1976.  As an Oiler, Chris swung a mean bat landing him on several top 10 lists for “All Time Oilers Batting Records.” He is still on the top 10 lists for: Most runs scored (62); Most Runs Batted In (74); Most Base Hits (102) Highest Batting Avg (.330) and he is 5th on the Oilers Single Season Records for Batting Average with an incredible BA of .381.

In 1977 Chris was signed by the Chicago White Sox where he played two years at the major league level.  Nyman, played his first professional season with their Class A team Appleton Foxes in 1978, and split his last season with their Triple-A club, the Buffalo Bison’s, and the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A club, the Nashville Sounds. Nyman played in Japan for the Nankai Hawks in 1984-85.  His brother Nyls Nyman was also a major league ball player.

 Even though Chris had a relatively short major league career, he definitely had an impact while he did play. Chris Nyman was an asset to the Peninsula Oilers in 1975-76. Not only did he make a lasting impression on the Oilers Ball Club, but he sketched his name permanently in the Oilers’ record books. The Hall of Fame Committee is delighted to be inducting Christopher Nyman into the Class of 2012.

 

2011 Peninsula Oilers Hall of Fame

Organizational Support

Max Swearingen

Born January 29, 1935 in Hillsdale, Kansas, Max moved to Wichita at the age of 17 and began his newspaper career which took him to Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida. Finally, in 1960, he moved to Liberal Kansas where he became involved with baseball and served at every position on the board of the Liberal Bee Jays. With his baseball and newspaper background established, Max moved to Kenai in 1974 and became the first General Manager of the Peninsula Oilers. The Oilers won their first national tournament in 1977 under his guidance. Max was a career newspaperman, who along with Dick Morgan and Pat O'Connell purchased the Peninsula Clarion and turned it from a weekly shopper into a daily paper. He also scouted for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expo's. Max was a major force in getting the new Oilers ballpark built in his tenure. He passed away September 7, 1981 and is still missed by his wife, 7 children, and the Peninsula and Alaska baseball community.


Ron Malston

Ron has been a long time supporter of Oilers Baseball. He has been an Oilers Board of Directors member since the early seventies ahd has been treasurer for the past several yers. Not only has he been an individual supporter, but Malstons, has been a long time financial sponsor of the Oilers. Ron and his wife, Ruth, can often be found sitting in the grandstands, rain or shine, during Oilers games.

Players/Coaches

Frank Viola, Pitcher (1980)

Frank John Viola Jr., was born in 1960 in East Meadow, New York. He attended and played baseball at East Meadow High School and then St. John's University. While wearing an Oilers jersey, Viola pitched 68 2/3 innings with a record of 5-2 which included one save, 5 complete games, and a season ERA of 2.75. Viola was drafted before his sophpmore year by the Kansas City Royals in the 16th round, but he did not sign. In 1981 he was drafted again, but this time in the 2nd round to the Minnesota Twins. He made his Major League debut on June 6, 1982. Viola helped the Twins to their second World Series appearance and their first World Series win in 1987, and was named World Series MVP. The lefty was nicknamed "Sweet Music" after a sports writer proclaimed that when Viola pitched, there was sweet music in The Dome. Viola's other outstanding accomplishments include three times as an All-Star selection (1988, 1990, 1991); 1988 AL Cy Young Award; 1987 Babe Ruth Award; 1988 AL TSN Pitcher of the Year. Over his career, Viola's stats are impressive with and 176-150 record, 74 complete games with 16 shutouts.


Rick Peters, Infielder/outfielder (1975-1976)

Rick Peters was born November 21, 1955 in Lynwood California. He played baseball at Dominquez High School in Compton, California, and at Arizona State University. While at ASU Rick appeared in the College World Series and was a member of the 1972 Connie Mack World Series Champions. Rick played ball for the Peninsula Oilers in 1975 and 1976 and he appears in nearly all of the team's all-time record categories including highest batting average (.375). Rick is second in all-time stolen bases and second in all-time hits behind his 1975 Oiler teammate and last year's Hall of Fame inductee Julius Bowe. Rick went on to play Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers (1979-1980) and the Oakland A's (1983 and 1986). After retiring as a player, Rick spent several years coaching the Auburn Astros and The Burlington Astros. Rick Peters is a vital part of Oilers History as evidenced by the many team records he still holds 24 years after wearing an Oiler Jersey.


Steve Glaum, Pitcher (1976)

Steve was a three sport star at Aptos, earning All-League honors in football, basketball, and baseball. He played baseball at US Riverside and at Cabrillo College. During his time at UC Riverside, he helped his team win the NCAA Division II Colege World Series, along with being named the MVP of that series. He was selected to the NCAA Division II 30th Anniversary All-Time Baseball Team and is also a member of the Division II College World Series Hall of Fame. He played for the Peninsula Oilers in 1976. During that time he set several pitching records including: lowest ERA in Oiler history (1.39), most complete games pitched in a season (10), second most games started (13), and the 2nd most innings pitched (110). He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1976 and by the Detroit Tigers in 1977, for which he played AAA baseball. Steve eventually returned to Aptos, where he managed, coached, and served on the board for Aptos Little League.

2010 Peninsula Oilers Hall of Fame

Organizational Support

Dick Morgan

Dick was very instrumental in the early days of the Oilers organization. Dick's business, Morgan Steel (originally Luke's Welding), was and continues to be a huge asset to the Oilers through their sponsorship as well as contributions to make Oilers Park what it is today.

Dwain Gibson

Dwain has been a long time leader in the Oilers organization, serving many years as a member of the Board of Directors occupying positions including President and General Manager. His dedication was evident in the countless hours he has spent in these volunteer positions while running his State Farm Insurance business. State Farm continues to be a great sponsor of Oilers Baseball.


Judy Buffington

Jusy assisted the Oilers with her countless and tireless volunteer hours as a summer parent and organizer of the snack shack. Her outstanding work in these areas led to her membership on the Board of Directors. To this day, Judy is the only woman to ever occupy the position of General Manager of an ABL team.

Players/Coaches

Mark Newman, Coach (1975-1979, 1981)

Mark led the Oilers to their first National Baseball Congress World Series Championship in 1978. It would be 15 years before the Oilers would earn this award again. After his tenure with the Oilers, Mark continued his career as a college coach and is currently a member of the New York Yankees front office staff.


Dave Stieb, Pitcher (1977-1978)

Dave pitched for the Oilers in 1977 and 1978 and played under Coach Mark Newman. Dave was drafted in 1978 by the Toronto Blue Jays where he pitched for 15 of his 16 years in the MLB. His career highlights include being the American League Pitcher of the year in 1982. He also played in a total of 7 ALL-Star Games. Dave retired from Major League Baseball in 1998.


Michael Hildebrandt (1975-1977)

Mike played for the Oilers from 1975 through 1977 and was named to the All Tournament Team in Wichita in 1975. He was also a member of the 1977 ASU World Series Team. Mike still holds several Oilers batting records 33 years after putting on an Oilers uniform. Mike passed away unexpectedly in 1999 and is still remembered by the "old timers" as one of the best to play at Oiler Park.

Julius Bowe, Outfielder (1974-1976)

Julius currently holds numerous records with the Oilers. The most notable being 77 base hits in his 1975 season, as well as 33 stolen bases that same year. In 2000, Julius was named by Alaska Public Radio to the "All-Time Peninsula Oilers Team". Julius currently resides in the Los Angeles area.


Ronald Davis, Pitcher (1975)

Ron Davis Played for the Oilers for one season. While playing for the Oilers, Ron pitched 6 complete games, winning 9 games and maintaining a 1.96b ERA. In 1976, Ron was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. He played five years for the New York Yankees including pitching in the 1981 World Series. His 11 year career took him to several teams and he played his final game in 1988. He was also name in 200 to the "All-Time Peninsula Oilers Team."