CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball program elected six new members to its Hall of Fame on Friday night (Jan. 29) at the program’s virtual Step Up to the Plate fundraising event. A formal induction ceremony will be announced at a later date.
The 2021 inductees include: OF Steve Bryant (1968-70), LHP Nathan Kirby (2013-15), RHP Branden Kline (2010-12), OF/1B Mike Papi (2012-14), RHP Josh Sborz (2013-15) and LHP Brandon Waddell (2013-15).
Established in the summer of 2017, The Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame has enshrined a total of 28 members over the past three years including a 15-member inaugural class at the 2018 Step Up to the Plate event.
2021 VIRGINIA BASEBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
OF – Steve Bryant (1968-70)
- Earned First Team All-ACC honors in 1970 after garnering Second Team honors in 1969
- Career batting average of .341, the highest ever upon graduating from UVA and currently ranks as the 10th-highest average in UVA history.
- First Cavalier to lead the ACC in batting average in 1970 (.383), only six have done it since 1964
- Led UVA in hits for three-straight seasons (1968-70), runs scored in 1968 & 1970 and home runs in 1969.
- Recipient of ACC Award of Excellence in athletics and academics
LHP – Nathan Kirby (2013-15)
- Pitched in two College World Series and was a member of the 2015 National Championship Team
- Named a 2014 First-Team All-American by ABCA, Baseball America, Louisville Slugger; selected to NCBWA’s Second-Team All-America squad
- 2014 ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year
- Semifinalist for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award
- Two-time First Team All-ACC selection
- Tossed the program’s fifth no-hitter, striking out 18 batters in nine innings against Pittsburgh on April 4, 2014. The 18 strikeouts were the second most ever in a single game by a Cavalier pitcher.
- Struck out the final batter of the game and was credited with his first career save in game three of the 2015 College World Series Final against Vanderbilt, clinching UVA’s first National Championship
- Selected 40th overall (Competitive Balance Round A) by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2015 MLB Draft
- Combined for a one-hitter (7.0 IP) against Ole Miss in the 2014 College World Series, the first in the CWS since 1983
RHP – Branden Kline (2010-12)
- 2011 ABCA, Collegiate Baseball & Perfect Game, NCBWA Second Team All-American
- 2011 First Team All-ACC as a reliever & 2012 Second All-ACC as a starter
- 2011 Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team
- Member of the 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
- Two-time ACC All-Academic Team selection (2010 & 2012)
- Tied the ACC and set the UVA single season saves record with 18 in 2011 (since been eclipsed)
- 21 career saves rank in the top 15 in ACC history and third most in UVA history
- Selected in the second round (65th overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles
OF/1B – Mike Papi (2012-14)
- 2013 ABCA, Baseball America, First Team All-American
- Perfect Game Second Team All-American in 2013 & 2014
- Two-time First Team All-ACC (2013 – OF & 2014 – 1B)
- Won the ACC batting title in 2013, batting .381, first Cavalier batting champion since 1981
- Led the ACC with 11 home runs and 56 RBI in 2014
- A 2014 ACC All-Academic Team selection
- Selected in the first round (38th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 2014 MLB Draft
- Holds the single season school record in walks in a season with 61 in 2014
- His .517 on-base percentage in 2013 is the second highest in program history
RHP – Josh Sborz (2013-15)
- Member of the 2015 National Championship Team
- Named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 College World Series
- Tied a College World Series record with three wins in 2015
- Made eight appearances in the 2015 NCAA tournament and did not allow an earned run. He did not allow an earned run over the final 27 innings of his UVA career (dating to May 15), including all 13 of his innings in Omaha.
- Finished eight of UVa’s 10 wins in 2015 NCAA tournament, including all three regional games, one in super regional and four in CWS
- Became the fourth pitcher in NCAA history to be a part of two shutouts in the same College World Series
- Became 11th player in CWS history to earn three wins in one CWS
- His 14 career NCAA Tournament appearances, held a 0.51 ERA with six wins and three saves, all school records
- Selected 74th overall (competitive balance Round B) in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Earned 2015 Second Team All-ACC accolades as a reliever
- Finished seventh in program history with 80 career appearances
- His 17 career saves are the sixth most in school history
- His 33 appearances on the mound in 2015 were the third most in a single season by a UVA pitcher
LHP – Brandon Waddell (2013-15)
- Pitched in two College World Series (2014 & 2015) and was a member of the 2015 National Championship Team
- His five College World Series starts are the fifth most in NCAA History
- One of seven pitchers ever to throw a complete game in the College World Series Final, allowing an earned run and striking out five in a 7-2 win over Vanderbilt in 2014.
- Made 11 career NCAA tournament starts (first in program history); first at UVA in NCAA tournament wins (6) and innings (73.0) and strikeouts (45)
• Was 6-1 with 2.34 ERAin 11 career NCAA tourney starts
• Started five College World Series games in his career; UVA was 5-0 in those games
- Ranks third in UVA history with 312.2 innings pitched, tied for seventh in wins (21) and ranks seventh in school history with 246 career strikeouts