Keith Weber among area sports figures inducted

Keith Weber, one of the greatest pitchers in NCAA Division I history, was posthumously inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.

A former Jefferson City Jay, Weber is known for his work as a Missouri Tiger. He set the NCAA record for lowest career ERA at 0.56 from 1963-64, a mark that still stands today. Weber tossed 144 innings in 20 games while allowing just nine earned runs.

During his senior season, Weber led the Tigers to a 26-5-1 record and a berth in the College World Series, where Missouri lost to Minnesota in the championship game. Weber won 11 games that year, striking out 90 and posting a 0.50 ERA. He was an All-American selection that season and signed with the New York Mets.

Weber also holds the record for most innings pitched at the College World Series without giving up an earned run. That would be 241⁄3 during two separate trips.

Weber died Feb. 18, 2011. He was 68.

“Keith was a heck of a guy, heck of a ball player,” fellow inductee and relative Dennis Higgins said.

A few other inductees include:

• Tony Galbreath, a Fulton native who starred as a running back for Missouri and won a Super Bowl in 1986 with the New York Giants.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “It’s just something you don’t expect. I’m honored they thought enough of me to put me in it.”

• Phil Bradley, a decorated football and basketball player for Missouri, where he was a three-time Big Eight offensive player of the year in football. He played for the Seattle Mariners from 1984-87 and made the American League All-Star team in 1985, a year when he hit 26 home runs.

“I think it’s always a special honor when you’re inducted into any Hall of Fame,” he said. “They’re always considered to be for the best. That’s what it stands for. It’s a big honor.”

• Bob Burchard, the current head coach of the Columbia College Cougars. In his 24 seasons at the helm, Burchard has racked up a 632-226 record, good for the most in program history. He guided Columbia College to its most successful season in 2012-13. The Cougars finished the year 35-1, made an appearance in the NAIA Tournament quarterfinals and at one point held the program’s first No. 1 national ranking.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s such a special group of people here. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is a very special place. I’ve worked in Missouri my whole career. To be recognized for your work in the state is really nice.”

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