LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Two of the iconic college coaches in Michigan’s history, Danny Litwhiler and Fred Decker, were inducted into the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame at Jackson Field prior to Friday night’s Lansing Lugnuts game.
Litwhiler holds the record for most wins as a coach in Michigan State baseball history. He led the Spartans from 1964 to 1982. His unique career included over a decade as a player in the MLB and dozens of baseball innovations and inventions. As a player, he was the first one to stitch together the fingers of his glove.
As a coach, Litwhiler was the first to introduce the idea of using a radar gun to track pitch speed. He also invented Diamond Grit, a substance used to help dry baseball fields quickly after rain.
Litwhiler passed away in 2011 but his family was at Jackson Field to celebrate his induction Friday night.
Decker is not only the winningest coach in Western Michigan baseball history, but his 791 wins are also a Mid-American Conference record. Decker’s career at Western Michigan spanned from 1976 to 2004.
Decker was also a two-time All-American outfielder for the Broncos as a player. He was on hand for Friday night’s induction and dozens of his former players showed up to support him.