FGCU’s Chris Sale inducted into A-Sun Hall of Fame
The Atlantic Sun Conference inducted its inaugural Hall of Fame class on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The Hall of Fame inducted six former Atlantic Sun Conference athletes: former FGCU pitcher and current White Sox pitcher Chris Sale; former Mercer women’s basketball player and former WNBA player Andrea Congreaves; former Stetson University pitcher and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Cory Kluber; former Centenary College golfer and former PGA tour golfer Hal Sutton; former Jacksonville University track and field runner, Monique Tubbs and former Stetson University men’s basketball coach Glenn Wilkes Sr.
Sale will be the first athlete to represent FGCU in any Hall of Fame.
In Sale’s career as an FGCU Eagle, he had a 2.52 ERA, went 20-4 in 52 appearances and led the Eagles to three consecutive A-Sun Conference championships.
During his tenure as an Eagle, Sale earned many honors: All-Freshmen Team member, A-Sun Pitcher of the Year, two-time A-Sun First Team selections, ABCA/Rawlings NCAA First Team All–American, CFB National Pitcher of the Year Finalist, Baseball America First Team selection, Yahoo! Sports All-American and 2010 Golden Spikes runner-up.
“It’s kind of surreal, really,” Sale said. “You never expect these sort of things, especially when it all started. You show up to college as a kid. I’m very appreciative of this. I know it means a lot and I know the magnitude of it.”
After winning Collegiate Player of the Year his junior year, Sale was drafted 13th overall by the Chicago White Sox. After being drafted and entering the White Sox starting rotation in 2012, Sale has not looked back.
Now a four-time all-star, Sale has become a dominant pitcher in MLB, having notched more than 1,000 career strikeouts. This past season, Sale broke the White Sox franchise record for strikeouts in a season with 274, surpassing the previous record held by Ed Walsh’s 269 strikeouts set in 1908.
“It’s crazy,” Sale said. “I had no idea about the record, and how long it stood for. When people start talking about it, you hear the buzz, and it’s kind of hard not to pay attention to it because at the end of the day you have a job to do. I tried to tune that out as much as I could, and I just focused on going out there and doing what I do.”
In Sale’s time as a collegiate baseball player and a professional, he has enjoyed much success and has surely made memories that will last him a lifetime.
“The three dog piles after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships were the greatest,” Sale said.
“Being able to play, and know that you were the best in the conference was a great feeling. Those teams I played on were some of the best teams I’ve ever played on. We worked hard as a group, and that’s where I learned to play as a team, and play for one another rather than yourself.”
Sale is the first player to have his jersey retired in FGCU history, and what greater way to represent FGCU than to be inducted into the first Atlantic Sun Conference Hall of Fame class.