Jan. 27, 2003
Sid Hatfield, the University of Tennessee's baseball program's only selection as the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player, has passed away. Named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1951 College World Series, Hatfield died Jan. 25, in Knoxville at age 73.
In the 1951 CWS, he pitched a complete game shutout against Springfield, Mass., and pitched seven innings in the finale against Oklahoma before the Vols fell 3-2.
"The newspaper in Omaha said the most outstanding player was the most surprised person in the ballpark. And that's true," he said. "I told the people at that time, 'Most of us are going to be back here next year. We'll come out here and win your tournament.'"
The NCAA honored Hatfield at the 2001 College World Series in the 50th anniversary of UT's run to the finals. He later threw out the first pitch prior to Tennessee's CWS 2001 opener against Miami.
He was UT golf coach from 1968-76, compiling a 500-253-3 record. He led the Vols to a second place SEC finish in 1968. His teams won 12 tournaments over that time. He produced two honorable mention All-Americas (George Cadle, 1971, and Mickey Mabry, 1972, who also won the individual SEC title that season) and five All-SEC players (Mabry, Cadle, Mac McCormick, Harry Taylor and Ricky Gregg). He was also an assistant basketball coach at UT from 1967-70, and was part of the 1967 run to the SEC title.
He graduated from Tennessee in 1954 with a degree in education and began his career as a teacher and coach at the old Rule High School in Knoxville where he coached for 10 years, interrupted by two years of military service. He then went to Tennessee Tech as a teacher and assistant basketball coach and head baseball coach (1965-67). His overall baseball record at Cookeville was 44-30. He returned to Knoxville in 1966.
He was a United States Army veteran who served in Korea and remained active in the U.S. Air National Guard. He attained the rank of Lt. Colonel.
His wife of 51 years, Carol, sons Bill Hatfield and wife, Cheryl, of Knoxville, and Jeff Hatfield of Charlotte, N.C., daughter Kim Hatfield-Gray, five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, survive him.
Graveside services will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville, Rev. William J. Fowler and Rev. Cabel W. Trent officiating. The family will receive friends 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.
Memorials may be made to the Soup Kitchen Fund at Church Street United Methodist Church, 900 Henley Street, Knoxville 37902, or to the Special Olympics of Greater Knoxville, P.O. Box 51561, Knoxville 37950.