EDITOR'S NOTE: WCPO is looking back on Ken Griffey Jr.'s life growing up in Cincinnati, stunning success and Hall of Fame career. See all of our coverage at WCPO.com/griffey. Watch Sunday's ceremony at 1:30 p.m. ET on MLB Network or www.baseballhall.org.
CINCINNATI — As Ken Griffey Jr. heads into baseball's Hall of Fame, attention has been brought to his local alma mater, Moeller High School. The school has a nationally renowned baseball program with eight state baseball titles to its name.
The Crusaders have had a state-leading 41 players drafted by a Major League Baseball team, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association and Moeller coach Tim Held. There have been 44 former Moeller players who have played in professional baseball when free agent signings are included.
The resume is simply amazing.
Moeller has produced 17 All-Americans since the first varsity season in 1962-63 and has been nationally ranked 14 times at the end of its respective seasons.
A lot of that success can be traced to former Moeller coach Mike Cameron, who won 767 games – the third-most in state history – from 1969 to 2007. At the time of his varsity head coaching retirement, he was No. 27 all-time among baseball coaches in the entire country, according to Moeller archivist Dick Beerman.
As Griffey, a 1987 graduate, gets inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on July 24, it is yet another significant milestone for “Big Moe” and the school’s second Hall of Famer behind former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin.
But the talent pool is much bigger than just Junior and Larkin. Here are nine outstanding players from Moeller High School over the years:
1. Ken Griffey Jr.
The Kid received the highest Hall of Fame voting percentage ever at 99.3 percent. The 13-time All-Star played from 1989 to 2010, hitting 630 home runs and winning 10 Gold Gloves as an outfielder. He was selected No. 1 overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 1987 draft and was the Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year in 1987. He was a two-year standout for the Crusaders under Cameron. Griffey still holds the school record for career batting average (.478).
2. Barry Larkin
The Hall of Fame shortstop was an honor student and athletic star at Moeller and enrolled at the University of Michigan with the idea of playing baseball and football. After earning a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team, Larkin was taken by the Reds with the fourth overall pick in the 1985 draft. He hit .353 and scored three runs in Cincinnati’s sweep of Oakland in the 1990 World Series. He played 19 seasons with the Reds and had a .295 career average to go along with 2,340 hits. He won three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Slugger awards.
3. Buddy Bell
The 1969 Moeller graduate was an All-American in high school and was drafted in the 16th round in 1969. He was a part of Mike Cameron’s first season at Moeller that spring. Bell led the team in hits (34), runs scored (29), stolen bases (10) and doubles (9) his senior season. He had an 18-year big league career including with the Indians (1972-1978), Rangers (1979-1985) and the Reds (1985 to 1988). He was a lifetime .279 hitter with 201 home runs and 2,514 career hits. He later managed the Tigers, Rockies and Royals.
4. David Bell
The eldest of the Bell brothers (Mike is four years younger), he was selected in the seventh round of the 1990 draft. David and Mike are the sons of former big-leaguer Buddy Bell. David Bell helped the Crusaders to the school’s second Division I state baseball title in 1989. A three-year starter for Moeller, he ranked No. 1 in single-season doubles (18 in 1989) when he was elected to the Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. He had a 12-year career in the majors with a batting average of .257 with 123 home runs and 589 RBI.
5. Adam Hyzdu
The 1990 graduate was the 15th overall pick in the 1990 draft. He was also named an All-American during his career. He was a two-sport star at Moeller and threw for 2,239 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior quarterback. Hyzdu led the Crusaders in triples and home runs three consecutive years. He was the Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year in baseball. He went on to play pro baseball for 18 seasons, including major league stints with Pittsburgh, Boston, San Diego and Texas. He was a part of the 2004 Red Sox World Series championship team. He played in 221 major league games.
6. Andrew Brackman
The 2004 Moeller graduate was the 30th overall pick in the 2007 draft. He was regarded as the No. 1 player in Ohio in baseball and basketball his senior season. He is one of only 15 athletes in the last 30 years to be a first-ballot inductee into the LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame. He had a 19-1 pitching record at Moeller and his 1.04 career ERA is No. 2 in school history. He was also runner-up for Mr. Basketball in 2004. He pitched in the Yankees', Reds' and White Sox' organizations.
7. Bill Long
The right-handed pitcher was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 1981 draft
out of Miami University. He pitched for six seasons (1985-1991) in the majors including five seasons with the White Sox.
8. Mike Bell
The 1993 Moeller graduate was the 30th overall pick in the 1993 draft. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Mike became the driving force behind the school’s third state baseball title in 1993. A three-year starter, he led his team in batting average (.400), doubles (11), triples (3), home runs (5) and RBI (28) his senior season. He had 30 or more hits in each of his three varsity seasons. He was Gatorade’s Midwest Player of the Year.
9. Len Matuszek
The first baseman and third baseman played for the Phillies, Blue Jays and Dodgers in his seven-year major league career. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Phillies in in 1976.
Noteworthy: Eric Surkamp (current Oakland Athletics pitcher and 2005 All-American), Stephen Larkin, Tom Belza, Alex Wimmers, Robby Sunderman, David Whitehead, Jake Madsen, Spencer Iacavone, Riley Mahan, Zach Logue, Grant Macciocchi.