Sand Springs has a rich tradition of producing some of the best baseball teams in the State, despite not having won a State Tournament yet. Between Sand Springs High School and Charles Page High School, the Sandites have produced twenty-one All-State players, all of which were honored in a special ceremony Tuesday evening at the Sandite Baseball Complex.
Jason and Dr. Kayla Shipman, owners of the McKinney Animal Hospital in Sand Springs, donated a brand new sign to the Sandites, recognizing all the All-State players to come from Sand Springs. Jason played for the Sandites and graduated in 1996.
Eugene "Knute" Palmer, Class of 1950, was the first Sandite ever to be named to the All-State team. Palmer was the Commander Mills Outstanding Player as a senior. The football team Co-Captain achieved All-Conference honors for both football and basketball, and was an All-State Honorable Mention for football. The basketball team went 27-1-1 his senior year for the Verdigris Valley Conference Championship.
Sgt. Bill Bigby, Class of 1951, was a tri-sport athlete for the Sandites, playing for the football team, and the Verdigris Valley Conference Champion basketball team. As a senior he was named the Most Versatile Athlete. Bigby attended the University of Oklahoma, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, then returned to graduate from the University of Tulsa. A dedicated member of the community, Bigby served as a City Councilman, little league baseball and basketball coach, and Mayor of Sand Springs. He was Chairman of the Freeholders of the City of Sand Springs which first chartered the City as a Council-Manager form of government in 1969.
Charles Hughes, Class of 1952, was a dual-sport athlete, serving as Captain of the State Runner-Up football team and was a left-handed pitcher on the baseball team. The football team tied Ada 20-20 in the State Championship, but Ada was awarded the Title on red-zone penetrations. Overtime had not yet made its way into high school football. Hughes received a baseball scholarship to Anderson University in Indiana, then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals Farm Club before being drafted in the Army in 1955. In the Army, he continued his baseball career in Germany. After a shoulder injury put an end to his baseball career, Hughes enrolled in cosmetology school and went on to found the Scissors Family Hair Salon chain, which had ten locations at its peak. He also served on the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology.
Bill Miller, Class of 1952, was a member of the Sand Springs High School baseball team from 1949 to 1952.
Billy Wooten, Class of 1953, was a four-year starting catcher for the Sandites. In the 1953 State tournament in Tahlequah the Sandites ran out of pitchers and Wooten filled in. He struck out the first thirteen batters he faced. Wooten signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 and amassed a 3-1 record on the mound in the 1954 season with their Ardmore farm team.
Richard Luce, Class of 1956, was a tri-sport athlete for the Sandites, competing in football and basketball as well as baseball. He was also the Senior Class president. During his senior season Luce batted .412 and once hit three home runs during a double-header. He played for Oklahoma Baptist University for four seasons and made the Shawnee Oklahoma All-Star team in 1959.
Dennis Stanford, Class of 1969, was a dual-sport athlete, also playing on the 1966 State Championship football team, for which he earned All-Conference and All-State honors in 1968. The center-fielder continued his baseball career at Crowder Junior College where he earned All-District honors, and the University of Tulsa where he earned All-Conference honors in 1972 and 1973. Stanford retired from the Union School District after twenty years.
Tom Hudspeth, Class of 1972, played short stop for the Sandites from 1970 through 1972. He passed away in 2013.
Mike Moore, Class of 1981, was the Tulsa Metro Player of the Year in 1981 and played in the Oklahoma-California series that year. He earned All-American honors at Conners State College and led the nation with 89 stolen bases. He also played for Southwestern Oklahoma State. Moore never hit below .400 in his high school or college career. After college, Moore played a year for the Cheena Reds in the Mexican League before pursuing a career in coaching. He has coached at NorthArk Community College, Weslaco (Texas), Crowder, and Sapulpa. He is currently the Head Coach at Jay High School. He has amassed a career coaching record of 479-209.
Randall King, Class of 1983, was the Tulsa Metro Player of the Year in 1983 and played on the Oklahoma-California Series. He continued his career at Northeastern State University, and is currently the Head Softball Coach at Broken Arrow High School. He has guided the Tigers to three Fast Pitch State Championships and one Slow Pitch State Championship as Head Coach, and was an assistant coach for five Fast Pitch State Championships. He celebrated his 400th career win as the Fast Pitch Head Coach in 2016 during his 13th season at the helm. He was named the All-World Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2014. He holds a 408-101 career fast pitch record.
Kurt Burgess, Class of 1987, compiled a 14-1 record on the mound his senior year with 123 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.06. He also batted .427 with 6 home runs and 39 RBI. He was named the Tulsa Metro Player of the Year in 1987 and played in the Oklahoma-California Series. He continued his career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Oral Roberts University. He earned All-American honors at ORU in 1991 with a record of 15-1 and signed with the Atlanta Braves organization that year. He played six seasons with the Braves' farm teams, ending his career in 1996 with the Richmond Braves. In June of 1993 he was named Pitcher of the Month for the entire Atlanta Braves organization.
Doug Vineyard, Class of 1988, batted .438 his junior year and .444 his senior year, helping lead the Sandites to the State Semifinals both seasons. He was an American Legion All-Star both years and was All-Metro in 1988. He is currently the Vice President of Operations at Hargrove Manufacturing in Sand Springs.
Jay Fleischman, Class of 1988, made All-State in baseball, football, and wrestling, won the 1988 State Championship at 178 pounds, and pursued a collegiate football career at Oklahoma State University. He was named the 1980s Oklahoma High School Football All-Decade Team and lettered all four years at OSU. He started as a true freshman in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, playing alongside Barry Sanders and Mike Gundy. In 1989 he led the Cowboys with four interceptions, and recorded 73 tackles and 55 unassisted tackles in 1990. He currently serves as an assistant coach on both the CPHS wrestling and football teams.
Scott Watkins, Class of 1988, pitched a 13-3 record his senior year with 118 strikeouts and three no-hitters. He played collegiately for Oral Roberts University, Seminole State, and Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, he was named the Big 8 Newcomer of the Year, the Big 8 Pitcher of the Year, and Second Team All-American. In 1992 Watkins was drafted and signed in the 23rd round by the Minnesota Twins. In '95 he was named a AAA All-Star and the Pacific Coast League Rolaids Relief Award Winner. He made his major league debut with the Twins in August of that year. His career also included stents with the Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers. While with the Rangers, Watkins played for the Tulsa Drillers and Oklahoma City Redhawks in 1998. He retired from professional baseball in 2002 and has been an assistant coach for the Sandites since 2004.
Chabon Childers, Class of 1989, played outfield for the Sandites and led the Tulsa Metro with 59 RBI his junior season. As a senior he batted .550 for five home runs and 36 RBI. He was named the Tulsa Metro Player of the Year that season and was a member of the 1989 Oklahoma Sunbelt Team. He continued his career at Oklahoma State University and made the All-Big 8 Second Team in 1993. He is currently an assistant coach with the Broken Arrow High School team.
Ray Tarr, Class of 1996, was a three-time All-Metro and All-Conference selection and was a member of the 1995 and 1996 Oklahoma Sunbelt Teams. He batted over .400 his senior season with 46 RBI and 8 home runs, including a game-winning three-run homer against No. 1 Westmoore in the 1996 State Tournament. He continued his career at Independence Community College and St. Gregory's University, and was named an All-Conference catcher all four years. He is currently a firefighter and paramedic with the Tulsa Fire Department.
Jared Shipman, Class of 1997, was the Tulsa Metro Player of the Year as a senior and played in the 1996 Sooner State Games and 1997 Oklahoma Sunbelt team. He set a school record with 256 career strikeouts, including 110 in just 73 innings his senior year. He also threw a school record 18 strikeouts in a win over Jenks, who went on to win the State Championship. 18 strikeouts in seven innings still stands among the top-five performances of all-time at any classification of Oklahoma High School baseball. Shipman played collegiate ball at Conners State and Oral Roberts University. He holds a degree in construction management from OSU and is the son-in-law of Head Coach Bill Hutson
Jeff Blevins, Class of 1998, earned All-Conference and All-Metro honors his sophomore, junior, and senior years. As a senior he was the Oklahoma Player of the Year Runner-Up, batting .477 with 8 homers and 50 RBI. He attended Texarkana College in 1999 and 2000, earning All-Conference honors both seasons. During his sophomore year he hit .353 with 5 homers and 60 RBI, highlighted by a school-record 26-game hitting streak. He played for the University of Nebraska from 2001 to 2002, earning All-Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention at third base both seasons. The Huskers qualified for back-to-back College World Series appearances during his career there. As a senior he batted .307 with 7 homers and 50 RBI and held a .946 fielding average.
Matt Hillis, Class of 2009, set the CPHS record for stolen bases his senior year at 45. He also had 6 homers, including one in Drillers Stadium in a game against Memorial. He played collegiate ball for Cowley County Community College and finished with a .250 batting average, including 2 homers. As an outfielder he maintained a .929 fielding percentage.
Kylar Robertson, Class of 2012, made the New Balance All-American team his senior year, batting .440 with 6 home runs and 34 RBI. He played two seasons at Eastern Oklahoma State College where he earned All-Conference honors and was on the Dean & President's Honor Rolls. As a redshirt freshman he batted .269 with 37 runs, 45 RBI, and 12 homers. As a sophomore he batted .338 for 28 runs, 38 RBI, and 7 homes. He was .994 as a catcher. He currently plays for Southeastern Missouri State University. Last season he batted .238 for 12 runs, 12 RBI, and 2 homers as the Redhawks won the Ohio Valley Conference.
Alex Hackerott, Class of 2012, made the New Balance All-American team his senior year and was the 2012 Tulsa Metro Pitcher of the Year. He amassed a 28-7 career record in high school with 243 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.97. He held an 8-1 record his senior season with an 0.44 ERA and threw back-to-back no-hitters in the Bixby Tournament. He batted .428 with 88 RBI in his career and was .438 as a senior. As a junior he pitched a 10-1 record. He played four season with Oklahoma State University and finished with a 7-1 career record and 2.66 ERA. In 2014 he was an Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree. In 2015 he made the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. He will graduate this May with a degree in finance.
One notable name missing from the All-State roster is arguable the best baseball player ever to come from Sand Springs, Jerry Adair. The Class of 1955 star lettered three times in football, basketball, and baseball. He was named to the All-State football team but at that time players could only make All-State in one sport. He turned down his football honors, hoping to make All-State in basketball, which he did. Because he played for the All-State basketball team, he was ineligible for All-State baseball. Adair was the starting quarterback for the Sandites, was named the All-State Most Outstanding Player for basketball, and signed with Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) for both basketball and baseball. He led his team in batting as a junior with a .438 average and was the first-ever player from OSU named to the All-Big 8 Team. He was also named to the All-American Second Team. Adair signed with the Baltimore Orioles in '58 and also played stents for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Hankyu Braves in the Japan Pacific League. He retired from baseball in 1971 and passed away from liver cancer in 1987. The Jerry Adair Baseball Complex in Sand Springs is named in his honor.