HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Former UNC Asheville baseball player Ty Wigginton was formally inducted into the Big South Conference Hall of Fame at the league's annual Spring Meetings Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner, which was held at the Westin Resort Hotel on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Wigginton was also inducted along with former Coastal Carolina softball player Jessica Falca and former Liberty women's basketball player Elena Kisseleva.
He becomes the fourth former UNC Asheville student-athlete to make the league's Hall of Fame. Wigginton joins Ilona Fekete (volleyball), Jill Young (soccer) and Josh Pittman (basketball) as Bulldog representatives to the Hall of Fame.
Ty Wigginton was a First Team All-Conference selection in 1998, a season in which he tied for the Big South single-season record for total bases (149), and runs scored (67) that year. He became the second player in school history to hit three home runs in a game against East Tennessee State and set a school-record with 14 total bases that game. Wigginton is the only player in conference history to lead the league in doubles (20) and triples (5) in the same season in 1997. He also led the Big South in doubles and run scored in 1998 - becoming the second player at the time to achieve this feat.
A National Player of Week honoree during the 1998 campaign, Wigginton is the last Big South player to lead the conference in doubles in back-to-back seasons (1997 and 1998). He completed his career in 1998 as one of 12 players in league history with 50 career doubles, in addition to 25 home runs, 102 RBI, a .310 batting average and a .564 slugging percentage in 153 games with the Bulldogs.
He was drafted in the 17th round in 1998 by the New York Mets, following his junior season. Wigginton made his major league debut on May 16, 2002 as a pinch-hitter for Mets against his hometown San Diego Padres. Now in his 10th major league season, Ty is currently a member of the Colorado Rockies and has played for the Mets (2002-04), Pittsburgh Pirates (2004-05), Tampa Bay Rays (2006-07), Houston Astros (2007-08) and Baltimore Orioles (2009-10) during his career. He finished eighth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2003, was named National League Player of the Month in August 2008 when he led all of baseball with 12 home runs. Wigginton was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2010 and played third base in the Midsummer Classic. He recorded his 1,000th career hit earlier this year with a home run against the San Francisco Giants. Wigginton has played in 1,097 career games with 148 home runs, 219 doubles, 517 RBI and has a career average of .267.
The Chula Vista, Calif. native was inducted into the UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame this past February.