Date: January 29, 2009
About: Dave Harvey - Class of 1960
QHS product hopes his induction will pave way for more baseball players in Mizzou Hall of Fame
Dave Harvey takes his place among the University of Missouri greatest athletes Friday night, but he'd like to see his induction into the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame spark interest in getting more baseball players elected.
Specifically, he thinks the entire 1964 team deserves a spot.
Runners-up at the College World Series, the Tigers set an NCAA record with a 0.65 team earned run average and are considered the second-best team in school history. They are trumped only by the 1954 national championship team.
"We had 10 players from that team sign professional contracts," said Harvey, a Quincy native who becomes one of only a handful of Gem City products to be inducted into an NCAA Division I Hall of Fame. "We had nine people named to the All-Big Eight team. That team deserves recognized."
Until it does, Harvey will gladly wave the banner for it.
The Quincyan was a three-time All-American infielder who went to Mizzou on a football scholarship and only ended up in Columbia because MU baseball coach John "Hi" Simmons convinced him Nebraska's baseball program wasn't up to snuff.
"I was going to go to Nebraska to play football for Bob Devaney," said Harvey, a 1960 Quincy High School graduate who starred in three sports for the Blue Devils. "Coach Simmons told me, 'They play good football there, but they don't have much of a baseball program.' That stuck with me. I said, 'I think I'll go to Mizzou.'"
It was the second time a coach influenced Harvey's career path.
George Latham, one of the winningest coaches in QHS basketball history, resigned following the 1955-56 season and headed to Waukegan. After that, Harvey leaned more toward football and baseball and developed a quality relationship with QHS football coach Clell Wade.
"Had Latham stayed there, I would have probably been a basketball player," Harvey said. "That kind of set the whole thing in motion. Things turned out real well."
A member of the Quincy Blue Devil Sports Hall of Fame, Harvey started at quarterback as a junior and senior at QHS, earning all-state honors from the Chicago Daily News and all-American honors from Parade Magazine.
He also starred for the Quincy American Legion Post 37 baseball team, which carried over to a stellar college career.
Harvey was a second-team All-American shortstop as a sophomore and moved to third base as a junior and senior. He earned second-team All-American honors again as a junior and first-team plaudits as a senior, one of 13 players in program history to receive first-team All-American honors.
He signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins and reached their Triple-A affiliate before foregoing a chance at the big leagues to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Fort McClellan, Ala., promoted to captain and has lived in Alabama ever since.
"I had to make a choice," Harvey said. "I would have loved to played a couple more years, but this is what I had to to. It turned out for the best."