Johnny Ray named an SEC legend

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, April 19, 2019
Arkansas second baseman Johnny Ray covers the base during a 1979 practice in Omaha, Neb.
Photo by Gary Fountain, Arkansas Democrat
Arkansas second baseman Johnny Ray covers the base during a 1979 practice in Omaha, Neb.

— Johnny Ray, who starred on the University of Arkansas’ first College World Series team in 1979, is the Razorbacks’ SEC legend this year, the conference office announced Thursday.

Ray, an All-Southwest Conference second baseman in 1978-79, will be recognized during the SEC Tournament on May 21-26 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.

Ray is the third Razorback to be named an SEC legend along with center fielder Kevin McReynolds (2012), who also played on the 1979 team, and Norm DeBriyn (2016), Arkansas’ coach from 1970-2002.

Ray, who is from Chouteau, Okla., helped Arkansas to a combined 80-28 record in his two seasons. He led the 1979 team — which finished second to Cal State Fullerton at the College World Series — with 47 runs batted in, 55 runs and 12 triples.

After being a 12th-round pick by the Houston Astros in the 1979 Major League Draft, Ray played 10 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels. He was an All-Star with the Angels in 1988.

Joining Ray in this year’s SEC legends class is Doug Duke from Alabama, Josh Fogg from Florida and Jeremy Sowers from Vanderbilt.

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