Former Mississippi State pitcher and 11-year Major League Baseball veteran Jay Powell is being honored for his accolades by being named a 2017 inductee into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the organization announced Thursday in Jackson.
Powell will become the 15th Diamond Dawg to join the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and will be inducted on Saturday, August 15, 2017 at the Jackson Convention Complex. Voting was done by a statewide selection committee representing all facets of Mississippi sports.
Coming out of West Lauderdale High School, the Meridian native played three seasons for the Bulldogs from 1991-93 and was a part of three 40-win NCAA Regional teams. In 1991, his first season at MSU, Powell earned Freshman All-America and All-Southeastern Conference honors after leading the team with a 1.28 ERA and 10 saves. Over his three years in Starkville, Powell notched 17 career saves, which is currently sixth all time in program history.
Following his stellar college career as a Diamond Dawg, Powell was selected 19th overall in the 1993 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He went on to pitch 11 seasons, playing for five different teams from 1995-2005. Over those 11 years, Powell appeared in 512 games out of the bullpen and owned a 36-23 record with a 4.17 ERA and 22 saves. He also struck out 423 batters over 542.1 career innings pitched.
There is one thing from his college days that carried over to the big leagues—winning. In his 11 years in the majors, Powell never had a losing record on the mound.
Powell spent nearly four years, from 1995-98, with the Florida Marlins. One of his best seasons came in 1997 in which he went 7-2 with a 3.28 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 79.2 innings in 74 appearances, helping the Marlins to a World Series championship. He followed that up with four seasons in Houston as an Astro (1998-2001). The 1999 season saw Powell strike out a career high 77 batters over 75 innings pitched in 67 appearances.
In 2001, Powell spent time with both Houston and Colorado. In his lone season with the Rockies, Powell held a 2.79 ERA, striking out 26 batters and walking 12 before spending the next three seasons with the Texas Rangers. He closed out his baseball career in 2005 with the Atlanta Braves, making just five appearances before retiring on July 29 of that season.
Following his playing days, Powell returned to the field—this time as a coach in his home state at Jackson Academy. Powell continues to share with young baseball players the many lessons he learned on the diamond from the elite list of coaches he played for, including hall of famer Jerry Boatner of West Lauderdale, Ron Polk, Bobby Cox, and Jim Leyland, as well as former MSU baseball great Buck Showalter.
(From MSU Media Relations)