STARKVILLE, Miss. (10/25/22) – Arkansas State head baseball coach Tommy Raffo has been named to the 2023 class of the Ron Polk Ring of Honor, the Mississippi State baseball program announced Tuesday.
He, along with Mark Gillaspie and Ken Tatum will be enshrined March 25, as the trio will be celebrated during the Bulldogs’ conference series versus Vanderbilt (March 24-26, 2023).
Raffo lettered at MSU from 1987-90, excelling both on the diamond and in the classroom under head coach Ron Polk before also contributing as an assistant from 1994-2008. He was a three-time All-SEC selection, while he was also a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. Raffo also earned All-America accolades in both 1989 and 1990. An an integral part of a State team that claimed two SEC regular-season titles and a pair of SEC Tournament Championships, he helped guide the Bulldogs to the postseason all four seasons he played in the Maroon and White, including a College World Series appearance as a senior.
He continues to rank among the top 10 in MSU history in career batting average (.366), on base percentage (.458), RBIs (207), slugging percentage (.628), home runs (45), hits (278) and doubles (52). In 1989, he led the team in hits (102), batting average (.383), home runs (22) and runs batted in (80) on his way to being named the team’s offensive MVP as a junior. Following his State career, Raffo was an eighth-round pick in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft by Miami.
As an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1994 to 2008, Raffo was part of coaching staffs that led the Bulldogs to more than 500 wins, 11 NCAA Regionals, three Super Regionals, three College World Series appearances and two SEC Tournament Championships.
ABOUT THE RON POLK RING OF HONOR
The Ring of Honor is named after legendary head coach Ron Polk, who led the Bulldogs from 1976-97 and again from 2002-08. Affectionately referred to as the Father of Southeastern Conference baseball, Polk served 31 years as head coach in the league, including a stint at the University of Georgia (2000-01).
The architect of five SEC championship teams and five SEC Tournament-title winning squads, Polk was a four-time SEC Coach of the Year and two-time national Coach of the Year honoree.
The first SEC coach in any sport to reach 1,000 victories, Polk guided Mississippi State to six College World Series appearances and owned a 1,139-590 record with the Maroon and White. He totaled 1,373 career coaching victories, making eight total trips to Omaha. A two-time Team USA head coach, Polk is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, Mississippi Sports and College Baseball Halls of Fame.
During his tenure as a head coach, Polk tutored 33 All-Americans, 71 All-SEC selections, 187 Major League Baseball draft picks, including 29 who reached the big leagues. Named an SEC Legend in 2017, Polk has also earned the prestigious Lefty Gomez Award from the ABCA and Rube Award from Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame for his tireless service to others during his career.
A-State’s Raffo Named to Mississippi State Baseball’s Ron Polk Ring of Honor. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council