Former Concordia College baseball standout Mike Aviles was selected to the East Coast Conference (ECC) Hall of Fame as announced by the Clippers' former conference affiliation on Thursday afternoon. (Concordia left the ECC in 2009 to join the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).)
Aviles had arguably the best career of any baseball player ever to step on an ECC diamond. The former Concordia infielder holds numerous ECC records. He tops the single season list in hits (103), runs (83), doubles (25), and homeruns (22). Aviles holds ECC career records of 318 hits, 233 runs scored, and 76 doubles, as well. He also ranks in the top-three in ECC history with marks of18 triples, 207 runs batted in, and a .430 batting average, while ranking fourth with 46 homeruns. In addition, Aviles name is littered throughout the NCAA record book. He set the Division II single-season record for runs per game with a mark of 1.84 in 2003 and ranks in the top-15 in Division II history in hits (15th), doubles (8th), and total bases (568 - 4th).
Aviles earned numerous accolades in his career including three All-Conference selections, two New York Collegiate Athletic Conference (NYCAC - former name of the ECC prior to 2006-07) Player of the Year honors, and two All-America nods. The most prestigious honor came in his final season of 2003 when he was selected as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Division II National Player of the Year after leading Division II with a .500 batting average, 0.49 homeruns per game, 193 total bases, and a 1.016 slugging percentage. He also added 20 doubles, six triples, 22 homeruns, and 65 runs batted in during his remarkable season.
His outstanding play helped Concordia become one of the premier baseball programs in the East Region. During his career, the Clippers won NYCAC Regular Season Championships 2000, 2001, and 2002 and the NYCAC Tournament in 2000 and 2002. The Clippers also made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000, 2001, and 2002 with Aviles on the roster.
After his career at Concordia came to a close, he became one of only four NYCAC/ECC players to be drafted in the top-10 rounds of the MLB Draft and the highest drafted position player in conference history when he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2003 draft by the Kansas City Royals. After earning the Royals' Minor League Player of the Year honor in 2007, Aviles became the sixth player in conference history to earn the call to the Major Leagues. He hit .325 with 27 doubles, four triples, 10 homeruns and 51 RBI in his debut to finish fourth in the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year voting. Aviles is still active, having spent time on the roster of the Miami Marlins in 2017. In addition to his stints in Kansas City and Miami, he has also played for the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Detroit Tigers over his 10 year MLB career.
"Mike had a great collegiate career," stated Concordia's Director of Athletics Kathy Laoutaris '93. "We are so proud of Mike and happy that the ECC has recognized all his accomplishments by inducting him into their Hall of Fame."