USC mourns the loss of former All-American

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – The University of South Carolina is mourning the loss of Hank Small, one of South Carolina's all-time greatest baseball players who passed away Wednesday evening, at the age of 56.

Small was considered a two-time All-American first baseman, and member of the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Many considered him the Babe Ruth of USC baseball.

Small, a four-year letterwinner from 1972-75 played for head coach Bobby Richardson and was a member of the 1975 squad that finished as National Runner-Up at the College World Series.

The All-American was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991. His name still sits in the records books in several categories among the top 10 careers leaders in Carolina history.

He belted 48 career home runs, which was a school record that stood until just two years ago, broken by Justin Smoak.  The Gamecocks were 155-45-2 in his four-year career.  He helped lead the 1975 team to a 51-6-1 record with 19 home runs and a .390 batting average.

Small had a brief stint in the Major Leagues with the 1978 Atlanta Braves.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Mar. 8, at Second Ponce de Leon Church in downtown Atlanta. Family will receive friends one hour before the service.

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