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Worthington Bust Placed at Liberty Baseball Stadium
This morning, construction crews placed a bust of Liberty baseball program founder and first head coach Al Worthington at the main entrance of the Liberty Baseball Stadium. The bust in the plaza at the entrance to new facility honors the program's architect and his achievements.
Worthington served as not only Liberty's first baseball coach from the start of the program in 1974 to 1986, but also was the school's athletics director from 1983 to 1989. He was inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Worthington used the knowledge gained from 19 years of playing major league baseball and his passion for Christ to help him become one of Liberty's first coaching legends.
Following a three-year standout collegiate career at Alabama, Worthington played for five different major league teams, including a five-year stint with the Minnesota Twins. He became that team's first true closer with 110 career saves.
In 1974, Worthington came to Lynchburg to start Liberty's baseball program. His 13-year coaching stint enabled him to become the winningest coach in program history and finish with a 64.4 winning percentage (343-189-1). Following the first year of the program, Liberty never again had a losing record during the final dozen years under Worthington's tutelage.
During his time at the head of the program, Worthington coached four All-Americans and nine players who went on to play professional baseball, including Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Sid Bream (2009) and Lee Guetterman (2010).
On May 3, 1986, Dr. Jerry Falwell named Liberty's first baseball facility Worthington Stadium. Liberty would go on to win that day, 19-3, against Maryland, capping off Worthington's stellar 13-year coaching career. The Flames played 27 years at the stadium, before moving to Liberty Baseball Stadium this past spring.
On Dec., 19, 1983, Worthington was named Liberty's fifth Director of Athletics, a role he held until he retired in 1989. During the final years of his tenure at Liberty, Worthington helped usher Liberty Athletics into the NCAA Division I ranks on Sept. 1, 1988.