Mesa, AZ – Four of the top athletes in Mesa history have been chosen for the MCC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Baseball player Shea Hillenbrand, football star Dan Manucci, track and field Olympian Neville Myton and baseball great Vance Wilson will be inducted in ceremonies held on campus on Nov. 1.
They join 52 other T-Bird greats and are recognized with individual plaques in a new display in the lobby of Theo Heap Gym.
Hillendrand played at Mesa in the mid-1990s and was ACCAC Player of the Year and a first team NJCAA All-American. He was then selected in the tenth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox. He made his big league debut in 2001 and eventually played seven seasons, including two with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the starting third baseman for the American League in the 2002 All-Star Game and also played in the 2005 mid-summer classic.
Manucci helped MCC to the 1975 NJCAA national football championship and also played baseball as a freshman at MCC. He then moved on to Kansas State where he led the Big 8 in passing and was named honorable mention all-conference. Later, he was chosen in the NFL draft in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills. He played for the Bills in 1979 and 1980 and then re-joined the team for the 1987 season after playing in the Canadian Football League and United States Football League.
Myton's career began in his native Jamaica where he was an outstanding high school athlete. At MCC he won three NJCAA national titles. He captured the 880 yards in both 1967 and 1968 as well as the 440-yard hurdles as a freshman. He helped lead Mesa to its first-ever national championship in any sport with the track and field team of 1968. He transferred to San Jose State where, among other things, he ram with a sprint medley relay team that missed the world record by one-tenth of a second. He competed for Jamaica in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.
Wilson earned second team NJCAA All-America honors in 1993 and was an all-ACCAC selection as well. He was drafted by the New York Mets in 1993 and joined the organization in 1994. He made his major league debut with the Mets in 1999 and was a part of the club's 2000 World Series appearance. After six seasons with the Mets he was traded to the Detroit Tigers and was part of their 2006 American League championship. He became a manager in the Kansas City Royals' minor league system and is currently Bullpen Coach of the major league team.
The four will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony Thursday evening at the MCC Art Gallery Patio at 6:00 p.m.