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Flashback Fridays: Borchard Shined with Knights

January 21, 2022 - International League (IL) - Charlotte Knights News Release


For four-straight seasons, Joe Borchard was a staple in Charlotte's lineup. He hit 78 home runs with the Knights and added 227 RBIs over that four-year span. He was one of the finest players in Charlotte Knights franchise history.

In 2019 -- nearly eight years after he played his final professional game and 14 years after wearing a Knights jersey -- he took his rightful place into the Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor. It was an honor that was well-deserved.

Joe Borchard spoke to the crowd during his induction ceremony in 2019. Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

A first-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2000 MLB June Amateur Draft (12th overall), Borchard called Knights Stadium home from 2002 to 2005. A talented two-sport star at Stanford University in football and baseball, he made his way to Fort Mill, SC in 2002 after hitting 27 home runs with the Double-A Birmingham Barons in 2001. Once he arrived in Fort Mill., he went on to become one of the most dependable offensive players in the International League over his four-year stretch with the Knights -- consistently racking up 100+ hits in each season.

As a 23-year-old with the Knights in 2002, he hit .272 with 35 doubles, 20 home runs and 59 RBIs, which propelled him to Chicago for a September call-up with the White Sox. He made his major league debut on September 2, 2002 in Toronto with the White Sox and homered in his very first big league game.

The Charlotte offense in 2002 featured Jose Canseco, Joe Crede and Joe Borchard. Brian Westerholt

A year later, he was back with the Knights and appeared in 114 games with the club. He compiled 110 hits that season with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs. His home run output increased with the Knights in each of the next two seasons as he swatted 16 long balls in 2004 and a career-best 29 in 2005.

The 2005 campaign was his final one over his four-year career with the Knights, but it was one of his most impressive. During the course of his four years with the team, he ranked as one of the best offensive players in franchise history.

WHERE HE RANKS

He finished as the all-time franchise leader in nearly all offensive categories, including games played (2nd), at-bats (2nd), home runs (1st), doubles (1st), RBIs (227), runs scored (2nd), and walks (156).

A devoted family man, he retired in 2011 after racking up a total of 1,067 hits and 182 home runs combined over parts of 10 seasons in the minors and six in the majors.

HALL OF FAMERS

The Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame opened its doors to members in 1982 thanks to Frances Crockett and the Charlotte O's. The committee held inductions in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987. Former players such as Harmon Killebrew, Hoyt Wilhelm, Tony Oliva and Minnie Mendoza were among the inaugural class in 1982.

In 2016, with the Triple-A All-Star Game set to take place in the Queen City, the Charlotte Knights revived the Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame and renamed it to the Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor.

The members of the Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor are:

Charlie Manuel and Jim Thome accepted their plaques during the Triple-A All-Star week in Uptown Charlotte. Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

2016: Charlie Manuel, Jim Thome & Frances Crockett

2017: Don Beaver & Drungo LaRue Hazewood

2018: Brian Daubach

2019: Joe Borchard

2020: Billy McMillon (season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Induction ceremony was not held)

2021: No induction ceremony was held

WHO'S NEXT

An announcement for the 2022 Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor will be coming soon. Who will it be? Stay tuned!


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