WICHITA, Kan. — Carl Hall came to Wichita State in the fall of 1990 from just down the road in Haysville, Kan., as an unheralded recruit with the hunger and wherewithal to overachieve on the baseball diamond. By the time he left Wichita State following the 1994 season he was an All-American and one of the most accomplished players in Shocker baseball history.
As a freshman he was the surprise player of the season paying immediate dividends for head coach Gene Stephenson's 1990 team, when he finished second on the team in hitting and led WSU in league games with a .347 average. Stephenson knew what kind of player he had during that season.
"Carl is really a joy to work with," Stephenson told The Wichita Eagle in 1990. "He's intelligent, and he works hard every day at the little things. He's a very good defensive player, a good sound base runner, and I think most people have been surprised with his hitting."
Hall had an early understanding of what it was going to take to become a successful player at WSU.
"I'm learning how the game is played and how they want you play it," Hall told the Eagle. "I figure if they're going to tell you something, it's because you need to know it. So you might as well do what they tell you."
After redshirting his sophomore season due to a back injury, Hall again provided a spark to the 1992 College World Series-bound Shocker lineup, hitting safely in 14 consecutive games, while collecting a .458 average over that span. He recorded two hits in four at-bats during CWS play.
Hall began to get more attention from an awards standpoint during his junior season earning second-team all-MVC honors. Batting primarily from the leadoff spot, Hall ranked second nationally in runs scored, and led the MVC in stolen bases and triples and was second in hits.
During his final season for the Shockers, Hall was labeled as a "player to watch" by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America publications. Hall finished the regular season as the league leader in hits, runs and stolen bases on his way to being recognized as the 1994 MVC Player of the Year and a third-team All-American.
Carl Hall finished his Wichita State career with a .328 average, 303 hits, 249 runs, 58 doubles, 127 RBIs, 127 walks, and 110 stolen bases. In addition to being the 1994 MVC Player of the Year, Hall was also named to the MVC All-Centennial Team and WSU 25-Year Anniversary Team in 2007.
In 2010, Hall was injured in a car accident that paralyzed him from the chest down. He and his family have received a new house as part of the ABC television program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
As part of the show, he and his family (wife, Stacey and their four children, Megan, Maddie, Logan and McLaine) were introduced at halftime of a Wichita State basketball game last season. There it was announced that he would be inducted into the Pizza Hut Shocker Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2012 class and that his kids will receive free tuition to Wichita State.
During the ceremony, Hall said he was "overwhelmed, very humbled and I appreciate everything this city has done for me and my family. This is an awesome evening and I really appreciate it - this Shocker community is one of the best in the country."
Stephenson was on hand to deliver his thoughts on Hall and his family during the ceremony as well.
"This is one of the finest young men that ever played anywhere in the country," Stephenson said. "He's a tremendous asset to everybody. Everybody that's ever been around him knows that he played harder, played faster, played better than virtually any guy with the talent that he had I've ever seen."
—Brett Damaskos, WSU Media Relations