Shawn Estes named to NIAA Hall of Fame
Former Douglas High baseball star and Major League pitcher Shawn Estes is one of 10 Northern Nevada products who will be inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 25 in Reno.
Estes, who now works as a broadcaster for CSNBA, and other inductees will be honored during a ceremony that starts at 11 a.m. in the Silver and Blue Rooms of Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with the state tournament, which will be played at Lawlor.
Estes was the Nevada State Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in 1991 after a senior season at Douglas in which he posted an 8-2 record while recording 141 strikeouts and posting a 0.79 ERA over 61-2/3 innings. He rang up 20 strikeouts in an 8-inning game against Reed and also hit .448 with eight homers that season. Estes committed to Stanford that year, however, he decided to sign with the Seattle Mariners after being taken in the first round (11th pick overall) in the 1991 draft.
The left-hander went on to record 101 victories and 1,210 strikeouts during a 13-year major league career that extended from 1995-2008. Most of that career was spent with the San Francisco Giants, highlighted by a 1997 season in which he logged 19 wins and was selected as an All-Star. He also pitched for the Padres, Reds, Rockies, Cubs, Mets and Diamondbacks.
Estes, who will celebrate his 43rd birthday one week before the induction ceremony, has never forgotten his roots. His recent donation helped Douglas improve its baseball facility, and he’s also sponsoring an event to help raise more funds for DHS baseball and Carson Valley girls softball.
He said the highlight of his high school career was actually his sophomore year when the the Tigers reached the state baseball playoffs in Las Vegas.
“I have to say the most joy was when we made it to state my sophomore year,” Estes said in a telephone interview with Nevada Appeal sports writer Darrell Moody. “We got to go down and play in Las Vegas. The first round we played Valley, and they had three or four guys that would go on and play in the big leagues. Baseball in the North is not as deep as it is in Las Vegas. We had a pretty good team, but we lost that first round, and then had to play Eldorado which lost to Carson. We beat Eldorado, and then had to play Valley again.
“I was the third or fourth pitcher on the team that year. I came in and relieved that third game. It was the first time I’d had a chance to pitch in front of scouts and the first time I’d ever been clocked. My dad was sitting next to a scout, I think from the Reds, and he asked him what I was throwing. I was throwing 80 or 81 then. Each year I picked up about 5 miles per hour, and by the time I graduated I think I was up to 92.”
In addition to Estes, individuals to be inducted as the NIAA’s 24th class include Eddie Booth (Lowry athletic director and coach), Ken Cass (McQueen coach), Greg “Bum” Hess (basketball and baseball player at Virginia City), Scott Lommori (three-sport athlete and coach at Yerington), John McNinch (football and basketball at Lowry), Lynn Mentzer (cross country and track coach at Reed, athlete at Hug), Charlie Spina (three-sport coach at Wooster, athlete at Reno), Monte VreNon (three-sport athlete at Reno) and Cal Wilson (basketball, football and softball official).