HALL OF FAME PRESS RELEASE
November 30, 2022
The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its Hall of Fame class for 2023. The 2023 class will be honored at a ceremony at the IHSBCA state clinic on January 13, 2023. The ceremony will be held at the Sheraton at Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis, IN at 7:00 PM.
Hall of Fame Chairman Jeff McKeon can be reached at 317-445-9899, if you have questions about banquet reservations, program advertisements, and / or the events leading up to the induction ceremony. Banquet tickets can be purchased at https://www.cognitoforms.com/Baseball3/_2023IHSBCAStateClinic and can be picked up from Jeff on the night of the banquet at the registration table. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
The induction ceremony is a part of the three-day IHSBCA state clinic and clinic, and room reservation information is available at www.ihsbca.org
The 2023 class includes one coach, Kelby Weybright of Norwell HS (retired); two players, Drew Storen and Jeff Samardzija; along with two Veterans Committee selections in Lenny Johnston and Wayne Johnson.
Kelby Weybright is a graduate of North White High School. Following graduation, he attended and played baseball for three years at Blackburn College before earning his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. Following one season as an assistant at North White, Coach Weybright spent 6 seasons as an assistant and 11 seasons as the head coach at Norwell High School where he compiled a record of 243-93 before retiring in 2012 to coach his sons in travel baseball.
As Head Coach of the Norwell Knights, Coach Weybright led the program for 11 seasons compiling a record of 243-93. During that time his teams won 2 NHC crowns, 7 sectionals, 4 regionals, 2 Semi-States, finished 3A State Runner-Up in ’06 and won 2-3A State Titles in ’03 & ’07. In 2007, Coach Weybright led his team to the third undefeated season in state history as he guided the Knights to a 35-0 record and finished as high as 10th nationally (Collegiate Baseball/Easton Sports).
The 2006 & 2007 Norwell Baseball teams went a combined 64-2 on the diamond. He coached 22 players that played collegiately, had 6 North All-Stars and 4 players who were drafted including two who have MLB service time. Coach Weybright was NHC COTY twice (’06 & ’07), IHSBCA 3A COTY twice (’03 & ’07) and was recognized as the National High School Baseball Coaches Association District & National COTY in 2007.
Kelby is currently the Athletic Director at Norwell High School where he continues to work with the baseball program during their summer development period and occasionally during the season when time allows.
Drew Storen is a 2007 graduate of Brownsburg HS. As a freshman, was #2 pitcher (3-0, 1.17 ERA) behind Lance Lynn on eventual 2004 State Runner-Up. As a sophomore, helped Brownsburg to undefeated (35-0) 2005 state championship and number two ranking in the country by Baseball America. The Indianapolis Star called that team, “The greatest HS team in Indiana history.” Was 9-0 with 86 strikeouts in 57 innings for the state champs. For his career, finished 28-2 with 270 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.61. At the plate, hit .400 with 16 HR. Drafted by the NY Yankees in the 2007 draft but attended Stanford University.
In two seasons with the Cardinal, named to three Freshman All-American teams, two-time first team All-Pac 12, got the win in game one of the 2008 College World Series, led Stanford as a sophomore in saves, wins and appearances, and named Stanford MVP for 2009 season. Finished his collegiate career with a 12-4 record, 26 saves, 59 appearances, and an ERA of 3.84.
As a draft eligible sophomore, taken by the Washington Nationals as the 10th overall pick of the 2009 MLB draft. In 8 years of his MLB career with the Nationals, Blue Jays, Mariners and Reds, posted career totals of 29-18, 99 saves, 3.45 ERA, and 417 strikeouts. Had 6 postseason appearances for Washington in 2012 and 2014 with one win and one save.
Drew and his wife Brittani currently reside in Carmel and have two boys: Jace (6) and Pierce (2).
Jeff Samardzija is a 2003 graduate from Valparaiso HS and is considered one of the best athletes in Indiana state history. By his senior year, he was recognized as one of the state’s best football players and was the runner-up for the Indiana Mr. Football award. Samardzija was a three-time All-State player and was selected to the Indiana All-Star team.
In baseball, he was a runner up for the Mr. Baseball award as a senior, a three-year varsity letterman, and an All-State honoree as a center fielder. He hit .375 with five home runs, 37 RBIs as a junior, and hit .481 with eight homers and 50 RBIs as a senior. As one of the nation’s top football recruits, he chose Notre Dame where he was also invited to pitch for the baseball team. Jeff was a two-time All American wide receiver, a two-time All-American pitcher, and a two-time runner up for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s best wide receiver. Despite his football skills and the likelihood of being drafted as a first round pick in the NFL, Samardzija opted to play professional baseball after pitching for the Irish for three seasons.
Jeff was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut for the Cubs in July 2008. In addition to the Cubs, Samardzija played for the Oakland Athletics (2014), Chicago White Sox (2015) and San Francisco Giants (2016-2020). He was named an All Star in 2014. His career pitching record is 80-106 with a 4.15 ERA and 1,449 strikeouts. Samardzija pitched for 13 full seasons at the Major League level. Jeff and his older brother Sam represent a rare achievement in VHS history with each being selected as All State performers in both football and baseball.
Leonard “Lefty” Johnston graduated from Western Michigan University and was a minor league outfielder from 1952 to 1967. He played for the Indianapolis Indians from 1960-1966 and played in the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankee, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Senator organizations. Lenny was a career .286 hitter and had 525 stolen bases. He led his league in stolen bases 6-years in a row from 1953-1958. In 1956 he led the International League in hits with 182.
He was a minor league manager for 9 years and was the with the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League and the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota in an administrative role. In 2020, Lenny was inducted into the Appalachian League Hall-of-Fame. He served in scouting, scouting supervisor, crosschecker and minor league coordinator roles until retiring in 2019. He is currently living in Nashville TN.
Wayne Johnson spent twelve years as a varsity assistant to Greg Silver at Mooresville before spending two stints as the head coach at Brownsburg High School. At the helm of the Bulldog program, he compiled a school record 278 wins over 15 years. During his first stint from 1987 – 2000, Johnson and his Bulldogs
took home Sectional Championships in 1988, 1992, 1995, and 1996. The Bulldogs were also Regional Champions in 1996. Then on short notice, Johnson was asked to return to coach Brownsburg in 2011 and won another Sectional title.
While Johnson’s victories and championships are impressive, his contributions to Brownsburg Baseball far exceed his won/loss record. The 1990 Central Suburban Athletic Conference Coach of the Year was instrumental in the construction of Brownsburg’s home baseball field, Mary Beth Rose Park. Johnson partnered with countless members of the community to design and build the stadium and it has served to host over a thousand games since the spring of 1988……Rose Park is still considered a premier location to play baseball in the state of Indiana. Coach Johnson was a big supporter of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame and their fundraising efforts. He also owned a business, Johnson Sports Collectibles, in addition to teaching for 39 years at Mooresville and Brownsburg High Schools. Wayne impacted many lives through the game of baseball and his presence is sorely missed. He is being inducted posthumously as he passed away on December 19, 2018.