"Our three 2013 honorees increase the Fall League Hall of Fame to 34 members," AFL director Steve Cobb said in a statement. "Besides their outstanding career statistics, Dustin Pedroia and Darin Erstad epitomize the well-rounded way baseball is meant to be played -- offensively, defensively and competitively. Bob Melvin's managerial track record that now includes a remarkable turnaround in Oakland is exemplary."
The AFL, founded in 1992, is a six-team league, with rosters made up of prospects from Major League organizations, mostly from the Double-A and Triple-A levels. The Hall of Fame formed in 2001 and bases inductions on players' and managers' individual achievements since they participated in the AFL.
Pedroia, who played for the 2004 Scottsdale Scorpions, is the third Hall of Fame member who also owns Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, joining Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols. The Arizona State product has hit better than .300 over his eight-year career and won two Gold Glove Awards.
Erstad, of the 1995 Tempe Rafters, played 14 seasons in the Majors, mostly for the Angels. He is the only player in MLB history to win Gold Gloves as both an infielder and an outfielder and the first to do so at three primary positions (left field, center field and first base). In 2000, Erstad led the American League with 240 hits and scored 121 runs while notching a record 100 RBIs from the leadoff spot. He is now the head baseball coach at Nebraska, his alma mater.
Melvin is the first former AFL skipper to win Manager of the Year awards in the AL and NL. He piloted the 1999 Maryvale Saguaros before going on to lead the D-backs (2005-09), Mariners (2003-04) and A's (2011-present). Melvin is the D-backs' all-time winningest manager and last year led the A's to the AL West title, overcoming a 13-game deficit.
Those three join an AFL Hall of Fame that already includes players such as Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza and Pujols, and managers such as Dusty Baker and Terry Francona.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.