Inducted October 8, 1977
“Jarrin’” John Batten came to SMS from South Greenfield and was a stalwart running back through four SMS seasons. He was selected to the Associated Press all-conference team in 1950 in a season highlighted by a 35-0 win over Cape Girardeau in which he scored three touchdowns. The Bears finished second to Rolla for the MIAA title and the Miners nipped SMS 35-34 in the championship game despite four Batten touchdowns. Batten gained all-conference honors from the league in both 1951 and 1952 and in ’51 his running helped SMS to a share of the league title under Coach Fred Thomsen. Bothered by ankle and shoulder injuries during the season, he was voted the Bears’ Back of the Year by his teammates for the second straight year and at one point in the season had the fourth highest rushing yardage total in the country. He rambled for 210 yards and a touchdown at Delta State, had 131 yards against Rolla, and scored twice against both Arkansas State and Warrensburg. The 1952 campaign was a tough one for SMS as the Bears lost four of five MIAA starts by a combined total of just 15 points. Injuries were again a factor for Batten but he led SMS rushing, scored the lone touchdown in the Bruins’ 7-0 win over Cape Girardeau, and scored two touchdowns and passed for a third against Rolla.