On Sunday, August 10, 2014, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum inducted three of Cincinnati’s own in Ken Griffey, Jr., Ron Oester and Dave Parker, as well as inducting the late Jake Beckley. The sold-out gala capped off an exciting weekend of events, including meet and greet sessions with Reds Hall of Famers, on-field ceremonies, and a silent auction. The 2014 Hall of Fame class was joined at these events by more than 20 previous inductees to the Reds Hall of Fame, creating a memorable weekend for everyone involved.
Baseball isn’t just for guys, and the International Women’s Baseball Center plans to make that clear at their 2014 Women’s Baseball Symposium. The event, to be held at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory on Saturday, Aug. 30, will feature panel sessions with prominent women in the baseball field, as well as a special autograph session.
The day will be highlighted by a special panel featuring former players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, as the women’s baseball pioneers of the 1940s reach out to the women’s baseball pioneers of today to make women’s baseball heard, preserved and promoted. The panel will discuss the history of women in baseball, while encouraging local young women to get involved in the sport.
The public is invited to attend this free event. Women and girls who attend the Women’s Baseball Symposium in their team uniform for little league, baseball, softball, or any sport they play will also receive free admission to the museum that day.
“We are delighted to host this event featuring some of the women who are true trailblazers in the field of baseball,” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director of LSMF. “Many baseball fans, and guests to our museum, are women, and we’d love to see more women continue to ramp up their involvement with the game.”
The event begins at 10 a.m. with a welcome and introduction by the International Women’s Baseball Center in the museum’s Pee Wee Reese Gallery. University of Kentucky graduate and current Marshall University professor Dr. Kat Williams will deliver the keynote address.
A panel on the future of women’s baseball will begin in the gallery at 10:30 a.m., featuring umpire Perry Barber and University of Louisville sports administration professor Dr. Mary Hums. The International Women’s Baseball Center wants to encourage women to “Step Up To The Sport,” and embrace baseball as their own.
Following a lunch break at 11:30 a.m., the group will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. for the panel on the history of women’s baseball. The panel will feature Maybelle Blair (Peoria Redwings) and Kate Horstman (Fort Wayne Daisies and Kenosha Comets). Blair and Horstman will be joined by Kent State University professor Dr. Leslie Heaphy, who is an expert on the Negro leagues and the females that played in them.
The day will end with an autograph session in the main museum from 2:30-3:30 p.m., featuring the AAGPBL players and Barber.
Barber, a New York debutante, became fascinated with baseball after studying the sport to compete on quiz shows. Following the suggestion of her mother to become an umpire, Barber started off on a long road that included umpire school in Florida with her twin sister and lots of Little League games before finally moving up to college, Minor League games, and even Major League exhibitions during Spring Training. She faced many challenges throughout her journey, including hostility from fellow umpires, players, coaches, and fans. Despite the rough times, she went on to enjoy a decades-long career as an umpire.
The museum will also feature a special display with bats signed by A League of Their Own director Penny Marshall and star Geena Davis, as well as a bat signed by the all-female Colorado Silver Bullets who played professionally from 1994-1997.
An itinerary for the day is:
- 10 a.m. – Welcome, introduction, keynote speaker
- 10:30 a.m. – Panel on the future of women in baseball
- 11:30 a.m. – Break for lunch
- 1:30 p.m. – Panel on the history of women’s baseball
- 2:30 p.m. — Autograph session in the main museum
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – There was a recurring theme in the speeches at the 35th annual ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 9, connected to heritage, history and the long road traveled to reach the sport’s pantheon. Everybody had a great road story to tell; nobody’s stretched longer or had more air miles than Glen O’Neill’s. From Down Under to Top of the World.
O’Neill, the 2002 saddle bronc riding world champion, became the first cowboy from outside North America to be inducted into the Hall Saturday, the Australian joining fellow world champions Wayne Herman, Byron Walker and the late Pete Grubb, along with champion bullfighter Miles Hare, legendary bucking horse Spring Fling and four elite committees, from the Clovis (Calif.) Rodeo, Snake River Stampede (Nampa, Idaho), Rowell Ranch Rodeo (Hayward, Calif.) and Greeley (Colo.) Stampede.
“When you’re retired,” O’Neil said, “you think back to where you came from. I think back to when I started rodeoing as a country kid in the Outback riding bucking horses. I was lucky enough to have the right attitude to make the right decisions I did in my career. I kept moving forward, and once I got to the top in Australia, I came to Canada and America and wanted to keep climbing. It’s been a hell of a ride.”
Apart from his many honors in the arena – the gold buckle, 11 qualifications for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and career earnings of $1.6 million – O’Neill may have set a record of sorts Saturday, for the longest distance traveled by a family to witness their kin’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
His parents, brother and aunt and uncle were on hand from New South Wales, Australia (8,325 miles away). He also had in-laws from Canada here, as well as his wife, Jennifer, and kids from their home in Didsbury, Alberta.
“This is pretty exciting,” said O’Neill, 41, “and I’m at a loss for words a little bit, because it’s a big deal and there are a lot of people here. To come here and be inducted, see all the history that’s in the Hall of Fame and to now be a part of it, is something special.”
Herman, the 1992 world champion bareback rider and also an 11-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, was no less awestruck by the path that had taken him from the tiny North Dakota community of Golden Valley to his plaque in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
“I told my wife, Connie, when we walked into the (Cowboy Ball Aug. 8) that this was almost surreal,” said Herman, 50. “It was a quite a journey to get here and I’m honored and quite humbled to be standing in (the ProRodeo Hall of Fame) with the names that we were pretending to be to win the world when we were kids riding the bucking machine. To be one of them (a ProRodeo Hall of Famer) is unbelievable and hard for me to imagine.”
For Walker, who won his gold buckle as a steer wrestler in 1981 and whose 16 WNFR qualifications are equal to the second-highest total in the history of his event, this was a day that felt forever in coming.
“I’m thankful to get up and give this speech and not be dead,” said Walker, 56, with a chuckle.
“Waiting all this time (since the April 1 announcement) before going into the Hall of Fame was kind of like waiting to go into the principal’s office. I knew it was happening, and I was anxious to get it over with. Being here has been really nice, and walking around the Hall you realize that this is real.”
Grubb was the second ProRodeo cowboy – following Clay Carr – to win world championships at both ends of the arena. The Salmon, Idaho, native won the bareback riding title in 1938 and the team roping (as a heeler) in 1940. Grubb, who died in 1969 the age of 56, was represented at the induction by his son, Pete Jr.
For 33 years, beginning in 1975, Hare’s full-time job was protecting bull riders in arenas all across North America from 2,000-pound farm animals. He was a bullfighter at the National Finals Rodeo six times (1977, 1985, 1988-91) – making his first appearance when he was just 22 years old – and twice more as an alternate (1984, 1992).
He was the inaugural Wrangler World Champion Bullfighter in 1981 and shared that honor with fellow Hall of Famer and lifelong friend Rob Smets in 1988, developing a style based on careful study and his memory of the bulls’ moves.
“The people who are in the Hall are people who I idolized and are the gods of the game, and it’s just an honor to be in here with them,” said Hare, 58. “It’s no accident that I’m here. I’m a product of my environment. My father (Dean) had bucking bulls and fighting bulls in my backyard when I was born. I just had to step out the door and do it. I didn’t have me a basketball hoop out there. I had rodeo stock. It is all I have ever known. I get along much better with things with four legs than things with two legs.”
Along with Kingsway Skoal and Lonesome Me, Big Bend Rodeo’s legendary mare Spring Fling is the only horse to be honored as both a Bareback and Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year. Spring Fling started out on the bareback side and received the PRCA’s top honor in that category in 1997, then came back to twice claim the saddle bronc award, winning it outright in 1999 and sharing it with Surprise Party Skoal, of Sankey Rodeo, a year later. Spring Fling was also voted the top saddle bronc horse at the 2001 Wrangler NFR and three times was voted the top saddle bronc horse at the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Pocatello, Idaho.
“Whenever Spring Fling was up, I would go out the arena to watch her – no matter what I was doing in the office – and I got goose bumps every time,” said rodeo secretary Crystal Longfellow, who accepted the award on behalf of Big Bend’s Sonny Riley and Don Hutsell. “(Six-time World Champion) Dan Mortensen knew how good Spring Fling was; it was the only horse he ever drew five times and never rode.”
“She really deserves it,” Hutsell said. “She’s the best bronc ever, I think. She just flat bucked, and she had the power to get guys off.”
The PRCA committees selected for enshrinement this year are among the PRCA’s longest-standing and most respected rodeos. Clovis, part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, celebrated its 100th anniversary in April. Nampa will have its centenary rodeo next year, while Hayward just wrapped up its 93rd year and Greeley its 92nd.
“It’s a bit overwhelming, and to have this line up with our 100-year anniversary next year is more than we could’ve asked for,” said Snake River Stampede chairman Jeff Agenbroad. “It’s a great way to send us off on our second 100 years.”
ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of former contestants and rodeo experts. More than 150 individuals are nominated each year and selection is based on contributions to the sport of professional rodeo in any one of seven categories: contestant, stock contractor, contract personnel, rodeo committees, livestock, media and notables/lifetime achievement.
Including this year’s inductees, 236 people, 28 animals and 22 rodeo committees have been selected for enshrinement in Colorado Springs since the Hall opened in 1979.
Visit www.prorodeo.com to view video clips featuring each member of this year’s ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction class.
The Sixth Annual St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Enshrinement dinner is coming Wednesday, September 24 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. Ticket sales are very strong, and over 1,000 will be in attendance.
The pro athlete headliners are: the Cardinals’ Orlando Cepeda from the ’60’s, Aeneus Williams of the NFL Rams just inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, and a pair of legendary St. Louis Blues hockey players, Brian Sutter and Bob Plager.
Tickets are $150 person, $1,250 per table of 10 plus there is a beautiful 80 page program of stories, pictures and congratulatory ads for every attendee. A new event being added is the “MVP Breakfast” which is a $5,000 event, very exclusive, with the inductees and just 12 tables permitted. A great way to meet the stars up close, get autographs and hear an interview at your table with each athlete.
The Enshrinement is video taped so that each inductee and sponsor receive a permanent record of the evening. There will be plenty of television and radio coverage.
Louisville, KY (August 8, 2014) – The Kentucky Derby Museum has announced that Greg Keightley has joined the museum as its new Director of Marketing.
Mr. Keightley who had been Marketing Director with the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) in Bowling Green, KY will oversee marketing and public relations activities at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Keightley was instrumental in launching the performing arts center’s brand in 2012, when the center first opened, and leading its ongoing marketing initiatives.
“Greg’s wealth of marketing experience and knowledge has already made him a key addition to the Kentucky Derby Museum family,” noted Lynn Ashton, Executive Director of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to the growth of the museum and its brand stature.”
Prior to SKyPAC, Keightley’s experience includes work in the financial services industry. He worked with Hibernia National Bank in New Orleans, LA as SVP, Marketing Communications and SVP, Regional Marketing and Sponsorships. He joined Capital One Bank as Director of Regional Marketing and Sponsorships at its regional headquarters in Plano, TX, and left as the banking division’s Director of Sponsorships, where he managed an $11M sponsorship portfolio.
“I am very excited to join the one and only Kentucky Derby Museum,” said Keightley. “I see tremendous opportunities to build upon the great work that has been done at the museum. I look forward to promoting the cultural attraction within the local and regional communities and to the national and international guests who visit Louisville. Preserving the history and sharing the fun and excitement of the Kentucky Derby while attracting tourists to Louisville will now become a part of my marketing DNA.”
Keightley is a Bowling Green, KY native and attended Western Kentucky University where he earned a BA, Broadcast Communications.
About Kentucky Derby Museum
The Kentucky Derby Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit museum in Louisville, KY dedicated to sharing the fun of the Kentucky Derby experience. www.derbymuseum.org
The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame is pleased to partner with the Museum of Industry in order to host a section of a traveling exhibit on gold in Nova Scotia. Visit the NS Sport Hall of Fame in the Halifax Metro Centre and discover the role that gold has played in Nova Scotia’s rich sport heritage. Gold in Society: Gold as Reward will be installed in the Hall of Fame gallery until the end of August, and, as always, admission is free.
The full traveling exhibit, titled Gold: A Nova Scotia Treasure, opened in Stellarton at the Museum of Industry in November 2012, and the section featuring Nova Scotians who have won gold for achievement in sport arrived at the Hall of Fame on June 9. The sampling of medals represents Hall of Famers and Nova Scotia sport heroes who have claimed undisputed first place, and their stories are presented in a beautiful bilingual exhibit.
The Hall of Fame has also created a gold-themed scavenger hunt that ties the gold exhibit into the rest of the gallery exhibits and the Hall’s other “golden” artifacts. This activity will be available at the visitor information desk for the rest of the summer.
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame has recently updated its “College Athletics” section to highlight collegiate athletic programs from across the state. Featuring game-worn jerseys, sports equipment, and team photographs, the exhibits focus on great athletes and teams from such schools as the University of West Georgia, Morehouse College, Mercer University, Kennesaw State University, and Berry College. Along with information on numerous sports including football, basketball, soccer, track, softball, wrestling, and rugby, these updated exhibits allow The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame to celebrate athletic programs at all levels of competition.
In February 1936 two local boys from Keene Valley, Ivan Brown and Alan “Bob” Washbond, slid into Olympic history and won the gold medal for two-man bobsled at the IV Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The dynamic duo began sliding together in the mid 1930’s; Brown was famous for his “leap frog” jump over his brake-man in order to gain more speed, while Washbond was known as the brake-man who never touched the brakes. In an interview after the 1936 Winter Games, Brown attributed his success at the Olympics to his partner’s powerful bobbing and the fact that he refused to wear goggles in any of the event’s four heats. The only goggle-less driver in the field, Brown’s dare devil tactics helped him break all existing world records and outrun the Swiss team by a combined time of 3 seconds. Brown and Washbond slid together for over eight years and again qualified for the 1940 Olympic Winter Games which were to be held in Sapporo, but were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.
Earlier this summer the Lake Placid Olympic Museum was fortunate enough to acquire Ivan Brown’s 1936 Olympic gold medal which had been passed down to his daughter, Gail Brown Colangelo. Along with her father’s priceless medal, the museum also received a collection of Ivan Brown’s personal papers. Some of the items include official documents from the 1936 Winter Games, photographs and personal correspondence including letters, postcards and telegrams. One of the greatest delights of working in a museum is having access to the special collections and discovering a unique artifact or document is the greatest thrill of all. Of particular interest are a set of letters Ivan wrote to his wife while he was preparing for the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Europe. In these heartfelt letters Ivan describes his voyage across the Atlantic, the hardships of training, and the loneliness of being away from home. These letters provide a unique insight to this moment in time and add a personal connection which is not often found in history books. A personal favorite is a letter which Ivan wrote on February 7, 1936, in which he writes about seeing Hitler, practicing on the German track and walking in the Opening Ceremonies:
The Olympics opened yesterday, I hope you heard it. It was very impressive and beautiful, all of the flags of different nations flying in the wind and all of the different uniforms. Adolf Hitler was there and we all saw him. He is a fine looking fellow. He looks much bigger than his picture shows. I drove the run Wed. P.M. with old bender [Washbond] on the brakes. We were the first American sled ever to come down the run and we were on a spot, if our sharp runners had cut the curves all of our sleds would have been banned… On each curve were three Olympic Committee members and people said as Bob and I went by, they ran out and tested and looked very carefully to see if we had hurt the track… I don’t know where they got that about Bob and I winning the Olympic tryouts here as we haven’t had any yet and don’t know whether we are going to compete or not but I hope we do. I love you sweet kid and the quicker I get home to you the better I am going to love it. I dream of you and the baby all the time and sometimes it is almost more than I can bare. But I have got to stick it out now and every day brings me closer to you… Please give my love to all the family and tell them I love and miss them terribly… All of the boys are out at the run and Bob and I stayed in to write to our honeys. This place is full of people… If all of the pictures taken of Bob and I were laid end to end we could walk home… I hope you heard the Opening Ceremony because your boy was marching as proud as a peacock and all for you and him.
I love you Sweet Girl,
Shortly after writing the letter, Ivan Brown and Alan Washbond became the only Americans to bring home Olympic Gold that year. In 1991 both Brown and Washbond were inducted to the Lake Placid Hall of Fame.
For more information about the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and our research facilities, visit our website at: www.lpom.org