Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois | 2018

Ryan-Walter Athletics Center (Perkins+Will BE & HOK, Designer) Xibitz Scope | 425,000 square feet
A state-of-the-art training, competition and recreation facility calls for experiential elements of the highest quality and exacting fit. That’s what Xibitz provided for Northwestern University – in the form of custom-perforated backlit metal ceiling panels evoking the branded letter “N”; an 86-foot-long solid surface enclosure with 7-foot-high custom dimensional letters; large-scale graphics, custom-printed and mounted to canted panels with the school color in a LED lighting wash; and canted glass enclosures highlighting action figure mannequins for seven Olympic sports.
Additionally, Xibitz created a 30-foot-long wall with two towers of touch interactive displays that provide statistics, video, images and descriptions of historic moments, and more; and a 70-foot-long Hall of Honor featuring students who have become professional athletes.
Financial & Project Management Contractor Management Facility Interface Coordination Design Solutions Mockups & Prototypes AV/Multimedia Integration Lighting & Electrical Integration Construction Drawings Fabrication & Installation

As legacies go, Lou Spadia’s is indelible.

Lou Spadia

From his childhood growing up in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco and starring on the baseball diamond at Mission High School, to his Navy service in World War II, to his 31 years helping to run the San Francisco 49ers, to his fundraising efforts through the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, Spadia left a permanent mark on his region.

But to define his legacy only by those accomplishments would be like leaving a painting unfinished. And Spadia’s completed work of art might just be worthy of Rome’s Galleria Borghese. The son of Italian immigrants, Spadia grew up modestly, but lived a rich life filled with family, faith and the 49ers.

His picture is only complete; however, when one factors in traits not included on a resume.

“He was such an amazing, interesting human being,” his daughter Louisa Spadia-Beckham – more affectionately known as Lulu – said. “Integrity was his best quality and humility was his middle name.”

So it is fitting that Lou Spadia is the inaugural recipient of the International Sports Heritage Association’s (ISHA) Legacy Award – one created to honor a person in the city hosting the organization’s annual conference. The 2018 conference is being hosted by the 49ers Museum in Santa Clara, Calif., from Sept. 26-28.

“We are honored that Lou Spadia was chosen for this very prestigious award,” said 49ers Museum director Jesse Lovejoy. “His contributions to both the Bay Area sports landscape and the history and trajectory of the San Francisco 49ers were wonderful and impactful, and he makes the perfect recipient for ISHA’s first Legacy Award”

Spadia died in 2013 at 92 years old, but his impact on the Bay Area not only lives, but also thrives. Lulu wept when receiving Lovejoy’s call to inform her of the honor. She also knows how her father would have reacted to receiving the same call.

“He would try to talk you out of it,” she said. “Not that he would be ungrateful, but he would want to defer the honor to [original 49ers owners] Tony and Vic Morabito.”

Fighting back tears, she added, “He would say that he was so incredibly proud and honored to have been part of the 49ers, but he was equally proud of his with work with the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BASHOF). It feels like an honor that he so deserves.”

Lulu would know. The youngest of four Spadia children, she was always around the 49ers during her father’s tenure with the team that spanned 31 years from 1946 to 1977. She traveled with the club and spent summers at training camp at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“I remember when I was 16 years old at training camp one summer,” Lulu began. “My parents would go out to eat and I would eat with the team. One night I’m out by the pool around 10 p.m. and out walks someone with a bag of money and a list of food orders. This is when Dick Nolan was the head coach. So they give me the keys to [defensive end] Cedric Hardman’s red Cadillac Eldorado with the license plate ‘Nasty,’ and Mike Nolan and I head out to pick up this loot.

“We’re at a stop light and we see my parents. I slumped down in the seat, but my dad honked his horn and started shaking his finger at me. I was told, ‘This is your last summer at training camp.’ But I think I went two more times.”

She laughed as she shared that memory, and it is one of many she has of her dad, who started with the 49ers upon their founding by Tony and Vic Morabito in 1946.

After finishing his Navy service following World War II, Spadia was struggling to make ends meet when he read in the newspaper that his former commanding officer, John Blackinger, had been named the 49ers general manager. So he hit him up for a job.

Blackinger apparently figured that because Spadia had learned shorthand and could type, he would be useful in the office. He convinced the Morabitos to hire Spadia, who accepted the position for a reported $275 per month. Once in the door, Spadia handled some office duties, but helped with team travel, equipment, bed checks, contracts and whatever else was needed.

“You name it, he did it,” Lulu said.

Former 49ers President Lou Spadia poses with Jane and Josephine Morabito.

He did it for three decades, eventually buying five percent of the team (with his wife, Maggie, buying five percent as well). He became chief executive officer and general manager in 1964 and team president in 1967.

In 1968, he hired Dick Nolan as the 49ers head coach. Two years later, the team started a string of three straight NFC West titles. Spadia never took credit for such accomplishments. He gave it to the Morabitos and anyone else he could.

“It was always understood that dad would downplay his decisions,” Lulu said. “That humility was instilled in my siblings and me (Lou Jr., Kate, Dorothy and Lulu). Our dad went to Mass every day and we were taught to respect what we had. We were blessed and lucky but our parents were adamant about staying out of the limelight.”

Spadia’s will and spirit were tested throughout the 1970s. Maggie Spadia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970 and fought for six years before succumbing to the disease in 1976. In the meantime, Lou lost his father in 1973 and his mother in 1974. The 49ers were then sold to the DeBartolo family in 1977 and Spadia retired when Joe Thomas was hired to run the team.

“It was a really tough time,” Lulu stressed.

But in so-called retirement, Spadia dedicated himself to helping underprivileged youth participate in sports. He started the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame as a way to raise money to give back to kids in need of an opportunity.

There was no brick-and-mortar structure because a building was expensive and needed to be maintained. Spadia wanted all of the money raised to go to the kids.

“He grew up without much money and he was that that kid,” Lulu said. “He wanted to give those kids a chance. It was about providing an opportunity for kids more than honoring athletes so that those kids could become those athletes.”

Since its inception in 1979, BASHOF has distributed millions of dollars to hundreds of local youth groups, fulfilling Spadia’s goal and then some.

That legacy, the one for which he is being honored at the year’s ISHA Conference, never waned.

“He was riding in an elevator at the Fairmont Hotel when a little boy and his dad get on,” Lulu said. “The dad is whispering to the boy about who it was in the elevator. The boy looks up and says, ‘Didn’t you used to be Lou Spadia? So my dad reached into his pocket, grabbed his wallet, showed the boy his license and said, ‘It says here I still am.’”

And who he was is why he is being honored by ISHA as much as for what he did. But then again, what he did was because of who he was.

 

 

 

 

 

Frisco, Texas – (May 31, 2018) – The National Soccer Hall of Fame introduced its 2018 class today with a series of surprise announcements in five different cities across the country. The newest members of the National Soccer Hall of Fame include Cindy Parlow Cone (veteran), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (builder), Brad Friedel (player), Don Garber (builder, elected in 2016 but deferred enshrinement to 2018) and Tiffeny Milbrett (player).

New members of the 2018 class were informed of their election by current Hall of Famers who either played, worked with or currently work with the Inductees. In Foxborough, Mass., Friedel’s former U.S. MNT teammate Tab Ramos (Class of ’05) surprised the Revolution head coach at the conclusion of a training session, while in Raleigh, N.C., UNC head coach Anson Dorrance (Class of ‘08) informed Parlow Cone during a North Carolina FC Youth staff meeting. During a National Soccer Hall of Fame technology meeting in Manassas, Va., former U.S. Soccer Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher (Class of ’05) informed Dr. Contiguglia of his honor. To close out Induction Announcement Day, in Portland, Ore., Brandi Chastain (Class of ’16) surprised former U.S. WNT teammate Milbrett during a gathering with friends and family. The day kicked off in Manhattan with MLS Senior Vice President of Competition and Player Relations Jeff Agoos (Class of ’09) surprising Garber during a MLS staff meeting with a commemorative scarf and coin that each of the recipients received.
Click HERE to download b-roll and sound of each of the surprise announcements.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame voting committee determined the 2018 class from a list of 32 finalists on the Hall of Fame player ballots, nine finalists on the Hall of Fame veteran ballots and seven finalists on the Hall of Fame builder category.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined during a induction ceremony held Oct. 20 at the brand-new National Soccer Hall of Fame located at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. Click here for more information about the National Hall of Fame Induction Weekend presented by Budweiser.

National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Cindy Parlow Cone, Veteran

  • Midfielder – U.S. Women’s National Team (1995-2006), University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (1995-98), Atlanta Beat (2001-03)
  • Head Coach – Portland Thorns FC  (2012-13)
  • Currently – North Carolina FC’s Durham-Chapel Hill Girls Director

Cone has a decorated history with the U.S. Women’s National Team. She retired as the squad’s 5th all-time leading scorer during an era in which she helped the U.S. women win the World Cup in 1999 and third place in 2003. Her 158 caps and 75 goals also earned her two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal and, to this day, she remains the youngest soccer player (male or female) to win an Olympic gold medal and a World Cup. Prior to her international career, Cone was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year and two-time NCAA National Champion at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Cone continued her Tar Heel career as an assistant coach where she helped guide the team to four NCAA Championships. She then went on to win the inaugural NWSL Championship (2013) as the head coach of the Portland Thorns. She also served on the coaching staff for the U.S. U-14 & U-15 Girls’ National Teams (2010-2013).

Click HERE for b-roll and sound of Anson Dorrance informing Cindy Parlow Cone of her election into the Hall of Fame.  UNC assistant women’s soccer coach Bill Palladino, Cindy’s former USWNT teammate Carla Overbeck as well as her husband, John, and son, Steve, were also in attendance for the announcement.

Dr. Bob Contiguglia, Builder

  • Former President, U.S. Soccer (1998-2006)
  • Former President, U.S. Youth Soccer (1990-1996)
  • Currently – Enjoying retirement and coaching a U-12 soccer team

Dr. Bob Contiguglia served as President of U.S. Soccer from August, 1998 until March, 2006. U.S. Soccer reached several important milestones during his tenure, including a U.S. Women’s National Team victory in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal won by the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The Great Neck, NY native and Denver, CO resident also served as the President of U.S. Youth Soccer from 1990-96.

Click HERE for b-roll and sound of Hank Steinbrecher informing Dr. Bob Contiguglia of his election into the Hall of Fame.

Brad Friedel, Player

  • Goalkeeper – U.S. Men’s National Team (1992-2005), UCLA (1990-92), Newcastle United (1994), Brondby (1995), Galatasaray (1995-96), Columbus Crew (1996-97), Liverpool (1997-2000), Blackburn Rovers (2000-08), Aston Villa (2008-11), Tottenham Hotspur (2011-15),
  • Head Coach – U.S. U-19 MNT (2016-17), New England Revolution (2017-present)

Brad Friedel had a decorated club career that spanned more than 20 professional seasons, including 17 in the English Premier League and 13 years with the United States Men’s National Team. Between 1997 and 2015, Friedel made 450 league appearances in England’s top flight with four clubs: Liverpool (1997-2000), Blackburn Rovers (2001-08), Aston Villa (2008-11), and Tottenham Hotspur (2011-15). As a U.S. international, Friedel collected 82 international caps and was a member of three United States World Cup squads in 1994, 1998 and 2002. The Lakewood, OH native represented the United States at two Olympic Games in 1992 and 2000. Friedel played collegiately at UCLA where he earned the Hermann Trophy in 1992 which is awarded to college soccer’s best player. Friedel was elected into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Click HERE for b-roll and sound of former USMNT teammate Tab Ramos informing Brad Friedel of his election into the Hall of Fame.

Don Garber, Builder

  • MLS Commissioner (1999-present)

Don Garber was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer in 1999 after 16 years at the National Football League where he served in a variety of senior leadership positions. During his tenure, MLS has expanded from 10 to 26 clubs, added 22 new owners and secured long-term broadcast agreements with ESPN, FOX and Univision along with major broadcasters in Canada, Europe, Asia and South America.  Garber has also led efforts to develop 19 soccer stadiums in the United States and Canada, and five more soccer venues will open in the next few years.  In addition, Garber serves as CEO of Soccer United Marketing, the commercial arm of MLS and multiple soccer properties, including U.S. Soccer. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times named Garber one of the nation’s top sports commissioners. He has been named among the top 50 most influential people in sports business by the Sports BusinessJournal every year since 2005. The Queens, NY native was originally elected into the Hall of Fame in 2016 but opted to defer his enshrinement until 2018.

Click HERE for b-roll and sound with Don Garber and Hall of Famer Jeff Agoos.

Tiffeny Milbrett, Player

  • Forward – U.S. Women’s National Team (1991-2006), University of Portland (1990-94), Shiroki FC Serena (1995-97), New York Power (2001-03), Sunnana SK (2005), Vancouver Whitecaps (2006-08), Linkopings FC (2006-07), FC Gold Pride (2009-10), Bay Area Breeze (2011)
  • Currently – Colorado Storm Director of Coaching U-16 & U-17 Girls and ECNL

While playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Tiffeny Milbrett earned a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic Games and was a member of the squad that won the 1999 Women’s World Cup. She earned 206 caps, scored 100 goals and played in three World Cups. When not playing for her country Milbrett played professionally for clubs in Japan, USA, Sweden and Canada from 1995-2010. The Portland, OR native and Denver, CO resident is the University of Portland’s second-leading goal scorer (103) and is fourth all-time in assists (40).

Click HERE for b-roll and sound of Brandi Chastain informing Tiffeny Milbrett of her election into the Hall of Fame.

About the National Soccer Hall of Fame

The National Soccer Hall of Fame was originally founded in 1950 by the Philadelphia Old-Timers Association to recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to American soccer. In 1979, the National Soccer Museum, as a physical entity, was established in Oneonta, NY. It was officially recognized as the National Soccer Hall of Fame by the U.S. Soccer Federation in 1983.

In June of 1999, the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened a 30,000 square-foot museum in Oneonta where it housed a collection of more than 80,000 items and artifacts such as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy, the oldest soccer ball made in the U.S. and the 1994 FIFA World Cup U.S. archive. The facility closed in February of 2010.

In 2013 FC Dallas owners Clark and Dan Hunt launched a campaign to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco where it is currently under construction in the south end of Toyota Stadium. Their late father, Lamar Hunt, was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, he received the Hall’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He remains one of only three individuals to have won the award.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame will open October 20, 2018 with the Hall of Fame Weekend presented by Budweiser.

TORONTO (June 1, 2018) –  Mark Spector, President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that Larry Brooks will receive the Elmer Ferguson Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Joe Bowen will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Larry Brooks began his hockey writing career as a beat reporter at the New York Post, covering the New York Islanders and New York Rangers in the 1970s.  His insight caught the attention of the New Jersey Devils, who hired the rising star to serve as the team’s vice president of communications and radio color commentator.  After ten years with the Devils, Brooks rejoined the New York Post and began his current streak of 22 straight seasons covering the Rangers.  Since 1995 Brooks has also been the Post’s national NHL columnist.

“Over the years Larry Brooks became the most important read on one of the NHL’s most important beats, the New York Rangers,” said Spector.  “Beyond his edgy, colorful and on-point coverage of the Rangers, Brooks’ weekly Slap Shots column has become destination copy for readers across the hockey world.”

Joe Bowen began his broadcasting career calling hockey games for his hometown Sudbury Wolves. After a short stint with the American Hockey League’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Bowen began a 36-year run as the voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Currently teamed with Jim Ralph on TSN 1050 and Sportsnet The Fan 590, Bowen has described the action for more than 3,000 games to some of the world’s most dedicated hockey fans.  As passionate in the community as he is on the airwaves, Bowen has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Leukemia research, and was named an ambassador for the city of Sudbury in 2002.  Bowen also received the George Gross Award as Sports Media Canada’s broadcaster of the year in 2013.

“Joe Bowen’s contagious enthusiasm in the booth has entertained Toronto Maple Leafs fans for decades,” said Kaiton. “The voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2018 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.”

Brooks and Bowen will receive their awards at the “Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon” in Toronto on Monday, November 12, 2018, and their award plaques will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside past award recipients.

Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as “Media Honourees” ─ a separate distinction from individuals inducted as “Honoured Members” who are elected by the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

The 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend begins on Friday, November 9, 2018, culminating with the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018.  This year’s inductees will be announced on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in recognition of distinguished members of the hockey writing profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to the game of hockey.

Named in honour of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.

For more information:

Mark Spector

Professional Hockey Writers’ Association

mark.spector@rci.rogers.com

Chuck Kaiton

NHL Broadcasters’ Association

chuckk@carolinahurricanes.com

Former All-Pro football guard Conrad Dobler, gold medal winning swimmer Rachel Komisarz-Baugh, retired basketball player and current University of Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak and national golf long drive champion Evan “Big Cat” Williams have been elected into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame for 2018.

The 46th Annual Induction Banquet will be Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan.  Tickets for the banquet, which begins at 5:30 pm., are $125 and can be ordered by calling (313) 407-3300.  Information on the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame is available at www.polishsportshof.com.

Conrad Dobler played college football at Wyoming from 1968-71 where he starred as an offensive tackle in his second and third years and then played at defensive end his senior season.  Named to the all-conference and all-academic team, he was taken in the 1972 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5th round.  Dobler played with the Cardinals (1972-77), New Orleans Saints (1978-79) and the Buffalo Bills (1980-81).  Playing at right offensive guard, he started every game but four in his 10-year career.   For six of his NFL years, the offensive lines anchored by Dobler led the league in fewest sack allowed.  The 1975 Cardinals set the NFL record for fewest sacks in a season by only allowing only eight the entire year.  Dobler was selected for three consecutive Pro-Bowls in 1975, 1976 and 1977.

Rachel Komisarz-Baugh was a three-time Southeastern Conference champion and a seven-time NCAA All-American swimmer at the University of Louisville from 1996-1999.  Swimming freestyle and butterfly, she was named SEC swimmer of the year in 1999.  Komisarz-Baugh was a member of the U.S. National team that won two Olympic medals and 13 World Championship medals.  In the 2004 summer Olympics, she won a gold medal in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and a silver medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay.  In the 2003, 2004 and 2005 World Championships, Komisarz-Baugh won Gold medals in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and in the 2008 World Championship, she won a Gold medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley.

Larry Krystkowiak played basketball at the University of Montana where he still holds the school career records for points and rebounds. The 6’9” forward was named conference MVP three times (1984-86) and was a two-time Academic All-American.  Krystkowiak was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the 28th pick in the ’86 draft. He played nine seasons in the NBA with the Spurs, Bucks, Jazz, Magic, Bulls and Lakers where he averaged eight points and five rebounds per game. After his playing days, Krystkowiak coached Montana to two conference tourney championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. He joined the NBA coaching ranks as an assistant with the Bucks before being elevated to head coach in 2007.  Krystkowiak is currently in his seventh season as head coach at the University of Utah.

Evan “Big Cat” Williams is credited by many with creating visibility for long drive competitions, putting the sport on the map by virtue of his back-to-back U.S. National Long Drive Championship titles in 1976 and 1977.  With a blast of 353 yards, he defeated, among others, Jim Dent, considered the longest driver on the PGA tour.  His winning drive stayed on the books as the championship record for 18 years.  Big Cat brought long drive competitions to the forefront of sports with exhibitions in 26 countries.  Over the years, Williams won national long drive titles in the United States, Australia and Bermuda.

Louise Bertram / Stewart Reburn

Canadian pair legends Louise Bertram and Stewart Reburn, both of Toronto, were the 1935 Canadian Pair Champions and enter the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in the athlete category. Both are deceased; Bertram passed away in 1996 at age 88 and Reburn in 1976 at age 63. They were the first pair team to skate to the music instead of using it as background, and were referred to as the “Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the ice world.”

Their innovative, charming style captured audiences in both the figure skating and entertainment worlds. They competed at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, finishing sixth, before retiring from the sport.

 

Mr. Mussina, and his oldest son, Bryce, during the 2014 Montoursville (Pa.) Little League season.

Mr. Mussina, and his oldest son, Bryce, during the 2014 Montoursville (Pa.) Little League season.

Joining Little League® at the age of eight and playing until he was 15, Mike Mussina pitched his first game ever for the Johnny Z’s Restaurant team in the Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Little League (MLL) at the age of 10. From that fateful day, he embarked on a baseball career that took him from the blue and gold of the Montoursville High School Warriors, to the Cardinal Red of Stanford University, to Major League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.

In 2014, Mr. Mussina’s accomplishments on and off the baseball field were recognized when he was enshrined in the World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence. Mr. Mussina was the 48th person to be enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence.

Before the Welcome Luncheon, conference attendees will have the opportunity to submit written questions for Mr. Mussina. Cards will be available on Wednesday morning for the questions and several will be selected by Lance Van Auken, Vice President and Executive Director of the World of Little League Museum and Official Store, who will moderate the Q&A program.

“My dad was my Little League coach when I was 11 and 12,” said Mr. Mussina of his father, Malcolm. “He took me out to the backyard and played catch with me, and taught me the little things about baseball (and life) that over time became part of who I am.”

While his career took him to the highest level of baseball, Little League has always been near to Mr. Mussina’s heart. In 2001, he was elected to the Little League International Board of Directors. His is in his sixth year as a Little League coach and his 17th as an MLL volunteer Board member.

“Many people helped mentor me as a player and have helped shape me as a coach. I’ve learned intensity, compassion and how to deal with players in a lot of different ways,” said Mr. Mussina. “There are pieces of my father; my high school baseball coach, Carter Giles: my coaches at Stanford, Mark Marquess and Tim Dutton; and Joe Torre and many others … over the years, I’ve learned a little bit of something from all of them.”

Consistency, tenacity and durability were staples of Mr. Mussina’s MLB career. As a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, his experience and unique insight have been valuable to discussions at the highest levels of the organization.

Among the decisions made during his tenure on the Board was the significant shift in Little League rules governing pitcher eligibility. The conversion to the Little League Baseball Pitch Count and development of the regulations came with Mr. Mussina’s direct input, along with fellow Little League Board of Directors member, and premier expert on sports injuries, Dr. James Andrews and his colleague, Dr. Glenn Fleisig. Since 2007, when the regulations were implemented, Mr. Mussina has had the opportunity to experience the positive impact first-hand, both as a coach and parent.

“Keeping players healthy and safe is so important, especially in Little League,” said Mr. Mussina. “As a pitcher, parent, and coach, the Little League Pitch Count Regulations are the best way to protect young pitchers and promote arm safety in youth baseball.”

Retiring from the Yankees in 2008, Mr. Mussina, then 39, hung up his uniform after posting a 20-win season (20-8). For his career with the Orioles and Yankees, he won at least 11 games in 17 consecutive seasons (an American League record) and recorded a career .638 winning percentage. Among pitchers, he ranks 33rd in all-time wins (270), 33rd in games started (535), 66th in innings pitched (3,562.2), and 19th in strikeouts (2,813). A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, Mike’s consistency resulted in six top-five finishes in the voting for the American League’s Cy Young Award. Mr. Mussina graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in economics, while competing for the Cardinal baseball team.

“In baseball – and all sports – you learn stuff that you don’t know you’re going to use in life,” said Mr. Mussina. “As a coach and a parent, I want children to take the best parts of whatever situation and pass those lessons onto the next generation. If my players and my own kids are able to do that, I’ll be very proud.”

“As a Little League graduate, parent, volunteer, local Board Member, and International Board of Directors Member, Mike truly embodies the Little League values of Character, Courage, and Loyalty,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “As Little League celebrates its 75th Anniversary, it is wonderful to recognize Mike’s on-field and off-field achievements as one of the Williamsport-area’s most accomplished residents and Little League graduates.”

Established in 1988, enshrinement in the World of Little League Hall of Excellence is an annual honor bestowed on a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. For more information and a complete list of Hall of Excellence enshrinees, visit LittleLeagueMuseum.org.
Mr. Mussina, played his final eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees. Photo courtesy of: New York Yankees. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (February 5, 2015) – The World of Little League®: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store has a sweet surprise in store for educators in February.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the museum has announced “World of Little League Museum Loves Teachers.”

Educators at any level showing teaching identification receive free admission to the museum throughout the month. Up to two guests also are free for a total value of up to $15.

The education event is in conjunction with the Williamsport Loves Teachers program sponsored by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, Feb. 13-23. However, the museum has opened its doors to educators at no charge for the entire month.

“This is a great way for teachers, from pre-school through college, to learn what our museum has to offer,” said Lance Van Auken, Little League Vice President and World of Little League Executive Director. “We’re glad to provide a benefit to educators who do such important work for our community, commonwealth, and nation.”

Several of the members of the museum’s Hall of Excellence are educators, including Pennsylvania resident Michael Pladus, who was named the 1999 National High School Principal of the Year. Dr. Pladus was principal of Interboro High School, Prospect Park, Pa., when he received the national award for his dedication to students and his drive to help them succeed.

Dr. Pladus retired as superintendent of Upper Dublin School District (Ambler, Pa.) and was praised for his accomplishments and impact on students and those with whom he has worked, according to an article in the Ambler Gazette on Dec. 17, 2013.

A member of the Shenandoah North (Pa.) Little League, Dr. Pladus said, during his induction to the Hall of Excellence, that “Little League provided me with more than positive recreation; it provided me with opportunities to learn lessons from which I have benefited throughout my life.”

Dr. Robert Stratta was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in 2000. Now Professor of Surgery and Transplantation at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., he played for North Roseland Little League of Chicago. He considers pitching in the 1967 Little League Baseball World Series one of the high points in his life.

Dr. Stratta, who attended college on a baseball scholarship, isn’t shy about crediting Little League and the sport of baseball with enabling him to accomplish so much in life. “I played baseball for the competition and sheer joy of the sport. But in the end it allowed me to travel around the country, paved the way for my higher education, and taught me how to effectively compete in the ‘game’ of life.”

A 1996 Hall of Excellence inductee, Dr. Robert Sloan, was like many children, playing Little League for “something to do.”

But Little League became one of the forces that drove him to success. The graduate of Western Little League in Abelene, was President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, when he was inducted.  Now he is President of Houston Baptist University.

“In a way, all the basic elements of life are in baseball and Little League,” said Dr. Sloan. “You have to show up at a certain time. If you’re late, you let the team down. And just like life, there are isolated individual performances that stand out. But in the end, it’s what the team did that really matters.”

Dr. Sloan, a Little League coach from 1984 to 1990, has authored two books and more than 50 articles.

The Williamsport Loves Teachers program is open to all teachers, school district employees and teachers union retirees. There is no charge for registration and it may be made by contacting the Lycoming County Visitors Center in downtown Williamsport near Wegman’s. Each instructor will receive a Very Important Teacher’s pass. The passes include discounts on dining, shopping, attractions and entertainment.

Education is important to Little League and to the museum, which offers group rates for field trips and has lesson plans available in several subjects, including reading, world cultures and mathematics. The lesson plans were developed through the Education Departments at Bloomsburg University and Mansfield University. Additional information is available from Janice L. Ogurcak, Director of Public Programming and Outreach at 570-326-1921 ext. 2280.

Rates for pre-registered groups of 20 or more people are as follows: $1 for children 12 and younger; $3 for those 13-61; and $2 for anyone 62 or older. Otherwise rates are $2, $5 and $3, respectively.

Additional information about the county program is online at  http://www.vacationpa.com/HomeEvent.php

The World of Little League, 525 Montgomery Pike (US 15), is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the exception of Monday, Jan. 19. General admission is $5. It is $2 for children (ages 5 through 12) and $3 for senior citizens (62 years and older). Children four and younger are admitted free of charge.

More information about the Museum is available at LittleLeagueMuseum.org or you can contact the Museum at 570-326-3607. Follow World of Little League on Facebook (facebook.com/LittleLeagueMuseum) and Twitter (twitter.com/LLBMuseum).

Photos of About Little League®

Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. Founded in 1939, more than 35 million people around the world, from a U.S. president to community leaders to professional athletes, can call themselves Little League graduates. And every year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that the Little Leaguers display at our nine baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit LittleLeague.org, or follow Little League on Facebook (facebook.com/LittleLeague), Twitter (twitter.com/LittleLeague), and Instagram (Instagram.com/LittleLeague).