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).

A 20-person nomination committee selects Raymond Clayborn, Ty Law and Bill Parcells as the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame finalists.

Patriots fans have until May 15 to vote for the nominee most deserving of hall of fame honors.

 

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that three former Patriots have been selected as finalists for this year’s induction into the team’s hall of fame. This year’s finalists (listed in alphabetical order) are cornerback Raymond Clayborn, cornerback Ty Law and head coach Bill Parcells. Clayborn and Law are first-time finalists, while Parcells was a finalist in 2011 and 2012. For Law, 2014 is the first year he was eligible to be nominated.

Starting today, Patriots fans are encouraged to vote for the former Patriot most deserving of hall of fame enshrinement. Fans can vote on www.patriots.com for the next month. Voting will end on May 15, 2014 and the Patriots will announce the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame selection in ea

rly June.

This year’s selection will become the 22nd person to be enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony is held on the plaza just outside The H

all at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. The outdoor ceremony is free and open to the public. Patriots fans of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. The date and time of this year’s event will be announced at a later date.

Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new hall of fame tradition, inducting one pl

ayer or head coach to The Hall each year. The process for induction now involves a panel of media, alumni and staff, who collectively nominate the players or head coaches most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes and the top three tallies become that year’s

finalists. The Patriots then give their fans the opportunity to vote online to select each year’s winner.

Earlier this month, a 20-person nomination committee met to discuss this year’s candidates for induction. Now it is up to the fans to select this year’s honoree.

This year’s finalists are listed below:

Raymond Clayborn

Raymond Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowl (1983, 1985, 1986) player for the Patriots from 1977 through 1989. He joined the Patriots as a first round pick (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977 and quickly established himself as a top-notch defensive back as well as a superb kickoff returner. He finished his career with a franchise-leading 36 interceptions (tied with Ty Law) for 555 yards for a 15.4 yard per interception average. His 555 interception return yards are second in franchise history to Ty Law’s 583 return yards. Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. As a rookie in 1977, Clayborn returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and led the NFL with a 31.0-yard return average and returned three kicks for touchdowns, both of which remain franchise records. He is one of just 16 NFL players since the 1970 merger to finish a season with a 30.0-yard average on kickoff returns (min. 20 returns) and is the only Patriots player to accomplish the feat. Clayborn played a vital role in bringing the Patriots to respectability in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During his 13 seasons with the Patriots, he helped the Patriots to 10 winning seasons, including four postseason berths. Clayborn intercepted Hall of Famer Dan Marino and recorded six passes defensed to help end an 18-game losing streak to the Miami Dolphins in the Orange Bowl in a 31-14 AFC Championship victory that lifted the Patriots to their first Super Bowl. Clayborn was a member of the Patriots 1970s and 1980s all-decade teams.

 

       

Patriots Hall of Fame finalist Ty Law

Patriots Hall of Fame finalist Ty Law

Ty Law spent 10 seasons with the Patriots (1995-2004) after joining the team as a first round (23rd overall) draft pick out of Michigan in 1995. Law was a three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), a four-time Pro Bowl player (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003) and a two-time All-Pro (1998, 2003) during his tenure with the Patriots. Law tied Raymond Clayborn’s career franchise-record with 36 interceptions and finished with the most interception-return yards in team history with 583. His six interceptions returned for touchdowns are also a franchise best. Law had nine interceptions in 1998 to become the first Patriots player to lead the NFL in that category. He was a playmaker who played some of his best games in the postseason. He helped lead the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in 2001 when he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass against the Rams and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown for the first points of the game. In the 2003 AFC Championship Game, Law intercepted three Peyton Manning passes while leading the Patriots to a 24-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Law was part of a record-breaking Patriots defense in 2003 that led the NFL in five key categories: opponents points per game (14.9), interceptions (29), fewest touchdown receptions allowed (11), opponent’s passer rating (56.2) and pass deflections (121) as the team captured its second Super Bowl title in a win over the Carolina Panthers. Law is a member of the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s as well as the Patriots’ all-1990s and all-2000s decade teams. He was also selected to the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team.

 

        SideStage070Bill Parcells was the head coach of the New England Patriots for four seasons (1993-96) and led the team to the playoffs twice. After inheriting a team that had finished 14-50 in the previous four years, including an NFL worst 2-14 season in 1992, he brought the clout of a two-time Super Bowl Champion to the Patriots sidelines, infusing instant credibility in 1993. In 1994, a season-ending seven-game win streak allowed the Patriots to clinch their first playoff berth in eight years. The performance earned Parcells NFL Coach of the Year honors. After finishing 6-10 in 1995, the Patriots rebounded with an 11-win season in 1996, tying the then franchise record for wins and earning their first division title in 10 years. After a convincing victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (28-3) in the divisional playoff game in foggy Foxborough, the Patriots hosted their first AFC Championship game and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-6, to earn a trip to the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history. This is the third time that the Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee has nominated Bill Parcells for Patriots Hall of Fame induction (2011, 2012 and 2014). On Feb. 2, 2013, Parcells was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Parcells is the only coach in NFL history ever to lead four different teams to the playoffs and three different teams to a conference championship game. He is a member of the Patriots all-1990s team.

 

VOTE NOW BY CLICKING HERE

 

About the Patriots Hall of Fame

The Patriots Hall of Fame was officially formed in 1991 after John Hannah became the first Patriots player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the hall of fame, the Patriots created a new way of honoring their greatest players. It wasn’t until 2008, with the opening of The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, that Patriots players, past and present, truly had a place to call home that they could share with their fans. Now, enshrinement into The Hall is an honor befitting of the franchise’s greatest players, with 30-foot video pylons displaying each enshrinee. Beginning in 2007, fans became part of the hall of fame tradition and active participants in the selection process.

This year’s inductee will join 19 other Patriot greats and two contributors as a member of the New England Patriots’ Hall of Fame (listed in alphabetical order below with year of induction):

 

 

Bruce Armstrong (2001)

Drew Bledsoe (2011)

Troy Brown (2012)

Tedy Bruschi (2013)

Nick Buoniconti (1992)

Gino Cappelletti (1992)

Ben Coates (2008)

Sam Cunningham (2010)

Bob Dee (1993)

Steve Grogan (1995)

John Hannah (1991)

Mike Haynes (1994)

Jim Lee Hunt (1993)

Stanley Morgan (2007

Jon Morris (2011)

Jim Nance (2009)

Steve Nelson (1993)

Vito “Babe” Parilli (1993)

Andre Tippett (1999)

Contributors:

William H. “Billy” Sullivan, Jr. (2009)

Gil Santos (2013)

 

About The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon

The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England, and promotes math and science education for the thousands of schoolchildren expected to visit each year. For more information, please visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com.