Hall of Fame Inductees (BY TYPE)
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Hall of Fame Inductees (BY CLASS)
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There have been many great slowpitch teams, players, coaches, and umpires involved over the years. The top league in Tacoma in 1966 was the Metro League and the competition was keen amongst the Player’s Tavern, McKnight’s Foods, Pee Wee Tavern, Lake City, Frisko Freeze, Cloverleaf Tavern, and Shorty Rheas, Alfred’s Café was the 1966 Commercial League champions, Ben Dew’s won the Rainier League title, the 48th Street Tavern was crowned the Cascade League champs, Frank & Mike’s won the Municipal League title over the B&I Sparkle Cleaners entry, the Gig Harbor Merchants took top honors in the County American League, North End Merchants bested Schwinn Bikes for the Evergreen championship, and Knights of Columbus took top honors in the Commercial League.
Many of the players were household names following starstudded high school, college and even pro careers such as Dale Bloom, Dave Kerrone, Jim Van Beek, Art Viafore, Chris Cherbas, Dick Palamidessi, Merle Hagbo, Vern Morris, Al Brisbois, Lynn Larson, John Pregenzer, Monte O’Brien, Dean Haner, Bill Hain, Phil Jordan, Rod Keough, Bob Maguinez, Stan Naccarato, Vic Cozzetti, Jack Stonestreet, Bob Corcoran, Mel Manley, Roger Iverson, and even “Irish” Pat McMurtry who traded in his boxing gloves for a baseball glove with the Bernies & Stanley’s club.
The 1970’s era included noteworthy teams such as the Heidelberg, Lucky Lager, Wested Tire, Cloverleaf Tavern, Emry Motors, Durobilt Furniture, The Haven Pub, Murrey’s Garbage Service, Hi Hat, Coach House, People’s Church, Home Plate Tavern, Sons of Italy, Little Jim’s Pub, Poodle Dog, Jerry’s Tomboy, Back Forty Tavern, Dean’s Tavern, Champions’s Athletic Supply, Schooner Tavern, Spar Tavern, 2121 Tavern, Villa Bowl, Lakewood Villa Stereo, Waller Road Exxon, Cody’s, Spanaway Furniture, Spanaway Exchange Tavern, Evergreen Excavation, Michael’s 11–11 Tavern, El Hutchos, Kopey’s Restaurant, Gremlins, Magoo’s Pub, and the Puyallup Eagles and the list continued to rapidly expand.
Dill Howell Award
Named after longtime sport enthusiast, Dill Howell, the award in his honor is given an individual who exemplifies Dill Howell’s passion, commitment, and continued support for baseball in the Tacoma-Pierce County community.
Dillard (Dill) Howell was born in Huntsville, Alabama but had resided in Tacoma since 1922. He passed away on October 30, 1985 at the age of 83. He was one of the original founders and directors of the Tacoma Athletic Commission which was established in 1943 to promote sports and civic betterment. And, the TAC is the longtime sponsoring organization of the annual Tacoma-Pierce County Baseball-Softball Oldtimer’s banquet, an event that Dill worked on regularly.
Dill began his career in the sporting goods business in 1922 as a salesman at Kimball’s Sporting Goods and later became the store manager. In 1936 Kimball’s was sold and Dill founded Howell Sporting Goods which he operated until retirement in 1978. The company was originally situated at 929 Commerce Street and later moved to 922 Commerce Street. When Dill retired he sold the business to three former employees-George Verbonus, Dwight Day, and Jim Osborne-who re-opened the business at 1927 Center Street before moving to a new facility at 3112 S. 38th Street.
Howell Sporting Goods handled most of the athletic equipment and uniform needs for the area high schools as well as CPS and PLC and Dill was always very supportive of all local sports in the community. As a TAC president he was active with all TAC promotions such as the grid-go-round, hoop-go-round, Harlem Globetrotters exhibition games, Golden Gloves boxing event and much more.
Dill was very instrumental in keeping semi-pro baseball alive in the area and was actively involved in the organization and operation of the Tacoma City League, Industrial League, and Valley League over the years. In many respects, he was the glue that kept these leagues going, always helping the teams out with baseballs, uniforms, bats, gloves and much more. It was a commitment to the sporting community that he made on a consistent basis and it is because of this commitment that the Tacoma-Pierce County Baseball-Softball Oldtimers Association proudly recognizes Dill Howell on an annual basis with this award named on his behalf.
Marc H. Blau Meritorious Service Award
Ask any of our “Old-Timers” and they will say – Nobody in Tacoma or Pierce County has done more to perpetuate the organization than Marc Blau. It is fitting that a Meritorious Service Award should bear his name. His volunteer efforts have gone above and beyond.
A TAC member since the 1980s, Marc has channeled his passion for sports by focusing on working on several projects that help to embrace the history of sports in our community and highlight the athletic achievements of our past sports heroes.
He teamed up with Clay Huntington as the driving force behind the creation of the Shanaman Sports Museum of Tacoma-Pierce County which opened in 1994 at the Tacoma Dome; he was chairman for over 10 years of the Tacoma-Pierce County Baseball-Softball Oldtimers Association and instrumental in numerous team reunions; he is chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame: he is the Executive Director for the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame; and he is chairman of the Banquet of Champions. He also authored, with co-author Doug McArthur, “Playgrounds to the Pros: An Illustrated History of Sports in Tacoma-Pierce County”, a book that captures the history of over 35 sports.
He is relentless in his pursuit to preserve our sports history and his volunteer efforts in doing so were the basis for renaming the Meritorious Service Award on his behalf. Upon further review, he’s been more than relentless! “Driven” might be a more appropriate word.
Marv Scott Coaches Award
Little did Tacoma City League fans know that they were in for a rare treat indeed, with the ball diamonds of the 40’s and 50’s influenced by Marv Scott whose positive coaching style affected numerous athletes.
A graduate of Stadium High School, Marv toiled at the hot corner for the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International League for the 1946 season, compiling a .283 batting average but Marv’s calling was to teach and coach and the next year he was back at his alma mater, serving as head coach for the Tigers of Stadium from 1947–57.
Scott then moved on to Wilson high to coach the Rams when that school opened up in 1958 and he remained the varsity coach through the 1967 season with several City League titles under his belt. Already involved as a part-time scout, Marv then went into it full-time, spending 25 years as a scout with the New York Mets, earning World Series championship rings from 1969 and 1986.
Joe Stortini who played against Marv and later coached with him at Wilson recalled, “I really admire how he managed his time. If it rained he never wasted a turnout opportunity. We’d go into the gym and he’d spend an hour explaining the finer points of the game. He was a real perfectionist when it came to baseball. Coach also felt that the first thing players needed to do was to learn how to hold a bat and bunt. He always said that if you could learn to bunt you would be a better hitter. In fact, a lot of his teams would win games even though they would not get the ball out of the infield.”
“Marv would have been a great National League coach because he loved the small ball concept of moving the players along with the short game. His teams were always well drilled and they loved to bunt,” said Stortini.
Joe concluded, “What impressed me the most was not only how well-prepared he was, but that he made sure his boys were, too. He was pretty even-tempered and he would never embarrass a player. If he was mad, he would take the player aside from everyone, have a one-on-one conversation, and create an understanding between both of them. I marveled at how he dealt with the players.”
Denny Brand played for Marv at Wilson in the mid-60’s and vividly recalled, “Coach could spot talent better than anyone I ever knew. He was what I would call ‘a man’s man’ and you just wanted to do well for him, play hard, hustle, and not let him down. He shared his knowledge and taught us to respect the game. If we made an error we still came off the field with our head up. If we struck out, we hustled back to the dugout. He taught us to be glad for the opportunity to be playing baseball and to realize that no one was bigger than the game. We were in awe of him,” commented Brand.
Joe Stortini, still actively playing Senior Softball summed it up appropriately when he said, “When I look back at high school coaches, I realize how lucky I am that I got to play for Bill Mullen and coach with Marv Scott. Without a doubt they were the best and they certainly don’t make coaches like Marv Scott anymore.”
Cy Greenlaw Old-Timers Salute Award
The Cy Greenlaw Oldtimers Salute Award is named after one of our area’s most gracious and kind-hearted individuals to ever set foot in a ballpark. And, as the first recipient of the Oldtimer’s Salute Award in 2003 it seems only fitting to honor one of Tacoma’s true pitching legends!
Born Nov. 11, 1916, in Tacoma, Cy made a name for himself in the old Tacoma City League and played nine seasons in the minor leagues. In 1935 he was a member of the 1935 City League champion Superior Dairy team coached by Ocky Haughland. In 1937, before turning pro, Greenlaw and a star-studded roster for Johnson Paint of Tacoma earned a trip to the National Baseball Congress tournament in Wichita, Kansas where Cy grabbed the attention of scouts as a flame-throwing lefty. The team finished fifth, and Greenlaw returned to his college pursuits, obtaining a degree from St. Mary’s in 1939. Cy pitched for the Gaels, and was inducted into the St Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974.
After the war ended, Cy joined the Tacoma Tigers of the Class B Western International League and was an 18-game winner in 1946, winning a 3-0 seven-inning no-hitter against the Yakima Stars at Tiger Park. In fact, Greenlaw is one of only 14 pitchers to ever throw a no-hitter in local professional baseball history. But his career was on the decline. After three seasons with Tacoma, he played three more seasons with Wenatchee before retiring from baseball in 1951.