Mansfield University President Rod Ketchner will be master of ceremonies for the dinner.
Five of the 30 inductees were selected from a list of seventeen individuals whose accomplishments in the field of sports have established their importance in county athletic history.
The remaining twenty-five were nominated from five areas of Tioga County: Blossburg, Elkland, Mansfield, Wellsboro and Westfield.
The five “automatics” selected were:
Carl Lindquist of Morris Run, who graduated from Mansfield State Teachers College in 1941 after a four-year pitching career on the MSTC baseball team, He began is professional baseball career with the Elmira Pioneers that same year. From 1943-44 Lindquist played for the Boston Braves; from 1945-47 for the Milwaukee and for Atlanta from 1948-50. In 1951, he played for Buffalo, NY and Montgomery, Ala.
Francis J. Kelly of Mansfield played baseball, basketball and football with MSTC and was on the basketball team when it won the State Championship in 1926 and 1929. He played professional baseball in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dallas, Texas from 1929 through 1932 and in 1933 was with the Williamsport Grays in the New York-Penn League. It was Kelly who first promoted the idea of honoring local sports greats, an idea which led to the establishment of the Hall of Fame.
C. Thomas McMillen, formerly of Mansfield, led Mansfield High School to a Class B state championship in 1969. He set an all-time state scoring record and national record for highest percentage of field goals during his career at Mansfield High. At the University of Maryland, McMillen set another school scoring record, was chosen Most Valuable Player at the 1972 National Invitational Tournament and was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team. A Rhodes scholar who played professional basketball in Italy, McMillen was a first-round NBA draft choice. He has played with the Buffalo Braves, the New York Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks and the Washington Bullets.
John J. “Red” Murray, an Arnot native, is recognized for his outstanding contributions with the New York Giants. Considered one of the greatest outfielders of his era, Murray played every inning of every game in three World Series [1911-1913]. He led the National League in home runs one year and finished second in stolen bases three years.
Edward Russell was an outstanding lineman in football at Mansfield Normal School and University of Pennsylvania. He played against the legendary Jim Thorpe, both in college and professional football; and was head football coach at Mansfield State Teachers College from 1924 to 1931.
The five from the Blossburg area selected for hall-of-fame honors include:
Harold C. Berguson, a native of Arnot, who began his baseball career with the Blossburg town team at the age of 14. A left-handed batter, he was a power-hitter, always batting in the No. 4 position with consistency; and also possessed a powerful throwing arm. Signed by the New York Yankees in 1941, Berguson played for the Binghamton and Butler farm teams in 1941 and 1942 before entering military service.
Fred W. Johnson, also from Arnot, had a wide assortment of pitches and was considered hard to hit. At the height of his pitching career, however, he injured his arm pitching both games of a double-header. Switched to first base, Johnson’s above average hitting enabled him to continue as an active player for a number of years.
Louis “Babe” Losleniecki was still out there with the youngsters showing them how to run the bases even after most players his age had hung up their spikes. He got his nickname because his hitting resembled that of another right fielder on the New York Yankees, and his ability to steal a base or extend a hit into extra bases struck fear into opposing pitchers.
Lewis W. MacBlane was born in Morris Run, where he learned the game of baseball and played four years in high school. Following graduation he played ten years for the Morris Run Miners of the Tri-County League. Later, MacBlane became an avid golfer, scoring a “hole in one” at the Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira.
Charles F. Schultz graduated from Blossburg High School and went on to Mansfield Normal, where he played baseball and basketball. From Mansfield, Schultz went to the University of Rochester and played another year of baseball. Returning to his hometown, he played ten years as an outfielder and pitcher for the town baseball team as well as participating on local basketball squads.
Lawrence J. Baker pitched for the Elkland Town Team at age 16, winning 15 of 18 games and throwing a no-hitter at age 17. He averaged 11 strikeouts for every 9-inning game while hitting over .400. In 1930 he won his first game for Elmira in the NYP League, yielding only 3 hits. Baker was also well-known in the county as a longtime umpire.
George “Pooch” Davenport, Sr., a former Elkland native played high school baseball in 1928-30 and was a member of the first Elkland High School Basketball Team. He played infield for the champion baseball team from Elkland in the Tri-County League in 1936-37 and played on Elkland’s first softball team in 1931. In 1942 he organized and coached the Moose Softball Team.
Gordon L. “Bucky” Freburg of Elkland dominated the scene on many occasions in the Tri-County Baseball League in the 1930’s. His team, The Elco Tannery Baseball Nine, won the championship in 1936. In 1938 he was signed to a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.
Benjamin L. Marzo, also of Elkland, held the Elmira YMCA Blackhawks Basketball League scoring record. He broke the previous record in 1951 with 325 points and the free throw mark with a high of 87. In addition, Marzo played infield on the champion Tri-County League baseball team and later played short-stop for Elkland’s softball team. He also coached Little League and Junior Legion baseball for many years.
Arthur “Art” Watson, a native of Elkland and a natural southpaw, found his niche in baseball on the pitcher’s mound. In his junior and senior years in high school he was pitching for the Elkland Town Team and in 1938 was selected for the Atlantic All-Stars from Tioga County and signed to play professional baseball. His professional career ended in 1941 with his entry into the Marine Corps.
Harold “Skeet” Brace was an outstanding baseball and basketball player both at Mansfield High School and at Mansfield State College. His major accomplishments, however, came during his career as a high school basketball coach. At Shinglehouse, Brace’s teams won the district title 8 out of 9 years. Later, at Bradford, his team won 11 district titles in 13 years and went to the state semi-finals twice. Those teams had a remarkable 218-51 record during his years as coach.
Richard R. Hatfield of Tioga played baseball and basketball at Williamson High School for four years and at Rio Grande College in Ohio for two [years]. Picked by the Detroit Tigers baseball team. Dick Hatfield played with various teams from Class D to AA from 1952-58 and pitched for various U.S. Air Force teams for four seasons.
Merle E. Stillwell graduated from Mansfield High School in 1950 with letters in baseball and basketball. He lettered in baseball and football at Mansfield State College from 1952-56 and served as captain of the baseball team in his senior year. Stillwell coached nine years of football and three years of baseball at Walt Whitman High School on Long Island, NY and was the football coach at Indiana University for five years.
J.J. McMillen made the all-star basketball team as a junior and senior at Mansfield High School. At the University of Maryland he played on the freshman team and was a varsity starter for the next three years. McMillen was selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star Team and the NCAA Academic All-American Team in 1967. Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers upon graduation. McMillen, brother of Hall of Fame inductee Tom McMillen, elected to further his education rather than continuing in basketball.
George R. Tomlinson played varsity baseball, basketball and football at Mansfield High School and basketball in 1949 for Mansfield State College. In 1952 and 1953, he played basketball for Alfred University. An avid golfer, Tomlinson won the Corey Creek Golf Championship in 1967, 1969, 1974, 1979 and 1980.
Silas L. “Sike” Boom, a native of Knoxville, began his baseball managerial career in 1927 when he moved to Wellsboro, and that career continued right up until his untimely death in 1946. Boom, who was noted for encouraging an interest in sports in Wellsboro, had a profound knowledge of the game of baseball coupled with the ability to impart that knowledge to his players. He was highly respected by his opponents as well as by the members of his own teams.
John P. Deibert excelled in baseball, basketball and football. But is was that last sport that earned him a full four-year athletic scholarship to Penn State. As a tackle there, Deibert saw action in bowl games from 1962 to 1964 and was drafted by both the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills professional football teams. He chose instead to coach high school football, where he enjoyed great success.
William M. Johnson won 11 letters in baseball, basketball and football at Mansfield State from 1946-49 and signed with the St. Louis Browns football team in 1947. Later, Johnson returned home to Wellsboro, where he coached Little League for 25 years and saw his 1955 team go to the state finals. In 1952, his Green Hornet basketball team reached the state semi-finals and Johnson-coached football teams went undefeated at Wellsboro in 1958 and Corning East in 1970.
Donald “Rusty” Ludlam believed and played by the adage that “one player doesn’t make a team.” His own teamwork led Wellsboro High School to two undefeated championship years in junior varsity basketball in 1936 and 1937, two championship years in varsity basketball in 1938 and 1939, and saw him batting .360 and .400 during his last two years playing varsity baseball.
Hugh S. Niles moved to Wellsboro from his native Elkland at the beginning of his high school sophomore year and played varsity baseball, basketball, soccer as well as running track until his graduation from Wellsboro High School in 1939. During his high school career, he was the District IV Cross-Country Champion and the Tioga County One-Mile Champion. Following graduation, Niles went to Bloomsburg University played varsity basketball, was co-captain of the baseball team and captained the Cross-Country runners.
Russell Bush was a long-time resident of Knoxville who was noted for his blazing fastball. He pitched for Newark in the International League, the Johnstown, Amsterdam and Gloversville team in the old New York State League and for Altoona in the Middle Atlantic League, but a tryout with the Brooklyn Dodgers failed. Bush died in February 1920.
Wilson J. Streeter captained the Syracuse University Freshman Cross-Country team and in his sophomore year saw its team came in second in intercollegiate competition. He won the mile and two-mile races in his junior year and qualified for the Olympic trials on the west coast as well as being named most valuable player on the team. During his senior year, his cross-county team won all its dual meets.
Benn Weeks, a graduate of Westfield High School, learned the game of tennis while a student at Mansfield State Teachers College and became known as one of the area’s outstanding players. He is still active in the sport as well as an excellent swimmer.
Lynn “Pat” Weldman was one of the most outstanding basketball players ever to come from the Westfield area. In 1930, he was selected to an All-American Basketball Team following his participation in a tournament in Westfield that was one of several played throughout the country to select the team members.
Edward Zurfluh had a great love for all sports and was an outstanding guard in basketball and short-stop in baseball. Following his graduation from Westfield High School, he continued to play with town teams, in particular the Sinclair Oilers. He was also noted as an outstanding basketball referee in high school competition.
Each of the inductees, or a representative if the inductee is deceased will receive a plaque showing the highlights of his athletic career. A second plaque will be placed on display at the site of the Sports Hall of Fame in the Tioga County Historical Society Annex, 120 Main St., Wellsboro.
Tickets on Sale
Tickets for the banquet can be purchased from the following: Earl Lamberson - 1-717-638-2906; Howard Sandstrom - 638-2470; Louis Schultz - 638-2849; Molly Sherman - 1-814-258-7314; Walter Berguson - 1-717-659-5212; Theodore Besanceney - 1-717-662-3635; Ferris Lutes - 662-2676; Keith Tombs - 1-717-724-3432; Craig West - 724-3424; Lou Youdas - 724-2752; Fernley Leach - 1-814-367-5160; Frank Farwell - 367-2319 or Harland Moore - 367-2243.