Posts Tagged ‘ Southington Sports Hall of Fame ’

Hall of Fame: He was the ‘Tops’–Doug Topshe was one of Southington’s biggest supporters

July 15, 2016
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Former Tops Market owner, Doug Topshe, will be inducted posthumously into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts as a booster for local athletes, teams, and leagues.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR It’s been more than three decades, but Al Rousseau can still remember the late Doug Topshe taking a left out of Recreation Park. The owner of Tops Market never even glanced at his rear view mirror as his grocery store—and his home—vanished from view. Instead, Topshe was focused on his young passenger,…

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Southington Sports Hall of Fame celebrates century-long sports legacy

July 6, 2016
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Jimmie Savage broke into the major leagues in the early 1900s, earning a spot as an everyday player with the Pittsburgh Rebels in 1914.

By JOHN GORALSKIEDITOR Commuters racing across town might not stop to think about the origins of Savage Street or the family that lent its name to the Southington landscape. Sports fans, boasting about the town’s rich sports history, might pass over James “Jimmie” Savage when they argue about which athlete launched Southington’s rich sports legacy. That’s…

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Hall of Fame: deFighting Irish: Nicole deFau battled from walk-on to team captain

November 5, 2015
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Nicole deFau, above, was Southington’s first Gatorade Player of the Year in softball.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR It was some time during her senior year at Notre Dame when Nicole deFau found herself alone with her division one coach, and the former Southington standout could see the tears welling up in Deanna Gumpf’s eyes. DeFau was the only senior on that 2004 tournament-bound team. She had outlasted an all-American…

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Hall of Fame: The Bristol Bomber: Russ Laribee battled his way through the minors

October 29, 2015
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Russ Laribee was an outfielder by the time he reached the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) in 1981. Above is Laribee’s picture on his minor league baseball card.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Ted Williams recognized the pitch just before it was released, and he swung around in the Pawtucket dugout to face a wide-eyed Russ Laribee. The legendary hitter began hurling a litany of questions at the Southington star, and Laribee stumbled over himself to try to get out each answer. What do you…

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Hall of Fame: Lumbra-jack: Doreen Lumbra cut down opponents at every level

October 22, 2015
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Doreen Lumbra fires a throw to first base to score an out for the Lady Knights during the early 1980s. Lumbra is just the second softball position player to be inducted into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR The coach of Plainville’s all-star team gathered her players and pointed to Southington’s outfield at the small, under-aged fielder that looked out of place in a squad of teenaged all-stars. Doreen Lumbra wore her age, No. 8, on her chest like a badge of honor, but Plainville coaches saw an opportunity to…

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Hall of Fame: Second to none: Art Secondo’s love for Southington drove him in the media and on the sidelines

October 15, 2015
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Secondo calls a strike during a Parks and Recreation softball game in 2011. Secondo has been umpiring local contests since 1973.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR When Art Secondo strolled onto the Southington football field in the late 1960s, he was hit by a wave of boos and taunts. Each time a Southington player danced into the end zone, he’d throw an angry glare at the young Southington sports writer. Secondo was pushed to the edge of the…

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Hall of Fame: Hitting his stride: Chris Walsh went the distance

October 1, 2015
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Chris Walsh builds some distance at the front of the pack during a Blue Knight track meet in the early 1970s. Walsh went on to gain national success in college and as a high school coach in California.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Cheshire hearts rose when Chris Walsh’s opponent burst from the start of the two mile race at a dual meet in 1973. The Rams needed a win to capture the track meet, and Walsh was trailing by 10 yards when the frontrunners began their final lap. “Their coach threw his hat up…

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Hall of Fame: A-‘Mazz’-ing: Gerry Massarelli helped build a field and a sport

September 24, 2015
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Gerry Massarelli signals a player during his reign atop the Northern Little League’s senior division, but Massarelli was just as dominant off the field, leading a project to build a baseball field that carries his name.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR The children’s voices carried up the hill to Gerry Massarelli’s first home on Hill Street, and the siren song began to tug at the former bat boy. He could make out every little laugh, every hint of an argument, and every cheer as a player circled third base on the old Pexto…

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Hall of Fame: Captain Jack: Jack Barry anchored the Southington infield

September 10, 2015
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Jack Barry was an anchor behind the plate during Southington’s transition from Lewis High School to Southington High School. After graduation, he battled in the minor leagues.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR   Jack Barry never did get the chance to test his arm against the fastest runner at spring training in 1952, but the Southington catcher worked his way around the four fields in Myrtle Beach, S.C., hoping for a chance to take his shot. For a few weeks in early April, the…

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Hall of Fame: Out for a drive: Ed Fernandes continues to be a powerhouse off the tee

August 27, 2015
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Former Blue Knight Ed Fernandes takes a swing at the 2014 Remax Long Drive Championship. Fernandes is currently ranked in the top 40 in the world.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Ed Fernandes was just five years old when his father walked him out the back door and onto the fairway of the former Patton Brook Country Club. He remembers studying his father’s every move, as he positioned the golf ball about 20 yards from the green. His dad barked a few tips,…

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