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FOLIGNO LEADS 11 INDUCTEES INTO SPOTLIGHT

Most people remember the jump after every goal.

Mike Foligno, though, thought his trademark as a Buffalo Sabre was his unusually sized and shaped helmet.

"I use it as a salad bowl now," Foligno joked. "It's one of the most used tools in the kitchen."

Either way, there are only good Buffalo memories for Foligno and 10 others inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame at the 14th annual ceremony in front of about 950 family members and friends Wednesday night in HSBC Arena.

In a way, Foligno provided a brief hockey fix for Buffalo fans starved for ice-related action during the National Hockey League lockout.

Foligno's outlook on the labor dispute has a different twist. As general manager and coach of the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League, he's dealing with players aged 16-20 who are trying to prepare for a professional hockey career.

"We're involved now as an outsider working with the future stars of the NHL," Foligno said. "We're working with players who are inevitably going to be drafted come (NHL) draft time. Hopefully, there will be a draft. Hopefully, there will be a place for these players to go to.

"I'm sure down the road there will be, but as to when we don't know. We've got our fingers crossed that it will get rectified so these players that are draft eligible this year do get an opportunity and don't have to miss a year."

Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey felt a bit of vindication with his induction. After all, when he was drafted in 1969, the only team that did not show interest in him was his hometown Bills.

"Back when I was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round, there were 26 NFL teams. I was the biggest Buffalo Bills fan in the world," Bergey said. "The only problem was . . . out of the 26 teams there was only one team that never got in touch with me. Now what team do you think that was?

"This is making up for it."

Andre Reed is getting his feet wet in television work on the Chargers' pre- and postgame shows for Fox, but he admits he's still very much a Bills fan and has his take on their 1-5 start.

"When you lose, all the little things become big things," Reed said. "When you win, nobody talks about anything. I think they're making probably a mountain of a molehill out of things, but there are some things they have to address."

For former St. Joe's cross country and track coach Bob Ivory, the credit goes to his athletes, not to him.

"I told them (at the induction announcement) that they had the wrong person," Ivory said. "They shouldn't have had me. They should have had the runners. These guys did one heck of a job for us. People don't realize how good they were."

Third baseman Dave Hollins made his name in Philadelphia. He had two home runs for the Phillies in the 1993 World Series against the eventual champion Toronto Blue Jays.

"It's nice to be recognized at home when you played most of your career out of state," Hollins said. "Even when we were in the World Series, the Bills were in the Super Bowl then, and there wasn't much baseball interest."

It was old hat, though special, for Bob Miske and Kevin Milligan, members of a number of other halls of fame.

"This is special because all my friends are here from Buffalo," said Miske, who played baseball and basketball at the University of Buffalo in the early 1960s and was a major league baseball scout and college basketball official. "This is where I grew up. This is wonderful."

Milligan, a standout basketball player at St. Mary's School for the Deaf who won the gold medal with the United States in the 1961 Deaf Olympics, is a member of nine halls of fame.

"This is the best of all because it's in his hometown and in front of all his family," he said in remarks relayed by his daughter, Ella Dunne. "There are so many memories, and many of his basketball teammates are here."

The Stumpf family became the first family or group to be inducted in the hall of fame, with Sally Stumpf accepting the award for the area's "first family of gymnastics."

"We're very proud that the whole family is inducted," said Stumpf. "We've been in the sport for almost 50 years, and now our boys and daughter-in-law have taken over. It's strictly a family affair. . . . We feel a lot of these other gymnastic clubs have surged because of our start."

Baseball historian Jim Overfield and Indy 500 driver Jim Hurtubise were inducted posthumously.

Overfield's induction was accepted by his son, Jim.

"He obviously loved baseball, and he was a great Buffalonian," Jim said. "Being a historian of baseball was just a hobby for him, but it was a labor of love. . . . I think the worst time in his life was those few years when Buffalo didn't have a professional (baseball) team."

Hurtubise won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1960 and returned to the race 10 times. His daughter, Karen Hurtubise-Pashong, vividly remembers growing up in North Tonawanda.

"We had a barn where he built all his race cars," Hurtubise-Pashong said. "I always thought it was normal, that everyone grew up with a barn full of race cars."
e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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