Fourteen players, one sponsor and the Sloan Bruins team will be inducted into the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame at the Lake Erie Italian Club on Sept. 21. The banquet will be catered by Ilio DiPaolo's.
Last year more than 450 attended the banquet and another large turnout is expected. Tickets, which are $40, can be obtained by writing Bob Miske at 534 Capen Blvd., Amherst 14226 or by calling 834-1048.
In 1970, the Bruins became the first team from Western New York to win the National Amateur Baseball Federation Championship in Louisville, Ky. Sloan lost its first game in the tournament, then won six in a row including a 7-3 victory over Cincinnati in the championship game. Jon Roth pitched a five-hitter for the win and Ed Mahoney hit a pair of home runs and was named MVP.
Thirty-one players and manager Dick Smith from the Bruins have been selected for the Hall of Fame. Two, Dale DelBello and Joe Caimano, are in this year's class.
Richard Puchalski (deceased) of Puchalski Florist sponsored teams and managed at various Muny levels as well as in the Electric and the Cazenovia Twilight leagues from 1946 to '59. The 1949 team, which included Bob and Don MacKinnon, Dr. Ed Gicewicz, John Wojcik, Ed Blonski, Ed Ponsi, Steve Krall, Connie Wojtkowiak and Jake Austin, went undefeated and beat the perennial champion Simon Pures to win the AA Muny Title.
The individual inductees:
*John Boutet: Middle infielder and catcher who batted .508 as a senior at St. Joe's, hit .373 at Canisius College and was a .400 hitter for the AAABA Leibs. He also played for the Muny AAA Southside AC and Wiechec Mustangs.
*Joe Caimano: Played second base and managed AAA Muny championship teams for the 101s and the Cardinals, and went to the NABF Tournament with the championship Sloan Bruins in 1970.
*Dale DelBello: First baseman who twice made the National Baseball Congress All-Star team with the Sloan Bruins and played at UB (1962-64).
*Joe Guercio: Long-time manager and coach in Muny (Kicks & Eddies, Oradents), AAABA and Plewacki Legion Post. Also coached at Williamsville North. His youthful 1965 team upset the seasoned Simon Pures for the Muny championship.
*Robert Hayes: Outstanding third baseman for Franklinville Frankees team that won Buffalo News Suburban League championships in 1960, '61 and '62.
*Dirk Hrichan: Recorded more than 100 AAA Muny wins in a career that ended in 1998. Pitched for Butler Mitchell (AA) and Cardinals (AAA) championship teams in Muny.
*George Johengen: Southpaw pitched for North Collins in Suburban League from 1952 to '58 after pro ball. Signed by the Yankees after he pitched three years at Michigan State (1947-49) and went 10-2 for Amsterdam (Can-Am League) and 9-7 for Twin Falls (Pioneer League).
*Ron Kiener: Pitched for Clarence and other teams in Muny and Suburban leagues after making All-WNY at Clarence High (1987) and leading the team as MVP at Onondaga Community College.
*Randy Law: Kenmore West grad was a shortstop with the Union Painters (1973-75) and the Voyageurs (1979-86). He was a two-time All-America selection at Monroe CC, where he led the nation with a .507 batting average in 1974. He went on to play at Bowling Green.
*Ed Lewis: A four-time Lake Shore League all-star as an outfielder. Played for Lake Shore/West Herr (1969-85). Nine times his teams went to the All-Around finals. Five times they won the title.
*David O'Bryne: Will be inducted posthumously. Pitched until he was 40 in the Erie-Niagara Suburban League for the Lockport Redman Club and championship Lockport Bus teams. Had five shutouts, including a no-hit game, in 1980 All-Arounds. Between 1980 and '85, he posted a 56-16 record.
*David Podlas: An infielder for Cheektowaga Travelers (1989-91) and Leibs in AAA Muny (1992-2007), he made All-Catholic for Canisius High and played at Canisius College.
*Paul Schifferle: Classy fielding second baseman for Ebenezer All-Stars as well as Simon Pures from 1954 to '59. Signed by the Cardinals out of St. Joe's (1953) and again by the Reds (1954) because of his fielding skills.
*Ed Spoth Jr.: An All-Catholic first baseman at DeSales High and an All-SUNYAC at Brockport, Spoth was a five-time Erie-Niagara League all-star and MVP of the 1983 All-Star game. He played on two Lockport Bus championship teams.