Matt Clingersmith, who as coach at Niagara County Community College has turned the Thunderwolves into a powerhouse with five NJCAA World Series appearances, is among 12 standouts from local sandlot leagues making up the 23rd class of inductees for the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame.
The inductees will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Lake Erie Italian Club on South Park Avenue in Lackawanna.
Besides Clingersmith, a Niagara Falls native who pitched at Erie Community College and Canisius and in the AAABA and Muny AAA leagues, the inductees include several performers who were local college and high school standouts in addition to their exploits in WNY Amateur leagues.
The other 2019 inductees:
Wally Bissett, umpire for 27 years in Muny, AAABA, New York Collegiate league, high school, college and local fill-in for International and Eastern Leagues. A Niagara Wheatfield and Buffalo State graduate.
Dave Borsuk, pitcher, West Seneca East, UB, Muny and Suburban leagues.
Pat Caher, first baseman, Bishop Fallon, Buffalo State, Legion, AAABA, Muny.
Rick Dehlinger, lefty pitcher, AAABA, Muny AAA, Tonawanda News League. At NCCC, led nation's junior colleges with 0.22 ERA before going on to pitch 1978 season at powerhouse University of Miami.
Joe Gebler, long-ball hitting first baseman for Orchard Park High, and OP Legion and Suburban League teams.
Bill Gleason, base-stealing infielder for Frontier, Buffalo State, Lakeview teams in Suburban League.
Ray Jablonski, catcher, Maryvale, Canisius College, Legion AAABA, Muny AAA, Suburban League.
Scott Karoleski, pitcher-third baseman, CEBA, Legion, Suburban, Muny AAA, AAABA.
Shawn Mahoney, shortstop, East Aurora, Oswego State, Brockport State, and West Falls in Suburban leagues and for Travelers in Cheektowaga Classic.
John Rumschik, pitcher-outfielder, Legion, AAABA, Muny AAA, Cardinal O'Hara, Erie Community College, Niagara U.
Wayne Tomkinson, catcher, at McKinley High in 1950s also played Muny, AAABA, Cheektowaga Classic League. Good enough prospect to receive a tryout with the Yankees.
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