New era for Leaside sports

First 10 athletic stars named to Hall of Fame

A new sports tradition for Leaside was ushered in on Nov. 29 when 10 sports legends became the inaugural inductees into the Leaside Hall of Fame.

Longtime baseball coach Howard Birnie, Olympic volleyball medallist John Child and Stanley Cup champion Peter Mahovlich were among the first 10 to have their names called in a ceremony at Leaside Gardens.

Birnie, who has coached and organized baseball in Leaside for more than 50 years, said he was flattered by the honour and used the occasion to salute the spirit of community and volunteerism he finds in Leaside.

“I look at it as a recognition of volunteers, and I’m the representative,” he said prior to the ceremony. “But I’m representing a whole other host of volunteers, in this community and other communities, that are needed for kids and young adults to participate.”

Other inductees include Teri-Lynn Black-Calleri, for skating; Catherine (Carpenter) Lansdowne, speed skating, coaching; Rich Ferguson (posthumous), track and field; Erica Gilbert, tennis; Dr. Tom Pashby (posthumous), sports safety; Lloyd Woods, lawn bowling; and Dr. Ron Taylor, baseball.

“I had one gift: the ability to throw a baseball a long way and to throw it hard,” commented Taylor, a two-time World Series winner in the 1960s.

The names were announced Nov. 15 by the Hall of Fame, a committee of the East York Foundation.

The committee consists of representatives of local sports clubs such as the Leaside Baseball Assocation, Leaside Hockey Association and Leaside Soccer Club.

The induction ceremony also included a special presentation to honour Olympic swimmer Martha McCabe, who had been named Leaside’s first Athlete of the Year.


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By: Perry King
Posted: Dec 8 2013 10:12 am
Filed in: Sports
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