An Aberdeen Wings goalie is headed home for college.
Zach Nagelvoort will play for the University of Michigan next fall. The 19 year old is from Holland, Mich., about a 2-1/2-hour drive from the Ann Arbor, Mich., home of the Wolverines.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Nagelvoort helped the Wings turn around their 2012-13 season. He was traded to the Wings from Soo Center, the North American Hockey League franchise in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. He arrived in Aberdeen on Feb. 6, and went 8-1-1 in the net with the Wings with a .949 save average.
He hauled in major awards: junior hockey player of the week, NAHL player of the week and NAHL goalie of the month. The Wings went from 0-18 in December and January to 15-5 in February and March.
The Wings fell just short of the playoffs, but Nagelvoort built a solid hockey reputation for himself during his time in Aberdeen. He finished third in the NAHL in both goals against average and save percentage.
Aberdeen Wings coach Travis Winter said one of the best things about Nagelvoort is his confidence. “He is very confident in his ability, competitive and athletic. He carries himself with a lot of energy and confidence, and his teammates feed off of that.”
Winter added, “We are extremely proud and excited for Zach to continue his career at the University of Michigan. He will have the opportunity to play for one of the best hockey programs in the country and study at a great university. We wish him the best of luck in his future.”
Cody comes through
Recently, we told you about the death of former Aberdeen Pheasant “Bullet” Bob Turley, the 1958 Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP.
Turley, 82, was a three-time All-Star with 101 wins and a 3.64 earned run average in his 12-year career for five teams.
Turley was 25-5 for the 1949 Aberdeen Pheasants, including the playoffs. He went the distance in all 30 games, plus making 12 relief appearances. His salary was $200 per month. The Pheasants won the league championship after finishing second to Eau Claire, Wis., in the regular season.
Anyway, we were having trouble coming up with a photo of Turley. The next day, my American News teammate Cody Gustafson earned a save by bringing in a Bob Turley baseball card.
Cody’s dad helped, too, since it was his card.
Anyway, I wanted to publish the front and back of the card. I love baseball cards, especially those with area connections.
Also, reader Gene Face of Stratford called in a great story about seeing Turley pitch for Aberdeen in 1949. Face said Turley didn’t start that day, but after the starter walked the first three batters, Pheasants manager Irving Hall brought in Turley. “Turley didn’t warm up at all, not one pitch,” Face said. “But he went on to strike out three in a row on nine pitches.”
Face also remembered a great story about former Pheasant Don Larsen. Larsen pitched the only perfect game in the history of the World Series on Oct. 8, 1956, for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Face said Larsen always had a habit when he pitched for the Pheasants. “Between innings, he would go to the concession stand and get himself a candy bar and a pop,” Face said. “One day, I was up by the concession stand and Larsen came up and got his candy bar and pop. When he left, a couple of old guys complained, ‘That kid is never going to amount to anything.’ ”
I saw magician Kevin Spencer perform Wednesday at the Aberdeen Civic Theatre. He put on a great show. Wife Cindy Spencer is normally part of the show, but while flying to Aberdeen, she got food poisoning in Chicago and was recovering in the Spencers’ Aberdeen hotel room Wednesday night.