9:33 PM EDT, October 24, 2013
Three standout baseball players who primarily did their thing in the 1990s were the inductees at last week's 30th annual Blue Mountain League Hall of Fame Banquet in Nazareth.
The honorees included Scott Thomas, who played for three different teams from 1989 to 2008; Nate Stannard, who played on five teams from 1990 to 2004; and Andy Pitsilos, who played for three different squads from 1989 to 2008.
Thomas, a third baseman who played for Saylorsburg, Martins Creek and the MCS Cardinals, had a career .366 batting average with more than 400 runs scored, nearly 100 home runs and more than 500 RBIs. His best season was 2002 with the Cardinals, when he hit .466 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs.
Stannard was a pitching cornerstone on five championship teams for the Catasauqua Black Sox from 1995 to 2002. The Black Sox were champs in 1995 and won four straight from 1997 to 2000.
Stannard, who would later become head baseball coach at Nazareth, had a career record of 48-29 with 357 strikeouts in 420 2/3 innings. In four seasons covering 1995-98, he had a record of 26-5.
Pitsilos, the Liberty High baseball coach, joins his father, George, as a Hall of Fame member.
He had a career average of .381 in 20 seasons that featured more than 800 hits, 200 extra-base hits and 615 runs scored. In 11 seasons with Banko's Orioles, Pitsilos never hit below .325. His best season may have been 2000, when he scored 56 runs, hit .482 with 55 hits, including 20 doubles, drove in 42 runs and had 40 walks.
In addition to the three new inductees, the BML Hall of Fame presented its scholar-athlete award to Cody Kramer, a 2013 Northampton High graduate who has spent the last three years in the BML with the Northampton Giants. His father, Tom, played in the BML in the 1970s.
Kramer, an all-state catcher and a member of the 2011 Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup championship team, was a member of the National Honor Society at Northampton and received Pennsylvania certificates of distinction in math, reading, science and writing. He compiled a GPA of 4.4 and was ranked eighth in a class of 440.
He is a freshman pre-med student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
Also at the banquet, the 2008 Martins Creek championship team was saluted. The Creekers went 27-5 in the regular season that year and defeated Hellertown in the BML Championship Series for its third consecutive title.
That recognition put a smile on the face of Martins Creek sponsor O.R. Pacchioli. He was celebrating his 87th birthday on the night of the banquet, Oct. 17, and announced his retirement from the BML Hall of Fame committee after serving on it since its inception in 1984.
Dr. Robert Pychinka, a 1963 Allen High graduate who played football for Perry Scott and wrestled for Glenn Smith during his days as a Canary, was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame this month.
Pychinka earned six letters in football and wrestling from 1963-67 at Indiana State. He was a two-time captain of the football team and also of the wrestling team. He was all-conference linebacker in football and a Big State champ in wrestling three times. He won the McMillan Award in 1965 and was named ISU Athlete of the Year in 1967.
He later was on the ISU football coaching staff, serving under Jerry Huntman and Tom Harp. He earned his doctorate at the university.
He was also a member of the ISU Alumni Board of Directors and a past president of the I-Men's Club and Phi Epsilon Kappa fraternity.
Yeager to speak
Tom Yeager, a 1968 Allen High graduate and the commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Association for the last 29 years, will be coming back to Allentown on Friday to be honored as part of the Allen Alumni Association's homecoming celebration.
Yeager is the only commissioner the CAA has ever had. He transformed what was once a Virginia/North Carolina conference into a league with a presence up and down the East Coast from Boston to Charleston, S.C. The growth has enhanced the CAA's reputation as one of the most respected and well-run conferences in the nation.
Yeager will speak to the Allen student body at 2 p.m. in the auditorium and will then be honored at halftime of Allen's game against Pocono Mountain East. There will be a postgame reception at Ringer's Roost. All alumni and interested people are welcome to attend the afternoon presentation.
Stellar on TV
Former Northwestern Lehigh High School and Lehigh University athlete Dana Stellar will appear on TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
The series shows the progress of dress selection and support from store associates as future brides seek the perfect wedding dress. Dana was picked for the show from among hundreds of applicants.
Stellar married Patrick Holmes last month.
Most of the taping for the show was done last November at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City.
What was especially nice was that Dana made sure her late mother, Debbie, was included on the show as she looked at pictures of her mother and shared memories of her.
Dana is the daughter of Tony Stellar, best known as the main sponsor of the Stellar "Catch A Rising Star" basketball tournament at Allentown's Cedar Beach every July.
As part of the Stellar tournament, Dana has run a very successful 5K run/walk for the last three years called "Steps for Stellar" to help families who are dealing with cancer. It's a tribute to her mother, who lost her courageous, four-year battle with ovarian cancer on March 11, 2010. She was 56.
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