The 48th Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is scheduled for Sun., May 3 with 12 new members set to be enshrined during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave, Boardman.
Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, former lightweight champion of the world and International Boxing Hall of Fame honoree, will serve as guest speaker.
The 2015 class includes Phil Adams (softball), Larry Davis (tennis, coach), Pat Gaia (special award), Tim Graham (bowling), Greg Gulas (contribution to sports), John Linden (all-around award), Bill Narduzzi (posthumous/football), Pat Narduzzi (football), Bob Patton (basketball, coach), Earnie Shavers (boxing), Sherri Skelton (bowling) and Kenny Smith (baseball).
This year, the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame selection committee had very little to debate when discussing the accomplishments of area softball great Phil Adams.
A native of Youngstown and a 1971 graduate of Ursuline High School, his high school baseball career took a hit because the Fighting Irish did not field a diamond team during his scholastic years.
Born Sept. 17, 1953, he spent his formative years playing in the Uptown Kiwanis Little League and Pony League where as a pitcher threw six no-hitters, made six all-star teams and as a member of the Buckeye Elks’ entry, helped lead them to four league championships.
At 15-years-old he went straight to the Class B League where he played for its Girard Zicard and Fabulous Goldstein entries, learning the intricacies of the game under managers Norm Mushrush, Sam DuBose and Dick Schmidt.
With the Class AA circuit experiencing a decline in teams at the time, he opted instead to play slo-pitch softball and what an impact he had on the local Steel Valley League over the next 24 summers (1972-96).
As a member of the Belleria Pizza squad in the league’s Major Division, he helped lead them to eight city championships and was the league’s Most Valuable Player three consecutive seasons (1986-88).
During the 1985 Mahoning County Tournament, he set a record with 15 consecutive hits en-route to MVP laurels.
In 1982 at the L&R Tournament, his .950 average (he hit safely in 19 of his 20 at-bats) was tops and he earned MVP honors as well.
He was named to the league all-star team on 15 separate occasions.
He played for the Budweiser and Astro Shapes entries of the Warren B&D Slo-Pitch League from 1987-88, winning two consecutive batting titles, two straight MVP honors and with 18 consecutive hits, set the new Trumbull County standard by which future hitters would be judged.
His teams also won two consecutive titles in the process.
An offensive hit machine, Adams could deliver a hit on a moments’ notice and in 1987, was rewarded by being named First-Team Slo-Pitch All-American.
That year at the ASA Open Division National Tournament, his team finished second to arguably the nations’ top team; Steele’s Sports of Grafton, Oh.; a softball-equipment company that barnstormed the nation and featured legendary slugger and Slo-Pitch Hall of Famer, Mike Macenko of Cleveland.
At age 61, Adams can still slap a hit or go deep if necessary.
He worked 28 years at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital and 13 years at the Youngstown Developmental Center, currently working part-time for Garwin Transportation where he drives shuttle on the YSU campus.
He is married to the former Andrea Palovich.
Tickets for the May 3 event are $60 each and $480 for a reserved table. Further information can be obtained by calling Mike Murray, ticket chairman at (330)-565-7820.