They were gamblers. They toiled with their blood, sweat, and tears. They were visionaries.
Most of all, they were just grateful to be a part of something that they loved - the Salt Lake Valley League American Legion Baseball Program.And the Salt Lake Valley League couldn't have continued its growth without them.
In 1993, the Salt Lake Valley League decided to honor them by inducting them into the first Salt Lake Valley League American Legion Hall of Fame. It was the league's way of saying simply, "thank you."
Last night, at the Salt Lake Valley League's annual All-Star game at Ken Price Park, 21 former managers, coaches, and backers were inducted into the Salt Lake Valley Hall of Fame.
Some of the inductees are deceased. Some of their faces are weathered now, aged by the years. Some of their stomachs are protruding over their waistlines.
But their desire and love for the game has never changed.
The following are the 1993 inductees, the first to ever be inducted:
KEN J. PRICE, "The Father Flanagan," of Legion baseball, Price was a philanthropist. He led Holladay Post 71 to three state championships. It was his vision which brought Ken Price Park to its present status.
KEN FARNSWORTH, Holladay Post 71, was Price's "Man Friday." He supported Price with the effort he put into the park.
VIRGIL "SULLY" SULLIVAN, Judge Memorial. Sullivan managed the Bulldogs in the 1950s to 1970s, and his financial efforts kept the club afloat. And without "Sully," not many Judge Memorial players would have been given the opportunity to play legion baseball.
CLARK CUSHING, Murray. Everyone respected Cushing's efforts in building Ken Price Park, while he was a Murray City councilman. He brought the Legion regionals to Ken Price Park in 1976 - the only time they have been played in Utah.
JACK BARRETT, East. Nothing ever got done with East's legion baseball efforts in the 1950s to 1970s without Barrett. With his backing, Salt Lake American Legion Post No. 1 was able to host the state legion championships several times.
HENRY MORI, Cyprus. Without Mori, Cyprus would not have had an American Legion team in the 1960s. Actually, with his efforts, Cyprus Post 38 hosted the state legion championships in 1963, and finished second to South.
BAILEY J. SANTISTEVAN, Bingham. Santistevan was the reason for the Miners' success in the 1940s and 1950s. Such players as Sonny Robertson, who later played for the Chicago Cubs from 1959-60, benefitted from his coaching efforts. One of the most successful coaches ever in Legion baseball.
HAROLD "HAP" GLENN, Granite Post 112. Glenn was the driving forced behind the Granite success in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
DONALD J. GUST, Bingham and Hillcrest. Gust learned by playing ball for the master - Santistevan. Gust knew only success coaching at such places as Morgan, Cyprus, and Hillcrest. He took over the Hillcrest program its first year, 1963, and built it into one of the most successful programs the state has ever had. He also served as the State American Legion Baseball Commissioner and Salt Lake Valley American Legion President. He is currently a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.
GEAN PlAGA, West. One of the most respected coaches in the history of prep football, baseball and Legion baseball in Utah. The Price native led West to three state Legion championships. He was a tough coach at a tough school.
BERNIE D. MORIARTY, Holladay Post 71. He coached both in the Salt Lake Amatuer Baseball League and the Salt Lake Vallley League. Moriarty was tireless in his legion efforts as state commissioner for nearly 10 years.
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