Pieces of Our Past: December Week 4
Ice in the Veins: Little League World Series Alums, NHL Stars Chris Drury, Pierre Turgeon Immortalized in Little League Hall of Excellence
Although the museum is a repository devoted to preserving the history of Little League, it also contains information and artifacts from Little Leaguers who have gone on to other careers – including ice hockey.
Chris Drury, Captain of the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers, and Pierre Turgeon, who scored more than 500 goals in his NHL career, are both recent enshrinees into the museum’s Hall of Excellence.
An 11-year NHL veteran, Mr. Drury has played for the Colorado Avalanche, winning Rookie of the Year honors during the 1998-99 season, as well as the Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames. He won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche during the 2000-01 season.
At 12 years old, Mr. Drury pitched his Little League team from Trumbull, Conn., to the 1989 Little League Baseball World Series Championship. The United States champions defeated Chinese Taipei, 5-2.
A member of the United States hockey team at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Mr. Drury also was captain of his Boston University hockey team, and in 1998, earned the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s best hockey player. He is the first player to be selected as college hockey’s best player and the NHL’s top rookie.
In addition to his Hall of Excellence award, the museum has a Colorado Avalanche jersey signed by Mr. Drury on display. The jersey, on loan from Alex Braunbeck, also bears the signature of another Little Leaguer who rose to fame in the NHL – Pierre Turgeon, who played for the Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and three other three other NHL teams during his career.
Mr. Turgeon, enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence in 2007, played Little League Baseball in Rouyn, Quebec, Canada, and was a member of the Canadian National Championship team that played in the 1982 Little League Baseball World Series.
In 19 NHL seasons, Mr. Turgeon scored more than 500 career goals. He is the first Canadian-born enshrinee into the Hall of Excellence.
The Hall of Excellence was established to recognize Little League graduates who have become outstanding citizens and role models as adults. When considering a person for enshrinement into the Hall of Excellence, playing ability is never a factor, even though some have advanced to outstanding athletic careers.
Each enshrinee has agreed to accept this highest honor Little League can bestow, and they are immortalized with a plaque in the museum which is on the same complex where the Little League Baseball World Series is played and where the international organization is headquartered.
People who played Little League Baseball or Softball, have established a career in which they have risen to the top of their profession, and who clearly accept their position as a role model for children, may be nominated for the Hall of Excellence by contacting Scott Rosenberg, Little League International’s Director of Public Relations, at: 570-326-1921, ext. 235; or via e-mail, at: srosenberg@LittleLeague.org.
The next class of Hall of Excellence enshrinees will be announced during the 64th Little League Baseball World Series, Aug. 20-29, 2010.
This research was made possible through a General Operating Support Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The Museum is located at 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and by group appointment from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Its hours are extended during the summer season. The facility is accessible to the disabled.
Rates are $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and older; $1.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 13. There is no fee for children 4 or younger. Group rates and tours are available. The Museum also offers birthday parties and after-hours facility rentals.
The Museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days.
For more information, call the museum at (570) 326-3607; or visit http://www.LittleLeague.org/Learn_More/museum.htm.