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Former Little League Baseball World Series Player, NHL Great Pierre Turgeon to Be Enshrined in Little League Hall of Excellence

Pierre Turgeon

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 7, 2007) – Pierre Turgeon and the Canadian National Champion Rotary Little League were two victories away from winning the 1982 Little League Baseball World Series. Twenty-five years later, the 19-year National Hockey League veteran, with more than 500 career goals to his credit, still looks on his World Series memories as some of the greatest experiences of his life.

At the 61st Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., Mr. Turgeon will become the first native of Canada to be enshrined into the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence. The enshrinement ceremony that will take place before the 3:30 p.m. World Championship game, scheduled on Aug. 26.

“It is an honor to have Little League recognize and appreciate the things I have done in my life,” Mr. Turgeon said. “I always liked baseball. There was a baseball field not far from our house and when we’d have a break from playing hockey, we used to go on the field and just play.

“I told my dad, ‘I want to play on a baseball team,’” Mr. Turgeon said. “When I joined Little League, the coaches for our team were great. The time they put in made us enjoy baseball, and I was disappointed about not winning the World Series. I wanted the feeling of winning, but looking back over everything and all the things we did to get there is great. Winning the World Series would have made the experience even better, but to be able to come back for the Hall of Excellence is truly an honor.”

Mr. Turgeon, from Rouyn, Quebec, was already considered an excellent hockey prospect as an 12-year-old, while on the baseball field he was a standout pitcher and shortstop. On Rotary Little League’s road to Williamsport, Mr. Turgeon compiled a 7-0 pitching record and hit a team-leading four home runs.

In that year’s World Series Tournament, Canada finished with a 1-2 record. Mr. Turgeon pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks in Canada’s 3-0 victory over the Europe Region champion from Torrejon Air Force Base of Madrid, Spain. Later in the tournament, Canada lost, 10-7, to eventual World Series runner-up Pu-Tzu Town Little League representing Chinese Taipei, then was defeated, 7-4, by the Central Region champion Pinery Park Little League from Wyoming, Mich.

Mr. Turgeon finished the tournament with a 1-1 pitching record. At the plate, he went 5-for-9 with three doubles, five runs batted in, and three runs scored.

“At 12 years old, you don’t expect to play in front of 20,000 people,” Mr. Turgeon said. “What a challenge and what an opportunity. The World Series was a very good experience, and I’m anxious and excited to go back to Williamsport.”

As a professional hockey player, Mr. Turgeon has played for six NHL teams. At age 18, he was the first player selected overall in the 1987 entry draft by the Buffalo Sabres and was a four-time all-star. In 1993, he was named the NHL’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy recipient as the league’s most gentlemanly player.

Mr. Turgeon’s NHL statistics with the Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Avalanche, include 1,294 games played, 515 goals, 812 assists and 1,327 points. He never played in a Stanley Cup final.

Established in 1988, enshrinement in the Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence is conducted annually for a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. Enshrinees are selected through a defined voting system by the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Advisory Board.

Mr. McGovern saw the need for a physical structure to tell the story of Little League. To that end, he spearheaded the development of the Little League Museum. Opened during the 1982 Little League World Series, the museum is located on the Little League International complex. It was renamed in Mr. McGovern’s honor upon his retirement in 1983. This year, Little League is celebrating the Museum’s 25th anniversary.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.

Pierre Turgeon, a 19-year National Hockey League veteran with more than 500 career goals to his credit, will be enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence along with for Major League Baseball player and manager Dusty Baker, during the 61st Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport. Mr. Turgeon, first player from right in back row, played in the 1982 Little League World Series for Rotary Little League representing Rouyn, Quebec, Canada. Mr. Turgeon will be the first native Canadian enshrined in the Hall of Excellence.