WHITE PLAINS – The 50th Anniversary Westchester Sports Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
“I congratulate the inductees for the hard work and dedication that has earned them a place in the Hall of Fame,” Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. “This year we are celebrating the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary of recognizing the talent in Westchester that has had such an important impact in advancing sports.”
Inductees for this year’s Hall of Fame are:
- Frank McLaughlin, of Briarcliff Manor, who was the longtime athletic director at Fordham University, his alma mater, where he was also a star basketball player and a New York Knicks draftee. He was also head coach at Harvard, and coached with Digger Phelps at Fordham and Notre Dame. He began his career in the early 1970s and continues today as Fordham’s Vice President of Student Affairs for Athletic Alumni Relations and External Affairs.
- Rick O’Keeffe, who had a 27-7 record with a 0.40 ERA, five no-hitters and a perfect game for Yorktown High School, where he also batted .438. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted him fifth in the nation straight out of high school in 1975. He played 209 games in the minor leagues (53-51) over a span of nine years.
- Jimmy Roberts, a White Plains High School graduate, who is best known for his work as a sportscaster with NBC and ABC. He has covered the World Series, the Super Bowl, the NBA finals, the Olympics, and the Masters Golf Tournament. He has won 13 Emmy awards. His career began in 1975 and he continues to be active to this day.
- Paul Natale, who coached baseball and football at Hendrick Hudson High School beginning in 1971. His career at Hen Hud spanned 35 years. He had more than 500 wins in baseball. Now he volunteers as an adaptive physical education coach with challenged veterans at the Montrose Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, and is involved with “Play for Freedom,” working with PTSD veterans.
- Rich Leaf, a Scarsdale High School graduate, who is known as “The Voice of the County Center.” He has been the announcer for the Section 1 boys and girls basketball tournaments for 36 years. He is also the announcer for Iona College men’s and women’s basketball, Scarsdale and Mamaroneck basketball, and numerous tournaments. In addition, he has been officiating soccer since 1981 and is the current president of the Westchester-Putnam Approved Soccer Officials Association.
The Hall of Fame honors outstanding professional and amateur sportsmen and sportswomen, living or deceased, who have gained prominence in their fields and who have made substantial contributions to sports in Westchester County. Since its establishment, the organization has inducted more than 200 individuals. This year’s inductees were selected from a pool of more than 80 applicants.
The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Price is $85 per person and reservations are required.
To attend, contact Kevin Cook firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hall of Fame plaques are on permanent display in the Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.