Former MLB outfielder Kevin Mench and Delaware's first NHL player, Mark Eaton, are among the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017.
AWARE SPORTS HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT 10 ON MAY 16
Kevin Mench, the first major league right-handed hitter to homer in seven consecutive games, and Mark Eaton, Delaware’s first NHL player, are among 10 athletes and coaches to be inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame at its 42nd banquet on May 16 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.
Tickets for the event are available at $65 each from Lorrie Alesi at 302-547-6570, phone or text, or online from www.desports.org, select events and follow prompts.
Also to be inducted that night will be Kristin Mills Caldwell, Scott Gregory, Butch Simpson, John Coveleski, Jack Starr, Lois Huggins, Vince Filliben and Bob Behr.
Mench, a graduate of St. Mark’s High School and an All-American first baseman at University of Delaware, clubbed 98 home runs over eight major-league seasons, most with the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
Eaton, a graduate of John Dickinson High School, was a defenseman for 13 years with the Flyers, Nashville, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders. He set a Nashville Record for plus/minus with +16 in 2003-04, and scored four playoff goals in the Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup run.
Mills Caldwell, a Caravel graduate, was the first Delaware high school girl to score 2,000 points. A pitcher for the Buccaneers’ boys state baseball champions, she was a member of the first USA Baseball women’s national team and was winning gold medal pitcher in the first Women’s World Cup.
Gregory was a national champion and Olympic skater. With Suzy Semanick, he won U.S. national ice dancing championships in 1987 and 1988 and finished sixth in the 1988 Olympics. He earlier twice finished second in the nationals and was 10th in the 1984 Olympics.
Simpson coached Newark High School to nine state football championships among 14 state championship appearances. He coached the Yellowjackets to 283 victories, second in state history, in his 39 seasons.
Coveleski coached Caesar Rodney to success in lacrosse, football and baseball. In lacrosse, he led the Riders to a 186-45 record and three state championships. His football teams were 138-44-2 over 14 seasons. He coached CR’s baseball teams for eight seasons, going 79-27.
Starr has won over 70 national masters titles in race-walking, a sport he took up after he retired from DuPont, with six World Masters gold medals, and 40 national or world records in distances from 3,000 to 40,000 meters. He was the first American over 70 to race-walk 10,000 meters in under an hour.
One of the nation’s most prominent tennis officials, Huggins has officiated at the U.S. Open and Davis Cup, U.S. Pro Indoor and other leading tournaments. She has served as chair of officials for the United States Tennis Association and the Middle States section.
Filliben coached Archmere basketball and baseball for 31 years, retiring in 1985 as the state’s winningest basketball coach with 378 victories. A basketball and baseball star at Drexel, he played for three years in the Pirates’ farm system.
Behr coached Tower Hill track and cross country to dominance for 19 years. His athletes won one-fourth of all Division Two state track championships over 17 seasons, and set state records in six events. He helped create competitive women’s track in Delaware, coaching the winning high school and club teams at the 1966 Penn Relays, and four qualifiers for the Olympic trial.