Twilight League Announces HOF Class
Last week, the Albany Twilight League announced its all-stars for the 2015 season, and this week, they announced the Hall of Fame Class for this year. The group will be inducted at the League’s annual Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 21st, at 5 pm at the Polish American Citizens Club in Albany.
From a league press release:
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are infielder Ralph Gazillo, infielder Jason Martin, infielder/pitcher Dave Perry, and infielder/pitcher Mike Zgorzelski. The League will also induct its 8th team into the Hall of Fame by honoring four-time league champion Graves and Rogers, a top tier franchise in the League in the 1940’s. A committee of League officers and commissioners convened to discuss and vote on inductees from a field of nominations made over the last several months. A player, coach, or League officer is eligible for induction after two full seasons of being retired.
Gazillo, an infielder with State Color/Rensselaer Honda (now Lids Team Sports) for 12 seasons, had a career batting average of .313 with 122 RBI, 199 runs, 21 homeruns, 78 walks, and 199 hits in 636 at bats. He earned a spot on the All-Star team in 1998 when he hit .485 – second in the league – and drove in 16 runs. Gazillo also had five other seasons in which he hit over .300 and his reliable performance over his career was key to his team’s stability and success.
Martin, a first baseman with the Albany Senators from 2003-05 and Albany Athletics from 2008-13, holds a career batting average of .376 – 4th highest in the history of the league – along with 170 RBI, 136 runs, 34 homeruns, and 196 hits in 521 at bats. He was a five-time All-Star, two-time ATL Playoff MVP, two-time League MVP, and a Triple Crown winner in 2012. Martin played on a Senators team that won the League title in 2004, and won four more League titles with the Athletics from 2009-12, in addition to playing on three Athletics AABC World Series teams. He also won one State Tournament MVP award and two Regional Tournament MVP’s, one of which came in 2012 when he played for the Athletics National Championship team.
Perry, an infielder and pitcher for Heflins (1991-94), State Color (1995), All Stars Academy (1997-2003), and Dreyer Boyajian (2004-12), was a career .277 hitter with 184 RBI, 153 runs, 13 homeruns, and 323 hits in 1,167 at bats. He was a two-time All-Star selection and eclipsed the .300 mark five times during his 21 seasons. He is in the top 15 in league history in at bats, hits, RBI and doubles. As a pitcher, Perry went 48-36 with 595 strikeouts, 38 complete games, and a 3.14 ERA in 606 innings. He ranks in the top 6 in league history in wins, innings, complete games and strikeouts. Perry also managed the All-Stars Academy franchise to three consecutive League Championships and he compiled a 54-34 record as a player/coach.
Zgorzelski, an infielder and relief pitcher with the Albany Senators (2004-08), Albany Athletics (2009-11), and Dreyer Boyajian (2012), had a career batting average of .356 – 10th all time – with 125 RBI, 111 runs, 33 homeruns, and had 154 hits in 432 at bats. He earned five All-Star awards, a League MVP, a batting title and Rookie of the Year honors. As a pitcher, Zgorzelski was 6-1 with two saves, 88 strikeouts and a 0.98 ERA in 57 innings. With the Senators, he won a League title in 2004 and State title in 2005. With the Athletics, he won three League titles, two State Championships and a Regional crown in 2010.
Graves and Rogers will be just the 8th Twilight team inducted into the Hall of Fame. In the 1940s, the team won four League titles over an 11-year period and racked up 185 wins. The team was managed by Joe Callahan in 1940, then by the legendary Henry Hack from 1941-50.