Guelph Sports Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees

The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the 2014 inductees who will be inducted at a ceremony this June.

This year’s inductees are athlete Bob Watson, veteran athlete Thomas McKenna, builder Rob Holody, official James King and the 1960 Kiwanis Juvenile Baseball Team.

The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner on the evening of Wednesday, June 18 at the Italian Canadian Club. Tickets are $80 for adults and $35 for students 17 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 519-822-1260 x 2844.

About the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame

The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recognizes and honours the achievements of Guelph individuals and teams who have attained prominence and distinction in any field of sport, and who have made a major contribution to the development and advancement of sports in Guelph. Funding is generously provided through the Guelph Kiwanis Club’s annual Sports Celebrity dinner. The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame was established by the City of Guelph and the Kiwanis Club of Guelph in 1992.

Inductee Bios

Athlete – Bob ‘Whipper’ Watson

Bob Watson is regarded as one of the best goaltenders ever to play indoor lacrosse. His ability to step up in big games is what sets him apart from the rest and he is the National Lacrosse League (NLL) all-time saves leader winning more than 100 games.

Bob was named NLL Goaltender of the Year in 2001 and 2008. In 2003 and again in 2011 he was named championship game Most Valuable Player. A 16-4 playoff record and 6-2 championship game record speak volumes about Bob’s dominance in the post season and has led the Toronto Rock to six NLL championships.

In 2011 he was only the third goaltender to be inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame.

Veteran Athlete – Thomas McKenna

Thomas McKenna started his baseball career pitching in the Guelph Schools Baseball League for St. Stanislaus—accomplishing a 7-0 shutout in his first game! He went on to become a key member on several championship teams during the 1940s at school—Bantam, Juvenile, and Junior inter county levels. In 1942 he played in the provincial School League semi-finals and was a member of the Ontario Baseball Association Championship Junior Inter County team in 1949. He continued to play Junior and Senior Inter County baseball into the 1950s and eventually coached Senior Inter County baseball after trying out for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thomas was also a successful right wing helping the St. Stanislaus School Hockey Club win the Guelph Schools Hockey League, Worton Trophy, Separate Schools Title, and William Walsh Cup. He went on to be part of the 1946 Guelph Junior Lions Group Seven OHA Junior B Championship Team.

An all-round athlete, Thomas also excelled in high school soccer.

Builder – Rob Holody

At age 24, Rob Holody became the youngest general manager to ever win a Memorial Cup with the 1986 Guelph Platers. He has chaired numerous Ontario Hockey League committees, been a volunteer coach with Guelph minor hockey and baseball and has been a supporter of Guelph Community Living, ARC industries and Special Olympics.

The captain of the 1982 Guelph Platers Centennial Cup finalist team, Rob was also a member of the 1982-83 OUAA Championship Wilfrid Laurier hockey team and UAU semi-finalists.

Official – James King

James King refereed all levels of hockey for 28 years including the American Hockey League starting in the late ‘40s. He also held all executive positions in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) except chairman of the board and served as an international representative for the OHA. Jim played Junior A hockey in the early ‘40s and was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs where he played six games before joining the Navy to serve our country in the Second World War.

James also umpired senior fastball for 15 years with the intercity Ontario Amateur Softball Association league.

Team – 1960 Kiwanis Juvenile Baseball Team

The Kiwanis Juvenile Baseball team and their ace pitchers Ron Nichols and Jim Ferguson had a memorable summer in 1960.

They secured the Juvenile Inter county Championship and went on to become the Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) Provincial Champions making them the first team in Guelph to win the provincial juvenile title since 1940.

As a tribute to the team Mayor David Hastings and Guelph City Council presented the team with jackets to commemorate winning the OBA Championship and the sportsman-like conduct the team had displayed.