Red Wings Hall of Fame: S-Z
PAT SANTILLO - Inducted in 1995
Hundreds of players and administrators passed through the gates of Silver Stadium between 1977 and 1995, but Pat Santillo remained as a constant symbol of the Red Wings' undying commitment to the fans of Rochester. In 18 seasons as the Red Wings' executive secretary, Pat was a part of Governors' Cup championship teams in 1988 and 1990. Beloved by Red Wings players, staff and fans alike, the East Rochester native's personal touch and her passion for the organization she represented put her in a class by herself.
RED SCHOENDIENST - Inducted in 1990
Red Schoendienst's Rochester nickname - "The Team" - says it all. The Red Wing Stadium fan favorite played 161 games in a Rochester uniform in 1943 and 1944 before embarking on a St. Louis Cardinals career that would eventually land him in Cooperstown. Schoendienst won the IL batting title with a .337 average in 1943, then hit .372 in a short stay in Rochester in 1944.
MICKEY SCOTT - Inducted in 1998
This superb left-handed relief pitcher had three excellent seasons with the Red Wings going 6-3 with 3 saves in 1970, 9-1 with 9 saves in 1971, and 8-2 with an International League Leading 17 saves in 1974. Won Game 1 of the 1971 Junior World Series and appeared in four of the seven games helping to lead the Red Wings to the championship. Known for his classic form, excellent control, and strong performance in the clutch.
TOMMY SHOPAY - Inducted in 2001
Outfielder Tommy Shopay was a productive leadoff hitter for the Red Wings in the early 1970s. Shopay played parts of five seasons with the Red Wings (1970, ‘73, ‘74, ‘76 and ‘77) with his most productive season being 1974 when he hit .313 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI. Shopay was a career .303 hitter with the Red Wings with 28 home runs and 129 RBI in 388 games. In parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, Shopay spent time with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles hitting .201 with three home runs and 20 RBI in 253 games.
DICK SIERENS - Inducted in 1991
A Rochester native, Dick Sierens worked as a Red Wings groundskeeper for more than half a century - from 1940 until his retirement from full-time work at Silver Stadium in 1991.
ANNA B. SILVER - Inducted in 1998
Member of the Board of Directors, 1975-1990; Chairperson of Board 1981-1990. Mrs. Silver was unparalleled in her devotion to keeping the Red Wings a viable asset in Rochester, and in maintaining an affordable family atmosphere at baseball games. She placed a high corporate priority on making the Red Wings a positive influence on their neighborhood and community as a whole, striving always for a professional and wholesome environment.
MORRIE SILVER - Inducted in 1989
Morrie Silver is credited with saving professional baseball in Rochester. The organization's past president and general manager, he organized the 1956 stock drive for community ownership of the Red Wings. Silver was the majority stockholder of Rochester Community Baseball, Inc., from 1956 until his death in 1974. Red Wing Stadium was re-named in his honor in 1968.
NAOMI SILVER - Inducted in 2007
The Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of Rochester Community Baseball has baseball in her blood. She is the only daughter of Morrie Silver, the man who saved baseball in Rochester in 1957. She began as an intern with the Red Wings in the early ‘90’s, learning the business from the ground up before taking on a variety of roles including management of the team store and the concessions operation. She was paramount in spearheading the move from Silver Stadium to Frontier Field, as well as the decision to align with the Minnesota Twins. She has been recognized with numerous local and national awards for her work with the ballclub, including the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award. Like her parents, Naomi has always found time to give back to the community, serving on many not-for-profit boards in the Rochester area. Naomi has been the driving force behind the growth and success of the Red Wings as we know them today.
GEORGE SISLER JR. - Inducted in 1992
Sisler was one of the driving forces behind the smooth transition from the Cardinals era of Red Wings baseball to the Orioles era. He replaced Bing Devine as the club's general manager in 1955, and began his reign with consecutive Governors' Cups in 1955 and 1956. The next year, he worked with Morrie Silver to organize the transfer of control of the ballclub from the Cardinals to Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. He remained at the helm into the 1960s, when the Red Wings began their affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles.
BILLY SOUTHWORTH - Inducted in 1989
As a player-manager during the 1920s and 1930s, Billy "The Kid" played a key role in orchestrating arguably the most successful era in Rochester baseball history. Between 1928 and 1932, he batted .335. In his first stint as manager from 1928-31, he skippered the Wings into four consecutive Junior World Series, winning titles in 1930 and 1931. He returned to guide the Wings in 1939-40, capturing the Governors' Cup in 1939 and posting the league's best record in 1940.
Southworth went on to win two World Series titles with St. Louis, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a Veterans Committee vote on Dec. 3, 2007.
JAY STALKER - Inducted in 1992
Jay Stalker was a fixture at 500 Norton Street for more than a half-century, volunteering his services to make the Red Wings Knot Hole Gang one of the most successful and longest- running off-field traditions in professional baseball. Stalker spent 24 seasons as the director of the Knot Hole Gang, introducing generations of young fans to the game of baseball and the Red Wings.
THE FANS OF ROCHESTER - Inducted in 2000
In 1998, Baseball America named Rochester "the best baseball city in the Minor Leagues." There were many determining factors for this distinction, but perhaps the most important reason was its long tradition of outstanding fan support. Almost 20 million fans have helped provide the Red Wings with a home-field advantage since the team inception in 1928, and millions more built the tradition with Rochester's professional baseball birth in 1885. The names and faces have changed, but the one constant through all the chapters of Rochester's magnificent baseball story has been the unyielding support of its fans. Red Smith led the cheers for decades on 500 Norton Street and subsequent generations are continuing the tradition at One Morrie Silver Way.
GEORGE "SPECS" TOPORCER - Inducted in 1989
Toporcer spent seven seasons in a Rochester uniform from 1928-34, including three years as a player-manager. In 880 games, he established club records with 113 stolen bases and 628 runs scored. A two- time league MVP, Toporcer hit 10 or more home runs seven times, including 31 in 1929 and 21 in 1930. In 1929, he was the second baseman for an infield that turned 225 double plays, more than any team in Minor League or Major League history. He was forced to retire from baseball in 1934 when he lost his eyesight.
BILL VIRDON - Inducted in 2006
Outfielder Bill Virdon spent one stellar season in Rochester before embarking on a 12-year major league playing career. In 1954, he led Harry Walker’s Red Wings to an 86-68 record by winning the International League batting title by hitting .333 with 22 home runs and 98 RBI. Virdon played in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and helped the Pirates win the 1960 World Series over the New York Yankees in seven games. Virdon was also a manager for the Pirates, Astros, Yankees and Expos.
HARRY "THE HAT" WALKER - Inducted in 1989
Before managing three teams in the Major Leagues, Walker guided the Red Wings to a 284- 213 record from 1952 through May 27, 1955, when he was promoted to St. Louis. His '52 Wings made an improbable run to the Governors' Cup title after a third-place regular season finish. In 1953, he skippered the team to the top of the IL standings.
EARL WEAVER - Inducted in 1995
Prior to guiding the Baltimore Orioles to a World Series championship and four American League pennants, Earl Weaver won 163 games in two seasons as Red Wings manager. In 1966, Weaver's Red Wings finished with the International League's best record led by MVP and Rookie of the Year Mike Epstein. Weaver's '67 club, paced by Pitcher of the Year Dave Leonhard and Rookie of the Year Curt Motton, finished second in the league. A fiery competitor on the field, Weaver was admired and respected in the Rochester community.
AL WEBER - Inducted in 1998
Al Weber covered almost 5,000 Red Wings games, home and away, while working as a baseball beat writer for the Rochester Times-Union for 40 years. He also served as the Red Wings' official scorer for three decades at Silver Stadium. A regular contributor to national baseball publications, Weber once had a collection of his writing displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
MICKEY WESTON - Inducted in 1999
This right-handed pitcher spent parts of the 1989 and 1990 seasons in Rochester, going 19-4 with a 1.95 ERA, the lowest in franchise history for a pitcher with at least 150 innings. He fell one game short of the club record for consecutive wins in 1990 after starting 10-0, and finished the season 11-1. Weston was the anchor of the pitching staff in 1990, and won two games in the Championship Series, including the decisive Game Five as the Red Wings captured their ninth Governors' Cup title.
DANNY WHELAN - Inducted in 1992
Regarded as one of the most popular figures in Rochester's long baseball history, Danny Whelan was inducted into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1992 for his long-time service as the Red Wings' trainer.
Danny Whelan died Jan. 2, 2004 after a long illness. He was 84. Mr. Whelan was trainer for the baseball Red Wings and NBA Royals in the 1950s. In the summer of 1953, future Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Jack Buck and his family joined Mr. Whelan for a picnic on a Lake Ontario Beach. Mr. Whelan saved Bucks daughter from drowning that afternoon. Mr. Whelan left Rochester to become trainer for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was part of the 1960 World Series win over the New York Yankees. He later became trainer for the NBA New York Knicks from 1967 to 1978 and helped center Willis Reed prepare for his dramatic start with an ailing leg in the Game 7 victory in the 1970 Finals. He also gave star guard Walt Frazier the nickname Clyde.
GUNNAR WIIG - Inducted in 2001
Radio Announcer Gunnar Wiig was the first Red Wings announcer and truly a radio pioneer. Wiig is known for recreating road games via Western Union Telegraph. His broadcast allowed fans to hear the Red Wings take the two final games of the 1928 season to win their first pennant since 1911. His popularity here was evident when thousands of Red Wing fans petitioned to have Gunnar announce two games of the 1933 World Series between the New York Giants and the Washington Senators over the CBS Radio Network.
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