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Wings Hall of Fame to Welcome Four New Members
05/07/2013 11:04 AM ET
 

(Rochester, NY) -- Former Red Wings Mike Mussina and Jim Hutto, along with former Rochester Hustlers manager John Ganzel and long-time Rochester sports writer Scott Pitoniak have all been elected into the Class of 2013 Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame, as announced by the club today.

Mussina, Hutto, Pitoniak and Ganzel, posthumously, will be enshrined into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at Frontier Field.

All three living inductees will be on hand for the ceremony which will take place prior to the Red Wings 7:05 p.m. game against Louisville courtesy of the Rochester Area Honda Dealers.

The Red Wings Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to recognize individuals who made unique contributions to the history of professional baseball in Rochester, both on and off the field. After the August 17 ceremony, the Red Wings Hall of Fame will include 88 members.

Mike Mussina, after making just nine starts (two with the Red Wings) in his first professional season in 1990, dominated International League hitters in 1991 going 10-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts with the Wings en route to earning IL Most Valuable Pitcher honors. The 23-year-old earned a late season promotion to Baltimore that season where he would post a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts. The '91 season spring boarded the Williamsport, Pa., native to a fantastic, 270-win, 18-year Major League career with the Orioles and the New York Yankees. His 270 Major League wins are the most ever by a former Red Wings pitcher. A model of consistency, Mussina posted 17 winning seasons and won 15 or more games 11 times throughout his big league career. A first round pick of the Orioles in 1990, 'Moose' as he was nicknamed, was a 5-time All-Star, 7-time Gold Glove winner and finished in the top five in AL Cy Young voting on six different occasions. Mussina appeared in two World Series with the Yankees in 2001 and 2003.

Jim Hutto was a key cog in two Governors' Cup championships and five playoff appearances during is tenure with the Red Wings. A super utility man for the 1971 title team, Hutto hit .285 with 15 home runs and 73 RBI while playing over 50 games in the outfield, more than 60 games in the infield and 30 more behind the plate that year. Following the '71 season, the Norfolk, VA native would be acquired by the California Angels in the Rule 5 draft. After a year-and-a-half in the Angels organization, Hutto was traded back to Baltimore in exchange for 2012 Red Wings Hall of Fame inductee Dave Leonhard. Ironically, Hutto was originally traded to Baltimore with two other players for another Red Wings Hall of Fame inductee, Roger Freed (1992), in December of 1970. In his first full season back with the Wings in 1974, Hutto hit a tied for team-leading 15 home runs as the everyday catcher for Joe Altobelli's Governors' Cup winning squad. Hutto would play two more seasons in Rochester, helping guide the Wings to playoff berths in 1975 and 1976. In his five seasons with the Wings, Hutto played in 520 games, hit 53 home runs and collected 224 RBI.

In 1909, John Ganzel grabbed the reigns of a struggling Rochester franchise that had won less than 60 games in six of the previous seven seasons. After convincing the ownership group, led by Charles T. Chapin, to spend more money on more talented, experienced players, Ganzel revived Rochester baseball by rattling off three consecutive pennants from 1909-11, winning 90-plus games in each season. Despite not winning a pennant, "Big Jawn" put together three more impressive seasons as the Hustlers manager before being replaced in August of 1915 by Robert Williams. In the six year stretch from 1909-14, Ganzel won 549 games with Rochester an average of 91.5 wins per season. Ganzel's seven-year Major League career was highlighted by hitting the first home run in New York Yankees (then Highlanders) history in May, 1903. Beforecoming to Rochester he was a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds in 1908.

Scott Pitoniak, a nationally recognized sports columnist and best-selling author, has written multiple books on the history of baseball in Rochester. In 1996, he co-authored Silver Seasons with long-time Red Wings beat writer Jim Mandelaro, a book that retraces the careers of the managers and players who called Silver Stadium home. Fourteen years later, the duo updated their history of Rochester baseball with the book Silver Seasons and a New Frontier: The Story of the Rochester Red Wings. In 2003, Pitoniak published Baseball in Rochester, which tells the stories of both the superstars and quirky characters in Rochester baseball lore. The Rome, NY native spent 35 years in the newspaper business including 25 years as a reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle. The magna cum laude graduate from Syracuse University has received more than 100 awards over his nearly four decades as a journalist including being named one of the top ten sports columnists nationally by the Associated Press.

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The Rochester Red Wings are entering their 11th season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Red Wings are operated by Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. and have been a community-owned pro baseball franchise since 1957. Rochester's pro baseball history dates back to 1885.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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