Thursday, 16 November 2017 22:15

Two Saratoga County Locals Inducted to NYS Baseball Hall of Fame

[Photos provided]

SARATOGA COUNTY — On Thursday, Nov. 9 two local gentlemen were inducted in the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame. Paul Mound, Union College baseball coach and creator of Saratoga Stampede, and John DeGregory, Schuylerville, a wellknown baseball player during his high school and college years at Sienna College. With over 400 people in attendance, MC Rodger Wyland, Sports Director for NewsChannel 13, spoke of Mound and DeGregory’s achievements in baseball, along with the other 14 members of the 2017 inductee class: Buffalo Bisons, Minor League Blue Jays Affiliate; Andy Van Slyke, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates; Paul O’Neill, New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds; BJ Surhoff, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles; Shawon Dunston, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants; Marty Appel, New York Yankees Media, author; John Sterling, YES Network Announcer; Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox, Cooperstown Hall of Fame; Sandy Koufax, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers; CB Bucknor, Major League Umpire; Phil Schoff, Syracuse, St. Johnsville; Walt Weiss, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies; Omar Minaya, New York Mets, MLB Players Association; and Andy Yager, upstate umpire.

“When you’re getting inducted side by side with all those Major League Baseball guys, it’s very humbling. It was professional all around, a very special night,” Mound said of the evening.

Mound has been coaching Union College baseball since 2011 and has led the Dutchmen to their fifth consecutive 20-win season, the longest active streak in the Liberty League. He is the third coach in the program history to reach the 150-career win mark.

“As I’m sitting there looking at the names of the people that are up on the podium in front of me, I’m sitting there going ‘what am I doing here?’” Mound laughed.

“I never got into doing all of this stuff to get recognized. I got into it simply because I love the game and I always wanted to give kids an opportunity like I had as a kid. When you start reflecting back on it, you think, ‘holy cow, I guess I did do more than I even realized I did,’” Mound said.

Mound’s high school baseball coach is also in the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, along with three other people from his baseball organization, Saratoga Stampede.

DeGregory had a self-described, “very long and very productive career as a baseball player at whatever level I played at. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the opportunity to play at the pro level but I played in Sienna, I played in Connecticut in the Norwich City League for two years, and in the Albany Twilight League,” DeGregory said.

DeGregory is no longer active in baseball, he is currently working at Newport News and has done so for the last 30 years. In his early adulthood, he tried out for the Houston Astros and was offered a playing contract with them that he turned down.

“There were some circumstances that I decided not to pursue the contract, I thought I would be given more opportunities and it just never happened that way but I was able to adjust and I have a great career in the naval nuclear program that I’ve been a part of for almost 35 years. I am really happy that although it didn’t work out for me in a baseball sense, I do have a very successful career outside of baseball,” DeGregory said.

“I was very honored to be a part of that ceremony and I am proud to be a part of that group of inductees and all of the other inductees over the years,” DeGregory stated.

“I would relive the night 100 times if I could,” Mound laughed.

“The event was fantastic, we were sold out. John DeGregory and Paul Mound were all well deserved, all gentlemen. They are well-respected within the local community. Paul is a tremendous success with Stampede and has done a remarkable job building Union baseball into a powerhouse. Degregory is the best hitter I ever saw, played with, or played against,” said Rene LeRoux, Executive Director of New York State Baseball Hall of Fame.

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