Wednesday, February 27, 2013

KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame induction kindles many memories


The camaraderie of a championship team was never more apparent than at the induction of the 1976 World Series baseball team into the Kansas City Kansas Community College Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday.

Head coach Dave Klein and 15 of the 21 members of the team were on hand for the induction ceremonies held between games of KCKCC’s basketball sweep of Labette.

They joined basketball All-American Stephanie Brown, Olympic track star Dinsdale Morgan and current KCKCC baseball coach Steve Burleson as the first team to be inducted in the third year of the Athletic Hall of Fame.

“It was great fun to see them all,” said Klein. “Of the 21 players we had on that team, 20 were from Wyandotte County and most of them have stayed around and have become good people in the community.”

Kenny Harvey made the longest trip for the ceremonies, coming from St. Louis, while a couple of team members could not be located.

On hand for the ceremonies was the entire starting infield of from first to third, Barry Davies, Greg Creten, Jeff Watson and Bob Poje and catcher Kevin Fouts, starting outfielders Steve Rezin, Pat Young and Harvey, and starting pitchers Ed Hernandez, Kevin Mendon and Mark Harrison.

They were joined by catchers Lynn Sebree and Dave Hoffman, infielder Dave Wolf and pitcher Jeff Franklin. Outfielders Larry Spiess, Steve Pennock and Loren Breedlove and pitchers Bob Hagen and Paul Pierce were unable to attend.

In remarks to the audience, Klein noted: “When we got back from winning the Central District championship, graduation was just starting so some of the sophomores put the gowns over the uniforms and went through graduation.” Team members gathered later in the evening at Danny’s at the Legends.

“A lot of stories, many of which have got bigger and the home runs longer,” said Klein, who said plans are already underway for a 40-year reunion in 2016..

“I thought it was a wonderful event,” said Steve Burleson, only the third Jayhawk Conference coach to win 1,000 games. “Honoring Stephanie Brown, who led the conference in both scoring and rebounding as a freshman, and an Olympic athlete like Dinsdale Morgan, I thought was overdue. And then to have the ’76 team that has mythical status in the community and set the gold standard for every other team was just great. For all our players to have a chance to meet those guys was a great experience.”

The induction of Dinsdale Morgan gave him a chance to be reunited with his coach at KCKCC, Todd Biggs. Morgan is now a track coach at Blue Valley Southwest and works with special education youth.

Stephanie Brown was accompanied by her biggest fans, her mother and stepfather, Bobette and Eugene Agee; and her grandparents, Bob and Pearline Motley.

“They were at every game,” said Brown, now a caseworker for Ozanam, a residential facility where she works with young people with behavioral issues, neglect and parents not in the home.


PHOTO: New KCKCC Hall of Fame inductees (seated from left) Steve Burleson, Dinsdale Morgan and Steve Burleson were joined by members of the 1976 World Series team of (front row, from left) Coach Dave Klein, Ken Harvey, Steve Rezin, Barry Davies, Kevin Mendon, Lynn Sebree, Dave Wolf and Mark Harrison; (back row) Ed Hernandez, Jeff Franklin, Jeff Watson, Bob Poje, Kevin Fouts, Greg Creten, Pat Young and Dave Hoffman in induction ceremonies Saturday, Feb,. 23. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)