With an eye on preserving and informing people of the area's rich sports history, the Fulton-Montgomery Sports Historical Society continues to build the framework for an ambitious project - a local hall of fame and permanent display at the Fulton County Museum.
"We are currently working on a display at the Fulton County Museum and developing a timeline on the history of baseball in Fulton County," Mike Hauser said. "It will start back with the first game in Gloversville in 1886 and come up to present day with Derek Himpsl signing and playing in the minors for the Braves. That will be strictly baseball. We also are doing a history of Gloversville Little League this year so there is a baseball theme going on."
Hauser, who is part of the Fulton-Montgomery Sports Historical Society, also will donate artifacts to the museum and hopes it will become a permanent display. Hauser also said the group has reached out to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for advice and guidance.
"I actually came across a game ball that was affixed to a trophy from a game that was played here in 1902 with the JAGS, the Johnstown-Amsterdam team," Hauser said. "I found that at an estate in Pennsylvania. We are hoping it will stimulate people to come forward with items, even newspaper clippings we can make copies of to help record this area's rich sports history."
The sports historical society is looking to recognize the achievements of local athletes whose abilities have allowed them to play professionally or be involved with professional sports at a national level or be part of a significant collegiate accomplishment.
"I have been mentioning it when I run into people around town that I know are interested in sports and I think would be helpful to the cause and concept," Hauser said. "I have gotten a real positive feedback about it. The museum is excited because it will help further showcase Fulton County.
The society is in the process of creating its first class for the Hall of Fame, which will recognize local athletes' accomplishments with a plaque that will be housed at the Fulton County Museum with a duplicate plaque awarded to the honoree.
"The Hall of Fame Planning Committee is looking at anybody who worked or lived in Fulton County and went on to play professionally or people who came and honed their skills here in Fulton County," Hauser said.
Some of the people being considered for the inaugural class are former Gloversville Glovers Jack McKeon, John Coakley and Robert Sise; world champion aerial skier Jumpin' Jack Johnston, Temple University and Philadelphia Eagles running back/linebacker Dave Smukler and professional racecar driver Dave Troutline.
McKeon is expected to headline the first induction class May 5.
The sports society also is in the planning stages of a project that will recognize the location of several places and events that took place in Fulton County.
"We want to start putting historical sports markers around the area," Hauser said. "The first would be up on Route 30A where House of Pizza and Walmart are because that is where the Glovers played their home games," Hauser said. "Another would be on Harrison Street at Parkhurst Field, the Little League park, because professional baseball was played there from 1902 to 1907. Honus Wagner played on that field, the Pirates played there in 1902, the Red Sox came there in 1907 and in 1922 the Cincinnati Reds played there when Gloversville's George Burns brought the team here."
Anybody in the area who is interested in sports history and willing to help with events or research is asked to contact Hauser at 725-5565 or by e-mail him at email@example.com.