The Wyoming Valley Sports Hall Of Fame Announces Its First Annual Selection

Months of speculation come to a close this morning with the presentation of the first inductees to the Wyoming Valley sports Hall of Fame.

Co-sponsored by the Gibbons Brewery and the Wyoming Valley Athletic Association, the first group of recipients brings to a close two weeks of balloting, which found fierce competition in all categories.

Selected by Wyoming Valley sports fandom as the first inductees in the old-timers category were Adam Comorosky, a Swoyersville native who spent 10 seasons in the baseball major leagues; Bill Speary, a genuine world-class bantamweight boxer in the late 1930s; Joe "Mugsy" Skladaney, All-American end at Pittsburgh; and Ben Johnson, world's record holder runner.

Joining the Quartet in the contemporary section are Steve Bilko, hard-hitting baseball slugger from Nanticoke; Ed White, longtime Wilkes-Barre Barons coach and basketball promoter Walt Michaels, all pro with the Cleveland Browns; John Carr, national Collegiate wrestling champion and Rocky Castellani, middleweight boxing sensation from Luzerne.
The winners will be honored with an engraved plaque at a special recognition dinner to be announced in the near future. In addition his name will be inscribed on a permanent plaque to be displayed in an appropriate location. The Hall of Fame balloting will be presented on an annual basis.


JOHN "CHINKY" CARR- NCAA "College division" champion and Hanover High School coach. Carr received his may start at Hanover Township High School where he earned district 2 honors for consecutive years (1957-60); state runner-up (1959); and finally the Pennsylvania state 145 pound champion in 1960. Carr continued his grappling career at the University of Pittsburgh, before transferring to Wilkes College in 1965. The only undefeated (15-0) grappler in Colonel dual history, he also became the first Wilkes wrestler to win the Wilkes Open Crown (1966) and placed third in the NCAA "university" event. JOE "MUGSY" SKLADANEY-All-American at the University of Pittsburgh. Another product of Larksville high school, Skladaney was an all-scholastic end in 1928 in 1929. Continuing his education at Pitt, he gained all-American honors with the Panthers in 1933 and performed in the 1934 Rose Bowl. Following graduation he played briefly with the Pittsburgh Steelers before returning to his alma mater as an assistant. Skladaney closed out his career as a football coach at Carnegie Tech. He presently is engaged in the public relations field with the state government at Harrisburg. BILL SPEARY-overcame physical handicaps to become one of the top bantamweights of his era. Speary entered the boxing world in 1936 and fought more than 365 amateur bouts, winning national titles in 1936, 1937 and 1938. Turning professional in 1940 he battled featherweight champion Willie Pep on three different occasions and also bantamweight titlists Lou Salica and Henry Jeffra. The Nanticoke native was handled by Art Thomas. Speary passed away in 1969.





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