The Post-Journal

Hall of Fame Honors Four New Inductees

The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame list of inductees grew to 58 Monday night as four more area sports figures were honored by the organization.

Bob Winterburn, Leo Corkery, the late Dan Feather and the late Joe Annarella were honored at the Induction Dinner at the Holiday Inn with WKBW-TV’s Brian Kahle serving as emcee.

Annarella made a major impact on the sports programs at Cassadaga Valley Central School where he coached six sports over a period of 22 years. His impact on the program and the many teams he coached (football, wrestling, baseball, girls basketball, girls volleyball and boys volleyball) was shown by the numerous former players who attended the event.

The Cassadaga Valley Alumni presented a plaque in Annarella’s honor and it was accepted by family friend, Thelma Smith, who also accepted Annarella’s Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame plaque and ring. She was filling in for Mrs. Annarella, who could not attend because of illness.

Corkery is an inspiration to all athletes and non-athletes for his ability to never give up. Though he never made the basketball team at Jamestown High School, Corkery went on to play and star at St. Bonaventure University. He then was drafted in the third round by the Fort Wayne Pistons of the National Basketball Association.

Corkery named persons such as Mike Battaglia, Bob Ayers, Art Sperry and former St. Bonaventure coach Eddie Melvin as being instrumental in his success. He pointed out that learning discipline was what made him a success.

When commenting on the current St. Bonaventure basketball team, which is not as successful as when they competed in back-to-back National Invitational Tournaments with Corkery as a player, he said, “(St. Bonaventure) reminds me of an antique that needs restored.”

The accomplishments of Feather are numerous and his wife, Verna, made that clear. When information about her late husband was required for the Hall of Fame, it took her 11 type-written pages to list his accomplishments as a runner, cross country skier, triathlete and shooter. Also included were his many non-athletic achievements, such as awards collected while a member of the Jamestown Police Department.

“There are sportsmen and there are sportsman,” she said. “Dan was a sportsman in the highest sense of the word.”

Mrs. Feather said her late husband proved that anytime he didn’t finish first. He would congratulate the winner and then say, “I didn’t train enough. I’ll have to do better next time.”

When it came to competitive shooting, Feather made his own bullets so they would all be the same. But he also made them for his competitors and often repaired their guns.

“That was his style,” Mrs. Feather said. “He wanted others to have a good day competing.”

She concluded with, “He has been my hero; my champion. Now you have adopted him as yours.”

Bob Winterburn’s softball, baseball and basketball accomplishments made the area headlines for years. His name was often in the headlines, but he pointed out his nickname was “Gramps,” given to him when he was a sophomore at Jamestown High School.

“Many people don’t know my real name,” he said.

But they knew of his accomplishments and an organization that noticed was the touring House of David basketball team, which Winterburn, joined fresh out of high school.

“The trademark for the players of the House of David was their beards, but Winterburn pointed out, “At 19 all I could grow was peach fuzz.”

He also starred on the baseball and softball fields locally and most often played in front of one important observer.

“My wife, Carol, was a top-flight fan,” he recalled.

The inductees were introduced by Pete Hubbell, WJTN Sports Director, Scott Kindberg, Assistant Sports Editor of The Post-Journal, and Todd Peterson, the public address voice of the Jamestown Expos, Jamestown Community College basketball team and Jamestown High School football and boys basketball teams.

One of the guest speakers was John Gurtler, television voice of the Buffalo Sabres, who had an optimistic outlook.

“This year I really feel this team can contend for the Stanley Cup,” he said.

Also from the Sabres was left wing Rob Ray, who lead the National Hockey League in penalty minutes two seasons ago and was second last season.

“I’m having an off year,” he said after announcing his penalty minutes total for 1992-93 is “only” 127.

Ray commented about Corkery’s comment on discipline leading to his success and mainly things such as curfews.

“I figured out how I can get a couple extra years,” he said.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back and wide receiver Dwight Stone explained he usually isn’t nervous the night before a public speaking engagement, but Sunday night was different he said while setting up a jab at the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl loss to Dallas.

“I slept like a buffalo,” he said. “I must have turned over nine times.”

But on the serious side, Stone pointed out his inspiration came from his mother, who worked hard to support her sons and daughters. He tried to work as much as possible to help out, but she encouraged him to play football which eventually allowed him to attend college. However, he left Middle Tennessee State University after his junior year to begin his National Football League career.

“I got tired of seeing her work long hours,” he said.

Mike Hallinan, Account Executive for the Buffalo Bisons, was also a guest speaker.

For the past few years the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame has donated $1,200 to area sports organizations and Third Vice-President Dennis Lundberg announced that this year’s contribution was going to the Bucks for Baseball Committee, which is trying to raise the funds needed to make improvements at College Stadium required by major league baseball. Tom O’Reilly, General Manager of the Jamestown Expos and chairman of Bucks for Baseball, accepted the check.

The welcome for the Induction Dinner was given by Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president Chip Johnson. The invocation and benediction were given by Rev. Eustace Rawlings of North Main Street Church of God and the Special Delivery barbershop quartet sang the national anthem.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.