RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Jurenovich on deck at Mercer HOF event
The Mercer County Hall of Fame has attracted a number of outstanding speakers to address sell-out crowds at its annual induction banquets.
Standing at the podiums in past years have been such noted sports celebrities as Bobby Richardson, Jim Leyland, Joe Paterno, Jack Marin, Archie Moore, Jim Tressel, Dave Dravecky and Dick Groat. There are close to a 100 more listed.
This year, on Jan. 18 at The Radisson in West Middlesex, Pa., there will be another top-notch speaker -- Jerome Jurenovich, from our backyard.
Jurenovich, who grew up in Farrell and idolized the late Farrell High School basketball coach, Eddie McCluskey, is employed by FOX Sports Network in Los Angeles.
Was with CNN
For many years prior, Jurenovich was employed by CNN. He recapped the sports events of the day on his program, "Headline Sports." His famed line was, "I'm Jerome Jurenovich for CNN Headline Sports."
There was no mistaking his voice or his method of reporting. It was the best
While Jerome undoubtedly will have an outstanding message to deliver to the audience, he may have a cohort in Tom Bradley, an assistant coach at Penn State under Joe Paterno, and a man who has appeared at an earlier Hall of Fame speaking engagement.
Bradley's appearance on Jan. 18 is still tentative.
Bradley has been responsible for acquiring many of the Nittany Lions' standouts through the years. He has been Penn State's secondary coach, also handling linebackers and defensive ends.
He has been a Penn State assistant for close to 25 years.
Bradley was a big hit in his appearance here several years ago.
Rounding out the speaking segment of the program will once again be master of ceremonies, Lanny Frattare, voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dick Stuart dies
Good stick! Bad glove!
That about sums up the playing career of former Pittsburgh Pirate Dick Stuart, one of my all-time favorite Buc players. Stuart died recently in Red Wood, Calif., at the age of 70.
Stuart made his debut with the Pirates in 1958 when Pittsburgh was cavorting around Forbes Field. Stewart, a tall, brawny player, could hit the ball a ton. His fielding, however, lacked and he was hit with the nickname "Dr. Strangeglove."
He was an outfielder early in his career, but was shifted to first base. Still, the errors continued to mount.
One of Stuart's trademarks took place in the batter's box. At every appearance, he would take a piece of gum from his mouth and toss it across the plate. Superstitious? You bet.
Three in a row
I remember vividly taking in a Bucs game in Stuart's early career. In his first three at-bats, he homered over the left-field wall. And in his fourth at-bat, he missed his fourth homer by a gnat's eyelash. The ball was foul by inches. He then was erased. Great night for the big guy, a night I never will forget.
Following his stint with the Pirates, Stuart took up with Boston, Philadelphia, New York Mets, Los Angeles and California. He retired in 1969.
During his 10-year stint is a lifetime average of .264.
Stuart, who was an All-Star in 1961, drew the eyes of the scouts in 1956 when he belted 66 homers for Lincoln of the Class A Western league.