Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame to induct 12

Posted at 7:35 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 19:35:40-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame will induct 12 new members as part of its 30th Anniversary class, but this year's ceremony will be a little different.

In a press release, President Greg Merkle said, “Our board has spent the past six months working on this year’s class and I believe the sports fans of Western New York will be excited about the inductees."

Typically the GBSHOF holds an in-person ceremony but because of current NYS guidelines, that won't be possible. Instead, they're holding a virtual four-part series on Saturdays where different members will be inducted each of those nights. All inductees are also deceased members from the Greater Buffalo sports community.

“These individuals are part of the rich history of sports in the area," Merkle said. "This format provides us an excellent opportunity to recognize their greatness.”

The list of new members are as follows:
October 31st: Frank Hinkey, Billy kelly, Frank Mount Pleasant
November 7th: Charles Ackerly, Ignatius "Iggy" Gronkowski, Otto Roehm
November 14th: Benny Bengough, James "Pud" Galvin, Luke Urban
November 21st: Frank Berst, William Leushner, Frank Wright, Buffalo Bisons Hockey

They're also holding an auction which includes items like a Jack Eichel signed and framed Winter Classic photo and a Stefon Diggs signed Bills jersey. You can find more information on how to bid here.

More information about this year's inductees can be found below:

  • Charles Ackerly (Cuba, NY) – 1920 Olympic wrestling gold medalist at 132 pounds; Cornell University HOF
  • Benny Bengough (Niagara Falls, NY) – Played catcher for NY Yankees 1923-30; Two World Series; Niagara University
  • Frank Berst (Buffalo, NY) – Seven Time US National Throw Champion between 1941 and 1950; Manhattan All-American
  • Buffalo Bisons Hockey with John Boutet and Mike Robitaille – Bisons won seven championships, including five Calder Cups & eight division titles
  • James “Pud” Galvin – (St. Louis, Mo) – Pitched 6+ MLB seasons in Buffalo; Baseball’s first 300 game winner; 1965 Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Ignatius “Iggy” Gronkowski (Buffalo, NY) – 1924 US Olympic Cycling team; Five world records; Gronk’s great grandfather
  • Frank Hinkey (Tonawanda, NY) – Yale football 4X All-American; College Football HOF in 1951; Greatest FB player in 19th century
  • Billy Kelly (Bergen, NY) – Sports Editor The Buffalo Courier and Courier Express (1904-1954)
  • William Leushner (Cookstown, Ontario) – 1908 Olympic Gold medalist in rifle; Silver and two bronze medals in 1912 Olympics; Moved to Buffalo as a teenager
  • Frank Mount Pleasant (Tuscarora Reservation, Lewiston, NY) – 1904 & 1908 Olympic jumper; Carlisle College and Dickinson. Member American Indian Hall of Fame
  • Otto Roehm (Hamilton, Ontario) – 1904 Olympic Wrestling Gold medalist; Professional middleweight wrestling champion; Longtime WNY resident
  • Luke Urban (Fall River, Mass) – End for Buffalo All-Americans (1921-24); All-NFL in 1922 & 23; Head Basketball (68-47) and Football (46-27-7) coach at Canisius College from 1921-30; Canisius HOF
  • Frank Wright (South Wales, NY) – Won team gold and individual bronze in trap shooting at 1920 Olympics; National Trapshooting HOF; 8X New York State Champion