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West Hartford Baseball Supporters to Host Inaugural Hot Stove and Hall of Fame Celebration

At a visit with the Conard baseball team in 2016, Gary LaRocquel shows off his World Series ring from the St. Louis Cardinals victory in 2011. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The inaugural West Hartford Baseball Hot Stove and Hall of Fame Celebration will take place at Town Hall on Feb. 1, 2024.

By Ronni Newton

The contributions of esteemed members of West Hartford’s baseball community will be recognized at the inaugural West Hartford Baseball Hot Stove/Hall of Fame celebration on Feb. 1 as the Class of 2024 is inducted at the ceremony at Town Hall on Feb. 1.

Guest speakers will include Gary LaRocque – a Conard Class of 1971 graduate who is currently the assistant general manager and director of player development for the St. Louis Cardinals – as well as former Major League Baseball catcher and coach Matt Sinatro.

“We are also excited to have Adam Goss, the head coach of the University of Saint Joseph Bluejays baseball team, and Steve Malinowski, the head coach of the University of Hartford Hawks baseball team, among our panel of speakers,” event organizers Eric Mallinson said in an announcement of the event.

LaRocque and Sinatro are among the inaugural members who will be inducted into the West Hartford Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Class of 2024 will also include Joseph Mancini, Greg Sinatro, and the 1973 West Hartford Legion Post 96 State and New England Regional Championship team. “It is a momentous occasion to recognize their outstanding contributions to the sport,” said Mallinson.

Bob O’Brien and Lenny Burke were members of the 1973 Post 96 team – the last time West Hartford won the state championship prior to the summer of 2023. They attended a Town Council meeting where the 2023 team (at left) was recognized with a proclamation. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The West Hartford Baseball Hot Stove/Hall of Fame Celebration is free to attend and will include not only camaraderie, speakers, awards, and light refreshments, but the event is intended to be a fundraiser for the West Hartford Food Pantry – which provides essential support to the local community. Donations will be accepted at the door, and there will also be the opportunity to participate in a raffle.

“As we celebrate the past and plan for the future, we aim to make a positive impact on our community,” the announcement states.

The West Hartford Baseball Hot Stove/Hall of Fame Celebration is cosponsored by West Hartford Amateur Baseball Association, West Hartford’s Post 96 Legion Baseball, Friends of Hall Baseball, and Friends of Conard Baseball.  The event will be held at the West Hartford Town Hall auditorium, 50 South Main Street, on Thursday, Feb. 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Registration is available online through this link, and early registration is encouraged due to limited capacity.

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1 Comment

  • Hi Ronnie

    Just an FYI:

    The Hayes Village Post 96 American Legion Baseball Team won the New England Championship in the summer of 1961, they went on to the Nationala’s in Omaha, Nebraska, but lost. 1973 was not the first team.
    Articles are on Hartford Courant Archives.


    Sally Calcaterra

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