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Sports Walk celebrates athletes

Williamsport’s Sports Walk was unveiled Friday, a trail of plaques emblazoned into the sidewalks of the downtown that celebrates some of the best athletes from Lycoming County through the years.

The list of names include a Heisman trophy winner, Major League Baseball players, high school and college stars, a wrestler, a bowler, coaches, and even a few who became stars calling games. The twenty circular emblems form an actual walk from the newly opened Trade & Transit Centre at West Third and Laurel streets to Williamsport’s city hall on West Fourth Street.

Among those honored with a sidewalk plaque is Bill “Lefty” Byham, a local broadcaster, longtime Little League Baseball World Series announcer and former minor league baseball pitcher.

“It’s so far above me,” said Byham, 87. “I can’t comprehend where people got the idea to put my name in. I am just flabbergasted.”

Many of the honorees were on hand as part of opening ceremonies for Trade & Transit Centre Friday morning. A few others were honored posthumously.

“I just think it’s wonderful,” said Karen Stotz Myers, daughter of the late Little League founder Carl Stotz.

She said having her father included among the honorees once again reminds people who Stotz was. She noted the many other people who are also worthy of being recognized. The 1984 Williamsport Area High School basketball team was the single sports team to be recognized with a sidewalk plaque.

The team went 30-0 that year, defeating Erie Prep, to capture a Pennsylvania state title.

Among the former players appearing for the induction ceremonies was Marc Graves.

“You look back and you don’t even realize how special it was,” he said, recalling that magical championship year.

Graves, who now makes his home in East Stroudsburg, said he returns to Williamsport as often as possible.

The entire list of honorees is as follows:

Gary Brown, Williamsport Area High School graduate, football player at Penn State and for the Houston Oilers and New York Giants.

Larry Kelley, Williamsport Area High School graduate, football player at Yale University and Heisman Trophy winner.

Jack Losch, Williamsport Area High School graduate, a first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers and a member of the 1947 Little League World Series Championship team in 1947.

Sal “Tank” Rosato, football player at Villanova University and with the Washington Redskins.

Dan Muthler, Jersey Shore High School graduate, two-time Pennsylvania state high school championship wrestler, and NCAA wrestling champ.

Mike Mussina, Montoursville Area High School graduate, pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees and winner of 270 games.

Tom O’Malley, Montoursville Area High School graduate, Major League Baseball player. Played and coached professional baseball in Japan.

John Wilcox, hall of fame bowler, and former longtime record holder for highest three-game series (885) for a left-hander.

Ed Ott, Muncy High School graduate, star high school football player and wrestler and catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels.

Carl Stotz, founder of Little League Baseball.

Frank Girardi, longtime Lycoming College football coach and winner of 257 games.

Ron Insinger, longtime Loyalsock Township High School basketball coach and the state’s all-time winningest boys high school basketball coach.

John H. Bower, founder of American’s oldest Sunday School basketball league.

P.D. Mitchell, organizer and founder of youths sports teams and executive director of the former Bethune-Douglas Community Center.

Gary Chrisman, Williamsport Area High School graduate, longtime local sports broadcaster, including the Little League World Series. Instrumental in developing Cable Sports Productions’ Game of the Week broadcasts.

Paul “Babe” Mayer, trainer, teacher, coach, and broadcaster.

Kelly Mazzante, Montoursville Area High School graduate, basketball player at Penn State and in the Women’s National Basketball Association.

The 1984 Williamsport Area High School Basketball State Championship.

Ken Sawyer, longtime sports broadcaster, including Little League World Series Baseball. Winner of Ray Keyes Sports Award.

Bill Byham, longtime sports broadcaster, including Little League World Series Baseball. Played minor league baseball.