Guelph Sports Hall of Fame welcomes five inductees

Induction ceremony takes place at Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner May 17

Guelph, Ont., February 23, 2017 – The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of the 2017 inductees who will be celebrated at a ceremony this May.

This year’s inductees are athlete Jeremy Ware, veteran athlete John Vandivier, builder James (Jim) Rooney, official Henry (Harry) Greene, and in the team category the 1966 CJOY Senior Baseball Club.

The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Kiwanis Sports Celebrity dinner on Wednesday, May 17 at the Italian Canadian Club. Tickets go on sale March 10 for $80 per adult and $35 for students 17 years of age and younger.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 519-822-1260 extension 2033 or email coralee.barfoot@guelph.ca.

About the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame

The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recognizes and honours the achievements of Guelph individuals and teams who have attained prominence and distinction in any field of sport, and who have made a major contribution to the development and advancement of sports in Guelph. Funding is generously provided through the Guelph Kiwanis Club’s annual Sports Celebrity dinner. The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame was established by the City of Guelph and the Kiwanis Club of Guelph in 1992.

Inductee Bios

Athlete – Jeremy Ware (baseball)

Jeremy Ware attended Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute from 1991 to 1994 where he was most valuable player in five different sports and a three-time athlete of the year. He graduated in 1994 and in the same year was drafted in the 25th round by the Montreal Expos.

Ware attended Indian Hills Community College in Iowa for one year where he made all conference and led his team to a berth at the Junior College (JUCO) Baseball World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. He then signed his first professional contract with the Expos. Ware played professionally for 12 years between 1995 and 2006 (A-AAA) and two independent (1,055 games played, 4145 plate appearance, 991 hits, 225 doubles, 87 home runs, 526 runs batted in, and a 264 average).

Career highlights include:

  • 1996 New York Penn League team champion
  • 1997 South Atlantic League All-Star
  • 1999 Eastern League team champion
  • 2003 Eastern League All-Star

Ware made his Team Canada debut at the 1999 Pan American Games, where he tied for third on Canada with six runs batted in and was fourth in average. He led the team with four doubles and was ninth overall in the event in average. The 1999 Team Canada team won bronze. He played for Canada in the 2003 Olympic Qualifier, helping them lock a spot in the 2004 Olympics with a second place finish. He shone on the 2004 Olympic Team, placing fourth. He was five for 14 in the tournament, with a double and two homers for a .857 slugging percentage, leading Canada. Ware played in five other Olympic qualifiers and three World Cups, with his last appearance for Canada at the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification tournament, clinching a return to the Olympics.

After his international career completed, Ware returned to Guelph to play for the Royals and then joined the club as a coach for the remainder of the 2013 season. He currently resides in Guelph.

Veteran Athlete – John Vandivier (fishing)

John Vandivier (19482009) was one of the top anglers in North America, winning numerous fishing tournaments for a variety of fresh water species. Vandivier worked with many well-known anglers including Bob Izumi. Vandivier and Izumi entered and won many competitions and appeared in more than 50 shows together.

While his prowess on the water will be remembered by his peers, many of Vandivier’s contributions to the sport are the tools and techniques he pioneered in the pursuit of excellence. A primary example was in the use of the long rods coupled with the centre pin reels, which Vandivier introduced to rainbow trout fishery in Ontario.

Highlights of Vandivier’s career:

  • First place in Southwestern Ontario Bass Classic (1990) with Bob Izumi
  • First place Sandusky Spring Open on Lake Erie with Steve Clapper
  • First place Fall Bass Challenge on Lake Couchiching with Dave Kent (three times)
  • First to introduce the “Sluggo” bass bait to Ontario
  • Sponsored by Shimano, Stren fishing line, G-Loomis Co. and Mepps lures
  • Developed centre pin reels and first to introduce them into steelhead fishing in Ontario

Vandivier and Gordon Pyzer won a bass tournament together on Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Pyzer is quoted saying that no Canadian angler was ever more on the cutting edge than Vandivier pure fishing perfection. He was a Canadian fishing legend. “Vandivier was without equivocation the most natural angler I have ever met. Mostly, however, I was honoured to call him a friend,” said Pyzer, 2009 Inductee in the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, fishing editor, Outdoor Canada Magazine, field editor, In-fisherman Magazine, and co-host, Real Fishing Radio Show.

Quote from Bob Izumi: “I’ve had the opportunity to meet and fish with a lot of great anglers but I’ve only met a handful of true innovators. I’m talking about the kinds of people who take fishing to the next level; the ones who are driven to discover new ways to catch fish and who don’t stop until they’ve perfected it. My long-time friend, John Vandivier is one of those types of anglers.”

In 2014, the John Vandivier exhibit was added to the Guelph Civic Museum.

Builder – James (Jim) Rooney

Jim Rooney has been a fixture in the Guelph sports community for many decades. Rooney’s sports accomplishments span many different roles and positions including educator, owner, commissioner and coach among many others. His accomplishments and contributions to sports are numerous and span many sports and leagues and he has had an incredible impact on sports in Guelph.

Career highlights (hockey and baseball):

  • Coached Stanley Stick hockey, 1976 to 1978
  • Guelph Minor Baseball Coach, 1981 to 1984
  • Owner, president governor and promoter of Guelph Storm Hockey, 1991 to 2006
    • Participated in four Memorial Cups: Peterborough 1996; Spokane 1998; hosted in 2002; and Kelowna 2004
    • Won two Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Championships, 1998 and 2004
    • Lost in Memorial Cup final in overtime in 1998
  • Chairperson of Ontario Hockey League, 1995 to 2001
    • Oversaw the OHL’s largest expansion program going from 16 to 20 teams (Barrie/St. Michael’s—now Mississauga/Mississauga now Niagara/Brampton now North Bay)
    • Instrumental in writing and implementing a “Players First” policy initiative
  • Co-chairperson of the Ontario Winter Games, 2002 to 2003
  • Team Canada’s first Under 18 Gold Medal at the 2003 IIHF World Championships in Yaroslavl, Russia
    • Had the role of educational consultant with the team
    • Future National Hockey League stars included: Ryan Getzlaf Jeff Carter Brent Seabrook, Mike Green, Anthony Stewart, Dan Carcillo, and BJ Crombeen
  • Organizer of restructuring programs for the Ontario Hockey Association, 2007 to 2009
    • Assisted with the junior hockey program “Tomorrow’s Game”
  • Professor and guest lecturer at Brock University (Sports Management Department), 1997 to 2007
    • Developed curriculum for new course called “Business of Hockey”
    • Course is still a part of the Sports Management Program
  • High school principal of Bishop Macdonell and Our Lady of Lourdes high schools
    • Chief organizer of high school hockey and baseball programs at both schools
  • Commissioner of the Intercounty Baseball League, 2001 to 2009
  • Owner of the Guelph Royals Baseball Club, 2010 to present. Club run as a not-for-profit to continue Guelph’s rich baseball history.

Official – Henry (Harry) Greene

Harry Greene (1925–2010) was a leading hockey referee from Guelph who officiated in multiple hockey leagues from local Guelph leagues to senior hockey in the Western Ontario Hockey League (WOHA). He was an active hockey referee from 1959 to 1988 and a long-standing member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association.

Career highlights:

  • President of Guelph Minor Hockey Association, 1956 to 1959
  • Miller’s hockey referees, 1987 to 1993
  • University hockey referee
  • WOHA referee
  • Referee in the Western Hockey League
  • Guelph Hockey Referee Association Life Member, 1977

Greene was named a Life Member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association in 1977. An honourary Life Member is a member or former member who has been actively associated with the organization for 20 years or more and are recognized for their contribution to the Association. Becoming a Life Member is a very prestigious and distinct honour, as membership is restricted to 12 living Life Members in the Association.

Team – The 1966 CJOY Baseball Club

The 1966 CJOY Baseball Club had tremendous success with an Intercounty record that still stands today.

Team highlights:

  • Won the 1966 Intercounty Baseball Pennant
  • Won the Ontario Senior Baseball Championship
  • Defeated three teams to win Ontario championship
  • 1966 record: 21 wins, seven losses; 1967 record 22 wins, six losses (combined record 43 wins, 13 losses is currently an Intercounty record)

The majority of players on the roster for the 1966 CJOY Baseball Club were from Guelph and with a record that still stands today,  is an important team in the history of Guelph baseball.

For more information

Lynne Briggs
Secretary
Guelph Sports Hall of Fame
519-822-1260 extension 2683
lynne.briggs@guelph.ca

Andy Behnan
Chair
Guelph Sports Hall of Fame
519-836-3839
behnan3839@rogers.com