Fixture on local baseball scene enshrined at Alfred State
ALFRED — It's always nice to see good things come to someone who has "paid their dues" and that's why I was particularly excited to get a call informing me that former Dansville graduate Tom Kenney has been inducted into the Alfred State College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kenney coached the Alfred State Pioneer baseball team to 645 victories during his tenure. He led the team to five Region III Championships and five WNYAC Championships. He currently has seven former players that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
On top of his coaching duties, Kenney also taught physical education classes and was part of the annual Summer Sports Festival. Outside of Alfred State, Kenney helped create and organize the Cohocton Red Wings, the Hornell Dodgers, and the Alfred A's summer collegiate baseball teams.
I still remember Tom in a Dansville Merchants (town team) baseball jersey playing with and against many other locals from the Wayland Yankees coached by Jim Burke. Wow ... I'm showing my age here! But through the years Tom has always been a sheer joy to chat baseball with. His years of experience and experiences has given him a great "wit" for the game as well. I recall seeing him a many a high school baseball game, and especially around Sectional time recruiting potential Pioneers for that prestigious program.
It was fun to see him and "Burkie" coach and play back in the Cohocton Red Wings days, which would eventually evolve into the Hornell Dodgers program of today. The few chances I had to have him "on the air" during a broadcast was great because he would lend both his knowledge and his sense of humor to the situation at hand. Its always great to see him show up at the ballpark (wherever it might be) because I know he has "the deepest love for the game." There are only a few that can fall into that category, but Tommy is a true enthusiast, historian, statistician, and the list goes on!
I honestly think the only way his mother could get him to the dinner table was to yell "play ball" out the window. My congratulations to Tom Kenney, certainly more than deserving of this honor for sure!
Also inducted were volleyball player Elaina Braun, track & field sprinter Briana Dorsey, baseball player Frank Pavicich, basketball and softball standout Nichole Tyler, and football and track athlete Rod Streater, who has gone on to a lengthy career in the NFL, including a stint with the Buffalo Bills. Longtime supporter of the department of athletics and the college Mary Huntington was also part of the class. The 2002-03 baseball team was also honored during the event.