1966 Baseball Team
The feeling of being part of a large family with strong values was a recurring theme heard throughout the 1999 Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet held Saturday, Oct. 30, in Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Ten individuals and one team were honored in front of nearly 300 family members, well-wishers and Linfield sports supporters.
The outstanding playing and coaching career of Ted Hippi '40 was recalled by his son, Rob, who accepted the recognition posthumously on behalf of his father. An All-American in football at Linfield in 1938, Hippi compiled a 236-37-2 coaching record at five different high schools in Oregon and Washington.
Ezra Koch, football scoreboard operator for 50 years, was inducted for meritorious service. Koch spoke proudly of the spiritual connection he has made with scores of Linfield students and the Christian values he has been able to impart with them.
John Lee '67 reflected on the strong bonds he had with his teammates and how the lessons he learned playing sports at Linfield will remain with him always. Lee's three children also presented him with a surprise recognition for being a special father.
Bernard Martyn '28, who earned 14 varsity letters in four sports at Linfield between 1925 and 1928, was honored posthumously. Martyn's son, Bob '52, recalled his father's humility, nothing that the senior Martyn rarely told his children of his athletic achievements.
Howard Morris '58, a three-time most inspirational football player, used anecdotes to illustrate the positive impact that being a Linfield athlete had had on his life. Morris went on to an outstanding career in coaching and athletics administration at Oregon Tech.
Jack Riley '60 noted in his acceptance speech that his Hall of Fame baseball coaching career at Oregon State developed its foundation during his days as a baseball and basketball player at Linfield.
Joan Rutschman '54, athletics department secretary for 27 years, was inducted as a staff member. She was proudly presented for induction by her husband, Ad '54. Joan recalled fondly all the friendships she has formed with athletes, coaches and boosters during her many years on the job.
Keith Shriver '70, perhaps Linfield's most talented and consistent track and field athlete of all-time, conveyed the sense of kinship he felt with his teammates during his illustrious career when he won 51 consecutive races from 1968 to 1970.
Al Tarpenning '55, who coached 37 state, regional and national track and field team championships between 1967 and 1980, accepted his award with grace and charm.
Tom Younker '63 delivered an emotional acceptance, describing how the Linfield experience impacted his life in a major way. He recalled the willingness of people to reach out to him and befriend him, helping him find focus at a time when he was uncertain what direction his life would take.
The 1966 baseball team, the first team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, was reunited at the banquet. Assistant Coach Del Coursey '55 recalled the extraordinary obstacles the Wildcats had to overcome, both on and off the field, to win the school's first NAIA championship.