Nov. 14, 2007
ANTIOCH, CA - Cal State Fullerton head softball coach Michelle Gromacki added to her lengthy list of accomplishments in her hometown of Antioch, Calif., on Oct. 27 as she was one of 15 inaugural inductees into the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame.
Thanks to the efforts of civic leaders, longtime residents and sports boosters who volunteered their time over the past two years to create the display, the first Hall of Fame class includes numerous hometown athletes who starred at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.
The display features sports memorabilia from Antioch's past and present, a mini-theater showing sports and historical highlight videos, a recreation of a corner of Antioch's famous Mercado's barbershop - the unofficial headquarters of Antioch sports fans for decades - and the wall showing the biographies and photos of the first group to be inducted as "Sports Legends."
Gromacki, the first female athlete chosen for induction, was a three-time Most Valuable Player at Antioch HS and her jersey was officially retired at AHS in April, 2007. Following her high school career, Gromacki continued on to play one year at Butte College before transferring to Cal State Fullerton for the 1985 season, playing three years for the Titans and helping them to the 1986 NCAA National Championship.
Other members of the inaugural class include: former Stanford baseball All-America catcher Ralph Holding, former Houston Oiler Ron Pritchard, swimming record holder Shaun Bogan, former Los Angeles Ram Duane Putnam, former U.S. Wresting National Coach of the Year Steve Sanchez, and NFL Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti.
Other Antioch Sports Legends inducted on Saturday were brothers Rally and Gene Rounsaville. Gene was the first Antioch prep star to break into major league baseball, pitching for the White Sox in 1970. Rally was named by the Contra Costa Times as one of the best high school basketball players in the history of the Diablo Valley Athletic League. Additional inductees include: George Ackerman, Jack Danilovich, Ron Edwards, Jack Garrow, Worth Shaw and the 1945 undefeated Antioch High football team.