Spencer, Barger, Laramore lead '92 class Bartlinski, Walker also named to Hall

SIDELINES

October 07, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

A home-grown Gold Glove first baseman, a world champion duckpin bowler, two inspirational football coaches and an internationally renowned yachtsman make up the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame class of 1992.

The five, who will be inducted at the second annual banquet Oct. 22 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, include Jim Spencer, the former Andover High standout who played first base for 15 seasons in the major leagues.

Also to be honored and join the five who went in last fall are 13-time world champion bowler Toots Barger of Pasadena and longtime youth/high school football coach Doc Bartlinski, a sports medicine pioneer.

The late Annapolis High School football coach Al Laramore will be the first to be inducted posthumously. And Stuart Walker, a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic sailing team who started the Severn Sailing Association, will be the first inductee from the yachting community.

* Spencer graduated from Andover High in Linthicum as a three-sport standout. He was drafted No. 1 by the California Angels in June of his senior year and signed a bonus contract.

After 3 1/2 seasons in the minors, Spencer was called up to the majors in 1968 and played 15 years with the Angels, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics.

The left-hander, who was inducted into the Maryland Athleti Hall of Fame in 1987, established the American League career record for fielding percentage, .995 in 1,221 games.

Spencer got a hit in his first major-league at-bat, won two Gold Gloves, set several fielding records and played in an All-Star Game (1973) and one World Series (1978).

In 1973, Spencer had a .999 defensive average, tying the American League record for a season set by John McGinnis with Boston in 1921.

Spencer played soccer, basketball and baseball at Andover and was named a high school All-American in the latter two sports in 1965.

Spencer, a 6-foot-1 center, is in Andover's career top 10s in scoring (759 points) and rebounding (479), and his batting average was .407.

"This honor [county hall of fame] is a big thrill," said Spencer, who lives in Sykesville, Carroll County.

* Barger, the first bowler named to the Maryland Athletic Hall of

Fame in 1961, had an incredible career in duckpins. A charter member of the National Duckpin Hall of Fame, Barger reigned as the "world's greatest duckpin bowler."

Thirteen times from 1945 to 1960, Barger won world championships and was ranked No. 1 in Maryland from 1946 to 1965.

While many of her records have been broken with considerably improved and modern lane conditions, Barger's numbers still are staggering. The longtime Pasadena resident, now in her early 70s, set nine duckpin world records.

In 1955, '57 and '59, she won the United States championship among a host of tournaments she took during the height of her career. She was the only seven-time winner of the Dixie Tournament and was a 12-time champion in the prestigious Evening Sun tournament.

* Laramore, in 26 years at Annapolis High, was the only Maryland high school coach to win major titles in three sports. Known best as a motivational football coach, he spent 26 years in the Cap City as a coach and physical educator.

He died after a massive heart attack at age 53 in the winter of 1989.

Laramore won state championships in basketball (1974) and football (1978) and more than 100 games in each of those two sports. His boys lacrosse teams took district titles in 1984, '85 and '87.

Laramore is Anne Arundel County's all-time winningest coach at 156-67-2 (.698) in 22 seasons. His 1978 Fighting Panthers were 12-0 and one of two football teams in county history to win a state title.

* Soon after his Army service in World War II, Bartlinski started the Brooklyn Homes Boys' Club in 1948, coaching football, fast-pitch softball and boxing for nearly 250 kids.

It wasn't long after that Bartlinski, who opened his chiropractor and sports medicine office in 1951 in Brooklyn, began recruiting from the old Baltimore Monumental League, laying the foundation for the Baltimore Broncos semipro football team.

For nearly 40 years, Bartlinski treated scores of young athletes, many of whom could not pay him.

"A lot of people didn't have insurance back then, and I never worried about getting paid," he said. "It was my contribution to the kids."

* Walker is an internationally acclaimed one-design sailboat racer.

The author of six books on one-design sailboat racing tactics, Walker, a founder of the Severn Sailing Association in Eastport, was the first American to win both the Prince of Wales Cup (England, 1964) and the Princess Elizabeth Trophy (Bermuda, 1961), two of the most prestigious International 14 class regattas.

Walker was a member of the U.S. Olympic sailing team in 1968.

For ticket information to the banquet, which will feature the Orioles' Mike Devereaux as guest speaker, call Michael's at (410) 768-7901.

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