Last night at the Knollwood Country Club, Cougar Athletics took center stage at a ceremony that installed three people into the history books at College of the Canyons.
Former baseball coach Mike Gillespe, former baseball player Frank Sanchez and Dwight “Yogi” Luster, a trainer and equipment manager were the latest additions to the College of the Canyons Athletic Hall of Fame.
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Manager George “Sparky” Anderson was on hand as the key note speaker for the event, which also served up a tribute Dottie Duncan, who was a manager in the Admissions and Records Office.
Sparky Anderson opened the night with laughter, and complete honesty, saying; “If you want to get into the hall of fame, go out and get the best players. Then you’ll win all the games and they put you in the hall…I didn’t get in because of my ability!”
During his speech, he recognized Joe Morgan as being the smartest baseball player he ever coached and Pete Rose as being the hardest working. He said that he believes Pete Rose should be allowed in the hall of fame.
“Pete missed seven games in nine years. Nowadays you get a hangnail and they give you two weeks,” Anderson said.
Sparky Anderson coached the Cincinnati Reds to two World Series victories in the 70’s, and Detroit to one in 1984.
Mike Gillespe was the first inductee, having served as the first baseball Coach College of the Canyons ever had. He later went on to become head coach at USC. He recalled a time at Hawthorn High School when he was the starting quarterback. The backup quarterback was Brian Wilson, who later went on to form the Beach Boys. Gillespe joked; “I wish he had been the starting quarterback, maybe then I would have picked up the guitar.”
Frank Sanchez was a former Cougar infielder, who went on to coach for Hart High, be the Pitching Coach at USC, and the Head Coach for Pepperdine.
Dewey “Yogi” Luster was an athletic trainer and equipment manager for College of the Canyons for nearly 30 years.