County Hall will honor community volunteers | News, Sports, Jobs
When the Mifflin County Sports Hall of Fame meets Sept. 25 to induct five individuals and this year’s new team selection, two of the hall’s at-large members will receive special recognition for their decades of volunteer service to the within the local sports community.
Both names are synonymous with Babe Ruth Baseball in Mifflin County. Belleville manager Bill Corbin and unofficial league publicist and reporter Ray Wilde will receive the Volunteer Recognition Award, given only to HOF members with 20 or more years of community service.
Corbin has been associated with the local league for 44 years, 40 of which as a team manager. During that span, he compiled a league win-loss record of 646-362. Combined with his 118 playoff wins and 51 losses, his overall record stands at 764-413, giving him the most wins of any Babe Ruth manager in Pennsylvania.
He coached or managed 1,325 games, second in league history and in the state to Scott Reigle’s 1,369 games of Reedsville.
Among Corbin’s team accomplishments are five state titles, all with 13-year-old stars; 13 All-Star teams reaching the Pennsylvania Final Four (a record for Mifflin County managers); three teams in all four Mid-Atlantic finals, with his 2021 15-year-old taking the regional top spot and this year’s 14-year-old also finishing first. Moving to Eagle Pass, Texas last year, Corbin steered the 15-year-old to the national finalists.
His 15 Pennsylvania finals as a coach or manager, two as a coach and 13 as a manager, is also a Mifflin County Babe Ruth record.
Ray Wilde is no stranger to the sports pages of local newspapers. First scoring for the Belleville team in 1970, he also began that same year in a public relations role that continues to this day.
During this period, Wilde attended and provided sports coverage for 2,024 games, more or less a few, as Ray likes to put it. Since 1970, Ray has attended 890 of Babe Ruth’s 1,039 local entrants postseason games, mostly at his own time and expense.
Ray has largely compiled, produced and funded six media guides to local league history and statistics. He was also instrumental in creating post-season awards for locals and also helped establish the Pennsylvania Babe Ruth Hall of Fame.
Ray Wilde and Bill Corbin are enshrined in the State Hall of Fame.
Commenting on the award, HOF President Tim Searer said: “The Hall of Fame Directors are pleased to recognize these men for their long-term commitment to Babe Ruth Baseball in Mifflin County.”
Continuing he added, “As a meticulous compiler of league statistics and a journalist, Ray has kept the local league and its players in the public eye. His reports are something players, their families and the general public look forward to and greatly appreciate.
For Corbin, Searer offered these words, “As a successful coach of the Belleville franchise, as well as leading many of the league’s all-star teams to national, regional and national success, Bill’s countless hours of service have benefited hundreds of young players from Mifflin County baseball.”
Searer concluded: “While many lend their time and talents for brief periods, it is hard to imagine anyone surpassing these two as a volunteer for a single sports organization.
The five inductees that day will include Wendee Booher, Richard Gingrich, Joseph Heller, Harold “Junior” Powell and Ronald Sprecher. Team honors this year go to the 1963 Rothrock High School boys’ basketball team, PIAA Class C Champions, Mifflin County’s first team state champions.
The guest speaker will be five-time American collegiate wrestler Hayden Hidlay from Lewistown.
The induction festivities will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 25 at the Birch Hill Events Center with a social hour featuring food stations and a cash bar.
Tickets are available for everyone. Cost for members is $30, non-members $40. They can be purchased through mcsportshof.com – the Mifflin County Sports Hall of Fame website, or by mailing a check for the appropriate amount to HOF, PO Box 989, Lewistown, PA 17044. Please include the names of all the people present. Note – no paper ticket will be provided. Names will appear on a list at the door on the day of the event.