- Grove City, Pennsylvania


January 18, 2012

Former areas athletes set for induction to Mercer County Hall of Fame

MERCER COUNTY — The Allied News area will be well represented by new inductees at the annual Mercer County Hall of Fame banquet Saturday at the park inn by Radisson, near West Middlesex.

A pair of former Mercer High hoop stars (Mark Brown and Bill Snodgrass), one of the top drivers in the history of Mercer Raceway Park (Ralph Quarterson), one of the best all-around athletes from Lakeview High (Gordy Opitz) and a former Slippery Rock University baseball star (Kirk Scurpa) are among the inductees during the 65th anniversary banquet.

Others set for induction are Bonnie Bacon-Dickson, Mike Donato, Brian Hills, Danny Stewart, and Tony Molinari. Three posthumous inductees — Nick Mamone, David Keifer and Elvonre “Bucky” Ferguson — will be enshrined Friday evening in a special ceremony for family and friends.

As it has many times before, the Mercer County Hall of Fame will have a Pittsburgh-Cleveland connection on the dias.

Greg Brown, long-time Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster, and Brian Brennan, former Cleveland Browns wide receiver, will be the guest speakers Saturday. And of course “The Voice of the Hall of Fame” — Lanny Frattare — will return to his role as master of ceremonies for the banquet.

The main sponsor of the banquet is Mike Erme III of Erme Distributors in Hermitage. Long-time co-sponsor is Ray Ream of Cottonwood Associates. Both are honorary directors of the Hall.

ä Greg Brown is in his 18th season as a radio and television play-by-play announcer with the Pirates, one of only six in the history of the club with at least 15 years of service behind the mic for the Bucs on radio.

Brown's association with the Pirates actually began in 1979, when he interned in the promotions department while attending Point Park College. Following the World Series that year, Brown worked as the clubhouse manager during the Instructional League program in Bradenton, Fla.

His 10-year stint in the Bucs front office included work in the sales, public relations and broadcasting departments. He also served as the team's public address announcer during the 1987 campaign. In 1988, he was a sports anchor on WFMJ-TV in Youngstown.

Prior to joining Pittsburgh's broadcast team in 1994, Brown spent five seasons (1989-1993) doing play-by-play and color commentary for the Buffalo Bisons of the American Association (now International League) as well as hosting a sportstalk show on WGR Radio. He also worked as a color analyst and a pre- and post-game show host for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League for five seasons (1989-93). Also during his time in Buffalo, Greg served as a play-by-play announcer for University of Buffalo basketball on WGR Radio and as a broadcaster for the Empire TV Sports Network.

Brown makes many offseason appearances in the community with the annual Pirates caravan during the month of January and spearheaded the "Gloves for Kids" program, which raised money for much-needed equipment and gloves for youth baseball and softball organizations in underserved areas around the Pittsburgh area.

During the course of the season, Brown teams up with broadcast partner Steve Blass and hosts several pre-game receptions for members of the 65 Roses Club, which is part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

ä Brian Brennan played 9 years in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers. He was a favorite target of quarterback Bernie Kosar with the Browns.

He has been seen recently on television replays of John Elway’s “The Drive” which resulted in a late game touchdown and victory for Denver in the AFC Championship game. Brennan caught the go-ahead touchdown pass for the Browns, right before Elway’s heroics halted Cleveland’s push for the Super Bowl.

The former Boston College football star is managing director and division head of the Fixed Income and Corporate Investment Service Group for KeyBanc Capital Markets.

He sponsors the charity golf tournament — The Brian Brennan Boys Hope Open — which has raised $3.5 million for the Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeast Ohio.

He also has been involved in broadcasting as a local radio host on WTAM from 1999-2005 and a television personality by broadcasting preseason games for the Browns for CBS in 1005-06.

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