Herkimer, NY native Larry Hughes is scheduled to be honored as a 2018 inductee in the Mohawk Valley Baseball Hall of Fame on April 13, 2018 in Little Falls, NY.
Hughes, a catcher on his Herkimer High School team and captain during his senior year, played collegiate ball at Bowling Green University and got his start coaching while a graduate student at Penn State University where he also served as graduate assistant coach with the freshman baseball squad.
During college and for several years after, Hughes played for several semi-professional teams in the local area. He caught games for teams in Herkimer, Dolgeville, and Utica, and set a record in game where he went 5 for 5 with a single, double and three homeruns; the only person to hit three out in one game at Hilltop Park. Hughes’ semi-pro career took him all over the state and country to play some of the top teams in the circuit.
After his collegiate career ended, Hughes returned to Herkimer and became a teacher at the high school. While at Herkimer High, he coached numerous sports including basketball, football, volleyball and, most notably, baseball. Hughes’ high school teams secured five league titles and two Section III championships. In addition to coaching, he served a stint as chairman of Section III and was selected in 1981 as the site coordinator of the NYSPHAA State Baseball Tournament, a position he held until 1993. The tournament he directed took place in Herkimer, Ilion, Little Falls and Utica in one day with sixteen teams participating.
Hughes also served as the school’s part-time Athletic Director for seven years after his retirement from teaching/coaching.
Hughes attended a dinner where the guest speaker was the State Chairman of the American Legion Baseball program and he was taken by the idea of starting a team in Herkimer. The same boys he coached in high school would compose the legion team thereby giving him both extra time teaching his players the finer points of the game and a way to keep them busy over the summer. Over the next 15 years, his teams won several county titles, five district titles, and the 1980 state championship. 1980 was an extraordinary year for Hughes’ team. They were the County Champs, the 5th District Champs, the 5th & 6th District Champs, the New York Western Sectional Champs, and the New York Department Champs. His squad was ultimately eliminated in the Eastern National Regionals’ double elimination tournament. (When Herkimer was defeated, there were only 24 teams left still playing!)
Hughes finished his coaching career with a high school record of 199-123 and a legion record of 209-129.
Now a resident of central Virginia, Hughes was married to the late Sharon Maury Hughes for nearly 40 years prior to her passing, and has four children, Deborah, Philip, Scott and Daniel. He is currently married to Jan Hughes who has 1 son, Terry. They share eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The event’s doors will open on April 13, at 5:30 P.M. for cocktails, autographs and silent auction with dinner and program following. Tickets cost $40 per person and a table of 8 can be purchased for $275.
Tickets for the April 13, 2018 Mohawk Valley Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Dinner with 1986 World Series Champion and former Little Falls and New York Met Wally Backman can be purchased by contacting the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at (315) 985-0692 (Travis Heiser) or by emailing Travis@mydiamonddwgs.com
Stay tuned as we will announce another inductee to the Mohawk Valley Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming weeks by visiting our website www.mydiamonddawgs.com or by social media on Facebook and Twitter @MVDiamondDawgs.