Babe Ruth League, Inc. has more than just top of the line competition. It has a legacy stacked with thousands of alumni who have given unselfishly of their time and resources to provide all young athletes with an enjoyable, healthy and educational experience. Babe Ruth League established a Hall of Fame in 1968 to honor those superstars who have played a vital role in the development of the baseball and softball program for young people 4-18 years of age.
The Babe Ruth League International Board of Directors, at their recent annual meeting, unanimously elected Joe Cormier of Erath, Louisiana, George Lally of Norwood, Massachusetts; and Evelyn Skiendziel of Clifton, New Jersey, into its Hall of Fame.
JOE CORMIER has said many times that baseball has been in his life as long as he can remember. Since his playing days in Babe Ruth Baseball back in the 1960’s, he has greatly admired what the Babe Ruth League program did for him and what it has done for countless youth in this country. He credits his Babe Ruth coaches for many memorable and enjoyable moments, as well as teaching him many valuable life lessons. Following in their path, Joe has introduced thousands of players to our national pastime with the hope they enjoy it just as much and reap as many benefits as he has from participation.
Joe Cormier began his volunteer involvement with the Babe Ruth League program in 1974, serving as a coach, manager and League President. After leaving the local league level, he took on the positions of District Commissioner, Assistant Tournament Director and Tournament Director. He currently serves as Southwest Assistant Regional Commissioner, Chairman of the Southwest Region Hall of Fame Committee, and as Vice Chairman for the Babe Ruth League Alumni Association.
Joe was a member of the World Series Committee for the first Babe Ruth World Series hosted by Abbeville, Louisiana in 1974. This World Series was a huge success, both financially and in breaking attendance records. Abbeville went on to host eight additional Babe Ruth League World Series over the years, where Joe continued to serve in a multitude of roles, including Stadium Committee Chairman, Public Relations Chairman, Finance Chairman and Assistant Host President. In addition, Cormier has served on the World Series Task Force for many Babe Ruth League World Series hosted by communities across the country.
Though he was unable to make the Babe Ruth team as a teenager, GEORGE LALLY has been involved in just about every other aspect of the game since 1962, when he first became involved with the Babe Ruth League program. His early involvement with Babe Ruth League was as a coach, umpire, League Vice President and League President in the South Boston area. As a League President, George expanded the number of teams in the league so that every player who tried out was selected to a team. In 1970, George was elected State Commissioner for the Massachusetts Babe Ruth Leagues. With George as State Commissioner, the Massachusetts Babe Ruth program led the nation in new teams and new leagues, as well as in the retention of existing leagues, furthering Lally’s mission to provide a place for every player who wished to participate in the Babe Ruth program. He was elected New England Regional Commissioner in 1975 and an automatic member of the International Babe Ruth League Board of Directors. Lally has been continuously re-elected to the Board of Directors, now serving as an At-Large Member.
In addition, George was instrumental in establishing an ongoing relationship for Babe Ruth League with the Boston Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Since 1969, the Boston Red Sox have invited New England Regional Babe Ruth coaches to participate in a clinic at Fenway Park. The Jimmy Fund solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care. The New England Babe Ruth Leagues have raised millions of dollars for the Jimmy Fund through the charitable efforts of the Boston Red Sox and many Babe Ruth League volunteers.
EVELYN SKIENDZIEL’s involvement with Babe Ruth League covers 50+ years, and in an era where change in leadership is often, she continues to carry the Babe Ruth League mantle. Whether it is a League President, a State Commissioner, a Regional Commissioner, or Babe Ruth Headquarters, they all know they can call on Skiendziel for help and support.
Evelyn started in the Babe Ruth program at age nine, serving as a scorekeeper for her father’s team in the local Clifton Babe Ruth League. Her father, the late Manny Gouveia, who is also a Hall of Famer, was involved with Babe Ruth League, Inc., for 61 years, where he served as a manager, league officer, State Commissioner, and Assistant Regional Commissioner.
When Evelyn was old enough, she coached several teams for the Clifton Babe Ruth League. In 1975 when her dad was serving as Northern New Jersey State Commissioner, Skiendziel took on the position of Assistant State Commissioner for the Northern New Jersey Babe Ruth Leagues. In 1991, Evelyn was named an Assistant Regional Commissioner for the Middle Atlantic Babe Ruth Leagues, a position she still holds today.
In addition, Skiendziel is involved with the Babe Ruth League Alumni Association, serving as Chairman of the Public Relations/Communications Committee, as a member of the Steering Committee, and as an Assistant Editor for the association’s online magazine, DIAMOND LEGACY. She has been a member of the Task Force for 22 different Babe Ruth League World Series, covering all age divisions.
Joe, George and Evelyn join more than 200 individuals and organizations who have earned the distinction of being inducted into the Babe Ruth League, Inc. International Hall of Fame.