August 16, 2017
By: Steve Degler
The Reading Baseball Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony 30 years ago. The initial class in 1987 was comprised of Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Reading Phillies longtime owner, Joe Buzas. Now known as the Baseballtown Hall of Fame, it welcomed three new members in 2017. Induction ceremonies were held August 15 at FirstEnergy Stadium. There are now 122 individuals and three teams that make up the hall of fame in Reading. Here is a closer look at this year’s honorees.
Rich DeLucia is a local product, born in Reading, he attended Wyomissing Area High School. After a career at the University of Tennessee, the right-handed pitcher was a 6th-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1986. He spent ten years in the big leagues with the Mariners, Reds, Cardinals, Giants, Angels and Indians. DeLucia won 38 games in the major leagues, including 12 as a rookie with the Mariners in 1991. After spending some time as a minor league pitching coach, DeLucia is in his eighth year as a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Michael Spidale now makes his home in Berks County but he is a Chicago-area native. Drafted by his hometown White Sox in 2000, Spidale joined the Phillies organization in 2006. Playing for the Lakewood Blue Claws that season, he hit .345 to win the South Atlantic League batting title. Starting in 2007, he became a fixture in Reading. Over six seasons, he set team records for hits (570) and games played (515). He was the Reading Phillies Team MVP in 2010 and 2011. Spidale is currently the coach of the Berks County Bulls, a youth baseball team based in the Reading area.
Brett Myers was the Philadelphia Phillies first-round pick in 1999. He was just 20 when he pitched for the Reading Phillies in 2001. He went 13-4 that season with a team-leading 130 strikeouts. He would spend a dozen seasons in the big leagues, registering 97 wins and 40 saves along the way. He was part of the Phillies team that won the 2008 World Series. In addition to the Phillies, Myers also played for the Astros, White Sox and Indians. He went 14-8 and struck out 180 hitters with Houston in 2010. His 205 K’s for the Phillies in 2005 were third best in the National League. Myers has embarked on a new career: music. He said he was heavily influenced by Southern rock bands. His third album will be released next month. He previewed a couple of the new songs for me and I like them! There is a touch of Toby Keith or maybe even Trace Adkins in his voice. You can find his music on iTunes and Amazon.
Congratulations to three well-deserving inductees into the Baseballtown Hall of Fame.
2017 Baseballtown Hall of Fame inductees: (left to right) Brett Myers, Michael Spidale and Rich DeLucia