NORFOLK, Va. — All were humbled by the moment. It was a special treat for area baseball fans as the Tidewater Baseball Shrine inducted its Class Of 2019 at Harbor Park before the Tides/Syracuse game Friday night.
Former Hickory High standout and New York Met, David Wright was one of four new members inducted. His path to Flushing, New York came through Norfolk as a member of the Tides in their inaugural season at Harbor Park in 1993. "For me it's coming home", he said. "Making it to Norfolk for me was, at the time, making it to the big leagues." Wright spent all of his 14 seasons with the Mets and was a 7-time all-star with 2 gold gloves at third base.
Wayne Gomes was a standout at Phoebus High School in Hampton and later moved on to Old Dominion where he was an All-American. The Philadelphia Phillies made him a first round draft pick in 1993. He would go on to pitch for 6 seasons as a reliever where he won 30 games and saved 29 in over 300 big league appearances. He's currently the Phantoms baseball coach. "It's one thing to go in by yourself, but when you go in with other people that are like-minded and done great things too, it's a good feeling."
Sam Allen played two sports (baseball and football) at Booker T. Washington High School. The 83 year old played with Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues during the 1950's. He is also in the Hampton Roads African-American Hall Of Fame. Asked what the night meant to him, he said, "This is near the top."
Tony Guzzo was a former standout at Norfolk Catholic High. He would later play baseball at East Carolina and then went into coaching with stops at North Carolina Wesleyan and Virginia Commonwealth University. Guzzo came back home to coach at Old Dominion where he led the Monarchs to two CAA titles and 3 NCAA Regional appearances over nearly 10 years. "For guy like me. This is as big as it gets", he said. "This the Hall Of Fame. This is Cooperstown to me."