Four local legends honored by the Syracuse Mets

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The weather didn’t cooperate with the Syracuse Mets for Sunday’s game against Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre.  But the rainout couldn’t stop the team from honoring the latest class of inductees into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame.  Four local legends were honored during ceremonies in the new Metropolitan Club at NBT Bank Stadium.

For many, Bob Southworth was the face of scholastic baseball in Central New York.  Southy played at Valley High and Syracuse University before becoming one of the area’s most successful coaches.  He was the first and only head coach Corcoran High School has ever known and then moved on to pilot the merged Syracuse combined team.  In a fifty-year career, he won ten league championships and three Section III titles with 709 wins… the fifth most of any coach in New York State.

Jack Morse broadcast Syracuse Chiefs games for five years during the mid-sixties on WHEN radio, most with play-by-play partner John Harmon.  They were live from MacArthur Stadium for home games, and at times re-created road games by ticker tape from the studio.  And Jack’s lasting legacy is the attention he paid to thousands of Central New York’s finest student-athletes with the weekly High School “Athlete of the Week,” which he started in 1972 at Newscenter 5 and brought with him when he joined NewsChannel 9 in the mid-1980s.

Dan Cavallo, Sr. has dedicated his life to supporting young athletes.  As an administrator for District 8 Little League, Cavallo heads up a team of volunteers, parents, managers, and coaches that brings organized baseball to more than ten thousand boys and girls from Cortland to Oswego.  In 2016, Eastwood Little League honored that passion and hard work with the dedication of Dan Cavallo Field at Cummings Field, near Shop City.

And Jason Grilli was destined to find success on the mound.  The former Baldwinsville Bee was the fourth overall selection in the 1997 major league draft.  He went on to log 15 years in the majors with nine teams…  finding his greatest success out of the bullpen for the Pirates, Angels and Braves… winning or saving 113 major league games along the way, with 694 strikeouts.   Among the highlights for the man known as “Grilled Cheese”:  Pitching a scoreless ninth inning as a National League All-star in 2013.

Cavallo and Grilli were at the Stadium to accept their honors.  The late Bob Southworth was represented by his longtime friend and fellow Wall of Distinction honoree, umpire Herm Card.  And Jack Morse was represented by his son, Andy.  Plaques for the four new inductees will be added to the ballpark’s new Hall of Fame… part of the recently completed $25 Million renovations at NBT Bank Stadium.

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