Sports Hall inducts standout class at 40th gala

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The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce inductees and honorees for the 40th Annual Induction & Awards Gala, which took place at a dinner on Saturday, November 18th, at the Westin Chicago River North.

Last year’s Sportsman of the Year award recipient, Eddie Greco of Greco and Sons, chaired the dinner. The program was emceed by 2016 Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and New York Mets Radio Announcer Wayne Randazzo.

Previous inductees including Tommy Lasorda, Jerry Colangelo, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Franco Harris, Vince Ferragamo and more will be in attendance on this evening.

Accepting induction into the Contributor Division is John Carpino, President of MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Carpino grew up in Elmwood Park, IL and visited the first location of the NIASHF. Today, he oversees all areas of business, sales, marketing and communications for the Angels. Carpino’s top priority is the fan’s value and experience in all areas of the game. As the principal executive in charge of business operations, he has helped the Halos welcome millions of fans through Angel Stadium turnstiles over the years. Carpino continues to seek out ways to create value for Angel fans, focusing not only on the game inside the lines, but on the entire ballpark experience.

Joining Carpino in the Contributor Division is Mike Adamle, former American football player and sports broadcaster. Adamle played 6 years in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. Post-football career, Adamle was a sports broadcaster for Chicago stations including WLS-TV, WBBM-TV, and most notably Channel 5 WMAQ-TV. He hosted American Gladiators and worked for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in a variety of roles, including interviewer, play-by-play commentator, and General Manager of Raw.

Former professional baseball pitcher and Cy Young award recipient, Barry Zito, was inducted into the Modern Division. He played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. His curveball was voted best in the Major Leagues in a 2005 Sports Illustrated poll. In addition to winning an AL Cy Young award, Zito is a 3 time MLB All-Star, a World Series Champion, and an AL Wins Leader.

Also being inducted in the Modern Division was Doug Bruno. He has been the head coach of women’s basketball at DePaul for 31 seasons. He has led the Blue Demons to 22 postseason appearances in 31 years including 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments. Four times, Bruno’s teams have advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. His coaching record at DePaul is 641-326, a winning percentage of .664. Including his two years coaching the women’s pro basketball team the Chicago Hustle, Bruno has 681 wins in his coaching career. He was selected to the coaching staff of the U.S. Women’s National Team that brought home gold medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He was a conference coach of the year six times including BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He was a WBCA Coach of the Year finalist three times the Conference USA Coach of the Decade.

In the Veterans Division, retired American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey, Mike Manganello, was inducted. On June 25, 1964 he rode five straight winners at Ohio’s Thistledown Racecourse. He was a long-time fan favorite at Florida Downs in Oldsmar, Florida where he won four races on a single day on February 15, 1968, set a season record with 75 wins in 1969, and by 1975 had won five riding titles. In 1970, Manganello won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky aboard Dust Commander then rode the colt to a commanding five-length victory in the most prestigious race in American horse racing, the Kentucky Derby. In addition to winning the 1970 Kentucky Derby, Mike also had mounts in 1969, 71, 72 & 74.”

Twelve Acerra brothers were inducted posthumously in the Veterans Division. In the late 1930’s the oldest nine brothers formed their own semi-professional team with their father as coach. Every brother had his place in the team and they all worked together to do what they love most. In the 1940’s the team disbanded when six brothers left to serve their country in World War II. When the war ended, all the brothers returned home to resume their all-brother team for another six years. The Acerra’s were the longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. In 1997, the Baseball Hall of Fame held a special ceremony to honor them.

Vincent “Vinnie” Viola was honored as the 2017 Sportsman of the Year. He is Chairman, Owner and Governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BB&T Center, and SSE’s additional operating entities. He is Chairman Emeritus of Virtu Financial and is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in electronic trading. Vinnie also co-owns Always Dreaming, winning horse of the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Past recipients of the Sportsman of the Year award include Jerry Colangelo, Richard Parrillo Sr., and Eddie Greco.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher and 2016 American League Cy Young award winner, Rick Porcello, received the 2017 Yogi Berra Athlete of the Year award. Last year, he had 22 wins (against four losses) and posted career bests in most major statistical categories, including innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. He led the major leagues with a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio. With 26 quality starts, he tied for the AL lead. In addition to the Cy Young award, he received the AL’s Outstanding Pitcher Award. Past recipients of the Yogi Berra Athlete of the Year include Olympic Medalist Mary Lou Retton, All-Star baseball player Anthony Rizzo, and 2015 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is located at 1431 W. Taylor Street in Chicago. For more information, visit For advertisement opportunities or to purchase tickets for the gala dinner, call 312-226-5566 or email

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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