Class of 1993

Phil Baldwin
DIED: November 19, 2017, MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI

    One of nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Baldwin, Phil received his start in the sport of boxing as a member of the Muskegon Catholic Youth Organization. At the age of 16, he won the state of Michigan's novice title at 135 pounds.
    In February of 1960, Baldwin earned the Michigan Golden Gloves open crown at 147 pounds at the Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids. It was the beginning of an event-filled year, as Baldwin rapidly climbed to the top of the amateur boxing world.
    In April 1960, Baldwin, boxing as a member of the Chicago Tribune's Golden Gloves team, helped the West defeat the East in a boxing exhibition before a crowd of 15,000 at Madison Square Garden. One week later, the Muskegon Heights High School senior won the national AAU 147-pound championship at the University of Toledo with a decision over Roy McMillan of Toledo. The win marked Baldwin's 27th victory in 29 amateur bouts. The victory also marked the first AAU crown in 31 years for a West Michigan boxer.
    One month later, the southpaw joined 78 amateur hopefuls in San Francisco to battle for a spot on the United States Olympic team. Baldwin emerged victorious and was added to the 21-man preliminary roster for the 1960 Rome Olympics. In July, he was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for intensive training with Coach Julius Menendez. In early August, it was announced that Baldwin was named to the 10-man Olympic squad. On August 17, the team boarded a plane for Rome. However, Baldwin was forced to stay behind in New York with pneumonia. He rejoined the team a week later for the Olympics.
    Baldwin received a bye in his first bout. In the second round the 5-7, 147-pound 18-year-old TKO'ed Rene Grun of Luxembourg in the third minute of the first round. Baldwin defeated Max Meier of Switzerland two days later to advance to the quarterfinal round. In his next match, he dropped a split decision to Jim Lloyd of Great Britain. During his Olympic adventure, he became acquainted with fellow US teammate Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali). The two remained close friends throughout their lives. 

Donna and Doris Cook


    Members of the short-lived All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the Cook sisters displayed their baseball abilities on diamonds across the Midwest between 1946 and 1954. The AAGPBL was to be the inspiration for the popular movie "A League of Their Own."
   Donna began her professional career on May 26, 1946, just days after graduating from Muskegon Heights High School. As right fielder for the Muskegon Lassies, she saw action in 78 games for the AAGPBL club, stepping to the plate on 231 occasions. The Lassies drew just under 90,000 cash customers to Marsh Field in 1946 - their first season in the league. Moved from outfield to the pitcher's mound, Donna recorded a 14-8 win-loss mark with a 1.42 ERA in 1947, as the Lassies posted a 69-42 record en route to the regular season league championship. The 1947 Lassies established a Marsh Field attendance record by drawing 140,000 fans.
    The AAGPBL controlled the movement of players between teams, and staffing of two new franchises in the spring of 1948 caused Muskegon to lose Donna Cook. It was the first of numerous moves for the Muskegon Heights southpaw, as she was added to the roster of the Chicago Colleens. Donna saw action with the Fort Wayne Daisies, the Grand Rapids Chicks, the Battle Creek Belles, the Muskegon Belles, the South Bend Blue Sox and the Rockford Peaches before retiring following the 1954 season.
Doris Cook, Donna's younger sister, joined the Springfield Sallies in 1949 at the age of 17. A traveling developmental squad of the AAGPBL, the Sallies entertained crowds across the country, playing exhibition games before major league baseball contests. An outfielder and pitcher, Doris joined the league circuit in 1951 as a member of the recently relocated from Muskegon to Kalamazoo. Doris remained with the club until the 1953 season, before moving to South Bend in another relocation of talent by the league. Paired with her sister, Donna, for the first time in her professional career, Doris retired from the league following the 1953 season. 

Morris G. "Moose" Lallo

    In 1944, Lallo began his professional hockey career as a member of the Boston Olympics of the Eastern Hockey League. Slowly, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound defenseman climbed the ranks of organized hockey to the International Hockey League. Lallo skated five seasons with the IHL's Grand Rapids Rockets, earning all-star accolades during the 1954-55 season.
    In the fall of 1960, the veteran defenseman joined the Zephyrs, an IHL expansion franchise in Muskegon, serving as player-coach. Lallo notched a career-high 24 goals in 58 games in 1961-62, his second year with the club. Muskegon earned the Huber Trophy that season, presented to the league's regular season champion, as Coach Lallo guided the Zephyrs to a 43-23-2 record. In playoff action, Muskegon notched an 8-1 mark en route to the Turner Cup, signifying the winner of the IHL's playoff championship series.
    Before the start of the 1964-65 season, Lallo stepped down from his coaching duties to concentrate on his final season of play. His playing days spanned nearly 1,100 games over 21 seasons, including 598 IHL contests. The Montreal native returned to the coaching ranks the following year, guiding the Muskegon club (renamed the Mohawks) to a second Huber Trophy, after a disappointing sixth-place finish in 1964-65. His 1967-68 squad tallied a 43-17-12 regular season mark, and another 8-1 record in post-season play to gain their second Turner Cup. Named coach of the IHL first team all-stars five different times, as well as second team all-star coach on two other occasions, Lallo garnered the March of Dimes Man of the Year award in April 1973.
    Lallo parted ways with the Muskegon franchise in March of 1978. In his 17 seasons at the helm, his teams compiled a 600-443-93 regular season record. Muskegon made the playoffs in 13 of those seasons, notching a 50-50-2 post season mark, two Turner Cups and seven Huber Trophies.
    He retired from hockey following the 1980-81 season, after three seasons as coach of the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL. 

Bob Ludwig

    A 1945 graduate of Muskegon High School, Ludwig lettered in football and baseball for the Big Reds. A starting halfback for Coach C. Leo Redmond's gridiron squad in 1944, Ludwig helped pace the team to an 8-0-0 record and a mythical state championship.
    On the baseball diamond, Ludwig compiled a 17-1 varsity record as a pitcher for Coach Harry Potter. Among the victories were two no-hitters and five one-hit contests as Muskegon rolled to 55 consecutive wins. His only loss came against conference rival Grand Haven, ending the unbeaten streak. When not on the mound, Ludwig's talents as an outfielder and solid hitter kept him in the Big Red line-up on a continuous basis.
    Following graduation, Ludwig enrolled at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University). In his freshman season, the Muskegon native played football and baseball for the Spartans before signing a contract to play baseball for the Chicago Cubs organization in May 1946. Sent to Hutchinson, Kansas, it was the beginning of a seven-and-one-half year stint in the minor leagues that spanned 806 ball games.
A solid hit-and-run man, Ludwig showed some power with a pair of home runs on opening day in 1948 for the Cubs' Double A club in Shreveport, Louisiana. However, a broken ankle sidelined the 5-11, 180-pounder for much of the 1948 campaign. Assigned to Macon, Georgia, the following year, he saw action in 125 games, batting in 47 runs in 438 at bats. Promoted to Nashville of the Double A Southern Association for the 1950 season, Ludwig batted a solid .276 in 445 at bats before suffering a skull fracture late in the year. He returned to Nashville in 1951 and rebounded with his finest season as a professional. Playing third base, he led the league with 213 hits in 664 at bats, en route to a .331 batting average and a place on the Southern Association All-Star team.
    Promoted to Triple "A" ball in 1952, Ludwig saw action in 114 games for Springfield, Massachusetts of the International League. Despite a career average of .290 in 437 minor league games, Ludwig was unable to crack the Cubs roster. Unsuccessful in forcing a trade, he retired from professional baseball in 1953.  

Dan Raymond

    A founder and past president of the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, Dan Raymond was a pioneer in the area of motorcycle sports. His tireless efforts established Muskegon as a mecca for the nation's top motorcycle hill climbers.
    In August 1920, Raymond, along with seven friends, founded the Muskegon Motorcycle Club. The group negotiated the purchase of Mt. Garfield, and more than 30 acres of level territory at its base. In 1921, they celebrated their purchase with the first annual motorcycle hill climb. Raymond and his fellow riders entertained a crowd of around 50 spectators.
    The popularity of the sport grew rapidly and Mt. Garfield was selected as the site for the American Motorcycle Association's 1929 National Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb. An estimated crowd of over 10,000 attended the event. Since that time, the Muskegon Motorcycle Club has hosted more than 30 national championships at the Mt. Garfield site. Crowds for the annual event reached upwards of 15,000 during its heyday in the mid-60s.
    As a competitor, Raymond was best known as a Jack Pine champion, earning five crowns between 1928 and 1933. Sanctioned by the AMA as the run for the national road championship, the Jack Pine was an extended and strenuous test of the reliability and endurance of both the rider and the motorcycle. As a measure of his achievement, Raymond compiled 988 of a possible 1000 points during the 1929 competition, in which only 41 of 91 riders that gathered from seven states completed the cross-country trail of over 500 miles.
    The Grant native continued on his roll with a Jack Pine co-championship in 1931, as well as individual titles in 1932 and 1933. In 1934, he won the Muskegon Motorcycle Club's hill-climbing championship. A serious accident in 1940 curtailed his days as a competitor, but he continued to champion the cause of motorcycling as a legitimate competitive sport and a desirable form of recreation up until his death in 1986.

    Click Images for Larger View    
Special to Kathy Van Antwerpen Teitsma for sharing the images from 1939!

Steve Sluka

     A three-sport star at Grand Haven High School, Steve Sluka was outstanding in football, basketball and track for the Buccaneers. Captain of the football and basketball teams in his senior year, he helped the Bucs to the Class B mythical football crown in the fall of 1926, followed by the Class B state basketball title in the spring of 1927.
    Sluka enrolled at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1928, earning a freshmen numeral in football, basketball and baseball. He transferred to the University of Illinois, where he again earned freshman numerals in the same three sports. After graduation from Illinois, he received his master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1938.
    Steve began his teaching career at Hemlock High School near Saginaw in the fall of 1938. Head coach of the basketball and baseball teams at Hemlock, he moved to Morenci for the 1941-42 school year. In the fall of 1942, he returned to Grand Haven to teach. Following his service in World War II, Sluka came back to Grand Haven High School and took on the head coaching duties of the Bucs varsity basketball and baseball teams. His cage squad won one Class B district crown in his 10-year period as basketball coach.
    But baseball was Sluka's first love. He coached the sport for a total of 32 years in Michigan, compiling a 380-244-2 overall record, including a 340-231-2 mark at Grand Haven. His 28 years at the helm of the Buccaneer program included a 31-0 season in 1961 and a state record 56 consecutive wins spanning the 1960-62 seasons. In 1971, he was recognized as the Midwest region's National High School Athletic Coaches Association baseball coach of the year. He retired from coaching in 1973.
    Athletic director at Grand Haven from 1950-1972, Sluka served on the state committee that established the format for the state's first official baseball championship tournament in 1973. In 1981, he earned the Charles E. Forsythe award (the Michigan High School Athletic Association's highest honor) for his years of service to high school sports.