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GHTBL Alumni Enter Hartford Public High Hall of Fame

By GHTBL, 11/15/18, 1:30AM EST

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Among the inductees is Ed Skehan, a 100 year old WWII Veteran.


On Sunday, November 4, 2018, a select group of former Hartford Twilight ballplayers were inducted into the Hartford Public High School Hall of Fame. 3 of the 4 inductees are members of the GHTBL Hall of Fame joining the other 3  GHTBL/HPHS HoF crossovers: MLB-alum Pete Naktenis, Johnny Dione, and Pete Sala.": 

Edward Skehan
- 1936 Lincoln Dairy team in the Hartford Twilight League.
- 1936 Prospect Tavern team in the East Hartford Twilight League.
-  Hartford's Catholic League, St. Lawrence team from 1937 to 1941.
- 1937 St. Mary's in the East Hartford Twilight League.
- 1938 Pope Park nine in the Keene Senior Twilight League
- 1939 St. Lawrence O'Toole in the Catholic League.
- 1941 Hartford All-Stars in the East Hartford Twilight League.
- 1942 Finasts team in the East Hartford Twilight League.
- 1943 Owen's All-Stars in the East Hartford Twilight League.
- 1944 Joe Laing's Spartans, a for Hartford Twilight team turned semi-pro club based in Colt Park.
- Hartford Fire Department team from 1948 to 1950.
- Inducted to GHTBL Hall of Fame (Gold Glove Division) in 1985.

Edward Skehan (100 years old), class of 1937, was primarily an outfielder on excellent Hartford Public High School baseball teams who won city and conference championships.  In a game against LaSalette, Skehan led off with a home run and contributed two hits in the 8-4 win over the cross town team.  He had many other multi-hit games and could play any position where HPHS Hall of Fame Coach Jimmy Woodworth needed him. Skehan was a true utility player but would later find his niche at first base.

After high school, Skehan attended Hartford State Technical College graduating in 1939. Skehan play amateur baseball for over 20 years, playing in multiple leagues. Most notable were the Greater Hartford Twilight League and the East Hartford Twilight League. He was a perennial all-star, a .300 hitter, and an outstanding defensive first baseman. 

Life was disrupted with the onset of World War II and soon Skehan was in the U.S. Army. He served from 1943 to 1946 as a Combat Engineer and spent two years in the European Theater.  He is a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, a key turning point to facilitating the end of the war in Europe. 

In 1946, Skehan became a full-time employee at the City of Hartford Fire Department after working as a part-time firefighter in previous years. He would serve as a Hartford firefighter for 25 years.  While in the department he played on their highly competitive baseball and bowling teams. 

In 2017, at the age of 99, Ed Skehan was the guest of honor at the GHTBL's Camp Courant Kids Day at Dunkin' Donuts Park.  The entire Skehan family celebrated their patriarch that day as Ed threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

 

Jack Hines
- On the 1958 Robinson Builders team in the GHTBL.
- Played for the Riley Redlegs in the GHTBL from 1959 to 1961.
- 1962 Ames Construction team in the GHTBL.
- Manager of the 1963 Herb's Sports Shop team in the GHTBL.   
- Manager of the Hartford entry into the Connecticut Summer Collegiate Baseball League.
- Manager of the 1965 Royal McBee team in the GHTBL. 
- Inducted to GHTBL Hall of Fame in 1988.

Jack Hines, Hartford Public High School class of 1956, played on the varsity baseball and basketball teams.  In baseball, he was catcher and team captain. He caught HPHS Hall of Fame pitcher and minor leaguer, Pete Sala.  Jack was behind the plate in Sala’s 10 inning 1-0 shutout and win over New Britain and their flamethrower Steve Dalkowski.  His leadership helped the Owls to the City championship in 1956. In basketball he was on solid teams that were City Champs his junior and senior years.  

Jack played basketball at Central Connecticut State University after high school.  He began a long career in the Greater Hartford Twilight League, most notably as a manager.  In 1988 he was inducted into the GHTBL Hall of Fame.

Jack was involved in amateur athletics in Bristol for many years.  He also currently serves as the President of the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame after serving as executive director and a board member. He authored the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame scholar–athlete ceremony that is named in his honor. In 2017 Jack Hines was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame. Jack was also a founding Board member of the Hartford Public High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jack has received the Bristol Boys & Girls Club Humanitarian award and the Bristol Tramps Chuck McCarthy award in 2008. Jack Hines also received an honorary degree from Tunxis Community College, the first the school ever granted. 

 

Bill Wishinsky
- Hartford Insurance Group from 1969 to 1974
- Herb's Sports Shop player-manager from 1975 to 1992.
- Inducted to GHTBL Hall of Fame in 1995.

Bill Wishinsky, class of 1967, was multi sport star, playing baseball and football.  In baseball he was one of Hartford Public’s greatest baseball players ever. He was an outstanding pitcher, but also a great hitter on strong teams in the mid 1960’s.  

In baseball, he lettered all four years. He was the winning pitcher in 19 games which is believed to be a school record. As a freshman he beat East Hartford 1-0 and struck out 8 batters for his first career win. Highlights of his sophomore year were beating Hall for his 5th win of the season and against Bulkeley, in a 7-2 win, he drove in 5 runs. 

His junior year was the winning pitcher in eight games. In a game against East Hartford he was the winning pitcher, had three hits, including a home run.  In a win over New London he had 5 hits, 2 of which were triples.

Some highlights of his senior year were five more wins as a pitcher.  He pitched 12 shutout innings against Norwich in a 0-0 tie. Bill was the winning pitcher in a 3-1 besting of Bulkeley and had 3 hits and a rbi. In another win over Fitch he collected three hits and drove in five runs. He was the winning pitcher over Bulkeley (4-3) to clinch the city title and tie for the CDC crown. He hit .438 as a senior.

Wishinsky also played football and was a solid fullback and outstanding punter. His punting was key in an 8-6 win over rival Bulkeley in 1965.

Bill Wishinsky served in the military as a Marine.  He had a short stint in the minor leagues before returning home and embarking on a long career in the Greater Hartford Twilight League.  He was a fixture playing and managing for Herbs Sports Shop. He won the league batting title in 1974.  He was inducted in the Twilight League Hall of Fame in 1995.

Bill Wishinsky (1949-2017). 

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Jake Fournier

- On the Society for Savings team in the GHTBL from 1991 to 1992
- On the Newman Lincoln-Mercury team in the GHTBL from 1993 to 1996 led by manager, Gene Johnson.
- Player for KGA in the GHTBL from 1999 to 2002 and later player-manager from 2003 to 2004.
- Player-manager of Bill's Sport Shop in the GHTBL from 2005 to 2007.
- Player-manager of RMR Construction in the GHTBL from 2008 to 2010.
- Played part-time for the Ferguson Waterworks team in the GHTBL from 2012 to 2013. 
- Fournier made his final appearance in 2015 in a Twilight game with the Ulbrich Clippers.

Jake Fournier, class of 1990, was a versatile athlete playing multiple positions and competing in four sports during his time at Hartford Public. He earned at total of seven varsity letters.

In football, as a senior, Fournier played tight end and led the team in receiving and was also the punter, averaging over 40 yards per kick. He also threw an 82-yard option for a TD to tie South Windsor. Fournier was part of the group that helped transition Hartford Public football from the tough years in the 1980’s back to being a state power in the 1990’s.  Fournier lettered two years in basketball on strong teams that were city and conference champions in 1990 with an 18-4 record.

In baseball, Fournier earned a varsity letter three times and was team captain twice.  He was named All-CCC after his Junior and Senior season.  The HPHS baseball team made the state tournament his Sophomore year.

Fournier was the valedictorian of his class and was accepted at Yale University. While at Yale he played baseball as a walk on for two years.  In his Senior year, he earned the starting catcher spot and had an outstanding season.  He hit .301 and led the team in walks as Yale won the Ivy League championship.

After college Fournier explored professional baseball opportunities but decided to move to Portland, Oregon.  While there he met his future wife and played in very competitive amateur baseball leagues while on the west coast. He moved home to Connecticut in 1998 and continued his amateur baseball career as a key player for manager and leader in the the GHTBL. 

Fournier has coached his son's team in Mayor Mike’s Little League in Hartford for the past five years. He has also has coached basketball locally in a travel league. Congratulations to Jake and the entire Fournier family!