The Halton Hills Sports Museum Hall of Fame brought in five new inductees at its 12th-annual ceremony on Thursday, June 21 at the John Elliott Theatre in Georgetown.
Special guest speaker for the evening was Canadian thoroughbred racing jockey legend Sandy Hawley.
The 2018 inductees are: Trent Cull (athlete, hockey), Denis Gibbons (builder, hockey), 1987-88 Georgetown juvenile AAA Junior Gemini (team), Shawn Hill (athlete, baseball) and Harry Lawson (athlete, baseball).
Trent Cull - Athlete - Hockey
After a 10-year career in minor pro leagues as a tough, stalwart defenceman, the 1994 Toronto Maple Leafs' free-agent signee is currently forging another path as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks' American Hockey League club in Utica, N.Y.
Cull stepped into the Georgetown Jr. B Raiders as a 15-year-old and quickly made the jump to the Ontario Hockey League, playing five seasons with Owen Sound, Windsor and Kingston, earning selection to Canada's under-17 national team.
Youngest of four brothers, the 44-year-old Cull's minor pro career included 435 AHL games with St. John's, Springfield, Wilkes-Barre, Houston and Syracuse.
He lifted the Turner Cup championship trophy in 1989 as a member of the International Hockey League's Houston Aeros in one of the highlights of his career.
Retirement from playing didn't last long as he accepted an assistant coaching role with the OHL's Guelph Platers for two seasons before moving on to the AHL's Syracuse Crunch as an assistant in the first of two four-year stints there.
In between was a three-year tenure as head coach of the OHL Sudbury Wolves and last summer he took on the lead duties with the AHL's Utica Comets, who are trailing the Toronto Marlies 2-0 in their best-of-five first-round playoff series.
Denis Gibbons - Builder - Hockey
A researcher, journalist, book author and former Acton minor hockey volunteer is considered an authority on international hockey history and documenter of the sport's development, having attended seven Winter Olympic Games, eight World Junior Championships and four World Championships.
Gibbons, who turns 75 in August, took great interest in international hockey in 1974 when he visited Moscow as part of the first sports exchange between the Soviet Union and Canada, since then developing a speaking, writing and reading knowledge of Russian, while studying Czech, German, Japanese and Spanish.
The former Independent & Free Press sports editor (1973-78) has been a part-time writer and editor for The Hockey News since 1980, as well as freelance writing for the Globe & Mail and Broadcast News. Gibbons was the chief writer for the official hockey program at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
He was presented with the President's Award in 2014 by the Society for International Hockey Research for his two-plus decades with that organization.
Gibbons, now a Burlington resident, also recently authored a book called Hockey My Door to Europe, in which he shares his many exploits covering international events.
Shawn Hill - Athlete - Baseball
For a Canadian, just getting drafted by a major league club is a huge accomplishment, and while his promising pitching career was thrown a series of curve balls in the form of arm injuries, the Georgetown Minor Baseball Association graduate is most proud of his diamond memories when wearing a Team Canada jersey.
Drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1999 and again the next year by Montreal, Hill toiled in the minor league system of the Expos for five years until making his debut in 2004 against Philadelphia.
The Mississauga native went 1-2 that season, with the win coming against the Toronto Blue Jays, before multiple injury setbacks, including two Tommy John surgeries, sent the six-foot-two, 225 pounder to the disabled list for much of five years, save for seven starts with the Washington Nationals in 2007 and three appearances with the Padres in 2009.
He did get to start four games for his hometown Blue Jays in 2010 and in his second go-around with Toronto in 2012, recorded a win in relief against the New York Yankees.
Hill, who'll celebrate his 37th birthday on April 28, represented Canada at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece and tossed a gem in the semifinals, leaving the game with the lead before a turn of events resulted in the red and white finishing fourth in the tournament.
The Stubby Clapp Award recipient in 2012 from Baseball Canada was on board for his country as they won gold medals at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 and repeated as champs at the Pan Ams in Toronto in 2015, after which Hill retired.
1987-1988 Georgetown Juvenile AA
Junior Gemini - Team
The only Georgetown team to ever win both an Ontario Minor Hockey Association title and North American Silver Stick championship in the same season almost didn't get the chance to participate in the latter tournament.
At the regional qualifier in Ajax earlier that season, the Junior Gemini finished second in its division behind the host club and the format stated that only division winners could advance to the final stage.
GMHA executive members and team manager Barb Hanman argued that Georgetown's juveniles had a better record in the qualifier than other teams that had advanced and the organizers in Mooretown concurred, allowing the club to participate.
The Junior Geminis avenged an opening-game 5-3 loss to Beamsville to beat the same club 7-2 in the championship game for the North American title banner.
Coached by 2005 Georgetown Hockey Heritage Award recipient Charlie Hanman, the team overcame several player injuries to pull off the rare double in its "miracle season."
Georgetown rolled through the OMHA playoffs, posting an 11-1 record in series wins over Streetsville, Kingston and Grimsby, backed by the superb netminding duo of John Lantz and Joe Balson.
Harry Lawson - Athlete - Baseball
The lifelong Acton resident was a star left-handed pitcher at the youth and Intercounty levels in the 1940s and '50s, so much so that he attracted the interest of some big-league teams.
Lawson, who passed away in 1997 at age 65, attended a training camp for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1949 at London, Ont. along with fellow Halton Hills Sports Museum inductee Harold Townsley (2010).
In 1950, Lawson received an invite from the New York Yankees to attend their training camp in St. Petersburg, Fla. that included superstar Mickey Mantle, and the following year the St. Louis Cardinals came calling, offering him a minor-league contract.
But Lawson declined, as he'd just married his high school sweetheart, hairdresser Lois Wilson, and didn't feel that the contract offer was lucrative enough to relocate to the U.S.
During his brief time with the Cardinals, however, Lawson became friends with the great Satchel Paige and was given a game-worn St. Louis jersey by the first player from the Negro leagues to pitch in a World Series game in 1948.
After his outstanding playing career with the Galt Terriers of the Ontario Senior Intercounty League was over, Lawson remained active in coaching youth baseball and intermediate softball teams in Acton for more than 20 years.