The Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame last week announced its new class of inductees, naming seven prominent sports figures into its three wings. The Hall of Fame, which is overseen by the Fairfield County Sports Commission, Inc., will honor the newly elected Hall of Famers with an induction ceremony at the Commission’s 15th anniversary Sports Night awards dinner, Monday, Oct. 21 at the Stamford Marriott at 6 p.m.
The class of 2019 honorees are: Charlie Morton, Heather Daly-Donofrio, Pat Dufficy, Roger Haggerty, Pete Tucci Jr., Jack Casagrande and Guy Whitten.
In addition, it was announced that the FCIAC’s Hall of Fame plaques will be displayed alongside the Commission’s Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame wall at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. It will be the first public home for the FCIAC awards since the league began its Hall of Fame in 1995.
“The FCIAC is very appreciative for the opportunity to have the names of our Hall of Fame members exhibited at Chelsea Piers next to those of the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame’s honorees,” said FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz in a press release. “Special thanks to both the Fairfield County Sports Commission and the administration at Chelsea Piers CT for making this happen. We look forward to adding to our plaques for years to come as both groups continue to recognize the best of the best of Fairfield County.”
Morton, from Norwalk, has spent 12 years as a starting pitcher in the majors, but his most recent seasons have been the ones that have put him in the national spotlight. Morton has a record of 83-83 and started 233 games while also pitching one season in Philadelphia (2016) and two with the Astros (2017-18).
It was in Houston that baseball fans became fully familiar with Morton, who helped lead the team to a World Series title. He won Game 7 of the ALCS and Game 7 of the Series and in the postseason went 2-1. In 10 2/3 innings he had 11 strikeouts with a 1.74 ERA. Morton followed that up with career-best numbers in 2018: 15-3, 3.13 ERA, 201 strikeouts in 30 starts and an AL All-Star selection.
Signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay this year he has continued his success with an 8-2 record and 2.43 ERA.
Daly-Donofrio, from Fairfield, became a golf professional in 1993 and went on to a nearly 12-year career on the LPGA tour beginning in 1998. She won two tournaments (the First Union Betsy King Classic in 2001 and The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions in 2004) and had nine top 10 finishes before retiring during the 2009 season.
Dufficy, from Trumbull, had a 19-year career with the Stratford-based Brakettes softball team. She played on 10 national championship teams, was the MVP of the Major National Tournament in 1983 and an 11-time All-American at three different positions, with a .347 career batting average.
Haggerty came to prominence as a three-sport star at Trinity Catholic. He was a third-team All-American third baseman at Providence, the Big East Player of Year in 1986 and was elected to Providence’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tucci, from Norwalk, played baseball at Providence and in 1996 he was All-Big East and a third-team All-American. He is still in the top 10 in eight major offensive categories.
Casagrande’s name is synonymous with Brien McMahon as a coach and teacher right from its inception in 1960. During his 13 seasons as football coach he had a 78-45-5 record and as wrestling coach for 22 years he produced a 211-105-4 mark, with four FCIAC and two state titles.
Whitten was Wilton’s boys lacrosse coach from 1969-1995. He finished with 410 victories, 17 state and 11 FCIAC titles.