ESCANABA - Dickinson County pioneers for Little League baseball and girls basketball entered the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The late Larry Barkle, involved with Little League for over four decades, and Barb Perry, a state championship coach with Norway's 1979 girls basketball team, joined nine others enshrined during the 41st annual banquet at the Danforth Place.
Barkle, known as "Mr. Little League" for his 42 years as an administrator and coach, compiled a 416-199 record including four undefeated teams.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Two Dickinson County coaches with state championships — Barb Perry and Larry Barkle — were inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday. Rob Barkle, right, represented his late father during the plaque presentation.
Barkle passed away in 2001. He guided a 1994 Iron Mountain Little League to the state title and challenged for a berth in Willamsport, Pa.
"My dad loved (Little League baseball)," his son, Rob, said Saturday in accepting the Hall of Fame plaque. "My mother said in the spring he got more excited than the kids."
Rob Barkle acknowledged Beth and Butch Wedin, a 1995 UP. Hall of Fame inductee, for being instrumental in the Hall of Fame nomination process.
Eastside Field in Iron Mountain is named after Larry Barkle.
Perry guided Norway to girls basketball state finals in back-to-back seasons and came home with the 1979 Class D crown.
"This is very, very special to me," Perry said. "I am so proud and honored to be a part of the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame."
Perry acknowledged the late Art Allen for her first job of looking over kids at the elementary school in Bates, a home turf outside of Iron River.
Barb Patrick was a big influence at Northern Michigan University where Perry was a team captain and member of the first field hockey team.
She called the late Bing Soderlund, a Norway-Vulcan Schools superintendent, a "fantastic supporter of athletics."
Perry coached against two other 2012 U.P. Hall of Fame inductees - Erica Ledy of Drummond Island and Joell (Johnson) Krejcarek of Carlshend. Several Knights players from Perry's teams attended the banquet including Jan (Lundin) Hogberg, who teamed with her husband John in compiling nomination material, and Mary (Raiche) Kangas, mother of U.P. Sports Hall of Fame scholarship recipient Megan.
Perry's father Al, 88, and brother Dave, an architect involved with the New England Patriots Hall of Fame, were also on hand.
"Dad, this means to the world to me that you're here tonight," she said.
Another local connection to Saturday's Hall of Fame
ceremony was the induction of the late Jack Mugford, father of Iron Mountain's Bill Mugford.
Jack Mugford, with his son Keith making the acceptance speech, was an all-around athlete from Laurium. One of his many highlights was racing against and beating Olympic gold medalist sprinter Stella Walsh during a Harlem Globetrotters program.
Also inducted Saturday were Shari (Ahola) of Byerly of Gladstone, a three-time All-American skier at the University of Wyoming; Cheryl (Dorais) DePuydt of Marquette-Houghton, first female coach at Michigan Tech; Jeanette LeCaptain of Escanaba, a one-time professional dancer and ice skater; Carl Mattson of Hancock-Pelkie, a Detroit Red Wings head trainer from 1947 to 1958; Terry Sayen of Munising, coached the Mustangs to the 1980 Class C state title, and Con Yagodzinski of Escanaba, all-state basketball player at Escanaba Holy Name High School who also starred at Northern Michigan University.
Iron Mountain's Mike Caruso, a member of the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame council, served as program master of ceremonies.