Four local athletes and sports supporters were honored June 12 at the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Commission’s 69th Annual Sports Awards Ceremony, conducted at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
Richard Masi became the newest member of the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department’s Sports Hall of Fame — created in 1957 to honor athletes for their achievements in department-sponsored sports — as the result of his achievements with the department’s Boxing Club. A four-year participant in the Boxing Club, Masi enjoyed his greatest success in 1952 when, after months of intense training, he entered the state-sponsored Golden Gloves competition, conducted at the old Michigan State Fairgrounds. Masi went undefeated in the tournament, taking top honors in the 136-pound light weight division, becoming one of only a handful of Dearborn boxers to earn a Golden Gloves State Championship. After leaving the program as a competitive boxer, Masi continued to support Dearborn’s Boxing Club, serving as a coach for several years. The induction of Masi brings the total membership of the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department’s Sports Hall of Fame to 177.
Inducted into the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department’s Special Award Hall of Fame — created in 1988 to honor sponsors, officials, managers, coaches, administrators and other supporters of department-sponsored sports — were Ayman Mustafa and Rick Jenks. With the induction of Ayman Mustafa and Rick Jenks, membership in the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department’s Special Award Hall of Fame grows to 56.
Mustafa earned membership for his involvement in the city-sponsored softball leagues, as both a manager and an umpire, and later as a supervisor of umpires. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Mustafa managed teams — such as Little Professor and Palomar Bar — in the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department’s popular Class B softball League, winning several championships in the early 1990s. Mustafa also began a long umpiring career in the mid-1980s, and quickly earned a reputation for being one of the city’s best. During these same years, Mustafa began helping schedule and train umpires at the Rotunda Fields, working with the late Bill Repovz. When Repovz retired, Mustafa assumed sole responsibility for these duties. Mustafa took on the same role shortly after the turn of the century with the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department, and over the course of the next two decades, has mentored and helped train hundreds of fellow umpires.
Rick Jenks was awarded membership in the Special Award Hall of Fame for his long-time and multi-role involvement in Dearborn Baseball. A partnership organization of the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Department, Dearborn Baseball was created in 1982 to replace the department’s aging Junior Baseball Program and provide Dearborn children with the opportunity to play baseball in competitive leagues. Jenks, along with 2019 Special Hall of Fame inductee Greg McKae, were two of the founding fathers of Dearborn Baseball, which quickly grew into an organization with 800-900 annual participants.During his 35 years of service with Dearborn Baseball, Jenks has fulfilled several administrative roles—including Board Member and Commissioner—coached, umpired, worked at instructional clinics and even helped maintain the fields.
The Sports Legends Hall of Fame, created by the Dearborn Parks and Recreation Commission in 2000 to honor Dearborn residents who distinguish themselves in sports beyond the level of Dearborn Recreation & Parks Department-sponsored activities, welcomed Philip Mahar as its newest member.
Mahar, a member of the Fordson class of 1977, has enjoyed a long and successful career coaching track and cross country at several local high schools. Mahar began his coaching career in 1982, working with the boys’ track team at St. Alphonsus and the girls’ track team at his alma mater. Two years later, Mahar took over as the head coach of the Tractor boys’ cross country program, and the next year, he assumed the reins of the school’s boy’s track team. He remained in each position for a quarter of a century. Mahar shifted over to Dearborn High, where he’s been the girls’ track coach since 2014, the boys’ cross-country coach dating back to 2016, and the boys’ track coach for the past five years. Over his four decades of coaching, his teams won nine conference titles and finished among the top ten team in the state five times.
Since its inception, the Sports Legends Hall of Fame has inducted 40 deserving athletes.
Watch the 2022 Dearborn Parks and Recreation Commission’s Annual Sports Award Ceremony on CDTV's on-demand site at this link: https://cdtv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=fbiWHF4apOX5