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Steve Rector | YSU Athletics Hall of Fame

Steve Rector

  • Baseball (1969-72)
  • Inducted 1995

From baseball's maiden season in 1948 until 1968 (the program was discontin­ued during a seven-year span from 1951 to 1957), the most games that a YSU baseball team had ever played due to a variety of weather reasons was 24 and that was in 1968.

The most wins any of then Head Coach Dom Rosselli's teams ever posted until that time was 19 (they were 19-5 in 1968) and that came the year before Steve Rector's arrival on the YSU campus.

However, starting with the 1969 campaign, baseball would kick into high gear as they began a string on nine consecutive 20-plus win seasons. For a northern team to have that kind of success when the weather wreaks havoc with the schedule is a most amazing accom­plishment. But when you took at the players that Rosselli recruited, it's understandable to see that success because no less than seven players off the rosters of the teams from those years (1969-72) have already taken their place in YSU Athletics history, and the eighth member will receive his due tonight.

From the moment that he arrived on the YSU campus in the fall of 1968, Steve Rector's contagious enthusiasm whether on the baseball diamond or in class was his most glowing attribute. He was considered the catalyst that made things happen and for the next four years, it seemed like all Rosselli had to do was make the line-up out and let the players go at it.

From 1969-72, the Penguins posted an 85-48 overall ledger (21-10 in 1969), 24-15 in 1970, 24-9 in 1971 and 20-14 in 1972) and Rector was a most impressive offensive force. The Boyerstown, Pa., native set no less than five career bati marks upon graduation and while they are no longer a record today, the shorts top third baseman's mark was the standard by which future Penguin players would be judged and compared.

At the time of his graduation, he held the record for most home runs in a career (7), most home runs in a season (four), most doubles in a career (22), most doubles in a season (10, he was third in the nation that season-1971) and most consecutive doubles (three).

He was one of four Penguin players to play in the annual Tri-State Baseball Coaches All-Star game, being selected in both 1971 and 1972 while joining teammates Gary Balakoff, Jim Hamrock and Lou Zitello on the squad. In 1971, he was named to the Coaches All-District Team.

Several professional teams including the Atlanta Braves and Pitts­burgh Pirates showed an interest in his services, and he ended up teaching Health and Physical Education at nearby Southern Local High School where he also served as head baseball and assistant football coach.

After obtaining his certification in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders from YSU, he accepted a position in LDBD at Pocono Mountain High School in Swiftwater, Pa. and he currently resides in Thomhurst, Pa., where he owns and operates a greenhouse and nursery.

He is married to the former Kathleen Cooney.