NORFOLK, Va. – During the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame’s induction of the 2019 class, former Major League Baseball pitcher Gary Lavelle had a chance to look back on his baseball career.
“I have so many memories of when I was playing,” Lavelle said. “Also, being a coach, being around some great young people. Baseball’s been everything. I’ve been in it over, hate to say over 60 years, but I’ve been playing and coaching for over 60 years. It’s been my life and I’m very grateful for it.”
One of Lavelle’s best memories from his time in the MLB came while he was with the San Francisco Giants, the team he spent the majority of his career with.
“I think the biggest thrill, besides the All-Star games, was I broke Christy Mathewson’s record for appearances,” Lavelle said. “The ironic thing was I lived in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, where Christy Mathewson was born and lived.”
Lavelle broke the Giants’ franchise record for most appearances with 647. He also ranks in the top-10 in saves and wins.
After retiring from Major League Baseball, Lavelle moved to Virginia Beach where he began his coaching career. At Greenbrier Christian he won 12 state titles and 556 games.
In 2016 he started the new program at Bryant and Stratton College in Virginia Beach and led the program to a winning record in its second season.
“It’s just a real honor to be able to be inducted into the Hampton Roads Hall of Fame,” Lavelle said. “A real privilege to be here amongst a lot of great people.”