Hall of Fame inductions never get old for Nick Lambros.
But even the Oneonta native was a little surprised by his latest honor, as a member of the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
“They called me and told me that I was nominated and I go, ‘That’s awful nice, but why?’” said Lambros, a 1995 Hartwick Hall of Famer who is the college’s winningest men’s basketball coach with 353 victories.
“My baseball career was long, but it was a long time ago, too,” Lambros, 76, continued. “When I asked why, they said they investigated my background and saw I had 10 years as a minor league general manager, I played in college and high school, I had a tryout with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and I coached college baseball, too. Those were the type of guys they were looking for.”
NYS Baseball Hall of Fame spokesman Rene LeRoux said Lambros earned election to the organizations third class for several reasons.
“We take into consideration character and love of the game as much as statistics,” LeRoux said. “Nick’s a treasure of a man. We’re absolutely thrilled we chose him and he accepted.”
LeRoux said inductees from three regions of the state are represented in the Hall — Western New York (Oneonta, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica), Upstate New York (Kingston to Montreal) and Metro New York (New York City and Long Island).
He added that Lambros, who spent 10 seasons as the general manager of the New York-Penn League’s Oneonta Yankees, will join former major leaguers Craig Biggio, Ralph Branca, Ed Kranepool, David Lemanczyk, Mark Lemke, Andy Van Slyke and Lou Whitaker in the Class of 2013.
The 2013 induction ceremony is set for Nov. 10 at the Hilton Hotel in Troy.
Oneonta High and Hartwick graduate Lambros said one of the highlights of his baseball career was a spring training invitation to Vero Beach, Fla., as a free agent in 1961.