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If there is one person whose name has been associated from Day 1 with the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame it is William M. “Bill” Dutch.
A life-long Syracusan, the Nottingham High grad (1963) attended St. Lawrence (1963-64), graduated from Syracuse University (B.S. 1967) and attended SU’s Graduate School of Business (1968-69).
Bill was co-founder (along with Hall of Famer Luke LaPorta) of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame and its first president.
From 1976-79, he was President of Dutch Parking, founded by his father. Since 1982, Bill has been co-owner of Kelly & Dutch Real Estate.
He co-chaired the Genesee Sports Dinner in 1983 and ’84, and chaired the hugely-attended event in 1985. Bill chaired the Chamber of Commerce’s Third Base Night with the Syracuse Chiefs for 5 years and has served on the boards of the AAA International League, Syracuse Chargers, Juvenile Diabetes Association, Upstate Medical Center Foundation’s Golf Tourneys, and the Metropolitan School for the Arts. Bill also founded the Diamond Club – a booster organization that intended to bring varsity baseball back to Syracuse University.
A life-long baseball fan, Bill played and coached semi-pro ball for 10 years and played on City Rec fast-pitch softball championship teams during the 1970s.
He coached CBA’s jayvees in 1972-73 to an overall mark of 24-4, and was a Little League manager and all-star team coach from 1979-84.
Bill also had one of the world’s top baseball card collections during the 1970s and ’80s, including the world-renowned T-206 Honus Wagner card.
In addition to the creation of the GSSHOF, Dutch has been instrumental in keeping Triple-A baseball as a viable operation in our town. As President of the Syracuse Chiefs, he hired General Manager Jason Smorol and had been the longest-serving board member, having served since 1988. He helped engineer the sale of stock and franchise move to the parent New York Mets, which fully takes place in 2019 – and keeps professional baseball in Syracuse.
Winner of the Chiefs’ Jake Meyers Good Guy Award in 1988, Bill received the Syracuse Sports Corporation Community Service Award in 1992 and was recognized by the Herald Journal/Post Standard with the Movers and Shakers Award.
Dedicated to finding a permanent home for the GSSHOF, Bill Dutch now becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.