Cazenovia tennis star Hal McGrath, who was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, welcomed Beezie Madden into the hall on June 27.
McGrath read a long list of her accomplishments and noted that she will be the first equestrian ever inducted into the local HOF. McGrath, who lives on Old Farms Lane in Cazenovia, is a board member of the Syracuse Sports HOF and the Syracuse Sports Corporation.
His glory days on the tennis courts began at Nottingham High School when he won the New York State Boys Singles Championship in 1944.
In his freshman year at Syracuse University, McGrath won the 1951 Eastern Intercollegiate championship, was ranked 10th nationally, and The Herald-Journal named him the Central New York Athlete of the Year. From 1951 to 1954, he was SU’s team captain and No. 1 player.
In more recent years, McGrath continued his winning ways. He and his late wife, Rusty, won the N.Y. State Senior Games mixed-double championship in 1995, and he partnered with Bob Marquart to win three consecutive gold medals in the National Senior Olympic men’s doubles from 2001 though 2005.
McGrath is one of just three tennis stars in the Syracuse Sports HOF, an honor he shares with Oswego’s female volleyer Lee Burling and the late Syracusan Al Romeo.
At age 82, McGrath continues to swing a racquet and can often be found playing tennis at the Cazenovia Club next to the Brewster Inn or at the Eastside Racquet Club in Manlius.
The Caz Club hosts a dinner in honor of McGrath at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 7, following a tennis exhibition at 4 p.m; 655-8573.
Russ Tarby is a contributing writer at Eagle Newspapers. He can be reached at email@example.com.