Athletics Hall of Fame Inducts Third Class

by Liza Parisky, Sports Editor

Over Homecoming/Family Weekend, five new honorees were inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame, including four individuals and one team. Emilio Daddario ’39 (football and baseball), Winthrop “Wink” Davenport ’64 (basketball), Sally Zimmer Knight ’81 (cross country and track), Kofi Appenteng ’81 (men’s soccer and track), and the 1994 baseball team made up the third class of inductees, immortalized during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 6. The relatively new memorial now has a total of 20 individuals and three teams.

Daddario was a versatile athlete during his time as a Cardinal. He lettered three times in both football and baseball, captaining the 1938 football squad. Even now, he is still recognized as one of the best players to hit the gridiron at Wesleyan, leading the football team to three straight winning seasons and a 15-8-1 record over this time. Twice, he received the C. Everett Bacon Award as the team’s MVP. After graduating Daddario went on to play professional football with both the Hartford Blues and the Providence Steamrollers. On the baseball diamond, Daddario played in the infield, and during his senior year, he had a batting average over .500. After his successful Cardinal sports career, Daddario entered the Secret Intelligence division of the military and served in Italy from 1943-1945. When he returned to the United States, he served as Middletown mayor from 1946-1948, a Municipal Court judge from 1948-1950, and a U.S. Representative from Connecticut's 1st congressional district from 1958-1970. From 1950-1952, he served as a Major in the Connecticut National Guard during the Korean War.

Wink Davenport was a prominent basketball player at Wesleyan. He lettered three times and served as team captain during his senior year. During his time as a Cardinal, he broke the record for points in a game with 44, as well as career scoring average with 19.6. He also lettered twice in golf. Davenport continued his sports career after Wesleyan, winning a gold medal with the USA Pan Am volleyball squad in 1967. He also played for the USA Olympic team in 1968, the USA World Cup squad in 1969, and captained the U.S. national championship club team in 1971. After his playing career, Davenport became a official, refereeing at the USA Cup, the World Junior Championships, the World Championships, the World Cup, and the Olympics.

During her time at Wesleyan, Knight was a member of both the cross-country and track teams, captaining both. She broke school records in the mile with a time of 5:07.3 and the 1500m with a time of 4:43. Since her time as a Cardinal, Knight has run over 40 marathons, with her best finish coming in the Boston Marathon in 1985 with a 17th-place finish among women. Knight also took part in two Olympic Marathon Trials in 1984 and 1988. Now, she annually runs in her two favorite races, the five-mile Backcountry Bushwhack in Greenwich, Conn. and the 5k Chilmark Road Race on Martha’s Vineyard. She currently holds the Connecticut record in the East Lyme Marathon and has represented Team Adidas in marathons around the world. Now, she teaches English at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn.

Appenteng started in every men’s soccer game during his four years at Wesleyan. During his senior year, he helped lead the team to an ECAC New England Division III title. He also received all-New England and All-American honors. In track, he ran the 440-yard dash and was part of the New England Division III champion mile relay in his senior year. Before Wesleyan, Appenteng was raised in Ghana and attended school in England. After Wesleyan, he went to Columbia Law School and then became a partner in the New York-based law firm of Thatcher, Proffitt and Word. He is a Wesleyan Trustee Emeritus and chaired the committee that recommended Michael Roth as president. The Wesleyan Alumni Association awarded Appenteng the Baldwin Medal for his service to both the University and to society.

The 1994 Cardinal baseball team was the first Wesleyan athletic squad to play in an NCAA Division III tournament. Led by head coach Peter Kostacopoulos, the team had a school-record 30-win season. The men qualified as the top seed and host of the New England regional, going 3-0 and earning a spot in the NCAA Division III World Series as the New England representative. The Cards won their first two games but lost to the defending national champions, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, in a winners'-bracket game. In their first elimination game, the Cards beat the University of California-San Diego before playing a rematch against Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The squad lost in the title game, 6-2. Some of the remarkable players included pitcher Craig Brewer ’94, who was named a second-team Division III All-American after posting a 12-0 record and a 2.06 ERA, and co-captain Mark Woodworth '94, the current Wesleyan head coach. Will Brandenburger '95 led the team with a batting average of .402.

These five members will be forever enshrined in the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. The display is located in the Warren Street Lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center.

  • minky

    excellent story, thanks for the memories