Inductees for 2024

Jersey Joe Walcott


Arnold Raymond Cream was born to Barbadian immigrant parents, in Pennsauken Twp., Camden County, New Jersey on January 31, 1914.

Young Arnold left high school at 14 to work, helping his parents care for his 11 siblings. His father passed a year later. At 16, he began his profes-sional boxing career, taking the name of his boxing idol, Joe Walcott, a welterweight from Barbados and added “Jersey” to distinguish himself and his birthplace.

Walcott, the consumate example of athletic perseverance, fought to a career record of 51-18-2 (32 KO’s) from 1930 to 1953, winning the World Heavyweight Championship in 1951 — in his 5th attempt ! Walcott fought multiple bouts with 7 different boxers, including Joe Lewis and Rocky Marciano, each twice. Walcott knocked Lewis to the mat three times over two bouts and Marciano to the mat in the 1st bout. All three boxers are considered the best boxers for the era’s 3 decades.

An excellent boxer and a slick defensive fighter, Jersey Joe is arguably the most determined boxer in professional boxing history. Walcott, at the age of 37, held the record as the oldest boxer to win the Heavyweight World Champ-ionship until George Forman, at his age 45, broke the record in 1994 .

After retiring in 1953, Walcott continued his celebrity, appearing in Hollywood films, “The Harder They Fall” starring Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer and “The Super Fight”. Walcott also appeared in the TV series “Cains Hundred” starring Robert Culp.

Walcott was a Licensed Boxing Referee and refereed the controversial rematch bout between Muhammed Ali and Sonny Liston.

Jersey Joe was a dedicated Camden County community youth advocate and the County’s 1st African American Sheriff. He also served as Chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission from 1975 – 1984.

The father of six children, Mr Cream passed away on February 25, 1994. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and The New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013.

The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey proudly inducts Arnold “Jersey Joe Walcott ” Cream into its Hall of Fame on this date, May 25, 2024.

Vincent Cream, grandson of boxing's World Heavyweight Champion Jersey Joe Walcott, details his grandfather's life and career and proudly accepts the Induction plaque on behalf of his family from the Museum's Co-Chairperson, Joe DeLuca, (L) and Chairperson, Dom Valella (R).
Vincent Cream, grandson of boxing's World Heavyweight Champion Jersey Joe Walcott, details his grandfather's life and career and proudly accepts the Induction plaque on behalf of his family from the Museum's Co-Chairperson, Joe DeLuca, (L) and Chairperson, Dom Valella (R).
Jersey Joe Walcott

Vincent Cream, grandson of boxing’s World Heavyweight Champion Jersey Joe Walcott, details his grandfather’s life and career and proudly accepts the Induction plaque on behalf of his family from the Museum’s Co-Chairperson, Joe DeLuca, (L) and Chairperson, Dom Valella (R).

Russell H. Bell, Jr.


Russell H. Bell, Jr. quickly gained the admiration and respect of his teammates and coaches as his athletic skills were honed on the local and regional baseball diamonds, basketball courts and football fields. He regularly dominated each game and each league he played in. Newspapers in South Jersey routinely featured his name in sport’s section’s headlines.

Entering Bridgeton High School in 1952, Russ’ excelled with his award-winning play as a 3 sport letterman in baseball, basketball and football. Russell was a key player and leader on the BHS varsity baseball team that won South Jersey Group 4 Champioships in 1952 and 1954, competing against Camden, Collingswood, Atlantic City and Vineland.

As a pitcher and centerfielder, Russell earned two All State Awards, an All Group 4 and All County Awards. Russell attracted interest from scouts from every major league team during his BHS career, particularly from the New York Giants. Russell was signed by Giants Scout Frank Burke to a Professional Baseball Contract shortly after he graduated in June 1955. His signing bonus was $500 together with subsequent bonuses of $3,000 and $2,500. His monthly salary was $175.00

Russ soon reported to the Giants minor league team, the Sandersville Giants in the Class D Georgia State League and played in 22 games that summer with teammate and future Hall of Famer Willie “Pops” McCovey. An illness in August 1955 shortened his season. Russell lost 40 lbs. in a very short time.

Russell returned home to recover and prepare for the 1956 season. That season and the 1957 season came and went without a cure for the undiagnosed and untreatable illness.

Russell’s contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1958 through 1961.

While illness restricted and shortened his pro baseball career, Russell’s stellar high school career was recognized with First Team All Century Classic Era Team honors (1939 – 1974) and induction into the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

During the off-seasons with Giants and the Athletics, Russell earned his Bachelor of Art’s teaching degree from Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey).
For 4 decades he taught Drafting at BHS where both his students and colleagues praised his teaching skills and professionalism.

For 3 decades, Russell and his wife, Delia (Dee), were a highly respected real estate sales team as members of the Roarke Agency. Many local homeowners have Russ and Dee to thank for the purchase of their first home.

Married for “forever”, the Bell’s have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey proudly welcomes Russell Hires Bell, Jr. into its Hall of Fame on this date, May 4, 2024.

Russell H. Bell, Jr.
Russell H. Bell, Jr.

Inductees for 2023

Theodore Henry (Ted) Ford


Ted was born on February 7, 1947 in Vineland, NJ. and knew from age 8 he wanted to be a professional baseball player.

At Vineland High School, Ted excelled at playing the four major sports with baseball definitely his favorite. In ’66, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st Round (11th player taken overall – just after the Phillies’ John Vukovich) in the Amateur Draft.

Assigned to the Dubuque (AA) Packers, Ted, an outfielder with a strong arm, hit .263 in 71 games, with 6 HR’s and 25 RBI’s in 262 AB’s. He played winter ball with future major leaguers Reggie Jackson, Cito Gaston and Rick Monday.

Promoted in ’67 to Pawtucket (AA) hitting .210 with 42 RBI’s in 132 games, his season was shortened when drafted into the Army to serve state-side in Louisiana.

Discharged in ’69, and working his way back into shape, Ted made the ’70 Cleveland Indians club and debuted vs. the Orioles on April 7, facing Dave McNally, going 0-2 with a BB. After only 50 plate appearances, Ted was sent to Wichita (AAA) hitting .326 with 12 HR’s and 57 RBI’s in 106 games.

After shuttling between AAA and Cleveland in ’71, Ted played winter ball in Venezuela with Rod Carew, Dave Concepcion and Graig Nettles.

Ted was traded to the expansion Texas Rangers (Washington Senators) in ’72 for Tommy McGraw after catching the eye of Manager Ted Williams. In his Rangers debut on April 28, Ted hit a game-winning 3-run HR, driving in Frank Howard and Tom Grieve. He played in 129 games in ’72, leading the team in HR’s with 14, hit .235 with 19 doubles and 50 RBI’s AND lead the American League with 10 Assists from right field!

Between ’73 and ’82 Ted played for the Rangers, Indians and San Diego Padres affiliates as well as several Mexican teams, before retiring to Hammonton, NJ. He returned to Texas in 2012, opened a youth baseball camp and was an assistant coach for his youngest son’s (Tim) college baseball team.

Ted, 76, had a younger brother, Lambert (1949 – 2022) and a grandson, Darren, 38, both who played professional baseball.

Darren Rodell Seabrooks Ford

Darren Ford

Darren was born in Vineland, NJ on October 1, 1985. He excelled in the South Vineland baseball leagues and was a stellar athlete at Vineland High School on the varsity baseball, football and indoor track teams. Upon graduation, Darren attended Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla.

Darren began his professional baseball career in 2004 when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th Round of Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft. Assigned to the Brewer’s Rookie team in Helena, Montana, the ultra speedy outfielder hit .271 in 61 games in 2005 and .283 in 125 games in 2006 with the Brewer’s Single-A team, the West Virginia Power, playing alongside teammates Ryan Braun, Michael Brantley, Ned Yost and Lorenzo Cain. As a defensive stalwart and a stolen base specialist, he played in the Brewer’s minor league system until July 2008, when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants organization for all-star Ray Durham.

Darren made his major league debut with the Giants on September 1, 2010 when he scored the winning run vs. the Colorado Rockies. In case of an injury to a rostered player, he traveled with the team during the Giants’ post-season run to their 2010 World Series title.

In 2011, Darren played in 26 games for the Giants before an ankle injury ended his major league season. From 2012 through 2016, Darren signed minor league free agent contracts with the Giants, Seattle Mariners and the Pittsburgh Pirates before signing Independent League contracts from with the Somerset Patriots and New Britain Bees from 2017 – 2019. When the Covid pandemic closed down the entire Minor League system in 2020, Darren opted to retire.

Darren, nicknamed “The Bullet” for his blazing speed, played in a total of 1,592 professional games, garnering 6,481 plate appearances, a career .262 batting average, and 583 stolen bases while playing with hundreds of major leaguers over his 15 years in professional baseball. His career took him to cities throughout the U.S., Hawaii and Venezuela.

Currently, Darren resides in Burlington County and is a Coach for the Trenton Thunder, a MLB Draft League team. Darren is the proud father of daughter, Alahnia, and is the grandson of former major leaguer, Ted Ford.

  • Sal-Paolantonio

Sal Paolantonio

Sal Paolantonio
Media Contributor

Sal Paolantonio, National Correspondent for ESPN since 1995, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Ramblewood Country Club in Mt. Laurel, NJ.

Sal Paolantonio, a national correspondent for ESPN since 1995, is the longest serving reporter at the network. He has been the host of the NFL Matchup Show for 20 years, currently the longest serving host of an NFL studio show at ESPN.
On the ESPN national radio network, Paolantonio calls NFL games as a booth analyst. He is a voting member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee in Canton, Ohio. In 2018, he was awarded the Jack Newfield Courage in Journalism Award given by the New York Daily News. Including his tenure at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Paolantonio has been a NFL reporter for 30 years.

Sal has been honored with seven Emmy’s for his contributions to SportsCenter (1996, 2003, 2005 and 2020-21) and Sunday NFL Countdown (2001, 2003 and 2006). Sal is the author of four books: Philly Special: The Inside Story of How the
Philadelphia Eagles Won Their First Super Bowl Championship (2018), How Football Explains America (2008) ; The Paolantonio Report: the Most Overrated and Underrated Players, Coaches, Teams and Moments in NFL History (2007) and Frank Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America (1993), the all-time No. 1 local bestseller in the Philadelphia region and adapted for the stage by
playwright Bruce Graham, running for two years at the Suzanne Roberts Theater on the Avenue of the Arts.

From 1985 to 1995, Sal was a sportswriter and national political correspondent at the Philadelphia Inquirer, covering the 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns, and the 1991 race for mayor of Philadelphia. In 1994, Philadelphia Magazine named him the best sportswriter in Philadelphia. In 1993, Philly Mag named Paolantonio the city’s top author. In 1985, while at the Albany Times Union, Paolantonio received an Associated Press Enterprise Reporting Award for his writing and photography of the
famine in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Paolantonio was a Surface Warfare Officer, serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from 1978-83. In 1981, he was awarded the United Nations Meritorious Service Medal for his role in the rescue of Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea.

Paolantonio has a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Oneonta, named one of the 100 most prestigious graduates for the college’s Centennial Celebration. He has a Master’s degree in journalism from NYU. In 2013, he received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from SUNY.

Sal has lived in South Jersey with his wife, Lynn, for 38 years. They have three married children and four grandchildren.

Presented by
The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey
March 11, 2023

L- R: Ron Jaworski, Mike Quick, Dick Vermeil, Sal Paolantonio, Harold Carmichael, Joe Decamara

Inductees for 2022

Mike Catalano


The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey is proud to welcome Bridgeton native and St. Augustine Prep graduate, Mike Catalano, into its Hall of Fame.

Mike is the News and Sports Director for 13WHAM TV in Rochester, NY.

Mike began his sportscasting career in Binghamton NY before moving to Channel 13 in 1987 where he was promoted to Sports Director 2 years later. The Ithaca College grad has covered Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, and the PGA Masters Tournaments. Also the sideline reporter for Buffalo Bills Television Network since 2000, Mike individually, and his staff collectively, has garnered numerous prestigious media awards for sportscasting excellence.

Mike is also an active member of the greater Rochester community serving as President of the American Heart Association, a board member of the Ronald McDonald House and further volunteers his time for the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chapter and The School of the Holy Childhood.

Mike and his family reside in Rochester.

Growing up in South Jersey and playing and loving sports, Mike stated at his induction ceremony “that he knew
that sports would be a big part of my life and I’m honored to do the job I do now”.

Lou Piccone

Lou Piccone

Lou Piccone was born July 17, 1949 in Vineland, NJ. He played nine seasons in the NFL as a WR & KR for the NY Jets and Buffalo Bills. He played college football at West Liberty State College. Initially spurned by the pros due to his size, the 5-9, 175-pound speedster played two seasons of semipro ball before signing a free-agent contract with the NY Jets in 1974. He led the NFL in kickoff returns as a rookie, and spent three seasons with the Jets as their primary kick and punt returner. Piccone was traded to Buffalo in 1977. He had his best season as a receiver with the Bills in 1979 with 33 catches for 556 yards and two touchdowns. Piccone played in 118 games during his NFL career, caught 100 passes for 1,380 yards and six touchdowns, returned 111 kickoffs for 2,559 yards, and returned 73 punts for 482 yards and one touchdown. During his playing days, Piccone was a player representative for the NFL Players Association and an influential member of the NFLPA executive committee. Following his retirement, he served for many years on the NFLPA’s Steering Committee for Retired Players.

Greg Zyla

Greg Zyla

Greg Zyla was born in coal-mining Brady (Ranshaw), PA in 1949. From an early age, Greg was enthusiastic about old cars; namely, Packard, Henry-J, Kaiser, Frazer, Rambler, Willys, Studebaker and Tucker. In 1957 he moved with his family to Vineland, NJ, and immediately became a fan of the Vineland Speedway, which featured a quarter mile drag strip for stock car racing on many Fridays through Sundays during his youth. Greg became an instant subscriber to several car magazines; namely, Motor Trend, Car Life, Road & Track, Car Craft and National Speed Sport News. His enjoyment of those magazines eventually led to an interest in writing for several publications; namely, More Content Now, and other Gatehouse Media publications. Greg Zyla is a well-respected syndicated auto columnist who is an authority of collector cars, old-time racing and auto nostalgia.

“Bob” Surace

“Bob” Surace

“Bob” Surace was an outstanding scholar athlete at Millville High School where he graduated in 1986. He achieved five varsity letters during his high school career in football, baseball and track and field. He accomplished several first team recognitions by local/state media with additional honors by South Jersey All-1980’s Football Team, All Century Football Team of the Modern Era, and was selected to participate in the prestigious North-South Football Classic.

Anthony Wayne “Bubba” Green

Anthony Wayne “Bubba” Green

Anthony Wayne “Bubba” Green was born in Cape May, NJ, grew up in Woodbine, NJ and graduated from Millville High School in 1976 where he was a leader with the 1975 New Jersey Group IV Undefeated Thunderbolt Football Team. He lettered in football for four years at North Carolina State and was a member of the Baltimore Colts in the NFL.

Brian Surace

Brian Surace

Brian Surace was an outstanding scholar athlete at Millville High School where he graduated in 1991. He was a three year varsity football Thunderbolt and accomplished several 1st team recognitions by local media and was named the Thunderbolt Scholarship Winner for football and selected to play in the prestigious North-South All Star game.

Jim McCormick

Jim McCormick

Jim McCormick graduated from Millville High School with the Class of 1976 where he performed at high levels in football, basketball and baseball. “Basketball was his number one sport, with baseball his best.” He was considered a leader on the MHS 1975 Undefeated NJ Group IV State Champion Thunderbolt Football team.

Sean Collins

Sean Collins

Sean Collins, born September 25, 1977 is the son of former NJ Assemblyman and Speaker, Jack and Betsy Collins. He graduated Schalick High School in 1996 where he received All Tri County Conference Honors in Football; in Basketball he scored 1393 points, was a 3 time Tri – County All Star and South Jersey All Group 1 and, in Baseball, was a Two Time Participant in the Prestigious Carpenter Club.

He is a Monmouth University Graduate in 2000 after receiving a full scholarship and was a Two Time Captain in Basketball. Sean returned to coach at his alma mater, Schalick High School from 2002-2007 where he earned 4 Tri-County Championships, a South Jersey Group 1 Championship and led his team to a NJ State Group 1 Final with a total record of 111 – 44.

He coached basketball at Paulsboro High School from 2010 – 2017 where he won 6 Colonial Patriot Championships, 4 South Jersey Group 1 Championships, led his teams to 2 NJ Group 1 Finals, and 1 NJ Group I Championship, compiling a record of 175-39.

Jack Collins

Jack Collins

Collins was born in Atlantic City and moved to Gloucester City, New Jersey at a young age. He attended Gloucester Catholic High School, where he excelled at basketball. He went on to Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), receiving a B.A. degree in science education in 1964 and a master’s degree in student personnel services in 1967. With the Glassboro Profs basketball team, Collins scored 1,038 points in his career, earning him a place in the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame.

After graduation, he taught science and coached basketball at Sterling High School. The following year he was invited to become basketball coach at the newly established Camden County College. A year later he became head coach at Glassboro State, and at 26 was one of the youngest head basketball coaches in the country. As coach he racked up 131 victories and three consecutive conference titles.

Inductees for 2021

Seiki Murono

James Breech

On Monday, October 18th, 2021 we celebrated the induction of Seiki Murono, BHS Class of 1962, into The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey for his athletic prowess on the football and baseball fields as well as the basketball court. He went on to achieve the highest of honors at Franklin & Marchall College and became a huge business success in banking.
In addition to the usual participants, classmates Claude McAllister ( classmate and football/baseball teammate) and Paul Noguchi ( baseball teammate) shared their memories of Seiki’s influence on others.
Seiki and his wife, Lynette, enjoyed time with friends, old and new.

Larry Litwin

James Breech

On Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 Larry Litwin, an executive in many sports-oriented organizations and especially the South Jersey Baseball Hot Stovers and Hall of Fame as well as with the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association, was inducted into The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey. It was a wonderful day of family and colleagues reminiscing about all the many various experiences Larry has had over many years. His resume is extensive and the accolades are well deserved.

Inductees for 2020

Bradley Thomas Lidge

Bradley Thomas Lidge
Professional Baseball Pitcher

Bradley Thomas Lidge is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 2002–2012. He played for the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals.

James Breech

James Breech
Legendary Tennis Coach and Mentor

Jamer grew up in one of Bridgeton’s toughest neighborhoods in the 1960s and early 70s, a time when racial tensions in America were high. As the son of an African-American father and Japanese mother, he was frequently subjected to insults and taunting.

He took up tennis while at Bridgeton High School and went on to star at Cumberland County College and East Stroudsburg University. Even after retiring from teaching and coaching in 2014, he remained an avid, successful player

John Campani

John Campani
Bowling Legend

John was a bowling pioneer in the greater South Jersey area, opening Pike Lanes Bowling Center and Pike Lounge in Deerfield Twp. Initially constructed in 1959 for 12 lanes, he twice expanded the facility eventually to 28 lanes.

John’s contribution to the sport of bowling locally was providing opportunities to the community to learn the techniques, team and personal nuances of bowling needed to effectively compete.

With John’s entreprenurial expertise and vibrant personality, the business grew as individuals, families and organizations utilized the facility for affordable, yet fun-filled entertainment. Both serious-minded and social bowlers formed 28 different leagues and Pike Lanes became home to many 300 games, 800 series and 200 averages long before they were common place.

Pike Lanes is a reflection of its’ founder and owner, serving customers from all walks of life in an environment of family and community. John’s daughter, Diana Campani Sorelle, as Owner/Operator, continues her father’s legacy and tradition to the current day.

Harry T. Gamble

Harry T. Gamble
Football Coach

Harry T. Gamble was an American football coach and executive. He was the head coach for the Lafayette College Leopards from 1967 to 1970, compiling a 21−19 record, before moving on to become the head coach for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers from 1971 to 1980, earning a 34−55−2 record. He was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) in 1981 as an unpaid volunteer assistant coach under Dick Vermeil, and quickly ascended to general manager of the team in 1985 and team president in 1986. He was general manager from 1985 to 1995, and team president from 1986 to 1994.

Jay Venuto

The Venuto Football Family

A 3-sport athlete at Salem from ’72-’76, Jay was the Ram’s starting QB, earning All Group 2 honors three times, All South Jersey two times, Team MVP and South Jersey recordholder for most TD passes. Jay was also a 4 Year starter on the Ram’s baseball team and 2 year starter on the basketball team, earning All Conference and Team MVP .

Jay continued his stellar football career at Wake Forest Univ. where he was named 1979 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and two-time All ACC Quarterback, breaking several team and ACC records. Leading his upstart 8-4 Demon Deacons to the ’79 Tangerine Bowl vs. LSU, Jay also played in the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Blue-Gray Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

After stints with the NFL’s Baltimore Colts, NY Jets and the Birmingham Stallions (USFL), Jay embarked on a 20-yr. college coaching career with Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Georgia Southern and Cornell before retiring in 2000.

Jay’s post-career honors include inductions into the Salem County Sports Hall of Fame, Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame and ACC Legends Class of 2013.

Inductees for 2019

Michael Barkann

Michael Barkann
Media Personality

Michael Barkann is an Emmy Award winning American sports host, anchor and reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He was also the co-host of the “Mike and Ike” show on 94 WIP on weekday mornings from 10-2.

Diane McGraw

Sports Promoter

Since entering the professional workforce, McGraw has not only spent an abundance of time promoting sports, she has also been an integral figure in producing major events that have left an impact on this country’s sporting landscape.

Diane McGraw

Diane McGraw with friends and family at All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey

Tom Burgoyne

Phillie Phanatic

Tom Burgoyne has been the official Phillie Phanatic since 1994 after serving as the backup from 1989 to 1993. He played a major role in the Phillies marketing department and was a creative force in the stadium scoreboard control room throughout the 1993 championship season.

Tom Burgoyne
Tom Burgoyne

Dom Valella (L) with Tom Burgoyne and the Phillie Phanatic

John Barr

San Francisco Giants Front Office

For the past 32 years, John Barr has enjoyed a career that most sports fans would die for. He’s made a life work out of his passion for baseball and become of the most respected baseball people in the business.  In 2007, he joined the San Francisco Giants and today holds the titles of Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Scouting and International Operations.

John Barr

John Barr (R) with GIF Chair Dom Valella

Inductees for 2018

David ‘Lefty’ Robinson Hall of Fame Display Complete

Dave Robinson
Football Legend

The All-Sports Museum of southern New Jersey is pleased to announce the completion of our David ‘Lefty’ Robinson Hall of Fame display. The former Moorestown High school standout was recently inducted into the All Sports Hall of Fame and traveled all the way from his home near Canton Ohio to the museum in Bridgeton for the event. Lefty went on to become a star at Penn State and was a vital part of Vince Lombardi’s Championship Green Bay Packer teams.

You can check out his display and many more at our museum to enjoy an interesting trip through the proud history of South Jersey sports.

Dave Robinson

James ‘Art’ Dorrington

James Art Dorrington
Professional Hockey

Art Dorrington was hailed by some as the Jackie Robinson of hockey for his trailblazing role in integrating the sport in the United States.

He was 20 when the Nova Scotia resident was scouted by the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. He signed a contract with the organization and was assigned to the minor league Atlantic City Sea Gulls. A brief article in The New York Times on the signing was headlined: First Negro in U.S. hockey.

Mr. Dorrington, who has died at 87, made the New Jersey resort city his home. In earning citizenship, he became the first black player in professional hockey. A top prospect in his youth, he never played an NHL game, but became a legendary figure in Atlantic City, where a rink bears his name.

A demon skater, Mr. Dorrington also had a sniper’s eye, leading the professional Eastern Hockey League in goal-scoring in 1954-55 with 33 markers in 49 games for the Washington Lions.

Like baseball’s Mr. Robinson, Mr. Dorrington suffered from the pernicious rules of Jim Crow segregation in the United States while enduring racial slurs on both sides of the border.

James Arthur Dorrington was born on March 13, 1930, in Truro, N.S., to the former Mabel Mentis and William Dorrington, a landscaper. He learned to skate at age 3. His rinks were the icy street in front of his home and the frozen marshland surrounding his neighbourhood. As a teenager, he was a key member of a Truro Bearcats hockey team that scored an 11-8 victory over the Charlottetown Canadiens to claim the Maritime midget (under-17) championship.

James Art Dorrington

Mr. Dorrington played briefly for the junior Halifax St. Mary’s before joining the senior Bearcats. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound centre also played for the Stellarton Royals and Amherst Ramblers in his home province, as well as skating for the Truro Sheiks, an all-black team that played against other black teams in the Maritimes.

In March, 1950, the Dorrington household was shaken by the sudden death of Douglas Dorrington, 19, who was taken to hospital after being seriously hurt in a hockey game. He soon after died with newspapers reporting the hockey injury as the cause, although his death certificate cites meningitis incurred after suffering a hip injury. (Doug Dorrington was referred to in reports as Art Dorrington’s brother, although they were cousins raised in the same household.)

Art Dorrington

Five months later, Art Dorrington travelled to the United States to play for a senior amateur team in New Milford, Conn. Mr. Dorrington stopped in New York for a practice session at Madison Square Garden, where he was scouted by the Rangers. They signed him to a contract paying $85 per week during the hockey season with a $100 signing bonus. He was supposed to skate for the New York Rovers, who were on a lengthy road trip. Bored and eager to play, he was instead assigned to Atlantic City, which he soon made his permanent home. The rookie centre scored 18 goals with 16 assists in 49 games.

That summer, he swapped his hockey sweater for a baseball uniform, as he patrolled the outfield for the independent Rockets of Wellsville, N.Y., a team in the Pony (Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York) League, a Class-D circuit at the bottom of baseball’s alphabet ladder.