SAA PioneersUpdated Sunday January 26, 2014 by Saugerties Athletic Association.
Missing from photo: Bob Campbell, Andy Talmadge
On the evening of Friday February 23, 1968, a group of six men met in the Village Clerk's Office to hash over an idea. Jack Bartells, Jim Gage, Jack Keeley, Bob Moser, Ben Rinaldi and Bud Smith, made up that sextet and the idea of an organization to promote, assist and coordinate sports activities for the adults and youth of Saugerties.
This first session led to a second meeting on March 1st, at which the original six were joined by Bob Campbell, Don Martin, Jack Rivenberg, "Boo" Schaffer and Andy Talmadge. They adopted a constitution, elected a slate of officers, and the Saugerties Athletic Association was born. Those original officers included Directors Bartells, Campbell, Keeley, Schaffer,and Smith, Secretary-Treasurer Gage and Publicist Moser. The first public meeting was held on March 15th, and wasting no time, the first activity - a Half Court Basketball tournament - was kicked off on March 20th. Another historic milestone was on December 10, 1973, when the organization was incorporated as the "Saugerties Athletic Association, Inc."
The reins of the annual Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame annual banquet were passed on to the Saugerties Athletic Association (which commonly was referred to as the S.A.A.) in 1974 who sponsored this popular event for the next 13 years, until the "Sports Hall of Fame Club" was formed in 1987.
A crowning achievement of the S.A.A. was the Labor Day Men's Softball Tournament. This yearly event became known as one of the best organized tournaments around attracting players and spectators beyond the Hudson Valley region. The S.A.A. today continues the tradition of the annual "Softball Night of Champions" and the coordination of sports activities for the Town and Village of Saugerties.
The "S.A.A. Pioneers" could not have imagined that their inspiring idea of a local sports organization, who through the help and dedicated efforts of many volunteers would come to benefit the coordination of a recreational and sports activities involving thousands of boys, girls, men, and women in and around Saugerties to make it one of the best sports communities around. They can be proud.
Many thanks to the "Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame" for the information and photos provided.