Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 21, 2014

Elks hit ‘grand slam’ with Gullett honor

ASHLAND — Dave Stultz put it right down the middle with his statement to the Elks about Don Gullett being honored on Sports Day.

“I think you hit the biggest grand slam you’ve ever hit by choosing Don Gullett as the 2014 honoree,” he said. “It’s an honor well deserved and past due.”

Stultz, a contemporary of Gullett, was the speaker for the ceremony. He was two years older and a left-hander, like the honoree, who pitched for rival Greenup High School.

The respect  he had for Gullett bubbled over during his speech.

“From beginning about 10 years old he was better than anybody he played with,” Stultz said. “God does not make many athletes like Don Gullett.”

Gullett, who began being followed by major league scouts at the age of 14, was a three-sport star at McKell High School before bursting into the major leagues as a 19-year-old rookie with the Cincinnati Reds.

Gullett could have chosen any direction – football (where he had 35 scholarship offers, including Alabama and Notre Dame), basketball (17 college offers) or baseball.

Needless to say, Gullett is regarded as the best athlete in northeastern Kentucky history.

“I’ve known Don for most of my 65 years,” Stultz said. “I was fortunate enough to play on All-Star teams with him. Obviously, from day one, he was special.”

Gullett was indeed special enough to win 109 games in the major leagues with the Reds and Yankees and he was a part of four consecutive World Series champions from 1975-78.

His teams played in the World Series in six of his nine seasons. A career that was cut short by a shoulder injury at 27 was still full of amazing highlights and even some oddities.

For instance, the first home run he gave up was to Willie Mays. The first strikeout he record was against Mays. And the last home run that Mays hit in his career came off Gullett.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Eagle Trace Invitational: Draw it up Drew

    Facing a tricky shot on his final hole of the Eagle Trace Invitational, Drew Burke came through with his best work. At the moment, he just didn’t know how clutch.

    August 2, 2014

  • Senior Sixers state runners-up

    The Ashland Post 76 Senior baseball team nearly pulled off the same feat as the Junior Sixers did in the American Legion State Baseball Championships this week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Salyers, Walters Players of Year

    The Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour saw its season come to a close on Wednesday at the Tournament of Champions at Henry County Country Club.

    August 1, 2014

  • Tee Party: High school golf season opens

    A flurry of area tournaments will usher in the high school golf season, which begins today.
    Rowan County’s traditional boys opener, the Eagle Trace Invitational, tees off this morning at 9 with a field of 13 teams.

    August 1, 2014

  • Paintsville senior Miller Baseball Factory selection

    Paintsville baseball player Taylor Miller is currently participating in an elite event at the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida.

    July 31, 2014

  • Barboursville 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer host

    U.S. Youth Soccer announced Thursday that Barboursville and the West Virginia Soccer Association will host the 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer Region I (East) Championships as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Five Teams? Pretty Kool

    If these unseasonably cool July mornings aren’t enough to have your mind on the fast track to football, maybe some Kool Hits news will help.

    July 31, 2014

  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014