Irving—The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame inducted a former Major League Baseball player, a beloved coach, a popular stadium announcer, and a triple-threat athlete at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel on Saturday evening, June 8.
The district’s director of athletics, Clint Roddy, hosted the evening, welcoming coaches and players throughout the years along with community supporters to the festivities. Platinum sponsor Bruce Burns provided Hall of Fame rings for the inductees.
Inductee Tony Arnold, Irving High School class of 1977, is still remembered for one of the all-time best pitcher’s duels in Texas against Duncanville’s all-state pitcher Keith Creel. In that 15-inning game, Arnold struck out 31 to Creel’s 26, tying the two at 57 strikeouts for second in the National Federation of State High School Associations records book.
As a high schooler, Arnold was named All-District, All-Conference and All-State in 1977. He took his talents to the University of Texas at Austin where he continued to gain recognition, then made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1981. Arnold signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1987 to 1990. He became a minor league pitching coach for the Dodgers in 1990-1992, then for the Cleveland Indians organization, where he currently coaches.
“Commitment and consistency are the keys to success,” Arnold said.
Joe Barnett was a math teacher, coach and athletic director for 41 years in Valley Mills, Plano, Allen, and Coppell. He spent 10 years as athletic director for the Irving ISD before retiring in 2013. He was instrumental in creating the Irving Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012, which now boasts 34 members.
Barnett’s entire family, with the exception of one grandson were in attendance at the banquet. He told the story of courting Marilyn, his wife of 46 years. At the time he was travelling around Texas every Friday night as a scout. For their second date, Barnett invited her to ride with him to Saint Jo, Texas.
“I knew how to show a girl a good time,” Barnett said.
Stan Cason was a long-time employee in the Irving School District’s athletic program. Cason’s career as a Physical Education teacher and coach began at Irving high school (1965-1969), then continued to Crockett Middle School (1969-1972), Lamar Middle School (1972-1976) and John R. Good Elementary (1976-1996) where he served as a PE coach for 20 years until his retirement.
But Cason is best known as the voice of all three high school teams, the Irving Tigers, MacArthur Cardinals and Nimitz Vikings. He was the announcer at 675 high school football games as well as many baseball games and track meets. Stan was given the nickname “Golden Voice” by Betty Jeter, the Athletic Secretary at the time.
Triple-threat athlete Glenn Sullivan left his mark on Irving High School’s football, basketball and baseball teams from 1979 to 1983. In high school, Sullivan was a basketball three-year starter and letterman, leading his team to the state playoffs in 1982-1983 and was named to the first team All-District two times. In baseball, Sullivan was a four-year starter and letterman, named to first team All-District three years. In football, he was a three-year starter and letterman, named to the first team All-District two times.
Sullivan was introduced by his former coach, Mike Kunstadt.
“Glenn was the best three-sport high school athlete I saw or coached in the 1980s,” Kunstadt said. “More importantly, he had the highest character to go along with his athletic ability. His leadership abilities were exemplary, as shown when he was chosen by his teammates to be captain in all three sports.”
After high school, Sullivan went on to shine at the University of Oklahoma for four years in football and three years in baseball. He played for the Chicago Cubs for six years, advancing as high as Triple A baseball in 1991-1992. From 1995-1997, he was manager/hitting coach of minor league team the Lubbock Crickets, winning the Texas/Louisiana League Championship in 1995. He retired from professional baseball in 2002 and has been the head baseball coach in Bixby, Oklahoma for 17 years, with two state championships under his belt.
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