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Announcing the 2019 Inductees & Honorees

CHICAGO – The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) is proud to announce inductees and honorees for the 42nd Annual Induction & Awards Gala to take place at a dinner on Saturday, November 9th, in the Grand Ballroom at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. Many previous inductees, members of the media and individuals of the sports world will be in attendance.

For the first time in the history of the NIASHF, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to 1981 inductee, Mario Andretti. This prestigious award will bare his name to all who are selected for this honor in the future.

The Mario Andretti Lifetime Achievement Award is established as one of the highest awards an individual can receive from the NIASHF. It will be presented to a person who is a legend in their field, embodies the NIASHF values of Family, Friends, Faith and Community, and whose character, leadership and charitable efforts are comparable to those of Mario Andretti’s.

The NIASHF Class of 2019 inductees include Glenn Carano, Alexis DeJoria and posthumously Ralph “Babe” Serpico. Dominic Stramaglia will be honored as the Sportsman of the Year.

Glenn Carano, Superbowl XII Champion, played seven seasons as Quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys. Before being drafted to the Cowboys in 1977, Carano played college football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where he became a four-year starter as a quarterback, while setting almost all the school’s passing records.

Alexis DeJoria is a former American NHRA Champion who has won in each the Super Comp, Top Alcohol Funny Car, and Funny Car classes. Eight months after her NHRA debut, she went on to win the Sportsman Nationals. At the 2014 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, NHRA’s crown jewel, she drove her Tequila Patron Toyota Funny Car dragster to the championship, beating legend John Force in the finals. Her time for 1,000 feet of asphalt: 4.038 seconds with a top speed just north of 310 mph.

Ralph “Babe” Serpico, a native of Melrose Park, IL, was a four-year letterman guard for the University of Illinois from 1943 through 1947.  His son, Mayor Ron Serpico will be accepting on behalf of his father, “I was privileged every day to witness the very qualities that his University of Illinois football coaches and teammates saw in him as their captain. He would be more than humbled to be included in the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame alongside his heroes Joe DiMaggio, Rocky Marciano and Vince Lombardi. On behalf of my father and the entire Ralph “Babe” Serpico family, thank you for this great honor.”

Dominic Stramaglia will be honored as the 2019 Michael J. Roarty Sportsman of the Year, an award given to a business leader who is continually giving back to the community in never-ending support to charities and other humanitarian causes. Stramaglia is Founder of Supreme Lobster and Seafood, a leading regional and national wholesale seafood distributor. His philanthropic dedication to the Italian community and charitable causes resulted in a unanimous selection as the recipient of this year’s award.

The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded on the values of Family, Friends, Faith and Community. For more information on the gala dinner, please call (312) 226-5566 or email shannon@niashf.org.