A Who's Who of baseball has a new name: Sky Sox owner Dave Elmore.
Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Lasorda and Casey Stengel are among the honorees in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame that now includes Elmore after he became the second owner to be inducted.
His formal ceremony was held between games in Saturday's doubleheader against the Round Rock Express at Security Service Field. The announcement drew a cheer from the 5,012 fans on hand to recognize the minor league baseball stalwart. Elmore was touched by the ceremony
"Nothing means more to me than this team than my family and friends who are here today for this honor," Elmore said. "You (fans) are an inspiration how you keep coming out for the games. This is a beautiful city and I am so glad we moved here."
Elmore has been a major influence in the growth and development of the PCL since the Elmore Sports Group purchased the Hawaii Islanders in 1981. That franchise relocated to Colorado Springs in 1988 and became the Sky Sox.
"We looked at Bakersfield and Fresno and I am so glad we chose Colorado Springs," Elmore said.
ESG is one of the largest ownership groups in the minors with more than a million fans visiting the Sky Sox (Triple-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), Inland Empire 66ers (Single-A), a rookie league teams Eugene Emeralds Idaho Falls Chukars and Helena Brewers and the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies.
He has served on the PCL Board of Directors since 1981 and the league's executive committee since six franchises joined the league 16 years ago.
Elmore serves on the MiLB Board of Trustees. He was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
"Recognition beyond former players in our HOF pantheon is a rare thing," PCL president Branch Rickey said. "The PCL shines brighter today for everything Dave has done."
"Dave has led the league in many respects for years," said Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner, who was joined on the field by Elmore, his wife Donna Tuttle, Sky Sox president Tony Ensor, Rickey and emcee Mike Moran.
The 2011 Triple-A Organization of the Year has enjoyed strong attendance in recent years, including a number of recent ticket sales records.
"I never dreamed it would be like this," Elmore said, referring to the bustling stadium in what was once an empty meadow. "I feel deeply humbled."