Luke LaPorta


Born: 1924, Jamaica, NY

Enshrined: 1991

Luke LaPorta, a Little League baseball pioneer in Central New York, devoted his career to youth athletics. LaPorta, a Syracuse University graduate, has the distinction of founding Little League baseball in Liverpool in 1950. He went on to help organize 60 other Little Leagues in the area and he also participated in national board of directors meetings from 1951-1991.

In 1959, LaPorta became the first director of physical education at Liverpool High School and he introduced the sport of rowing to the school. He received numerous honors during his tenure as AD including the National Athletic Director of the Year award in 1972.

LaPorta has volunteered his time and shared his administrative expertise with a number of local organizations including the Syracuse Chiefs board of directors, the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame board and the Liverpool Little League. He also helped develop the concept of the Empire State Games.

Career highlights:

1950: Started Little League Baseball in Liverpool, New York

1951-1991: Participated in all national Little Leagues Board of Directors meetings

1959: Became first Director of Physical Education for Liverpool School system; Received first Youth Service award from Onondaga Country Bar Association

1969: Vice-President of Onondaga Country High School League; Introduced the sport of rowing to Liverpool HS

1972: Received the National Athletic Director of the Year award

1973: Elected President of New York State Council of Administration of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

1977: Directed filmstrip "What is Conditioning" which won the first Place Gold Medal and the best public service filmstrip from the International Film and Television Festival.

1978: Elected National High School Athletic Director of the Year

1980: Named as Syracuse University Letterman of Distinction

1983: Won Service Award for NYS Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

1984-present: Board member of Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, one of the organization’s founders

1995: Received the Blind Men and Criers annual “Lew Andreas Award” for service to the community.

2002: Honored at the Silver Anniversary of the Empire State Games for outstanding year's of service to the organization

Other achievements: Received the NYS Service Award by the Central Zone Executive Committee for the NYS Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Recipient of the Joseph J. Pietrafesa Memorial Award; Member of Syracuse Sports Corporation; Member of Board of Directors, Syracuse Chiefs baseball team.