David Wright headlines latest class of Tidewater Baseball Shrine

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NORFOLK (WAVY) — The Norfolk Tides inducted its latest class into the Tidewater Baseball Shrine, and it is a group that spans generations.

Former Negro League player Sam Allen from Norfolk, former Old Dominion and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Wayne Gomes, former ODU head coach Tony Guzzo and former Tide and New York Met David Wright were all honored in a pregame ceremony at Harbor Park on Friday night.

For Wright, who retired after a 14-year MLB career, it’s back to where it all began.

“I remember going to Old Dominion camps and learning a lot of baseball from coach Guzzo,” Wright said. “It’s pretty cool to be in this class that I grew up learning the game from, in particular, coach Guzzo.”

Guzzo, who coached ODU to three NCAA Tournament appearances, still serves as a special assistant to Monarchs coach Chris Finwood.

“For a guy like me, this as big as it gets,” Guzzo said. “This is Cooperstown for me.”

Gomes was a first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies. He starred Phoebus High School before attending ODU and now serves as the Phantoms head coach.

“I’ve crossed circles in the past with David and Tony and Sam,” Gomes said. “It’s good to a part of that group.”

Sam Allen was a baseball pioneer. The 83-year-old native of Norfolk played in the Negro Leagues during the 1950’s before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1960.

“This is near the top,” Allen said. “To be out of baseball as long as I have and to be honored, you’ve got to feel good.”

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