Jim Raykie.

The Mercer County Hall of Fame will hold its 75th anniversary banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at The Park Inn by Radisson, near West Middlesex. The Silver Anniversary for the oldest local hall of fame in the world will include the induction of 11 former athletic greats or contributors to athletics in county history. Lanny Frattare, the former “Voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates” and “Voice of the Mercer County Hall of Fame” for almost 4 decades will again serve as master of ceremonies and will also be the main speaker to reflect on his long tenure with the group. The banquet is sponsored by Mike Erme with co-sponsor Mel Grata.



Jim Raykie has served the Mercer County Hall of Fame in numerous capacities during his nearly 40 years as a member of the Hall’s Board of Directors.

For most of that time, he has been the Hall’s treasurer, keeping the Hall of Fame on solid financial ground throughout the years, and since 1992, has produced the printed program for the Hall’s annual induction dinner, a major source of fund-raising for the Hall. Saving thousands of dollars each year, his program work has helped the Hall put on an outstanding banquet every year for inductees and at a reasonable price for attendees.

He serves on the hospitality committee each year to provide a wonderful addition to the banquet for everyone.

During the Hall’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1997, he was a major contributor in securing elite sports memorabilia, which was sold during a charity auction on Hall of Fame weekend. A total of $20,000 in proceeds from the auction, highlighted by boxing gloves signed by Muhammad Ali, was donated to the Shenango Valley Children’s Organ Transplant Fund.

He has been involved in numerous fund-raising efforts for athletics for his alma mater, Farrell High where he became a close ally and confidant of fabled Farrell High basketball Coach Ed McCluskey.

As a youth, Jim excelled on the baseball diamond, helping to lead his Hickory Little League and Farrell Junior Varsity teams to championships, named to All-Star teams along the way. He played shortstop and 3rd base on Farrell’s entry in the former Valley Varsity League.

After graduating from Penn State University in 1974 with a degree in journalism and returning to the area, he played shortstop and caught for several softball teams, notably for Notre Dame in the modified fast-pitch Shenango Valley Church League. He was lead-off batter and shortstop for the multi-champion Herald team in the Shenango Valley Businessmen’s League.

He served as executive editor of The Sharon Herald for nearly 30 of his 42 years at the newspaper, during which he was heavily involved in the community, leaving in 2016. He is the executive director of the Farrell Alumni Hall of Fame.

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