Four standout tennis advocates with western Pa. ties were inducted into the Middle States Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 30. The group includes Mark Darby, Harry Ferrari, Bette Salmon and Dan Santorum.
The 22nd annual Middle States Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Auction took place at the Longue Vue Club in Verona, Pa. The Longue Vue Club is 10 miles outside of Downtown Pittsburgh.
“It’s exciting to recognize this group for their many contributions to tennis,” said Hall of Fame Chair Bob Ruzanic. “All four of these individuals have grown our game in their own unique ways and have had a profound impact on the sport.”
The USTA Middle States Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Auction is an annual event and rotates each year among the six Middle States Districts. Funds raised benefit the Middle States Tennis Patrons’ Foundation, which supports junior tennis programs in Middle States and furthers tennis education objectives throughout the Section. Twenty-five percent of the evening’s proceeds is to be distributed specifically in the Allegheny Mountain District (AMD).
Established in 1994, the prestigious Hall now boasts 103 inductees, including tennis legend and women’s rights pioneer Billie Jean King, and former USTA Presidents Jane Brown Grimes, Merv Heller, Judy Levering, Dave Haggerty and Martin Tressel. The event provides an opportunity for all who love the game of tennis to celebrate the past and support the future.
Those interested in more information about the event should contact Middle States by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Media inquires and requests should be sent to the same address.
After playing high-level junior tennis, the Beaver, Pa. native played No. 1 singles at Penn State University from 1976-78, where he ranks seventh all-time in career singles record. Since 1990, Darby served as the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Senior Supervisor, where he’s responsible for enforcing the rules and overseeing the competition on the ATP circuit.
A nuclear engineer and recreational tennis player, Dr. Harry Ferrari developed Gamma Gut using Gamma Rays, defining nearly four decades of tennis for the company he founded, Gamma Sports. Over the years, Gamma Sports has become a staple in the tennis community, and is especially connected to the Pittsburgh community.
A former Middle States President, Bette Salmon has served more than 25 years on the local, section and national levels. In that time, she’s also been fully engaged as an advocate and leader in junior development, parks and recreation, and the USTA Pro Circuit.
Dan Santorum is the longtime CEO of the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). In his tenure with PTR, Santorum has seen PTR membership quadruple as he’s made his goal growing and improving tennis for players, coaches and organizers across the globe.