In 1953, the Maryland Hall of Fame inducted it first class of "all-stars," which included the baseball greats Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Frank "Home Run" Baker. Ever since, this list of native-born Maryland sons and daughters - some of the region's greatest athletes - has grown. The only problem is that this Hall of Fame has never had a home. Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards has eliminated that problem.

Using biographical sketches and photographs of the more than 200 athletes inducted into the Hall, the Museum tells the stories of the state's greatest baseball, football, lacrosse, and track stars. Add to that the interesting stories of duckpin bowlers, swimmers, and tennis stars and this gallery will engage all levels of sports fans. Rare artifacts such as Frank "Home Run" Baker's New York Yankees sweater from 1922, Don Kelley's 1932 Olympic lacrosse jersey and Jimmie Foxx's catcher's mask and Red Sox warm-up jacket are all on display.

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Certifiate of Membership in the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame

Tapping the Keg

By J. SUTER KEGG

AFTER BLAZING HIS WAY to fame and glory in all parts of the globe for the past 25 years, including an American record of participation in six Olympics, Bill McMillan, it seems, would be ready to call it quits. But that's the farthest thing from the mind of this great marksman who is looking forward with almost as much fervor to the 1980 Games as he was 25 years ago when he shot in the Olympics for the first time. That was Helsinki, Finland.

"If I can qualify, I'll be there," the retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel said last week in Baltimore when he was inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame. If he can't make it as a shooter because of the passing years dulling his trigger aptitude, he hopes to make it to Moscow as a coach.

Returning to Russia would enable Col. McMillan to turn back the clock to one of his most cherished experiences - the World Shooting Championships in Moscow. It was the third of four consecutive such titles for the native Allegany Countain whose bulls-eye feats have become legion.

Winner of 11 gold medals in the Big Three (Olympics, Pan-Am Games and World Shooting) of international competition, Col. McMillan is doing his best to give Father Time the brush-off. Even his appearance connotes this. As stated by Vince Bagli, the Baltimore sportscaster who emceed the Hall of Fame luncheon, "Bill McMillan is the most youthful 48-year-old man I've ever seen."

When he stepped out of his Marine uniform after 27 years which included service in two wars (Korea and Vietnam), he didn't retire to the rocking chair. Instead, he tried on a couple of new hats for size and they both fit.

One of the hats is for the position of weapons coordinator in the San Diego (Cal.) County Sheriff's Department. The other is for instructor at Miramar Junior College where he teaches weaponry in a course of criminal justice.

Shooting isn't just a case of aiming at a target and squeezing the trigger. Reflexes are vitally important and "Busy Bill" keeps them honed through a physical-fitness program which includes he demanding sports of tennis and squash.

IT WASN'T UNTIL he took seriously one of those old posters showing Uncle Sam pointing a demanding finger and saying, "I want you," that Col. McMillan became interested in firearms. Even when his dad bought him his first gun - an air rifle - he didn't build any shooting castles for himself.

As a boy, he did pepper some windows with his bee-bee gun but the building in which the windows were located looked like anything but a castle. It was abandoned factory near his home in Turtle Creek, Pa. where the family moved after leaving Borden Shaft [Frostburg].

Col. McMillan's proficiency in firearms was apparent almost from the time he got his first test in a Marine shooting range. His rise was rapid and it was evident when he won his first hunk of gold in the 1952 World Shoot at Oslo, Norway that he was headed for the same glory road traveled by folklore heroes from America's past.

Daniel Boone, Buffalo Bill, Davy Crockett, Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley are names recognized by just about every American schoolchild. But none of these legendary "free spirits" of early U.S. history ever dug as much gold with rifles and pistol as has Bill McMillan.

Most of his gold has been garnered in the World Shooting Championships. He has won seven gold medals, five silver and one bronze in that prestigious event. He has also won three gold and one silver in the Pan-Am Games as well as one piece of Olympic gold.

Crack shot McMillan's greatest hour came in the 1960 Olympics at Rome where he beat his Russian and Finnish foes in a shoot-off. That was his first Olympic appearance since 1952 at Helsinki where he finished seventh. But he has played a role in every Olympiad since then - 1964 at Tokyo, 1968 at Mexico City, 1972 at Munich, Germany and last summer at Montreal where he finished 20th among more than 50 shooters.

Col. McMillan retained his World title by winning two years later at Caracas, Venezuela. He won again in 1958 at Moscow and in 1962 at Cairo, Egypt. His last piece of World gold was picked up in 1970 at Phoenix, Ariz.

Col. McMillan, in addition, has copped a dozen national rapid-fire championships, three other national crowns, three Marine Corps pistol crowns and three Marine rifle titles.

Father of two sons (Bill, 21, and Matthew, 13) and a 17-year-old daughter, Karen, the straight shooting colonel will make a bid for more national honors in Phoenix. That's where he will have to qualify to earn a 1980 airplane ticket to Moscow as a competitor.

The newly-inducted Maryland Hall of Famer is living proof that old Marine shooters never die, they just shoot away.

Cumberland Sunday Times, February 27, 1977

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HOMECOMING WEEK

When Bill McMillan, (second from right), an Olympic gold-medal winner in pistol shooting, flew from San Diego, Cal. last week to be inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame, he was greeted by his sister, Mrs. Eugene Szumetz (right) and her family. Mr. Szumetz is on the left and standing next to him are daughters Juli, 16, and Traci, 13. The Szumetz family lives in Hagerstown. McMillan, a retired Lieutenant-colonel in the Marine Corps, is a native of Borden Shaft [Frostburg].

Cumberland Sunday Times, February 27, 1977


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