The accomplishments of the Schoff family are etched permanently into the history of the Montgomery County sports scene. Earlier this month, one of the members of that family was honored as one of the great high school baseball figures in New York history.
In a ceremony held Nov. 10 in Troy, former St. Johnsville High school standout and state championship-winning Little Falls High School coach Ted Schoff was inducted into the third class of the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I spent probably about 40 years or more playing and coaching the game," Schoff said when reached by phone Friday at his Little Falls home. "I'm not sure which I liked more, but I really miss coaching. I really miss coaching.
"I enjoyed it so much, and playing was beyond belief. It was a great time, playing with a great bunch of guys."
Schoff, who was been retired from coaching since 2006 due to his battle with multiple sclerosis, was inducted alongside Saratoga Central Catholic head coach Phonsey Lambert and Doug O'Brey -- who served as an assistant coach with the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2013 and was honored for his career with the University at Albany -- and fellow New York State honorees Bob Bogdan, Nick Lambros, Dale Long Jr., Len McHugh and Jay Marra.
Also honored were former Major Leaguers Craig Biggio, Ed Kranepool, Mark Lemke, Dave Lemanczyk, Lou Whitaker, Pat Simmons and Ralph Branca, who received the Johnny Podres Lifetime Achievement Award.
"It was a lot of super people who just love baseball," Schoff said.
Previous inductees to the Hall of Fame, established in 2011, include longtime Fort Plain baseball coach and all-time Section II wins leader Craig Phillips and former Amsterdam High School coach Brian Mee.
After his college playing days as a standout at Brown University, Schoff became a teacher and the head varsity baseball coach at Little Falls High School in 1975, where his Mounties teams became a dominant force in the Central Valley League and in Section III competition.
He coached Little Falls to the New York State Class C-D championship in 1982 -- only the second year of the state baseball tournament. In 2000, he was named the New York State Class C co-coach of the year. Overall, he won 533 games over 31 seasons with the Mounties and captured 12 Section III Class C championships. He was also a long-serving junior varsity basketball coach at Little Falls, winning more than 400 games over 25 seasons.
Schoff was diagnosed with MS in December 1999, and the illness forced him to retire in 2006. Following his retirement, the home dugout at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls was named in his honor.
One of his four older brothers, Larry Schoff, was thrilled to see Ted take his place in the Hall of Fame.
"It's a tremendous honor for Ted, and well-deserving," Larry Schoff said. "Ted is as humble a guy as you would ever want to meet. He's just so deserving of this honor. It's just wonderful."
Schoff was a three-sport star at St. Johnsville High School, where as a basketball player he holds the school record with 1,858 career points. When he graduated in 1970, he was the all-time leading scorer in Section II history before going on to a stellar baseball career at Brown University, where he was a three time All-Ivy League selection -- including a first-teamer and honorable mention All-American as a sophomore outfielder after hitting .342 in the 1972 season.
"He was probably the best baseball player ever to come out of St. Johnsville," Larry Schoff said. "Many people feel, myself included and all the brothers, that Ted would've gone onto the major leagues, but his senior year at Brown he got a shoulder injury."
"It just wasn't meant to be, I guess," he added.
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