Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Stengel Hall of Fame Cap Announcement Upcoming

The amusement industry will be looking on with great anticipation this Friday, as the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) will announce which team cap Werner Stengel's plaque will bear when he is inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame later this season.

Fans of amusement rides everywhere were ecstatic with the announcement, at this year's IAAPA in November, that Stengel had received the requisite number of votes from the Amusement Writers Association of America (AWAA), meaning the veteran designer would finally receive the recognition many feel he deserves by having his plaque hung in the Mighty Hall of Designers.

"The Wernster should have been in the Hall long ago," said ESPN's Trey Wingo, a Stengel supporter. "I can't believe it took six years of eligibility for this giant figure in the world of amusement rides to be voted in by the writers. But at least he did get in, and he should bask in the glow of a fulfilling career."

Somewhat tainting the thrill of seeing Stengel inducted was the flap created earlier this week, when the designer told reporters he "would not show up for the induction ceremony unless I go in as an Intamin player." This apparently stems both from Stengel's love of the organization where he made much of his good name and most superior designs, as well as the hatred he has for his former organization, the Boston Red Sox.

"Stengel felt that he had given many years of outstanding professional service to the Sox, designing through pain and loyally sticking it out through tough years," notes Wingo. "But then former General Manager Dan Duquette refused to make Stengel an offer to stay on, calling him 'washed up,' 'in the twilight of his career,' and 'venturing into Toomer territory.' Stengel felt the Sox were disrespecting him and he's never forgiven them for it. I feel sorry for the flap that's been created by Wernie's comments, but I can't say I blame him."

The IAAPA Hall of Fame has the final say in what cap inductees are pictured wearing on their caps. The announcement of the final design of Stengel’s Hall of Fame plaque comes this Friday at 3:00 PM, while the Hall of Fame inductions will actually take place on December 18th.


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