J. Russell Houk - Inductee - 2009

Russell Houk led Ludington High to Big Seven basketball championships in 1938, 1939 and 1940 and was the Orioles leading scorer his senior season. He was the president of his class, graduating with honors. One of the area's premier athletes in the 1940's and 1950's, he attended Central Michigan University where he played center at 6-feet, 4 inches and 170 pounds, in 1941 and 1942 before enlisting in the Army Air Force. He played on strong base teams at Sedalia and Will Rogers Air Force Base before being discharged in 1946. He returned to the family farm in Summit Township and that year he played third base for the 1947 Class B state champion Abrahamson/Bannon Standard Oil fast-pitch softball team. He also played for the Ludington Softball Club for many years and played basketball on the Ludington Dow AC team that was coached by Fred Adams in the 1950s. He played recreation basketball and softball until the 1960s. Starting when he was 65 in 1987 until he was 75 in 1997, Houk competed in the Senior Olympics in Tucson, AZ, in basketball and slow-pitch softball, his team winning three age-group basketball titles. Houk was previously selected to the Mason County Softball Hall of Fame.