|Title:||Class of 1999|
There is much to be said for versatility. And, Michael Shebek, you are among the most versatile athletes ever inducted into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame. As was often the case for outstanding athletes when you were a student, you played more than one sport. But even then, winning letters four years running in three different sports was a tremendous accomplishment.
Your 12 varsity letters were earned in the classic trio of football, basketball and baseball, as you played the classic trio of positions: a back in football, a guard in basketball and a shortstop in baseball. You also captained the football and baseball teams your senior years.
It was in football that your name was immortalized. Your coach, Bob Pritchard, recognized talent when he saw it. He designed a play in which you received a lateral from the quarterback and had the option to run, pass or punt. The play became known as the "Shebek Series." Coach Pritchard still used the play long after you graduated.
You played 60 minutes in every football game during your four-year career, with the exception of one game during your senior year when you were sidelined by an injury. Your best talent on the gridiron may have been your punting. Averaging more than 40 yards a kick, you were considered the best punter in New England and one of the best in the East.
From Alumni Field, you moved on each winter to Alumni Gym, where you were a starting guard in basketball. But your best sport was baseball. You played staring shortstop all four years, committing few errors, hitting over .300, and playing in every inning of every game during your four WPI years. Your feats on the field won you pro offers from the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Giants. "He was our best player," said the late Charlie McNulty, who coached you in basketball and baseball.
Off the field and the court, you belonged to the Theta Kappa Phi fraternity and were a member of the Tech Council, Skull and Who's Who. You were president of the Varsity Club. Today, you are owner of Automatic Pool Covers Inc, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Michael Shebek, for your remarkable achievements in three sports and your contributions to WPI sports lore, it is a privilege to induct you into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.