It was Jim Moran night at Vernon Downs Thursday (9-17) as the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association celebrated the induction of one of their own to the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Moran, along with Murray Brown, was voted into the Communicators Hall as part of the Class of 2010 with Dave Palone and Hal Jones.
The majority of Chapter members were on hand along with Jim's family, friends, and a host of Vernon regulars to fete this important punctuation to his stellar career. Moran was given the night off as Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast at Vernon and Tioga Downs took over the announcing duties for the night so that Jim could enjoy dinner in the Miracle Mile Room and watch the races from a decidedly different view.
Moran was trackside after the seventh race to make a trophy presentation to the winner, and then the Chapter members made their own presentation of a crystal keepsake to Jim to commemorate his achievement. Some of the regular Vernon driver colony including Howie Okusko Jr., Josh Marks, and Jimmy Whittemore, ran onto the track to be a part of the proceedings and to shake Jim's hand. The apron was filled with race fans and well wishers who have listened to Jim's calls for years, that came down to congratulate him and reminisce of the good times and good races that were held at Vernon Downs over the 47 years that he has been in the booth.
Jim commented "I was humbled when I got the call from President Debbie Little that I was voted in and thought of all the great people already in the Hall ahead of me that I would now be associated with. It is a great feeling to be held in the same esteem that those who have excelled in this field before me are and I am truly honored for this opportunity."
Legendary announcers Roy Shudt, Stan Bergstein, and Roger Huston are all members of the Communicators Hall. And now Jim Moran will join them during Fourth of July weekend in 2010 in Goshen, New York.