Wrestling star Phil Lanzatella awarded
Street & Smith's Mickey Mantle Foundation
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Five-time U.S. Olympic Team Trials finalist wrestler Phil Lanzatella (Holley, N.Y./New York AC) received the Street & Smith's Mickey Mantle Foundation Courage Award to raise awareness for organ donation at a cocktail reception on the lawn of Gracie Mansion on July 12 in New York City.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Danny Mantle, son of the Yankee Legend; and Sal Schiliro, publisher of Street & Smith's, presented Lanzatella with the award. Lanzatella, who is being honored for championing the cause of organ and tissue donation, received a successful tissue donation of a heart valve in 1997 at the age of 35 and returned to competitive wrestling less than two years later. He continues to wrestle and is an assistant wrestling coach at Brockport State University.
Lanzatella was born in Brooklyn, raised in Rochester, attended St. Lawrence University and wrestled for the New York Athletic Club. He was a 1982 NCAA Div. III national champion for St. Lawrence. He made his mark in international wrestling in Greco-Roman, qualifying for Greco-Roman Team USA six times during his career. He qualified to compete in five consecutive U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Greco-Roman wrestling (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996), and participated in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials process.
He is married and has two children and works for Time Warner Communications. He also travels the country for Cryolife to promote tissue donation.
The Mickey Mantle Foundation was created to raise awareness about the importance of organ donations. Shortly before he died in 1995, Mantle received a liver transplant which extended his life for several months. The Foundation was started by his sons after his death. Last year, heart-transplant recipient Frank Torre (brother of Yankees manager Joe Torre) was honored.
Approximately 600 professionals from the fields of advertising, print and broadcast media, sports, medicine and city government attend the reception. Celebrity guests have included Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Rusty Staub, Keith Hernandez, Lawrence Taylor, Bob Watson and Pete Rose. One-on-One Sports Radio broadcasted from the event interviewing sports celebrities in attendance.
"We will continue to inform people about the importance of organ donation because it saves lives," said Sal Schiliro. "I'm proud to say that I'm registered as an organ donor and I encourage others to do the same. We hope this event will continue to raise awareness for the importance of organ and tissue donation. "
Street & Smith's, in its 60th year of publishing sports annuals, is a division of Advance Publications. Street & Smith's is the leading publisher of sports publications on baseball, pro and college football, pro and college basketball and motor sports