Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars Inducted into MISSHOF

Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame Press Release
Contact: Karl Rabe ( / 734.730.0168)
October 8, 2017


MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – Stone Skipping legend Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars was inducted into the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame in a special induction ceremony held Saturday, September 23rd on the banks of the Allegheny River in Franklin, Pennsylvania. Shortly after, Russ succumbed to cancer on October 6, 2017.

“In recognition of his tremendous accomplishments as a competitor and endless contributions as an ambassador of the sport, it is a pleasure and an honor to welcome Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars into the Hall of Fame”, said Hall of Fame Director Karl Rabe.

Russ was famous for his tag line, “Skips Stones for Fudge” which boldly emblazoned his competition tee shirt. With his characteristic humor, Russ shared in an ESPN 360 interview that it was the lure of fudge that drew him to the sport (the MISS&GC awards a year’s supply of Ryba’s Mackinac Island fudge to the winner). Russ’ record setting 51 skips in 2007 drew national attention from the media and Russ went on to appear on ESPN 360 and CBS Sunday Morning. Russ’ outgoing, plain speaking and quick-witted persona made him a media favorite and has endeared him to stone skippers everywhere. His dominating ability, gregarious personality and large frame earned him the fitting moniker “The Babe Ruth of Stone Skipping”.

“Skips Stones for Fudge is perhaps the greatest understatement in the history of the sport”, said Hall of Fame Director Karl Rabe. “Russ held the world record of 51 skips from 2007 to 2013. Since his first contest in 2003, Russ won 14 major tournaments. He is a six-time Franklin Rock in River Pennsylvania tournament winner and an eight-time Mackinac Island Stone Skipping & Gerplunking Club (MIS&GC) National Champion. From 2007 to 2012 Russ dominated nationally, winning the Little David Trophy an unprecedented six years straight.“

Russ’ legacy in the record books is skips achieved, records held and tournaments won. However, his legacy on the banks of the Allegheny, on the shores of Mackinac Island and in the hearts of stone skippers everywhere is that of a gracious competitor, an ambassador of the sport, an inspiration to the youth and a world-class skipper that embodied the whimsical roots of the sport.

Inductees to the Stone Skipping Hall of Fame are recognized by a skipping stone bearing their name and year of induction on the hall of fame trophy, the Tellefson Rock. The Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing competitors, officials, and others who have made a significant contribution to the sport of Stone Skipping. Visit the Hall of Fame online at

Updated: October 30, 2017 — 9:51 pm
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