By Dan O’Neill firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard to believe it, but the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame is getting ready to celebrate its fifth year. Actually, “celebrate” is a soft term for the occasion. The Hall is exploding in its fifth year.
Ready to unveil its artist rendering of a projected new building in downtown, the Hall will embellish the excitement by inducting a spectacular 15-member Class of 2013 and seven Special Achievement awards on Nov. 20 at the Millennium Hotel.
“This year is as special as the very first year because we have a beautiful state-of-the-art building coming to put St. Louis in first place with the best Hall of Fame in America,” SLSHOF president Greg Marecek said.
The list of inductees would serve well for an inaugural class, highlighted by some of the most memorable figures in St. Louis sports history, and representing numerous walks of sports life.
Those to be honored include Blues stars Brett Hull and Red Berenson, Cardinals Keith Hernandez and Orlando Cepeda, Missouri and St. Louis Cardinals football standout Mel Gray, Webster High track star and “world’s fastest man” Ivory Crockett, St. Louis Univeristy soccer legend Carl Gentile and McKinley High and Boston Celtics great Jo Jo White.
In addition, women’s golf star Judy Rankin and women’s national racquetball champion Rita Hoff Scott will enter the Hall, along with Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr., broadcaster Jay Randolph, Post-Dispatch sportswriter Rick Hummel and Rams standout D’Marco Farr.
In addition, CBC boys soccer coach Terry Michler and Trinity Catholic soccer coach Vince Drake will receive special achievement awards.
The Hall requires nominated athletes to attend the ceremonies to be inducted. Several athletes who have been nominated in years past but have been unable to attend, including Kurt Warner, Willie McGee, Joe Torre and Tim McCarver, still could be added to the roster.
But that’s not all. Before the annual induction ceremony, the Hall will wet the whistle of local sports fans by conducting its “Heroes and Legends Series” on Aug. 23 at Missouri Athletic Club.
The 2013 edition will recognize three distinguished managers in Major League Baseball history as “Legends of the Dugout.” The terrific trio includes Cardinals Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog, Los Angeles Dodgers HOF manager Tom Lasorda and Atlanta Braves great Bobby Cox.
The highlight of the ceremonies will be a town hall session in which the three relate tales and anecdotes from their accomplished careers. The threesome combined for four World Series titles, nine National League pennants and 29 division championships.
There will be a few autographed items commemorating the special day that will be auctioned.
Before his death in March, Hall of Famer and St. Louis native Earl Weaver was to participate in the event. With his family in attendance, Weaver will be honored posthumously with his Hall induction.
Individual tickets for the “Heroes and Legends Series” are $100, while tables of 10 can be purchased for $1,000.
Tickets for both the induction ceremonies and the “Heroes and Legends Series” can be purchased at www.stlshof.com, by calling Tim Moore at 1-888-627-3235, ext. 710, or by mailing a check to St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 190833, St. Louis, Mo. 63119.