Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Francis, Bryant, Morton among latest N.C. Sports HOF nominees

The latest batch of North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame entry names have been released, and there are certainly some notables on the list. Headlining the list is Carolina Hurricanes great Ron Francis -- the first hockey player ever to be named to the N.C. list.

Francis already has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after a career in which he won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins before signing a free-agent contract with the Hurricanes in July 1998. He spent 16 of his 23 seasons with the franchise – the Hartford Whalers until the relocation to Raleigh in 1997 – before retiring as a player in September 2005.
Francis scored 549 goals and had 1,249 assists in 23 NHL seasons and his 1,798 points are the fourth-best in NHL history. The Canes retired his jersey, No. 10, in January 2006 and he went into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2007.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/08/2589071/ron-francis-among-11-new-members.html#storylink=cpy

Among the other names on the list are the great UNC running Kelvin Bryant, the school's third all-time rusher and scorer, and longtime UNC basketball assistant Bill Guthridge, who did quite fine as the main coach himself for several years, leading the Tar Heels to a 90-28 record in three years with a Final Four trip after Dean Smith retired.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/08/2589071/ron-francis-among-11-new-members.html#storylink=cpy

A name that struck me as odd at first glance but certainly makes sense the more I thought about it was Hugh Morton, arguably North Carolina's most important photographer. Morton -- as readers of this blog will note - made a name for himself as a nature photographer and conservationist. However, he was a spectacular sports photographer in his own right; his contributions in this area cannot be understated.

Here are the others on the list, from the News & Observer. (Warning: Subscription needed.)

• Rich McGeorge, a 1971 graduate of Elon College (now Elon University), who was a first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers. He played tight end in Green Bay for nine seasons.
• Wade Garrett, a premier fast-pitch softball pitcher and a member of the N.C. Softball Hall of Fame.
• Bob Quincy, a five-time Sports Writer of the Year in North Carolina who graduated from North Carolina. He also was a Charlotte Observer columnist and sports writer and died in 1984
• Tommy Helms, a Charlotte native who was a member of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine” and Rookie of the Year in 1966.
• Marion Kirby, who compiled a 278-65-8 record at Edenton and Page High School, including four state titles at Page.
• Marty Sheets, who holds 250 Special Olympics medals in a variety of sports.
• Mildred F. Southern, a long time proponent of tennis in North Carolina.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/08/2589071/ron-francis-among-11-new-members.html#storylink=cpy