NBA Legend Baylor Heads List of 10 Inducted
Elgin Baylor's acrobatic moves and highlight-film-worthy career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) rivals that of such noted stars as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird.
Most fans today may not know that, because while Baylor, 78, was compiling 23,149 career points, 3,650 assists, and 11,463 rebounds, there was no SportsCenter or 24-hour cable networks to capture the many eye-popping moments he provided on the hardwood.
"He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known," said Jerry West, who played with Baylor for more than a decade beginning in 1958 when Baylor won NBA Rookie of the Year honors with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven't seen many that can compare with him," said West, 74.
Baylor, a native of Northeast Washington, D.C., and a Spingarn High School graduate, is one of the 10 most recent members of the DC Sports Hall of Fame, which includes professional and amateur athletes who either played on local teams or are native Washingtonians.
Prior to the April 28 game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Washington Nationals held a ceremony to induct this year's class, which includes Baylor, Dave Bing, former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard, National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer Willie Wood, National Hockey League (NHL) Hall of Famer and former Washington Capital Mike Gartner, former Washington Senators and Redskins announcer Phil Hochberg, and broadcasting pioneer Bob Wolff.
John Carroll High School coach Maus Collins, former Washington Senators player Sam Rice, and celebrated sportscaster George Michael, were inducted posthumously.
Each of the honorees were selected based on their outstanding contributions to the world of sports, thereby bringing honor and recognition to the District while furthering the high standards of athletics in the Greater Washington community, the Nationals said in a news release.
The group joins other stand-out athletes and personalities to be inducted, including Sammy Baugh, James Brown, Dominique Dawes, Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson, and Morgan Wootten.
This year's crew made their mark in pro and high school sports as well as in the broadcast booth.
Bing, 69, also a Spingarn graduate, was selected second overall in the 1966 NBA draft and was an 8-time All-Star with the Detroit Pistons before finishing his career with the Washington Bullets in 1975.
Beathard, 76, took over as Redskins general manager in 1978 and the team won two Super Bowls, three conference titles and had seven winning seasons during his 11 year tenure.
Wood, 76, played for the Green Bay Packers and helped the team win five titles, including two Super Bowls.
Gartner, 53, averaged 41 goals during his nine seasons with the Capitals and help the team reach the Stanley Cup playoffs during his final six years in D.C., before being traded to Minnesota in 1989.
Hochberg, 74, a local icon, served as the Redskins' public address and press box announcer for nearly four decades and, as a member of the distinguished panel that selected the 70 greatest Redskins of all time in 2002.
Wolff, 92, was a beloved Washington announcer for the Senators, who also called Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The late Collins was known as the godfather of Washington High School football and was one of the top winning coaches with a career mark of 322-74-9.
The late Rice, another D.C., standout, led the American League in hits, triples and stolen bases for the Senators. He had 2,987 career hits and led the Senators to two American League titles.
A former DJ in Philadelphia and New York, the late Michael was popular for his "Sports Machine" show in which he helped to popularize the phrase, "Lets go to the videotape."
Each of the inductees received a Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame plaque commemorating their induction and their names will now be added to the Hall of Fame display at Nationals Park in Southeast, located on the side of Garage B facing the field.