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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME

GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME

The GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME was organized in Aug. 1976 to recognize the contributions Greater Cleveland men and women have made to this area through their sports achievements. The Hall of Fame originated as a project of the Greater Cleveland Bicentennial Sports Committee at the suggestion of Sam Levine. After a committee was created in 1975, a nonprofit foundation was set up to raise money and organize the Hall of Fame a year later. The first induction of members took place in Sept. 1977; however, it was not until July 1978 that the Hall of Fame was officially opened in the Grand Lobby of the Cleveland PUBLIC AUDITORIUM. Inductees included both amateur and professional athletes in BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, BOWLING, boxing, fencing, FOOTBALL, GOLF, gymnastics, HOCKEY, swimming and diving, TENNIS, track and field, and wrestling; there was a general category for meritorious service in all sports. In 1980 a new division was added for all sports not originally recognized by the hall. Eligibility for membership was restricted to outstanding sports figures who were born and raised in Cleveland, brought recognition to the area through their sports accomplishments here, and remained as residents. All candidates either must have competed in their sports for 12 years or more or have been retired for 3 years or more, whichever came first. By the 1990s the Hall of Fame expanded its scope of recognition to include all Olympic events (male and female) as well as for meritorious service to the advancement of sports in the greater Cleveland area. Over 448 individuals have been honored, including eight inductees in 2008: football players Gary Jeter and Tim McGee; basketball's Arnie Risen; hockey brothers Fred and Howie Glover; golfer Gary Trivisonno; publicist Dino Lucarelli; and wrestling official Al Carroll. Jack Herrick served as president as of 2008.