Memphis Sports Hall of Fame announces inaugural class

Inaugural Memphis Sports Hall of Fame class

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Sports Council announced the inaugural class of the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday at AutoZone Park.

A division of Memphis Tourism, the Sports Council honored 22 of the area's top athletes, coaches, administrators, and contributors in celebration of Memphis' Bicentennial celebration. The hall of fame will be displayed on the third floor of AutoZone Park, and is expected to open this fall.

List of 2019 Memphis Sports Hall of Fame Inductees:

Betty Booker-Parks: Former University of Women's Basketball player Ranks as the school's all-time scorer with 2,835 points as well as first in field goals made and steals. Jersey number 31 retired by school.

Isaac Bruce: Former University of Memphis wide receiver. 16-year NFL career with two teams. Caught the game-winning touchdown for the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Bill Dance: Bass fishing's first superstar. Won 23 national titles, and was named three-time B.A.S.S> Angler of the Year.

William B. Dunavant Jr.: Built The Racquet Club of Memphis, site of the long-running pro tennis tournament. Owner of the Memphis Showboats of the USFL. Played a key role in recruiting Ducks Unlimited to move to the Bluff City in 1992.

Larry Finch: A star at Melrose High School, Finch stayed home to play college basketball at the University of Memphis. Helped lead the Tigers to the school's first national championship in 1973.

Avron Fogelman: Owner of several professional sports franchises in Memphis including, the ABA affiliated Memphis Pros, the Memphis Chicks, The North American Soccer League's Rogues, and was part owner of the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway: National high school player of the year from Treadwell High School, consensus All-American at the University of Memphis and tw-time NBA first-team all-star. Led Tigers basketball to Elite Eight in 1992. 14-year NBA career, and helped 1996 U.S. Olympic team win the gold medal.

Claude Humphrey: 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. Starred at Lester High School before earning first-team All-American honors at Tennessee State. Third overall pick in 1968 NFL Draft. 13-year NFL career.

Jerry Johnson: Won more than 800 games at LeMoyne-Owen College. Only coach to win a college national men's championship from the state of Tennessee. Member of several Hall of Fames including the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

George Lapides: Hosted the country's longest-running radio sports talk show, WREG-TV sports editor, athletic director at Rhodes and Chicks president. Credited with saving minor league baseball in 1997 by ruging Dean Jernigan to become the Redbirds' first owner.

Keith Lee: University of Memphis basketball's all-time scorer and rebounder. Led Tigers to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1985 Final Four.

Verdell Mathis: Considered by many baseball historians to be the best left-handed pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Nicknamed "Lefty Mathis."

Tim McCarver: Football and baseball star at Christian Brothers High School, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals out of high school in 1959, and made it to the majors the same season at the age of 17. 21-year major league career over four decades with four teams. Two time World Series Champion. Emmy-winning broadcaster.

Nikki McCray-Penson: Memphis and Shelby County's most decorated female basketball player. Two-time Olympic gold medalist, All-American in high school, college and three-time WNBA all-star.

Dr. Cary Middlecoff: Upon retirement from professional golf, Dr. Middlecoff was the all-time leading money winner in the PGA. He won three major golf tournaments including the US Open twice, and the Masters.

Cindy Parlow: Considered the state of Tennessee's most outstanding female soccer player. All-American at Germantown High School, and later four-time All-American for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Led the US to two Gold medals, and a World Cup championship.

Ronnie Robinson: Played at Melrose High with Larry Finch. Helped put University of Memphis basketball on the map, and helped lead the Tigers to the 1973 National Championship game. Jersey retired by U of M.

Verties Sails: Only coach in Memphis and Shelby County to have two gymnasiums named for him. Won over 700 games and earned 13 coach of the year awards and numerous championships.

Melanie Smith Taylor: Won a show jumping gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, was one of only two to capture the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. Pan American Games gold medalist, World Cup champion, U.S. Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year in 1982.

Frederick W. Smith: Founder, chairman and CEO of FedEx. Sealed Grizzlies move to Memphis with $90-million, 20-year deal for naming rights to FedExForum.

Rochelle Stevens: Two-Time Olympic medalist in Track and Field. Won silver in the 4x400-meter relay in 1992 and the gold medal in the same event in '96 Atlanta Games. National prep All-American at Melrose.

Memphis Bill Terry: Wom Major League World Series in 1933. Was the recipient of a parade honoring him down Main Street to City Hall that attracted 100,000 citizens. Last player to hit over .400 in the National League. In the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.