TC Martin, founder of the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame (SSHOF), introduced the first class of inductees into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. The nominees include legends that are forever rooted in Sacramento’s pop-culture.
Opening, Martin explained that him and his partner Jim Hanzalik with WorldOne Presents had always wanted to do something like this and wondered why nobody else had started this before now. After a number of calls to various sports legends in the Sacramento area, including Dusty Baker and Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame was founded.
Referring to the 56 nominees Martin said, “It was time for them to be recognized and so the goal here was to publicly acknowledge and recognize the great individual talent that we have here in Sacramento, Calif.”
Present in the audience were baseball greats Leron Lee, Rowland Office, and Jerry Royster, along with boxing hero Loreto Garza.
Voting for the nominees took place between November 20 and December 20, where Sacramento area sports fans were able to cast their votes online for their favorite sports legend.
Fans were allowed to vote for their top five sports figures from a list of 56 nominees that spanned generations of Sacramento superstars. Over 7,300 votes were cast with fans ultimately selecting the inductees.
View the list of photos (above) for a complete list of inductees in order of introduction.
To view even more photos click here.
Be sure to check out my other examiner columns:
Celebrity and other news and concert and music reviews
Click subscribe to get email updates when new articles are published!
Questions/comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SacAndBeyond.com
Thirteen year career in the NBA and a three time NBA All-Star, Johnson had 13,127 career points, and 6,711 career assists.
Johnson was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 7th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. On February 28, 1988, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. In his first full season with Phoenix, he grew into one of the game’s elite players averaging 20.4 points and 12.2 assists per game. He joined Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the only players in NBA history to average 20 points and 12 assists in a season.
In the summer of 1994, Johnson played with the U.S. National Team, otherwise known as Dream Team II. He led the Dream Team II squad to a Gold medal in the FIBA World Championships.
With basketball behind him Johnson continues to be the spotlight as he is the Mayor of Sacramento. He was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He continues to be a positive role model for kids and is extremely popular in his hometown.
Jennifer Cartwright Thomas
Sixteen year career in the NBA, three time NBA World Champion and played in the 1990 NBA All-Stars. Cartwright has 12,713 career points, and 6,106 career rebounds. Three time West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
Cartwright was the third overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft, selected by the New York Knicks, making the All-Star team in his rookie season averaging more than 20 points per game. He went on to play nine seasons with the Knicks before being traded to the Chicago Bulls in 1988.
Starting in 1991 through 1993, Cartwright helped the Chicago Bulls win three consecutive NBA Titles. Playing a total of 16 years in the NBA, he retired after the1995 season and went on to become assistant coach to Phil Jackson with the Chicago Bulls. He later became head coach of the Bulls.
Sanders is a Double Olympic Gold Medalist from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona for the 200m Butterfly and the 4x100m Medley. She also scored the silver for the 200m Medley and bronze for the 400m Medley.
Sanders won three gold medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games before embarking on her collegiate career at Stanford University.
Sanders began her second career while she was still competing, when in 1992 she was a commentator for CBS Sports for the NCAA Swimming Championships. In 1996, she was a commentator for NBC’s coverage of the swimming events at the Atlanta Olympics, and contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as an on-site reporter at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Sanders has appeared in films and numerous television shows including “Celebrity Apprentice” and Food Network’s reality series “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.” She also spent 8 years co-hosting “NBA Inside Stuff.”
Sanders is also a health and fitness advocate, producing articles, tips and workouts for various magazines, as well as the author of “Champions Are Raised Not Born.” She is a UNICEF and a Right to Play Ambassador, and the national spokesperson for the ReThink Varicose Veins campaign.
Tony “The Tiger” Lopez
Lopez is a three time world champion boxer, with two International Boxing Federation Super Featherweight Champions and a World Boxing Association Lightweight Championship.
Lopez’s career record is 50 wins, eight losses and one draw. Included in his 50 wins is a whopping 34 knockouts.
Lopez was a warrior in the ring and known for his outstanding punching power and exciting fights. His fights were the highest grossing bouts in the history of Sacramento as he fought some classic matches at the Memorial Auditorium and Arco Arena.
He is remembered for his two victories over Rocky Lockridge including the 1988 “Ring Fight of the Year” which was televised nationally. In October of 1992 he beat Joey Gamache for the WBA Lightweight title. Other notable victories included two wins over John John Molina, Tyrone Jackson, Jorge Paez, Joey Gamache, Dingaan Thobela and Greg Haugen.
Lopez will always be remembered for his crowd pleasing style and smile. He still resides in his hometown and currently owns a Tony “The Tiger” Bail Bonds agency in downtown Sacramento.
Where do you start with someone who is so accomplished in all things baseball?
Baker’s baseball career spans over 38 years. He has played with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants. He’s a two time All-Star with one World Series Championship in 1981. Golden Glove winner, two time Silver Slugger Award and the National League Championship Series MVP in 1977.
Baker has managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and currently the Cincinnati Reds. He has 1,581 victories under his belt poised to surpass his good friend and colleague Tony LaRussa.
Dusty started playing locally at Del Campo and American River College before being drafted in 1967 by the Atlanta Braves. Playing with numerous Hall of Famers including Hank Aaron, Baker has seen it all as a player and manager.
Dusty was the first National League manager to win Manager of the year award three times. He has been to the post season as a skipper with all three of his teams (SF, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati). He recently won the 2012 NL Central division title with the Reds, (the second time in the past three years). He made an immediate impact with all of his teams he has managed taking over struggling teams and leading them into the playoffs.
Dusty continues to live the Sacramento area during the off season and has been an outstanding member of the community.