Beyond the game: Nominating sports hall of fame candidates.

August 26, 2021

Beyond the game: Nominating sports hall of fame candidates.

By Vic Burwell, president, Mason County Sports Hall of Fame.

Recently the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2020-2021.  Unfortunately, instead of a sold-out banquet to honor this wonderful class of amazing athletes and enshrine them into the hall, the hall board conducted these induction events virtually, via pre-recorded video, due to COVID restrictions.

This year’s induction events may be viewed by visiting the web site of www.masoncountysportshalloffame.org; or the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame facebook page.  The MCSHOF has as its mission to recognize, honor, and enshrine those who have excelled in their sports achievement.  This year’s class included Robert Ayers, Adam Johnson, David Killips, Annie (Tewel) Sadosty; Kelly Smith, the 2007 MCC Girls State Volleyball finalist, and the 1921 Ludington Mariners professional baseball team.

According to Billie Jean King, “Sports teaches you about character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you what it feels like to win and lose—it teaches you about life.”  Our residents are encouraged to review the videos of the inductees and listen to what they say about the importance sports play, and have played, in their development as student athletes, and beyond the game into their lives.  It was insightful to hear what each of these inductees had to say about their parents, family, coaches, teachers, fellow players, and community, on how important these individuals and this community were in their growth as student athletes, career, and family life.  Every inductee was gracious for the support, opportunity, sacrifice, dedication, and encouragement they received that allowed them to excel in their respective sport participation.  They all reflected on the importance athletics play in teaching respect, teamwork, leadership, dedication, perseverance, and overcoming adversity.  All the elements you need to lead a satisfying life beyond the game.

In September and October of this year, the MCSHOF board of directors will again begin the two month process of selecting the next class of inductees to be honored in June 0f 2022.  A question that is frequently asked is “How is someone nominated, and selected for induction?”   This process begins with a long list of over 200 athletes from Mason County who have been initially compiled over the past 18 years.  Each board member, and we have 24, may recommend six individuals, teams, or contributors for inductions.  Any player, team, or contributor that receives at least two recommendations, continues to move through the process of review over the next six weeks.  The board continues to review, discuss, vote, to reduce the final recommendation slate to 15 to 25 finalists.  This review, debate, vetting, and voting continue on selection night, until six finalists receive at least two-thirds, or sixteen votes, to be selected into the MCSHOF.

The MCSHOF encourages members of the community to submit recommendations for the Hall of Fame, by completing the nomination form on the www.masoncountysportshalloffame.org site, or submit a letter to MCSHOF, PO Box 553, Ludington, MI. 40431, with your nomination and supporting data, and a follow up contact.  The community members are encouraged to submit names of those individuals or teams they feel would merit Induction into the prestigious Mason County Sports Hall of Fame.

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