(WXYZ) — Calvin Johnson, Chauncey Billups, and Rip Hamilton headline the vote for the 2020 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
A panel of writers, broadcasters, and sports media members recently met on a conference call to discuss finalists and nominees.
Igor Larionov, Mickey Redmond, Ivan Rodriguez, Chris Webber, and Jordyn Wieber are some of the other big names on the ballot. What makes the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame special is its inclusion and celebration of athletes, coaches, and media members from all corners of the state, and all levels of competition.
Longtime WXYZ sports producer and former Detroit Mercy baseball player Reggie Hall is again a finalist on the ballot. Shane Battier, Bennie Blades, Tony Esposito, Drew Henson, and Deanna Nolan are also on the ballot.
Fans can vote BY CLICKING ON THE LINK HERE through April 30.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for October 2 at MotorCity Casino in Detroit.
Here is the 2020 ballot, with each candidate's profile from the MSHOF:
- Chauncey Billups Chauncey Billups born in Colorado, most successful professional seasons were spent with the Detroit Pistons, nicknamed “Mr. Big Shot”, for his ability to make late-game shots. Key member in the Pistons rise to the NBA elite, reaching the Finals in consecutive seasons, captain on the 2006 Pistons team that recorded a 64 – 18 record (best in Franchise history). Three-time All-Star, won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2008. Billups #1 was retired by the Pistons. Career included 482 games, 7,940 points, 1,559 rebounds and 2984 assists (#4 in Pistons history). Ranks #1 in Pistons history in free throw pct. (.892).
- Bennie Blades Bennie Blades born in Florida, played college football at the University of Miami where he was a two-time All-American, Thorpe Award (top defensive back) winner as a senior. The Detroit Lions selected Blades with the third overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, where he spent nine of his ten NFL seasons. Earned NFL All-Rookie honors, selected to the Pro Bowl in 1991, First-Team All-NFL and First-team All-NFC honors. Played 126 (136 overall) games and had 12 of his 14 interceptions while recovering 11 fumbles as a member of the Lions. Named to the Detroit Lions All-Time Team.
- Antonio Gates Antonio Gates born in Detroit, played football and basketball at Central High School. Played basketball for two seasons for Kent State helping them win two MAC basketball championships a berth in the NCAA tournament, and a spot in the Elite Eight. During 15-year NFL career, all with the Chargers, Gates was named to eight Pro Bowl teams, selected three times as a First-team All-Pro, named to the NFL 2000’s All Decade team, as well as the Chargers 50th Anniversary Team. During his career, he caught 955 passes for 11,841 yards and 116 touchdowns.
- Kevin Glover Kevin Glover born in Washington D.C., attended the University of Maryland, earned All-American honors as a senior. Selected in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, would go on to play 13 of his 15 NFL seasons with the team. Known as one of the best centers in the league, was instrumental in helping Barry Sanders achieve his success as a running back. Glover was a four-time All Pro (1994 – 1997) and selected to the Pro Bowl on three occasions (1995 – 1997). Named to the Detroit Lions All-Time Team.
- Richard Hamilton Richard Hamilton born in Pennsylvania and would go on to a three-year basketball career for the University of Connecticut. Spent nine of his 14 NBA seasons (2002 – 2011) with the Detroit Pistons. Hamilton helped the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference final appearances and two straight final appearances winning the 2004 NBA championship. Three-time All-Star (2006 – 2008). Hamilton’s #32 was retired by the Pistons. Career included 631 games (#10 in Pistons history), 11,582 points, (#6 in Pistons history), 2,120 rebounds and 2,419 assists (#7 in Pistons history).
- Calvin Johnson Jr. Calvin Johnson Jr. born in Georgia, outstanding career at Georgia Tech. Drafted number two overall in the 2007 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, spent entire nine-year NFL career with the team, regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all-time. Nicknamed “Megatron”, named to six Pro Bowls, was a three-time First team All Pro. Holds numerous Lions pass receiving records; career receptions – 731, receiving yards - 11,619, receiving touchdowns - 83, most receiving yards in a single game in regulation – 329 in addition to numerous NFL receiving records.
- Igor Larionov Igor Larionov born in Russia, began his professional hockey career in the Soviet League, moving on to the NHL with Vancouver in 1989. Joined the Red Wings for the 1995 – 96 season (teaming with four other Russian players to form the "Russian Five). Member of three Stanley Cup winning teams. Spent eight of his fourteen seasons with the Red Wings, played in 539 games (921 overall), scoring 89 of his 169 goals, with 308 of his 475 assists. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Derek Lowe Derek Lowe born In Dearborn, four-sport letterman at Edsel Ford High School. Drafted by Seattle but was traded to Boston, in 2000, led the AL with 42 saves and a 2.56 ERA. He became a starting pitcher in 2002 and went 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA finishing third in Cy Young voting. Two-time All-Star selection (2000, 2002), a 2004 World Series Champion for Boston and was the winning pitcher in all three playoff clinching series. His Major League record over 17 seasons was 176 – 157 with a 4.03 ERA.
- Ivan Rodriguez Ivan Rodriguez born and raised in Puerto Rico. He made his major league debut for the Rangers in 1991 and quickly developed into one of the top catchers in the game. Pudge, as he was known, signed with the Tigers in 2004, signaling a rejuvenation of the franchise and would go on to be a contributor in the Tigers 2006 American League Championship and World Series appearance. Played five seasons with the Tigers totaling 611 games with a .298 batting avg, 62 HR and 300 RBIs. Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.
- Sandra Jo Shiery Sandra Jo Shiery born in Coldwater, started bowling at the age of four. Won ten Professional Women's Bowling Association National Titles. One of five American women to win the All-Events gold medal at the Women’s Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) World Championships. Only American woman to win the All-Events gold medal from 1971 to 2011. The only American woman to medal in All-Events from 1979 to 1999 and was the first amateur to win a Ladies Professional Bowling Tour (LPBT) National Tournament, won the 1989 South Bend Classic and the 1990 Ebonite Open.
- Derrick Alexander Derrick Alexander born in Detroit, excelled in football at Detroit Benedictine High School and was a star wide receiver & kick returner at the University of Michigan from 1989-1993. In junior season (1992) caught 50 passes for 740 yards & 11 TDs and returned two punts for touchdowns. Named an All-American. His 11 TDs in a season is seventh best. His 22 career TDs is sixth best and his four punt return TDs are tied for second most in U of M history. Played nine NFL seasons with 417 receptions for 6,971 yards and 40 TDs.
- Shane Battier Shane Battier born in Birmingham, attended Detroit Country Day where he won the 1997 Michigan Mr. Basketball Award. Attended Duke University, helped the Blue Devils to two NCAA finals, winning the 2001 National Championship. First-team All-American, National Player of the Year, elected to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) 50th Anniversary Team. Selected sixth overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by Vancouver, 13-year NBA career winning two NBA Championships. Elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. As a high school student, Battier was a 1997 MSHOF Tomorrow’s Winners Award recipient.
- Tony Esposito Tony Esposito born in Canada and attended Michigan Tech (MTU). Three-time first-team All-American, helped Huskies win 1964-65 NCAA Championship. Currently second in MTU history with a 2.55 goals against average and third in save percentage (.912). Had 16-year NHL career & won three Vezina Trophies. Named to five NHL All-Star teams and won one Stanley Cup. Inducted into MTU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 & Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. Named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players".
- Drew Henson Drew Henson raised in Brighton, earned All-State honors in football, baseball and basketball at Brighton High School. At graduation, Henson was second all-time in Michigan high school history in passing yards (5,662) and touchdowns (52). In baseball, a four-time All-State selection, and remains the Michigan high school record holder in home runs (70), RBIs (290), runs (259), hits (257), doubles (68), grand slams (10) and walks (129). The home runs, RBIs and run totals were also National records. Was a standout quarterback at the University of Michigan before embarking upon a professional career that included playing both MLB and NFL games. As a high school student, Henson was a 1998 MSHOF Tomorrow’s Winners Award recipient.
- Jake Long Jake Long born in Lapeer and was a three-sport star at Lapeer East High School. Four-year starter at the University of Michigan at Offensive Tackle. In 2006 and 2007, he earned Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, as well as First-Team All-American accolades in both seasons. Helped U of M win the Big Ten Championship in 2004. Selected first overall by Miami in the 2008 NFL draft and would go on to a nine-year NFL career.
- Deanna Nolan Deanna Nolan born in Flint, attended Flint Northern High School, led her team to back-to-back state basketball championships (1994 and 1995), winning Michigan's Miss Basketball title in 1995. She played college basketball at the University of Georgia. First-round draft choice (sixth overall) by the Detroit Shock in the 2001 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft. She played for the Shock for nine seasons, helping them win three WNBA titles and was named the team's player of the year for the three consecutive seasons (2007 to 2009).
- Jennie Ritter Jennie Ritter born in Dexter, excelled in softball at Dexter High School, before taking her skills to the University of Michigan, becoming one of the best softball players in school history. A key player in leading U of M to a 65-7 record and an NCAA championship in 2005. Named 2005 USA Softball Player of the Year, a two-time first-team All-American (2005, 2006). Graduated with career records in six pitching categories and still ranks top five in wins (98), strikeouts (1,205), shutouts (43), no-hitters (five) and innings pitched (835).
- Chris Webber Chris Webber born in Detroit, attended Detroit Country Day, led the basketball team to three consecutive state championships, named the National High School Basketball Player of the Year and Michigan's Mr. Basketball in 1991. He was a part of a recruiting class called the "Fab Five" and helped lead U of M to two National Championship appearances. Named the National Freshman of the Year in 1992 and a consensus first-team All-American as a sophomore. Selected #1 in the 1993 NBA Draft by Orlando and would go on to a 15-year NBA career.
- Lorenzo White Lorenzo White born in Florida, outstanding four-year football career at Michigan State, consensus two-time All-American (1985, 1987) and a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, finishing fourth in each of these two seasons. First Big Ten running back to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season, 2,066 yards on 419 attempts in the 1985 season, 1987 Big Ten Player of the Year. Selected in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft by Houston. Inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
- Jordyn Wieber Jordyn Wieber born in DeWitt, by age 10, she had qualified for the Junior Olympic program, and then qualified for international elite a year later, placed ninth in the all-around at the 2006 National Championships June 2008, Wieber won her first national championship, placed first on vault and floor exercise, second on balance beam, and third on uneven bars. Member of the gold-winning American team at the 2011 World Championships, won the individual all-around. Member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team, dubbed the “Fierce Five” at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she won a gold medal in the team competition.
- Tommy Ivan Tommy Ivan born in Canada, head coach of Red Wings from 1947 to 1954. Teams finished 2nd in first year then 1st for the next six years & won three Stanley Cups. Keen judge of talent that discovered prospects like Gordie Howe and other NHL players that would go on to Hall of Fame careers. Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974. Received Lester Patrick Trophy in 1975 for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States."
- Margo Jonker Margo Jonker native of Holland, graduated from West Ottawa High School then Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Started coaching CMU softball in 1980 and remained there until her retirement at the end of the 2019 season. During her 40 years coaching career, led CMU to a record of 1,268 – 808 – 7 (ninth most wins in NCAA Division 1 history). Won ten MAC tournament championships, played in 13 NCAA Tournaments and one berth each in the NCAA Women’s College World Series and the AIAW College World Series. Coached eight All-Americans, in addition to three Academic All-Americans.
- Anita Jo Lake Anita Jo Lake grew up in the Flint area and went on to become one of the most successful high school coaches in Michigan. Guided Flint Holy Rosary to six state championships; two each in basketball, softball and volleyball. Coached Flint Kearsley to two additional state volleyball championships. Her Holy Rosary volleyball team set a national record of 92 straight winning matches that was only topped by her Flint Kearsley team winning 98 straight matches. Named the National Volleyball coach of the Year in 1979.
- Bob Parks Bob Parks grew up in Howell, where he would play four sports. Ran track at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) from 1951 to 1955 and would eventually find his way back to EMU as head track and cross-country coach in 1967 and would remain in this position for the next 34 years. Under his guidance EMU would win 31 Mid-American Conference (MAC) titles and six NAIA and NCAA team titles, Coached 31 NAIA and NCAA national champions.
- Pete Schmidt Pete Schmidt grew up in Port Austin, was a three-sport athlete. Attended Alma College, where he won eight varsity letters in football and baseball. Head football coach at Okemos High School for seven years, winning six conference titles, posting an overall record of 60-13. Head coach at Albion College in 1983, and won 9 MIAA championships, eight straight between 1989 and 1996, tying him for the most titles in league history, compiling an overall record of 104 – 27 – 4.
- Reggie Hall Reggie Hall born in Detroit, graduated from Chadsey High School and went on to attend the University of Detroit where he was a baseball player for the legendary Bob Miller from 1975 - 1979 earning three Varsity letters. Earned the nickname Titan Reggie because of his passion for U of D Athletics. His love of sports combined with his communications degree carried over to his career as a member of the media for over 30 years, spending the last 26 years as the sports producer with WXYZ-TV.
- Tom Kowalski Tom Kowalski longtime Lions reporter covering the team from 1978 until his untimely death in August 2011, first with the Oakland Press, then with Booth Newspapers. Built a multimedia reputation and was beloved by fans for his articles in the Sporting News and as the Lions insider for Sports Radio 1130 AM Detroit (WDFN) and as a regular on Fox 2 Detroit. The Lions renamed their media room “The Tom Kowalski Press Room”. In 2012, the NFL awarded, Kowalski the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Writers Association.
- Mickey Redmond Mickey Redmond born in Canada, played four seasons with Montreal, winning two Stanley Cup Championships. Traded to Detroit where he would spend six seasons, first Detroit player to score 50 goals in a season. Popular color analyst for Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. Redmond joined Red Wings telecasts in 1985 as color analyst and would provide in-studio commentary on telecasts of national games involving Detroit. Won the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2011 for outstanding contributions as a broadcaster to the game of hockey.
- Mary Schroeder Mary Schroeder joined the Free Press as an intern in 1979 and stayed for 40 years. By 1983, only female photographer covering sports full time for a major newspaper. Photographed a jubilant Kirk Gibson celebrating after his second home run in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series and Steve Yzerman hoisting the Stanley Cup after the Red Wings broke their 42-year drought. Pioneer in a male dominated world, plaintiff in a lawsuit that demanded equal access by reporters and photographers of both sexes in the locker room.
- Tim Staudt Tim Staudt grew up in East Lansing, started Sports Broadcasting career in 1969 at WSWM hosting a five-minute radio show while still a journalism student at MSU. Known as the “Dean of Sports”, anchored sportscasts at WILX in Lansing since 1980. His 50-year career makes him the longest tenured sportscaster on television in the state of Michigan. Since 1993, hosted popular “Staudt on Sports” radio program each weekday on Sports Radio 730 WVFN (The Fan). Hosted multiple coaches shows and Big Ten Basketball play-by-plays for more than ten years.