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Photo by Theo Tate
Kevin Greene, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 6, is a member of the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame. Pictured is a display case of the former Granite City South football standout at Memorial Gymnasium.
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Photo by Theo Tate
Andy Philip, who helped the Granite City boys’ basketball team win a state title in 1940, is a member of the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame. Philip is also a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Pictured is a display case of the late Granite City basketball standout at Memorial Gymnasium.
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Photo by Theo Tate
The Granite City Sports Hall of Fame is planning to have an induction ceremony in November 2017.
Next year, the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
So this year, former Granite City baseball coach Babe Champion is starting to make plans for the 2017 ceremony.
He plans to schedule a Hall of Fame induction ceremony banquet on Nov. 10, 2017. The last time the Hall of Fame had a ceremony was in 2012 at St. Gregory’s Hall in Granite City.
“I think we’re going to try to change the look a little bit,” Champion said. “There’s nothing wrong with St. Gregory. But we may do more at the high school theater (Performing Arts Center) and our high school if we can have hors d’oeuvres and things for our people in our high school. If we can get the approval of the school district, then we’ll have a performance for the people who are inducted in the Hall of Fame or the Wall of Fame and have the theater, which is very well-done. You have very nice seats there and a nice sound system and honor the people in the theater.”
Champion said another project he’s working on is scheduling a GCHS Wall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 9, 2018.
“Those are the pictures at the high school along the wall,” Champion said. “That started in 2006 and they haven’t done anything with that. What I’m thinking is have one year of the Hall of Fame and the Wall of Fame the next year.”
Champion said he scheduled the sports Hall of Fame induction banquet on Nov. 10 because that’s when the fall sports season is coming to an end.
“That’s kind of a dead Friday,” he said. “We actually did it the last two years in 2011 and 2012. All of the tournaments are done for the winter sports except for the championship in football. Wrestling, basketball and all of the other winter sports haven’t started yet. There aren’t many conflicts, so that’s what we chose when we started that for those two years. I would like to have gone on, but I had a few health issues.”
Champion also plans to have the sports Hall of Fame building open for spectators during the Granite City home football and soccer games this season.
“We’ll have it open so people can come at 5 or 5:30 p.m. and look at the Hall of Fame and have somebody in there to watch them and chaperone to make sure they don’t take things,” Champion said.
The sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1987 by the late Al Barnes, the late Bill Schooley and Frank Kraus. Champion was part of the inaugural induction class.
The Hall of Fame had induction ceremonies every year from 1987 until 1998. It also had a ceremony in 2000.
After an 11-year hiatus, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony returned in 2011. Daren DePew, a 1983 Granite City North graduate who is the principal at GCHS, was part of the 2011 Hall of Fame class.
In 2012, the class included Darin Hendrickson, the head baseball coach at Saint Louis University; and brothers Tim and Jamie Hogan, who helped the Warriors’ football team qualify for the state playoffs in 1986.
Champion said more than 400 people attended the 2012 ceremony.
“We had it there at St. Gregory and it was successful and we had good food,” Champion said. “We had two caterers. We had Ravanelli’s one year and Jerry’s (Cafeteria) the next year. They were two nice restaurants here in town that have catering service.”
Champion said anyone interested in helping out with the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony can contact him at email@example.com.
“I’m getting together with some people,” Champion said. “We have three or four interested, but none of them want to take over the chairmanship. They want to help and that’s wonderful, but you do have to have somebody leading it. I can give them what we’ve done through the years, but I want to be unofficially in the background.”