Rebels' Crawford: A Jack of all Trade

We live in a sports era of specialization. Young athletes choose a sport - or parents choose it for them - at an early age and stick with that sport at the expense of all others. Gone are the days of the three-sport letterman at the collegiate level. Rarely, do we find one who even plays two. Gone are the days of athletes as versatile as Eddie Crawford, who not only lettered but starred in three sports at Ole Miss. Crawford belongs in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame for...

Blades Blazes Trail for Softball

Before Courtney Blades-Rogers became an All-American softball pitcher at Southern Miss, no pitcher in NCAA history had ever struck out as many as 500 batters in a single season.As a senior in the spring 2000, Blades-Rogers, fanned 663. She practically rewrote the NCAA softball record book, which is why Blades-Rogers tonight becomes the first softball player ever to be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. You could make a case that no athlete in Mississippi history has ever had a greater impact on one athletic program than Blades-Rogers...

We've Lost Three Great Ones

Tonight we celebrate Mississippi's rich sports history with the 50th annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, sponsored by BancorpSouth. We celebrate the present. We celebrate the past. Sadly, we will remember the three Hall of Famers we have lost in the past 12 months: Roland Dale, Kent Hull and Bucky McElroy. I am proud to have called all three friends. Roland Dale, a great player and top-notch assistant coach at Ole Miss, later became the athletic director at Southern Miss. He steered the Golden Eagles into the Metro Conference and...

Tom Patterson: He Named the Egg Bowl

Posted on Categories Rick's Writings, Sports1 Comment
This one is going to be a bit personal. Tom Patterson, who revolutionized sports journalism in Mississippi, died Wednesday night in Roseville, Calif., near Sacramento. He was 61. Tom hired me at The Clarion-Ledger in the summer of 1979. I am forever grateful. He brought me back home. By then, Patterson had built a sports staff as proficient as any in the country, and that's no exaggeration. Both the Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News sports sections, then the afternoon paper, won national awards with such regularity it was the...

At Delta State, Kinnison Carries on Ferriss Tradition

  In college baseball, 40-victory seasons are considered the gold standard. Kinnison's teams routinely win more. The story of how Kinnison, the hard-working son of a Yazoo County farmer, found his way to Delta State and eventually came back to his alma mater is one worth telling and re-telling. As you might guess, Boo Ferriss is a huge part of the story. The two form a two-man mutual admiration society. Kinnison first met Boo Ferriss when Ferriss spoke at the Benton Academy athletic banquet Kinnison's senior season. "Coach made such...

A Tribute to Rube

This was 1974, a Sunday night. Then-WLBT television station manager Bill Dilday, a jazz aficionado, was driving back into Jackson from a business trip. As he often did, Dilday turned his radio dial to WJSU-FM, the Jackson State University campus radio station. "I heard this new deejay, with this rich, baritone voice, who called himself just Michael," Dilday remembered Thursday afternoon. "He was playing really nice jazz, but it was his voice and his suave delivery that got me. The next day, when I went to the station, I told...

Coming full circle: It all began over red beans and rice

Twenty years ago, a group of us got together over plates of red beans and rice at Hal and Mal's. We shared a dream: a museum to showcase what Mississippians do best. Two decades later this week, I have accepted the job of executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, succeeding my late and dear friend Michael Rubenstein, who ate the beans and rice that day, too. For the past four decades plus, I have covered Mississippi athletes and have become more and more passionate about...