Baseball Hall Makes Good Selections

The Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee made three good choices on Wednesday afternoon. The Hall announced that joining John Schuerholtz, and Bud Selig will be Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines and my favorite Jeff Bagwell. Rodriguez is possibly the best defender to ever play the catcher position. He stopped his opponents running game almost single handedly. He also was a pretty good hitter over a long career that saw him make 14 All-Star teams and win 13 Gold Gloves. He threw out 46 per cent of those trying to steal...

Baseball Fans Delight

Mississippi baseball fans will have a unique opportunity to meet and talk with some of your favorite players on October 25th at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.  For just $50 you will receive a delicious barbecue dinner and reception beginning at 5:30 pm.  At 6:30 a panel discussion with a list of Mississippi based players and coaches will be held and fans may ask questions of their favorites.  At game time, we invite everyone to mingle with the players and watch game #1 of the World Series...

A Job Well Done!

A Job Well Done By Bill Blackwell I am sure that many USM fans are worried about their football program after the announcement over this past weekend that Head Coach Todd Monken had taken an NFL position as the Offensive Coordinator for Tampa Bay. While the timing could hardly be worse with National Signing Day just around the corner, Golden Eagle fans should take heart from the strong foundation that Monken built in just three years on the job. Inheriting a team that had been winless and working tirelessly to...

A Daunting Task

A Daunting Task By Bill Blackwell   As I take over the leadership of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, I am keenly aware of the responsibility that has been given me.  For a small and impoverished state Mississippi has produced leaders in many categories.  In the arts, music, literature and of course athletics our state has excelled. The first two Executive Directors of the MSHOF have laid the groundwork.  Michael Rubenstein, was the original person manning this position.  A popular and well known television personality, Michael got...

Gone Way Too Soon!

By Bill Blackwell   Working at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum we deal with death way too often.  Many of our inductees had their glory days in the 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s and it is always a sad day when we lose one of these heroes.  This morning I was shocked to hear of the death of Tommy Hanson, only 29 years of age, six feet six inches and 220 lbs. and a fit athlete.  In 2009 while working for the Braves triple A franchise in Gwinnett...

Another of the Greatest Generation Departs

It is happening far too quickly. We lost the third member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame within the past five weeks.  This time it was Leon Bramlett, who follows fellow Hall of Fame members Bert Jenkins and Tom Goode to those pearly gates.  Leon, was a Clarksdale, MS native and graduated from Clarksdale High in 1941.   Following graduation Leon attended Ole Miss and played football in 1941, transferred to Alabama and played in 1942 for the Crimson Tide and then went to the US Naval Academy.  In...

Meet Janet Marie Smith

How does a state with a small population and low per capita income produce so many great writers, actors and athletes? At the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, we tell the stories of the Walter Paytons, Jerry Rices, Steve McNairs, Archie Mannings, Boo Ferrisss and so many more greats from Mississippi that have become World Class athletes in their chosen sports and all hail from our great state. On November 5th we add an Architect to those stories. You may not be familiar with the name, Janet Marie...

The Curse of Vicksburg?

  It was brought to my attention last week that in 1908, the last time the Cubs won a World Series, they did their spring training in Vicksburg, MS.  In that era training in the spring was much different than it is today.  Teams would find someplace with a better climate than their northern weather and do exercises and start throwing and hitting against each other.  They would then start a slow move northward playing games in towns along the way to where they would start their season.  Sometimes the...

Yogi Passes

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by Bill Blackwell The news this morning that Yogi Berra, one of my childhood idols had passed away at 90 years of age brought back a swirl of memories.  During my days in baseball I was fortunate enough to have met Yogi on several occasions, first with the Astros where Yogi served as a coach and good will ambassador for his friend and neighbor Dr. John McMullen, the owner of the team and later when I worked in the Yankee organization after “the Boss” and Berra had settled their feud...

Jason Day’s humble goal was to keep his PGA card

Mississippi's Sanderson Farms Championship has often served as a springboard to success for some of the biggest names on the PGA Tour. Former Clarion-Ledger sports editor Rusty Hampton, now a board member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, was on the Annandlae practice range in 2008 when he encountered a 20-year-old named Jason Day. Now, $27.5 million later, Day is golf's No. 1 ranked player in the world. What follows is Hampton's resulting column. • MADISON - Mississippi's PGA Tour tournament has existed for 41 years as an alternative...