Over 200 registrants are expected to attend a free event on Sunday to celebrate six new Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame, or MCSHF, inductees. Attendees are encouraged to dress casually and don their favorite sports jerseys. Hot dogs and popcorn will be served, and there will be live music and raffles.
Six local sports legends will be inducted into the Hall of Fame:
- Tim Kurkjian, sports writer and ESPN reporter
- Sally Glynn Hauser, track and field runner
- Rob Bordley, lacrosse coach and rugby player
- Steve Francis, Terps and NBA player
- Sonny Jackson, baseball player and coach
- Clarence “Pint” Israel, baseball star (posthumous)
MCSHF will also be recognizing its High School Athlete of the Week, Damascus High School football player Dillon Dunathan. Registration remains open for the event.
Tim Kurkjian is an ESPN Major League Baseball analyst who grew up in Bethesda and attended Walter Johnson High School, where he played basketball and baseball.
“The greatest moments of my life have all taken place in Montgomery County,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how much I loved growing up around here.”
He went on to become a renowned sports journalist and has received numerous awards, most recently the BBWAA Career Excellence Award.
“Having covered baseball for 42 years, the common denominator of all the great players I’ve ever met is that they out-worked their opponents every single time. Talent level is pretty similar, but the Cal Ripkins of the world just did more to make themselves better,” Kurkjian said. “Be curious. Ask questions and challenge yourself no matter what. If you show up every day and try, you’re always going to have a chance.”
Founded in 2019, the MCSHF board is made up of 14 members from a variety of backgrounds united by a passion for celebrating local sports, according to board chair Trish Heffelfinger. She said she believes the Hall of Fame fills an important gap in the county community.
“Montgomery County does a very good job of celebrating achievement in the arts, in education, in health and human services — but it hadn’t done it for sports,” she said, adding that an estimated 200,000 people participate in sports within the county.
Seven board members serve on the MCSHF’s Selection Committee, which selects six inductees every year. Nominations are open to the public.
“We want a diverse class in every category — diversity of gender, sport, age and race,” Heffelfinger said. She added that the board always selects five living inductees and one posthumous.
The organization also prioritizes a specific goal: encouraging diversity in local athletics.
“Our vision is to raise money to be able to help underrepresented kids get access to participate in sports,” Heffelfinger said.
She said the board is looking forward to monetarily supporting organizations that connect youth with athletic opportunities. The board is working closely with the county’s Department of Recreation and hopes to ramp up its philanthropic efforts in 2023, she said.
Inductee Sally Glynn Hauser never lost a race during her time running track and field at North Bethesda’s Walter Johnson High School. She said the sense of community she found within her track team is something she hopes more young girls get to experience.
“I would encourage kids who are coming into the sport to focus on finding that sense of community,” she said. “I hope young girls coming into this sport find that sense of home and family in their teams.”
The induction ceremony will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Silver Spring Civic Building in Veterans Plaza.