Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Hall of BAHL

Sports is and always has played a significant role in my life. I have found that most all of life's lessons are learned between the lines. Discipline, individual responsibility, teamwork and sportsmanship are among many opportunities presented within the games that offer guidance to prosper in life.

Over the years, there have been many individuals associated with sports that I have looked up to, been a fan of, owned a jersey of or just pulled for. These are my guys, and although it has not always been a road without bumps for many, these are my guys. In an effort to recognize these folks, I have formed The Hall of BAHL.

Individuals making this list may or may not be the greatest ever players, coaches or ambassadors, but they are my favorites. Each year, I will induct five members into The Hall of BAHL. In honor of my good buddy and Sportsman Big Ole BudFeiser, who we lost in 2011 and who I grew up playing sports with, each class will annually be announced on his birthday, June 13.

The inductees for the 2017 Hall of BAHL class are listed in no particular order below:

TREV ALBERTS


Trev Alberts came to Nebraska from Cedar Rapids, IA to play football for the Cornhuskers.

Alberts became an All-American at defensive end for the 'Huskers, winning the Butkus Award for the nation's top linebacker in 1993.

In perhaps his top performance for the Big Red, Alberts, playing with an injured elbow, had three sacks of Florida State Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Charlie Ward in the Orange Bowl, a game I attended (somewhat in turmoil given my heartfelt allegiance to both Universities).

Alberts went on to be the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, selected by the Indianapolis Colts.  Although he played three season, that arm injury lingered and Alberts never quite materialized to be the NFL player many hope he would become.

No worries; Alberts was a consensus Academic All American, earning an NCAA Top Six Award.















After football, Alberts turned up working at CNN/SI as a college football analyst. In 2002, ESPN hired Alberts and he became part of top analyst team. Alberts often argued with co-host Mark May, and while the fans enjoyed it, it became too heavy for ESPN and Alberts was let go in 2005.






















Now, Trev Alberts is Athletic Director at The University of Nebraska-Omaha.  The Mavericks athletic program has been making great strides under the leadership of Alberts, who just may find himself back in Lincoln performing that duty at a late date.

While Florida State was in New Orleans waiting to play Virginia Tech for the National Championship in New Orleans, we ran into Alberts, who was in town covering the game for CNN. Before being called away late in the game to do a Sugar Bowl preview, Alberts joined our group to watch Nebraska bury Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl.

We really enjoyed that experience, loved Albert as a Husker and welcome him as a 2017 inductee to the Hall of BAHL

MIKE MARTIN

Ole #11

That is how Mike Martin, who has been manager of FSU Baseball since 1978, like to be referred to as.

Martin took over for Dick Howser, who left to manage the New York Yankees and later managed the Kansas City Royals to a World Series championship in 1985.


Florida State under Martin has had tremendous success, and leading the Seminoles to 38 consecutive regional tournament appearances and 16 trips to the College World Series, winning at least 40 games for the 38th consecutive seasons. That is some resume.

Only a championship could top of Martin's career, which includes playing in the College World Series for the Seminoles. Yes, Martin has always been a Seminole.

Beyond his coaching attributes, Martin is a complete class act.  He has warmed the hearts of fans talking baseball across the nation at Seminole Booster events, and I have had many an occasion to visit with him, as pictured above some years back.

Eleven is among the most beloved figures in Florida State history, nothing would be nicer to than for the Seminoles to win the College World Series in 2017. They are one of eight going to Omaha!

Florida State baseball's Mike Martin joins the Hall of BAHL













ERIC HOSMER

When we arrived at Tropicana Field in St. Pete to watch our Kansas City Royals take on the home Tampa Bay Rays, we had no idea what the day would hold.

While watching the Royals take batting practice, just off the dugout, rising Royal Eric Hosmer tossed a ball to my daughter, and life has not been quite the same. From that moment, our family have been huge Eric Hosmer fans.













Whether we have watched at The K in Kansas City or over at the Trop, we have always cheered on theReal305, who happens to be a fellow Floridian.  He has not disappointed either, always smiling and waving to us, and knocking some home runs along the way.

Hosmer has become one of the premier players in the league, earning All Star honors and winning a truck last year of the MVP of the game. Hosmer played an integral role helping Kansas City to back to back World Series, with the Royals winning the 2015 title.  Forever Royal!



















Consideration was given to wait another year to induct Eric, as he is a free agent and may not re-sign with Kansas City. The Royals desperately want to keep him, as he is not only an All Star player and a team leader, but has gained favor in the greater Kansas City community for his charitable activities.



Hosmer was Raised Royal, and I certainly hope the Royals can find a way to keep in Kansas City. However, we are great fans of Eric will support him in all future endeavors as he has given us plenty of Royal Roar and smiles along the way. Here's hoping one of our all time favorites, Eric Hosmer, stays Forever Royal as he is welcomed as a 2017 inductee into the Hall of BAHL


JEFF GORDON

Jeff Gordon, The Wonder Boy, was a California kid who entered NASCAR just as Richard Petty retired and took the sport by storm, becoming a four time champion driving for the famed Rick Hendrick stable of Chevrolet's.

Jeff Gordon's Hendrick Racing Chevy SS


Gordon, who was hated by the fans of rival Dale Earnhardt, earned the respect of the garage area and his fellow drivers, by not only winning races, but by carrying himself in sportsmanship and humility.

If fact, him and Earnhardt became quite good friends, even engaging in some avenues of business together.

Jeff Gordon is third all time in wins, with 93, trailing only David Pearson and the King, Richard Petty.

While Gordon was not my favorite out there, it always seemed he was my second favorite.  My wife and I got the experience of a lifetime watching live in person Gordon winning the 2005 Daytona 500.

Gordon retired, only to be called back to substitute for an injured Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2016. But Gordon seems officially out now, having settled in to a new career, doing an outstanding job as an analyst joining Mike Joy and famed drive Darrell Waltrip in the booth for NASCAR coverage for FOX Sports.














Jeff Gordon becomes the fourth NASCAR drive to become a member of the Hall of BAHL.

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

As a young boy, when I first became aware of NBA basketball, I became a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks. Maybe it was the red and green uniforms, but more likely, it was the players on the team. There was the famed Big O, Oscar Robertson, and Bobby Dandridge along with two UCLA guys, guard Lucious Allen and center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.













Almost immediately after I became a fan, Allen and Jabbar went to join the Los Angeles Lakers. I went along with them.

Abdul-Jabbar, formerly Lew Alcindor, was a towering figure, both figuratively and literally, within the game. Kareem, known as The Captain for the Lakers, had developed his own unstoppable shot; the sky hook. Jabbar could probably make a living in the league to this day with that shot!


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will without question always be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, a mellow individual who was a fierce competitor who embraced discipline and commitment.

Abdul-Jabbar is also a noted author and an outspoken individual off the court, who more often than not seems to approach topics with thoughtfulness and respect.  I am rarely in agreement with Kareem on the issues of the day, but I do respect him as an individual and appreciate the greatness he exhibited on the hardwood.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Captain, is now a member of the Hall of BAHL.

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