The Florida Sports Hall of Fame inducts five members from nearly every sport — except basketball – Creative Loafing Tampa
Because after this election, some of us need a few reasons to be proud of Florida.
Stephen WiliamsThe Florida Sports Hall of Fame had its enshrinement ceremony Tuesday night in Tampa, inducting five members into the class of 2016. It was the first time that it featured champions of the Stanley Cup, World Series, Olympics, NCAA, and the Super Bowl. To get into the Florida HOF, for the most part, one must belong to a team based in Florida, have been born in Florida, or have spent a great deal of one’s life there.
Phil Esposito was the inductee for hockey, for his work in founding the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, he was already a hotshot in the hockey community, having been inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1984, a 10-time NHL All-Star, and long regarded one of the best in NHL history in goals and assists. It was his hard work after his retirement in bringing an NHL franchise to Florida — which resulted in the Lightning taking the Stanley Cup in ’04 — that got him into the Florida HOF.
Representing baseball was two-time World Series champion Johnny Damon. Damon was inducted under the “great deal of life” for being raised in Orlando; although his championships came with the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, Damon did spend one season playing for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Allison Jolly is an Olympic gold medalist in sailing, and is also the sailing coach at USF, a position she’s held for 13 years. In addition to her gold medal, she also won multiple championships during her time as