2020 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame
PHOENIX — Legendary PGA golfer and Arizona State University alum Phil Mickelson, former Phoenix Suns star and coach Paul Westphal, Phoenix Mercury and Suns executive Ann Meyers Drysdale, former ASU basketball star Joe Caldwell, former ASU baseball standout Andre Ethier, former Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond and retired Thunderbirds Executive Director John Bridger have been elected to the 2020 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class, the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission (ASEC) announced today.
After winning three individual NCAA Men’s Golf championships at Arizona State and leading the Sun Devils to the 1990 NCAA team title, Mickelson embarked on one of the sport’s most successful careers. At 20, he became one of the few amateurs to win a PGA Tour event when he won the 1991 Northern Telecom Open in Tucson. Mickelson’s personality and daring play won legions of followers. Mickelson, known as “Lefty,” has won 44 PGA Tour events, including five major championships – three Masters, a PGA Championship and an Open Championship.
The No. 8 scorer in Phoenix Suns history, Westphal played a key role on the franchise’s two NBA Finals teams. He was a star guard on the underdog team that reached the 1976 NBA Finals and then coached the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals. With his dazzling moves and elite skills, “Westy” won the hearts of the first generation of Suns fans, and his No. 44 was retired by the team in 1989. After the Suns fell behind the Los Angeles Lakers two games to none in a best-of-five series in the 1993 playoffs, Westphal famously guaranteed that his team would rally to win the series – which it did, extending a run that ended in Game 6 of the Finals. Westphal also led Grand Canyon University to the 1988 NAIA national title. Westphal is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE
A basketball pioneer, Ann Meyers Drysdale came to Phoenix as the General Manager of the Phoenix Mercury and Vice President of the Phoenix Suns. Meyers Drysdale played a role in all three of the Mercury’s WNBA titles. Meyers Drysdale now serves the Mercury and Suns as a Vice President and broadcaster. Meyers Drysdale made history when she became the first woman to receive a Division I athletics scholarship, from UCLA. She became a four-time All-American and led the Bruins to their only women’s national title in 1978. Meyers Drysdale was the first draft pick of the Women’s Professional Basketball League, the nation’s first women’s pro league and a forerunner to the WNBA and earned co-MVP in 1979-80. She later became the first woman to sign an NBA contract, trying out for the Indiana Pacers in 1980.
Caldwell, nicknamed “Jumpin’ Joe,” set the career scoring record at ASU with 1,515 points (18.2 per game) and is the school’s No. 2 all-time rebounder with 929 (11.2 per game). Caldwell led the Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament in his three varsity seasons – 1962-64. Caldwell was team captain all three years and MVP in 1963 and 1964, and the school retired his No. 32 in 2010. He won a gold medal with the 1964 U.S. men’s basketball team in Tokyo. Caldwell spent six seasons in the NBA and five in the ABA, earning All-Star honors twice in each league.
Ethier, a Phoenix native who graduated from St. Mary’s High School, is one of the great hitters in ASU’s storied baseball history. A career .371 hitter, Ethier earned All-Pac-10 honors in 2002 and 2003 and ended his Sun Devil career with a 23-game hitting streak. Ethier, an outfielder, was selected by Oakland in the second round of the 2003 MLB draft and went on to a 12-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, batting .285 with 162 home runs and 687 RBI.
A three-time MLB Executive of the Year, the ageless Hemond is in his second tour of duty with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a special advisor to club President Derrick Hall. Known as the father of the Arizona Fall League, Hemond devoted his career to championing scouting and player development. In 2011, Hemond became the second person to receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for “the profound impact he has had on the game, for his baseball intelligence as a keen talent evaluator and in building winning teams, to the universal respect he has earned for mentoring generations of baseball executives, past and present.”
As Executive Director of the Thunderbirds for 18 years, Bridger oversaw the explosive growth of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, long the most-attended event on the PGA Tour. He also directed the day-to-day operations and the strategic plan of the Thunderbirds, who have used the golf tournament to raise tens of millions for Arizona charities. Bridger, who retired this year, is a native of Arkansas but grew up in Wellton, Ariz., and graduated from Northern Arizona University.
ARIZONA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT COMMISSION ANNOUNCES GOLF TOURNAMENT AND NEW DATE FOR 2021 CREST INSURANCE GROUP ARIZONA SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY
The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission is starting a new tradition with the addition of an annual golf tournament featuring the current class of inductees and taking place the day before the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. A new date for this year’s ceremony has been announced.
- October 31, 2021 – Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament
- November 1, 2021 – Crest Insurance Group Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
- The Paramount Promotions Pre-Party, with registration, cocktails, and raffle, begins at 5:30 p.m., with the induction ceremony beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament – Arizona Biltmore, Adobe Course
- Crest Insurance Group Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – The Phoenician
- For more information on the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, golf tournament, or to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony, please visit www.azsportshof.com.
Nikki Balich, Executive Director, Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission
“We are excited to add this golf tournament to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame lineup. This will give the public another opportunity to meet the inductees and take part in a fun event each year.”
Denise Seomin, Board Chairman, Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission
“The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission is committed to community, creating unique and memorable events that provide a wide range of participatory opportunities. We look forward to bringing these two signature offerings to the people of Arizona for years to come.”
About the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame: The Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission owns the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1957 by the Phoenix Press Box Association. The Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, administrators, and others who have made significant contributions to Arizona sports. To be eligible for the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, an individual must meet one of three criteria: a native of Arizona; immediately recognized as an Arizonan; have made at least two significant contributions to the athletics community in Arizona. For more information on the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, or to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony, please visit www.azsportshof.com.
About the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission: The Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission (ASEC) is a non-profit organization created in 1988. The Commission collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill the mission of bringing national and international sporting events to the state; assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams; providing volunteer recruitment and organization for large-scale sporting events; and developing youth sports programs. In 2009, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games. The ASEC was the founding organization and owner of the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. For more information about the Commission, call 480.517.9700 or visit www.azsportsent.com.
About Crest Insurance Group: On June 1, 2010, Cody Ritchie became the president of the Crest Insurance Group. Ritchie held the vision of developing the Group into a premier Arizonian agency. Now, 11 years later, Crest holds offices in Tucson, Sierra Vista, San Diego, Denver, Flagstaff and Phoenix, with providers who have experience working for clients across the country.
Nikki Balich, Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission
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