DENVER – Led by Champ Bailey, Dante Bichette and Jeremy Bloom, the selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame voted six individuals to be inducted at the 53rd annual banquet April 27, at the Denver Marriott City Center.
Joining Bailey of the Denver Broncos, Bichette of the Colorado Rockies and multi-sport athlete Jeremy Bloom of the University of Colorado at Boulder as April inductees are Hashim Kahn, Maurice “Stringy” Ervin and John Wooten when the Class of 2017 was selected today. The selection committee will pick the 2016 Athletes-of-the-Year at a January 2017 meeting as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame recognizes collegiate, high school, Olympic/Pro athletes at the Denver Marriott City Center banquet.
Champ Bailey spent the last 10 years of a brilliant 15 year NFL career as a member of the Denver Broncos. The University of Georgia standout was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. In 2004, he was traded to the Denver Broncos, who released him in early 2014 following Super Bowl XLVIII. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints shortly after, but was released before the start of the regular season.
Bailey was selected to 12 Pro Bowls, the most for any cornerback, and is widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. In 2012, Bailey was named an All-Pro for the 7th time of his career and was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. In 215 NFL regular-season games, Bailey had 909 total tackles (812 unassisted) with 52 interceptions (464 return yards).
Bailey was chosen for the Broncos 50th Anniversary team by the Denver community and during the 2012 offseason, Bailey was named the 48th-best player in the NFL by the league’s network, NFL Network.
Dante Bichette was a member of the inaugural Rockies team that began play in Major League Baseball in 1993 and he now joins fellow “Blake Street Bombers” Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, and Vinny Castilla in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
A four-time All-Star as a member of the Colorado Rockies (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998) and Silver Slugger Award winner in 1995, Bichette finished his career with a .299 batting average (226th all-time) along with 274 home runs and 1,141 runs-batted-in for 1,704 games. On April 7, 1993 he hit the first home-run in Rockies history, a solo shot off of New York Mets pitcher Bret Saberhagen. Bichette also hit his first home run at the newly-constructed Coors Field, a 14th-inning smash against the Mets that secured an opening day victory for the Rockies in 1995. He had his best season in 1995, coming very close to the Triple Crown with a .340 batting average, 40 home runs and 128 RBIs and barely lost the MVP voting to the Cincinnati Reds’ Barry Larkin. During his seven-season career with the Rockies, Bichette batted .316 with 201 home runs and 826 runs-batted-in for 1,018 games. Bichette’s batting average with the Rockies is tied for fourth all-time with Galarraga as the pair is listed behind Larry Walker (.334), Todd Helton (.320) and Matt Holliday (.319).
A Colorado native born in Loveland, Jeremy Bloom helped lead both his high school football and track teams to state championships. After high school, he became a multi-sport athlete in football at the University of Colorado at Boulder and on the ski hill as a World Class mogul skier. He was a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympian, 11-time World Cup gold medalist and the youngest male snow skier to ever be inducted into the United States Skiing Hall of Fame. In 2005, he won a record six straight World Cup events, the most in a single season in the sport’s history.
After a brief collegiate career at the University of Colorado (2002-2003) where he caught 24 passes (19.1 average per catch, two touchdowns) while returning 47 punts (13.5 average per return, two touchdowns) and 25 kickoffs (25.1 average, one touchdown), Bloom was picked in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a wide receiver and return specialist in the National Football League for the Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In January 2008, Bloom founded the Wish of a Lifetime (WOL) Charity, which grants lifelong wishes to 80, 90, & 100+ year old people (Seniorwish.org). In April 2010, Bloom co-founded the marketing software company Integrate. The company has raised over $20M of venture capital from Comcast, Foundry Group and Liberty Global. Forbes Magazine called Bloom one of the 30 most influential people in technology under the age of 30 and in 2013 Bloom was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Hashim Khan, the world’s most famous and probably the world’s greatest squash player in history, came from Peshawar, Pakistan and burst into prominence in his mid-thirties by winning the 1951 British Open. He won three U.S. Opens and three Tournament of Champions titles, as well as six more British Opens. In 1960, he emigrated from Pakistan to the U.S., first settling in Detroit and thirteen years later moving to Denver. He is largely responsible for the growth of the sport in Colorado and across the United States.
Kahn taught and coached numerous young people into World and Collegiate Champions on the courts at the Denver Athletic Club in downtown Denver. He was also the patriarch of the legendary Khan family dynasty. His brother Azam, his brother-in-law Roshan and his nephew Mohibullah were dominant in the 1960s, and Roshan’s son Jahangir was the world’s best in the 1980s. He was inducted into the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 2000. Khan passed away in 2014 at the age of 100.
Maurice “Stringy” Ervin was born and raised in Littleton where he attended high school and was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball). As a senior, he quarterbacked Littleton to the state football title, the first in any sport in the school’s history. During the same academic year, he led LHS to a State Championship in basketball.
His career as a teacher and coach started in 1965 at Highland High School and then he moved to Littleton in 1968. He would retire from teaching in 1998 after 33 years and from coaching in 2014 after 49 years. During 46 years of coaching both boys and girls swimming and diving, he tallied a dual meet record of 533‐177‐7; coached 40 individual state champions, 21 state champion relays, 26 individual All-Americans, and 18 All-American relays; won 12 State Championships with another six runner-up finishes; was the Colorado High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year six times; won the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s award for Swimming Coach of the Year and has been nominated for that award a total of four times; he is currently nominated for the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame and is a member of the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
John B. Wooten was just the fifth player in Colorado history to earn All-America honors, the first lineman to do so when he was honored in 1958. A three-year letterman at guard (1956-1957-1958), the American Football Coaches Association named him an All-American his senior year, after he had earned first-team all-Big Seven accolades as a junior the previous year. He was described as a quick, agile tackle that provided bone-crushing lead blocks in helping to make Colorado one of the top offensive teams of his day (and also played tackle on defense). One of the first two African-American varsity football players at CU (with Frank Clarke), in 1989, he was selected as a first-team member of CU’s All-Century Team.
A fifth round draft pick by Cleveland in the 1959 NFL Draft, he had a stellar NFL career as he played nine seasons (136 games) with the Browns and one with Washington, attaining All-Pro status in his Cleveland days. He went on to have a long career in NFL administration with Dallas, Philadelphia and Baltimore; he was in player personnel from 1975 to 1989, and was named director of pro personnel in 1989, a position he held for three years. After one year in the NFL office, where he created player programs in continuing education and financial planning among several innovations, he returned to the front office with Philadelphia (1992-97) and the Baltimore (1998-2003) as a personnel executive; with the Eagles, he was one of the first to hold the title of Vice President of Player Personnel.
Inducted in 2004 into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame, Wooten was named in May 2012 for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Tickets are $200 each and Sponsor tables start at $2,500. For additional ticket and table information, please telephone the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (www.coloradosports.org, 720/258-3535). The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is located at Gate 1 on the west side of Sports Authority Field at Mile High at 1701 Bryant Street in Denver.
Since its inception in 1965, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 240 individuals prior to Tuesday’s selection meeting. The first class of inductees featured Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jack Dempsey and former Supreme Court justice Byron “Whizzer” White. Vinny Castilla, Milan Hejduk, Ralph Simpson, Rhonda Blanford-Green, Jim Danley and Jim Toupal were inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame this past April.