Jim Harbaugh, Pudge Rodriguez Headline 2024 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Induction

Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Announces 2024 Class

The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame has unveiled its 2024 inductee class, with the induction ceremony scheduled for October 17 at the Sound Board Theater at MotorCity Casino Hotel. This year’s class is headlined by former Michigan football coach and quarterback Jim Harbaugh and Detroit Tigers legend Iván ‘Pudge’ Rodríguez.

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Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh, who played quarterback for the University of Michigan, returned to the Wolverines as head football coach from 2015 to 2023. Under his leadership, Michigan achieved an 86-25 record and won three consecutive Big Ten championships from 2021 to 2023. Harbaugh’s tenure culminated in a national championship in 2023. Now, Harbaugh is headed to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez

Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez had a significant impact during his five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, including leading them to the 2006 World Series. Rodríguez, a Hall of Famer, holds the record for most All-Star Game selections (14) and Gold Glove awards (13) among catchers. His legacy as one of baseball’s greatest catchers is firmly established.

Earl Cureton

Earl Cureton, affectionately known as “The Twirl,” is a Detroit native who shone at Finney High School before attending Robert Morris and later transferring to the University of Detroit. Cureton enjoyed a lengthy NBA career, playing 674 games, including three seasons with the Detroit Pistons. He was a part of championship teams with the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Pistons owner Tom Gores honored him, saying, “Earl was one of the most generous, positive, and caring people I knew.” Cureton passed away in February 2024, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and community impact.

Braylon Edwards

As one of Michigan’s top wide receivers, Braylon Edwards has left an indelible mark on the sport. A Detroit native, Edwards starred at Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher High School and went on to win the 2004 Biletnikoff Award. Remarkably, he remains the only player in Big Ten history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. During his time at Michigan, Edwards amassed 252 receptions, 3,541 yards, and 39 touchdowns. His professional journey began as the third overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Tony Esposito

Hailing from Sault Ste. Marie, Tony Esposito is celebrated as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders. Esposito’s illustrious career included playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, rivals of the Detroit Red Wings. Known for setting a modern NHL record with 15 shutouts in the 1969-70 season, he popularized the butterfly-style goaltending technique. His stellar performance earned him three Vezina Trophies. Esposito passed away in 2021, but his influence on the game continues to be felt.

Cecil Fielder

Cecil Fielder made a name for himself as one of baseball’s premier power hitters. In 1990, he became the second player in Detroit Tigers history to hit 50 home runs in a single season. Fielder led Major League Baseball in home runs and RBIs in both 1990 and 1991, earning two Silver Slugger Awards and finishing second in MVP voting each year. His career on-base plus slugging (OPS) stands at an impressive .827. Fielder if finally heading to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Larry Foote

Larry Foote is another Detroit native who excelled both in college and professional football. After a standout career at Detroit Pershing High School, Foote starred as a linebacker at the University of Michigan. He then embarked on an 11-season NFL career, primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he won two Super Bowls and accumulated 818 tackles.

Ken Holland

For 36 years, Ken Holland was a cornerstone of the Detroit Red Wings organization, including 22 years as general manager. During his tenure, Holland was instrumental in building four Stanley Cup-winning teams between 1996 and 2008. His leadership also saw the Red Wings secure 10 Central Division titles and four Presidents’ Trophies.

Jake Long

Jake Long, a standout from Lapeer East High School, became a two-time All-American at the University of Michigan. He was the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. Long’s college career was marked by twice being named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and serving as team captain in his senior year.

Deanna Nolan

Deanna Nolan led Flint Northern High School to consecutive state championships and was named Michigan Miss Basketball in 1995. She went on to play for the Detroit Shock, where she was a pivotal player in securing three WNBA championships. Nolan was also selected to five All-Star games during her illustrious career.

Shawn Respert

Shawn Respert remains one of the most prolific scorers in Big Ten history, ranking second all-time with 2,531 points. As a senior at Michigan State University, Respert was named a unanimous All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year, highlighting his exceptional collegiate career.

Don Shane

Don Shane was a beloved figure in Detroit sports media, serving as WXYZ-TV’s sports director for 23 years. Throughout his career, Shane covered numerous NBA, NHL, and MLB championships, becoming a trusted voice for Detroit sports fans. He passed away in 2023 at the age of 70, leaving behind a rich legacy in sports journalism.

This year’s Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inductees reflect the rich sports history and diverse talent that have come out of Michigan, each contributing significantly to their respective fields.

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Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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