A former Major League Baseball pitcher, a former NFL player, outstanding coaches and players and two championship teams are among this year’s inductees to the Cabarrus County Sports Hall of Fame.

Thirteen people and two teams are set for induction at the Saturday, Oct. 28, ceremony at the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County in Concord. The program gets starts at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“As always we’ve got great people and great athletes to honor,” said William “Andy” Andrews, a member of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors and selection committee. “The hardest part of our job is always deciding where to cut off our selections.”

The late Ronald Hamilton “Ron” Blackburn played on A.L. Brown’s 1952 state championship baseball team and later went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played two full seasons with Pirates, rooming with legendary players Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente.

The first batter he faced was Henry Aaron. Blackburn gave up a single to the Braves’ legend.

Jay Graham, a 1993 graduate of Concord, was an all-state running back, who went on to become one of the all-time leading rushing for the Tennessee Volunteers. He played six seasons in the NFL and is now the running backs coach for Florida State. He was on the Seminoles’ staff for the 2013 National Championship.

The 2017 Class also includes former football coaches Bob Boswell and the late Ron Massey, both coached A.L. Brown.

Boswell won 102 games with the Wonders from 1976 to 1988. He coached five future NFL players.

Massey led the Wonders from 2000 to 2010, compiling a record of 120 wins and 32 losses. His teams won nine conference championships.

“Also this year, the CCSHOF will honor for induction, two Cabarrus County state Champion football teams,” Andrews said.  “Concord High School’s 1929 Football Class B State Champions, coached by Herbert Fox, and was the school’s first sport state championship.  And the A.L. Brown Wonders, coached by Bruce Hardin, who won the 1989 NCHSAA 3A Football State Championship.  Both of these teams played their respective state final in Kenan Stadium on the campus of the University of North Carolina.”     

Another interesting twist to this year’s class is twins going into the Hall. The Brumley twins, who played basketball at Odell High School being inducted. They are Iris Brumley Walker and Doris Brumley Cobb. They were teammates of Betty Beam Cartner, who joined the Hall last year.

Another baseball player in the Class of 2017 is David Glenn Caldwell, who graduated from Northwest Cabarrus in 1974. In his senior season for the Trojans, he hit more home runs and the rest of the county players combined.

Caldwell went on to play for the Clemson Tigers, where he made All-ACC, All-America and All-College World Series. He set the record for most doubles in a College World Series game. He later played in the Baltimore Orioles farm system, including for the Charlotte Orioles and the Miami Orioles.

Here are the individuals being inducted in the 2017 Cabarrus County Sports Hall of Fame Class:

*Ronald Hamilton “Ron” Blackburn, A.L. Brown Class of 1953

*Darrell Maurice “Mo” Blakeney, A.L. Brown Class of 1991

*Robert A. “Bob” Boswell, A.L. Brown coach 1976-1988

* David Glenn Caldwell, Northwest Cabarrus Class of 1974

* Doris Brumley Cobb, Odell Class of 1957

* Iris Brumley Walker, Odell Class of 1957

* James Leon Ensley, J.W. Cannon Class of 1950

*Jay Graham, Concord Class of 1993

* Howard Hall, A.L. Brown Class of 1954

*Ron Massey, A.L. Brown coach 2000-2010

*Ron Pare, Concord Class of 1959

* Chris Tucker,  Central Cabarrus Class of 1976

* Frank Doyle “Frankie” Williams, Concord Class of 1953

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Editor

Mark Plemmons is editor of the Independent Tribune in Concord, N.C.

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