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2009 Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Inductees
The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2009, right to left: Peter Brock, Gary Payton, Stan Brock, Tom Levak, Jonathan Stark,
Anna Maria Lopez, Chuck Richards and Jerry Cundari.  Photo by Cliff Pfenning.

Hall Passes

Eight Oregonians move into the states’ sports legacy

By Cliff Pfenning, OregonSports.com

It may not have a home or much public impact throughout the state, but the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame showed off its collective appeal for a sold-out crowd at the Multnomah Athletic Club Tuesday night for its annual induction ceremony.

Eight Oregon athletes, those who were raised in the state or had playing careers for a team or college in Oregon, were honored as the 30th class of inductees.

Gary Payton, Anna Maria Lopez, Stan and Pete Brock, Chuck Richards, Tom Levak, Jonathan Stark and Jerry Cundari joined the hall, which inducted it first class in 1980.

They all shared stories of their careers in and around the sports world during brief conversations with Master of Ceremonies Bill Schonely.

Payton talked about being recruited to play basketball at Oregon State by famed coach Ralph Miller and how he and a cousin invented his nickname, “The Glove,” during his career with the Seattle Sonics.

Stan and Peter Brock, who both had lengthy careers in the NFL, talked about being over-recruited by Oregon State, which led them to collegiate playing careers at Colorado.

Anna Maria Lopez talked about choosing to play volleyball and basketball at USC and the academic discipline the nuns at St. Mary’s Academy instilled in her.

Chuck Richards, founder of what is now the Sunset Athletic Club, talked about competing in the 1972 Munich Olympics and watching Steve Prefontaine compete in the 5,000 meters.

Karate master Tom Levak talked about first learning karate because it was the only sport he could afford to take up.

Jonathan Stark talked about turning down an offer to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Martina Navratilova, who had called in person. Stark’s mother ordered him to call her back and they teamed to win the tournament.

And amateur golf legend Jerry Cundari talked about having learned the sport in a week as a caddy at the Portland Golf Club to avoid losing money to other caddies during their weekly rounds at the course.

The evening, which included a keynote address by The Oregonian columnist John Canzano, is set to be televised on Comcast SportsNet, Nov. 11 following the Portland Trail Blazers’ game at Minnesota.

Payton, the final inductee honored during the evening, said that while his playing career lasted just four years in the state, joining the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame had a very special meaning for him. “This is a great honor for me,” Payton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, said. “Even if I do get into the NBA Hall of Fame, this is going to mean more to me because this is where I started.

“People took me in and made me feel like one of their own, and that has always meant a lot to me, so this is a great honor.”


Relive the evening with images provided by OregonSports.com