07 Jun 2018

Hall of Fame Announces Class Of 2018; 15 New Members to be Inducted this Fall

Front row, left to right: Bill Bradshaw, Gina Castelli, John Faller, Baby Joe Mesi, Sherry Birrer (daughter of Werner “Babe” Birrer) Middle row, left to right: John Hewson (James Hewson’s nephew), Barry Smith, Jeff Yeates, Donna Pottle (Louise Weigel’s daughter) Top row, left to right: Lonnie Nielsen, Rickey Williams, Jimmy Williams.

Class of ‘18 includes wide array of standouts, all stars and Olympians.

BUFFALO, NY – The 2018 class of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame was introduced to the public and media on Wednesday June 6 at 4 p.m. in the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. This induction class features athletes and administrators, Olympians and All Stars, as well as professionals and amateurs – adding to the tapestry of individuals represented in Western New York’s premier athletic hall of fame.

The 15-members of the Induction Class of 2018 includes:

  • Werner “Babe” Birrer (D) – Major League and Buffalo Bison pitcher
  • Bill Bradshaw – Highly acclaimed college administrator
  • Gina Castelli – Canisius College standout hoopster and college coach
  • John Faller – Champion Sweet Home football and lacrosse coach
  • James Hewson (D) – Track and field Olympian
  • Marv Hubbard (D) – Three-time NFL All-Pro fullback
  • “Baby” Joe Mesi – Golden Gloves Champion and undefeated heavyweight boxer
  • Lonnie Nielsen – PGA golfer and senior tour champion
  • Barry Smith – Legendary NHL coach, administrator, Stanley Cup champion
  • Louise, Estelle & Mary Weigel (D) – Figure skating champions
  • Jimmy Williams & Rickey Williams – College and professional basketball standouts
  • Jeff Yeates – NFL player and college football standout

(D) Indicates the honoree is being inducted posthumously.

With the addition of the 15-member class of 2018, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame will now have 330 inductees since its inception in 1991.

The date of the induction dinner is Tuesday October 9, 2018. Tickets are available for purchase on the website. The event will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in downtown Buffalo, NY.

In addition to the class of 2018 being introduced, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors also announced its annual monetary awards from its Amateur Sports Development Fund. This year the Amateur Sports Development Fund awarded $19,900 to local amateur athletes, teams and organizations seeking financial assistance to foster the pursuit of a higher level of athletic achievement. This year’s recipients are the Niagara Police Athletic League, Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association, Boys & Girls Club of Holland, Western New York Special Hockey Association, Mount St. Mary’s, Mount Mercy, Alexa Tamburlin, Amherst Youth Basketball, Depew/Lancaster Boys & Girls Club, EMW Sports, and Willie Hutch Jones Educational & Sports Programs. Interested parties can apply for future awards at www.buffalosportshallfame.com/apply-for-funds/.

The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have enhanced our lives with their performances and commitment to Western New York sports, an effort surpassed only by the positive impressions they have left on our athletes of tomorrow.

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