Rickie Weeks Elected To Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Southern University Legend Rickie Weeks has been selected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Weeks will become the twentieth member from Southern University and the first since the induction of Roger Cador in 2019. He will be joined by football standouts Marques Colston and Glenn Dorsey, basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, softball pitcher Courtney Blades-Rogers, coaches Pat Henry and Mackie Freeze and Bassmaster Classic champion Villis “Bo” Dowden round out a star-studded group of eight 2021 competitive ballot inductees chosen for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2021 will be enshrined Saturday, June 26, in Natchitoches to culminate the 62nd Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 24-26.

However, Freeze and Henry will enter the hall this winter, Dec. 15-17, during the 2020 Induction Celebration which was postponed from its traditional June dates due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eight-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman, chosen for the Class of 2020, will be inducted next summer due to a scheduling conflict in December.

A 40-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2021 inductees. The panel considered a record 151 nominees from 29 different sport categories on a 35-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.

A prolific collegiate hitter, the former Southern University All-American set two NCAA records that are still on the books heading into the 2021 season – Division I career batting average (.465) and career slugging percentage (.927). The Florida native played for ABCA and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Roger Cador from 2001-03 before embarking on a 14-year major league career after being drafted second overall in 2003 by the Milwaukee Brewers. That year, Weeks was the Baseball America Player of the Year and he won the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy as the nation’s top player after leading Division I for the second year in a row with a .479 average while driving in 66 runs. He was also the SWAC Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Hitter. As a sophomore in 2002, he led D-I while hitting at a .495 clip with 96 RBIs after batting .422 with 70 RBIs as a freshman in 2001. He led the nation in slugging percentage in 2002 (.995) and ’03 (.933). For his career, Weeks, who played center field as a freshman and second base the next two seasons, appeared in 160 games and was 254 for 546 at the plate (.465) with 232 RBIs in leading the Jaguars to NCAA tournament appearances in each of his three seasons.

With Milwaukee (2003, 2005-14), Seattle (2015), Arizona (2016) and Tampa Bay (2017), Weeks had a .246 career batting average with 161 home runs, 474 RBIs and 132 steals. His top hitting seasons came when he hit .279 in 2006 and .274 in 2014, but he hit .269 with 29 homers and 83 RBIs in 2010 and in 2011 was the starting second baseman for the National League in the All-Star game. Weeks finished that season hitting .269 with 20 home runs and 49 RBIs. … Born 9-13-1982 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

“I would like to congratulate Rickie Weeks on being selected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, we are very happy for him and his family” Southern University Athletic Director Roman Banks said “Rickie is very deserving of this great honor as he has served as an outstanding role model and ambassodor for SU and had an outstanding career.”

The 2021 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

The eight new competitive ballot inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 358 competitors honored since the first induction class —  baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley — were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.

Also to be spotlighted next summer will be three other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2021 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award, and recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the LSWA. Those inductees from contributor ballots will be announced later this year.

The complete 11-person Class of 2021 will swell the membership in the Hall of Fame to 456 men and women, including 358 from the competitors’ ballot.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes 24 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, 18 Olympic medalists including 11 gold medal winners, 11 members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, seven of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, seven National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 37 College Football Hall of Fame members, nine National High School Hall of Fame enshrinees, jockeys with a combined 16 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame members, seven College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees,  10 College Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinees, four NBA Finals MVPs, four winners of major professional golf championships, five National Museum of (Thoroughbred) Racing and Hall of Fame inductees and two Super Bowl MVPs.

Biographical information on all 433 current Hall of Fame members is available at the LaSportsHall.com website, with a steady stream of info available at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page and the @LaSportsHall twitter account.

The 2021 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 24, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a free youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, will be available early in 2021 through the LaSportsHall.com website. Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2021 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.

Adding to the 350 sports competitors currently enshrined, 19 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 64 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism,  there are 433 current members of the Hall of Fame before this winter’s 2020 inductions.

The 2020 and 2021’s Induction Celebrations will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors.

Courtesy of Southern Sports Information 

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