By: E&P Staff
Bob Becker, a 29-year veteran of The Grand Rapids Press, received word Friday that he was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
“”It’s an unbelievable to be included [in the Hall of Fame],”” the 64-year-old Becker told The Press. “”We’re talking Al Kaline, Joe Louis, Gerald Ford … it’s really another level.””
Becker, who retired from the Press last year, will join the other 10 members of the Class of 2008 at an induction ceremony somewhere in Detroit in February 2009. He and the other 10 honorees were selected by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Super Elections Committee, which is made up of members of the sports media, statewide sports industry officials and members of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors.
The committee cited Becker for his leadership of The Press’ sports staff in covering Michigan Sports, as well as his groundbreaking coverage of women’s sports as reasons for his election.
“”From the start, I thought we should cover girls’ sports better,”” Becker told the Press. “”I reasoned that a lot of women and girls like sports, and they probably want to read about it too. That’s the stuff I’m proudest of — having a hand in changing the face of the traditional sports department.””
Appropriately, the retired Becker is now an assistant softball coach at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, where he also teaches journalism. He will be joined in the Hall of Fame by a class that includes former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore, golfer Meg Mallon, NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, and television broadcaster Bill Flemming, who will be inducted posthumously.