Thursday, May 30, 2024

Former MLB star Justin Morneau headlines B.C. Sports Hall of Fame class of 2024

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New Westminister’s Justin Morneau headlined the group of athletes, builders, and media members inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday.


The 43-year-old – widely considered one of Canada’s greatest-ever baseball players – played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, making four all-star game appearances, and was named the 2006 American League Most Valuable Player.


“You get to dream of one day playing in the major leagues or the NHL or whatever it is, to actually get there and then go back to the beginning where it all started, where the dream began, it’s a really special thing,” Morneau said.


Morneau’s plaque went up on the wall beside that of fellow Canadian baseball legend Larry Walker, the man Morneau credits for paving the way for himself and many others.


“He was the guy, especially around the time when he won his MVP and we were all going through our last couple years of high school and scouts started looking around to take notice and were looking for talent everywhere, and they realized there was a lot of talent in this area,” he said.


Freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe was also inducted.


The 31-year-old, who grew up in Comox, won gold in the halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She then followed that up with a silver medal in the 2022 games.


Sharpe has also won multiple medals at the world championships and Winter X Games.


“I feel like taking a cumulative (view) of all of the things that I’ve done – the Olympics are one thing, world championships, X Games – they’re all their own thing. So kind of bundling all of them together and being recognized here is amazing,” said Sharpe.


Rounding out the athlete category were Richard Zokol (golf), Ryan Cochrane (swimming), and Amanda Asay (baseball).


In the builders/coaches category, Beverley Felske (ringette), Dr. Bob McCormack (sports medicine), and Wayne Norton (baseball), were all inducted.


The 1998 Langley Little League All-Stars boys baseball team, who finished third at the Little League World Series, were included in the “Team” category, while the 1921-22 Vancouver Amazons women’s hockey team were honoured in the “Pioneer” section.


Longtime sports broadcaster Don Taylor was the lone media member inducted.

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