By Hannah Yasharoff
The morning of Sunday, July 17 at Nationals Park served not only as the induction ceremony for the 11-member 2016 class of the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame, but as a reunion for a group of esteemed members of the Washington sports world who have crossed paths over the years.
Christine Brennan and Frank Herzog’s careers overlapped in the 80’s as journalists covering the Washington Redskins at the same time that Dexter Manley played defensive end.
Brennan, Herzog and Manley shared a common bond in that their work was connected to the Redskins: Brennan as a sportswriter, Herzog as the team’s broadcaster and Manley as a star defensive end.
The other inductees in the class of 2016 included D.C. United star Marco Etcheverry, basketball star Patrick Ewing, the late Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association, University of Maryland field hockey coach Missy Meharg, Good Counsel High School football coach Bob Milloy, tennis star Harold Solomon and the late Perlo brothers—Phil and Hymie-D.C. high school sports legends.
Brennan made history as one of the first women to cover an NFL team. She became notable later for her coverage of the infamous Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding story. Brennan is a current columnist for USA Today and a commentator for ABC, CNN, NPR and PBS, as well as an author of several best-selling books.
“You were there with me all those days in the locker room when we were breaking barriers that George [Solomon, selection committee member and former Washington Post sports editor] and The Washington Post helped break,” Brennan told Herzog before the induction. “He (Herzog) couldn’t have been a greater colleague or friend in a time that could have been difficult, but it wasn’t because there were so many wonderful people with me and behind me and (supporting) women trying to break barriers.”
Herzog also covered the beginning of Patrick Ewing’s career at Georgetown. Following a standout college career in which Ewing led his school to three final fours and was named a consensus All-American three straight years. He was selected as the No. 1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft and spent 15 seasons with the New York Knicks. He was represented Sunday by his son, Patrick Jr., and his grandson, Trey.
“It’s just an honor to represent my father here,” Ewing Jr. said. “He’s honored because he feels like Washington is one of his homes, so to be honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame is a great accomplishment.”
Herzog, now retired, was the voice of the Washington Redskins for 35 years and was the voice for the Washington Bullets’ NBA championship season of 1978. His Redskins broadcasts were so revered that many fans would watch the game on television with the sound muted, so they could listen to Herzog do the games with Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff.
“It’s a double honor for me to be here today,” Herzog said. “Not only to be included in the Hall of Fame roster but I’m enjoying a family celebration. I have 21 family members who came. I’ve got grand-nephews who have no idea who I am, which is kind of fun.”
The late Earl Lloyd grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1950, he became the first African American to play in the NBA as a forward for the Washington Capitols and later became the league’s second African American head coach - for the Detroit Pistons. He died on February 26, 2015.
“Thank you to the committee for this wonderful honor,” said Earl Lloyd Jr., accepting the award on behalf of his father. “It’s a nice honor to represent him.”
Manley spent eight of his 11 years in the NFL as a Washington Redskin. He compiled over 100 sacks for Washington and played in two Super Bowls and three NFC championship games.
“I covered the Washington NFL team for three years and Dexter was so quotable that all I would do is quote Dexter,” Brennan said. “So George Solomon, the great sports editor of the Washington Post, who is here, finally issued a ban on my quoting Dexter Manley. I think that ban lasted for about a week. We realized the stories weren’t anywhere near as interesting and all of a sudden we were back here with Dexter.”
Etcheverry, a native of Bolivia, played eight seasons for D.C. United and led the team to three of its four MLS titles. Considered one of the best players in Washington’s soccer history, he set franchise records with 191 games and 101 assists. A D.C. United representative accepted the award on his behalf.
Meharg, head coach of the University of Maryland’s field hockey team for the past 28 years, has led her teams to seven national championships, 16 Final Fours and 22 conference titles. She has a 509-123-9 record and won 80 percent of her games.
“I’ve been at the university for quite some time and to be honored with the likes of [former Maryland women’s basketball coach] Chris Weller and [former Maryland men’s basketball coach] Gary Williams as my colleagues at the university and certainly Christine Brennan to be inducted into the Hall of Fame here in Washington, D.C. as such an advocate for women and the development of women in sports is quite an honor,” Meharg said. “I thank the committee so much and on behalf of the University of Maryland, thank you.”
Milloy has coached softball, girls’ lacrosse and football across Montgomery County, Maryland for nearly 50 years. He is best known as the head football coach at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. As a head coach for several different high schools, he set Maryland records for 399 career wins and eight Maryland public school state championships.
“I still can’t even believe I’m here,” Milloy said. “I’d like to thank the committee for including me. It’s quite an honor.”
Phil Perlo, nominated alongside his brother, Hymie, played football for Roosevelt High School in D.C. and went on to play at the University of Maryland. He played one season for the Houston Oilers where he helped the team win the first AFL championship. Perlo died December 11, 1993.
“My father loved… the athletic prowess in Washington,” said Aviva Perlo, Phil’s daughter. “Both my father and his brother were scholars and they were humanitarians, and they pushed the envelope over and over in terms of civil rights. I think that creates a role model for future generations. Their athletic prowess, like many people up on this stage, did not just stop on the field. They carried it off the field into life and wherever they went.”
Hymie Perlo began his sports career as a basketball All-Met at Roosevelt High School in D.C. He then entered World War II, after which he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He later continued his involvement in D.C. sports as the Community Relations Director for the Washington Bullets/Wizards. He died April 26, 2006.
“He made it his job to make sure he was bringing together people of different fiscal and mental abilities, of different races and backgrounds, and bringing them together through the power of sports,” said Daniel Perlo Bloom, Hymie Perlo’s grandson. “Looking around at the sports family of Washington, it’s really tremendous to see us all here together and to be remembering my great-uncle and my grandfather.”
Harold Solomon is just the second tennis player to be inducted into the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Silver Spring, he was once ranked fifth in the world and reached the U. S Open semifinals as well as the French Open final. He attended high school at Springbrook in Silver Spring.
“It’s an honor to be here with all the other nominees,” Solomon said. “It’s great to see everybody; it’s wonderful.”
The 2016 Inductees:
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: One of the first women to cover an NFL team while with The Washington Post, Brennan went on to become a columnist for USA Today and a commentator for ABC, CNN, NPR and PBS. Brennan has written seven books, including three on figure skating.
MARCO ETCHEVERRY: Considered one of the best players in Washington’s soccer history, the Bolivian midfielder led D.C. United to three of its four MLS titles while setting franchise records with 191 games and 101 assists. The 1998 MVP played eight seasons for the Black and Red and was named to MLS’ All-Time team.
PATRICK EWING: The 7-foot shot-blocking center led Georgetown to three Final Fours, including their lone national championship while being named a consensus All-American three straight years. The No. 1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft, Ewing starred for the New York Knicks for 15 seasons and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
FRANK HERZOG: The voice of the Redskins from 1979 to 2004, including all three of their Super Bowl victories, Herzog also announced the Bullets’ lone NBA title in 1978. Herzog was Channel 7’s sports anchor for eight years and spent 14 years each at Channel 9 and at WTOP Radio.
EARL LLOYD: A product of Alexandria’s then-segregated public schools, Lloyd starred at West Virginia State. On Halloween 1950, Lloyd broke the NBA’s color barrier as a rookie forward for the old Washington Capitols. Lloyd helped Syracuse win its only championship in 1955 and became the league’s second African-American coach with Detroit in 1971. He died on February 26, 2015.
DEXTER MANLEY: No Redskin has sacked opposing quarterbacks more often than the irrepressible Manley, whose big plays thrilled RFK fans for years. The colorful defensive end racked up 73 of his 91 sacks in just 99 games from 1982-87 as Washington won two Super Bowls and three NFC championships.
MISSY MEHARG: In 28 years as Maryland’s field hockey coach, Meharg has compiled an incredible 509-123-9 record, winning 80 percent of her games. The ever-enthusiastic Meharg has guided the Terps to seven national championships, 16 Final Fours, and 22 conference titles.
BOB MILLOY: In 46 years as the football coach at Good Counsel, Sherwood, Springbrook and Walt Whitman, Milloy has won a Maryland record 399 games while enduring just three losing seasons. The National High School Coaches Hall of Fame member’s eight Maryland public school state championships are also a record.
HYMIE & PHIL PERLO: The late Perlo brothers starred at Roosevelt High in D.C. with Phil going on to play football at Maryland and help Houston win the first AFL championship. Hymie, a basketball All-Met, has his career halted and then ended by his World War II service for which he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Hymie remained involved in sports throughout his life including many years as the Bullets’ Community Relations Director.
HAROLD SOLOMON: The 5-foot-6 Silver Spring native reached the French Open tennis final and the U.S. Open semifinals and once ascended to fifth in the world rankings with his relentless groundstrokes, including his famed “moonball” lob. Solomon won a 105-shot rally en route to defeating Guillermo Vilas for the 1974 Washington Star title. He lives in South Florida.
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