Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame Welcomes New Inductees

Feb 9, 2012

The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees this week. 

WHQR’s Sara Wood reports four of Wilmington’s own sports legends will officially be honored this spring at UNCW.

The honorees include James Dineen, a sports medicine pioneer who spearheaded the formation of the Medical Aspects of Sports Committee of the North Carolina Medical Society and organized the first of what has become an annual symposium on sports medicine. 

Ike Granger, who receives the induction posthumously, was the former president of the U.S. Golf Association. He was one of the country’s leading authorities on the rules of golf.  Grainger was chairman of the U.S.G.A. committee that in 1951 negotiated the first uniform code of rules with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The other two inductees are Christopher Trot Nixon, who played 12 years in the Major Leagues for three different teams but is best known for his play with the Boston Red Sox, where he was a fixture in right field for 10 seasons.  He was among the most popular players in Boston due to his hustle and intensity. 

Tennis player Lenny Simpson, Jr.  was the first African American to compete in World Team Tennis.  In 1964 he became the youngest male player, at that time, to ever play at the U. S. National Championships (now known as the US Open).  He won his first round match but would lose to longtime mentor and friend Arthur Ashe in the second round.

The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 to honor those who have brought recognition to the Wilmington area by their excellence in the sports world.