Several hundred sports fans will enjoy attending the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 18.
Tickets are now on sale, and going fast Valley-wide. They cost $25 per person, or $300 for a reserved party of eight, who are donors to a good sports cause.
Phone Charlie Vaughan, president of the Hall of Fame Board, for more information at 956-428-2636. He invites all Valley sports fans to attend, where they will meet many fans from good older days.
For more information, phone the nearest ticket site for Carlos Vela, 956-451-9281; Pete Vela, 956-650-4393; Charlie Vaughan, 956-778-2688; or Pikey Rodriguez, 956-687-1636 for information.
Here are the honorees with a brief sample of what they might put in their acceptance speeches. These can make you laugh, or make you cry. Or both.
Kathy Abbenante Howell is the only female honored at the Valley Sports Hall of Fame this year. She coached Mission to win the state championship in cross country in 1991, then led Mission Veterans High to four regional titles after winning state.
Luis Alamia Jr. made baseball records like a national record for stolen bases in 1965, at Highlands in New Mexico, then came back to finish his career at Pan American. He stayed in the Valley as an administrator at Edinburg North for 20 years after his baseball career.
Rey Farias, graduating from La Joya High in 1961, walked on at Southwest Texas State and became an honorable mention Little All American as a senior. He played for the San Antonio Toros and was later a football coach at Los Fresnos for four seasons.
Wilfrido “Willie” Garcia lost his right arm at age 14 but became a member of the All-District team as a senior at Rio Grande City in 1953. He played baseball at Pan American University and eventually won two state titles as head track coach at Brownsville St. Joseph in 1972-73.
Donny Martin was voted one of the top football players in Valley history after making it to the NFL with the Houston Oilers. He was two-way star for Port Isabel and lettered four times at Rice University. A 260-pounder, he had a 200-pound bench press.
Erasmo “Mo” Molina, a seven-time coach of the year with nearly 400 wins, who assumed head duties at McAllen Memorial and the Marine Military Academy, won letters in basketball and baseball in high school. He also was an assistant with the pro RGV Silverados of McAllen.
Otto Moore, a six-foot eleven center, became the all-time number one rebounder and scorer for the Pan American Broncs and was top of NCAA rebounders three seasons. He helped the Broncs to championships and led a nine-year career in the NBA with four different teams, including the Houston Rockets.
All Valley sports fans are invited to attend the banquet and to call 956-958-2646 or the other phone numbers above for more information. Tickets need to be purchased by Monday, June 14.