The New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame board, faced with no way to determine when large gatherings once again will be safe and permissible, has postponed until next April its banquet honoring the 2019 inductees.
“The safety and health of our attendees is our main priority,” NMSHOF board president Dick Johnson said in a news release. “… There is still much to be determined as to future guidelines.”
Before coronavirus concerns surfaced, the banquet was scheduled for April 5 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The NMSHOF announced in March that it would be postponed, with hopes expressed that it could be staged in late April or early May of this year.
It now is scheduled for April 11, 2021, at the same venue, with a golf tournament planned for the previous day.
In a phone interview, past president Marty Saiz said it has not been decided whether the NMSHOF will present another class of inductees in December.
“We’ve talked about it,” Saiz said. “… But right now, my feeling is we’re probably not going to have a 2020 class.”
The naming of annual award winners for 2020 would be problematical as well, Saiz said, since spring sports were canceled and the future of fall sports is undetermined.
The 2019 induction class, announced in December, consists of: Holly Holm (Albuquerque, boxing/MMA); Carolyn Thompson (Hobbs, basketball); Danny Romero (Albuquerque, boxing); Rob Evans (Hobbs, basketball); Jimmy Collins (New Mexico State, basketball); Alan Branch (Rio Rancho, football); and the late Nick Pino (Santa Fe, basketball).
Also, Bernard “Gig” Brummell (UNM basketball/baseball, Albuquerque Dukes), Fred Hultberg (executive director, New Mexico Games) and Michael Lujan (wrestler and coach, Albuquerque and Santa Fe) were named in January as recipients of the Hall of Fame’s Award of Distinction.
They and all the NMSHOF’S 2019 annual award winners will be honored at the banquet next April, Johnson said.
Before the postponement of this year’s banquet was announced, Saiz said, about 500 tickets had been sold. All will be honored for the price of purchase at the time, Johnson said.
Prices for tickets sold in the future could change, he said.
Work on the NMSHOF has not come to a full stop, Saiz said. The organization’s website (nmshof.com) is being updated and improved.