Local Sports Hall of Fame Celebrating 40 Years with New Legacy Category

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The Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame is marking its 40th anniversary with a special class of inductees this year.

For the first time ever, a legacy category has been added recognizing sports heroes and contributors from days gone by.

Board member Craig Greenham says, in addition to the legacy inductees, this year's list includes names such as Ottawa Senators head coach DJ Smith and former president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie.

He says the legacy project will help bring many athletes back into the spotlight. 

"Really what it is is it's forcing us to look a little bit deeper into our history and figure out blind spots that we've had," he says.  "There are some athletic pioneers that we feel like we missed and this is our opportunity to induct them and put them in their rightful place, the hall of fame."

Greenham says Smith has had a big impact on the local and national sports world.

"We're inducting him as a builder because of his work as a coach," says Greenham.  "DJ Smith, as many people know, also would probably deserve a lot of merit in the athlete class as well starring for the Windsor Spitfires as he did. He's certainly one of the headliners of this year's class."

He adds Peddie is an icon in the Canadian sports world.

"A lot of people might just think of Richard as the guy who runs the book shop, but what some people might not know or would like to know about Richard Peddie is he was one of the titans of industry," he says.  "The president of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and when it comes to professional sport here in Canada, that's the heaviest hitter there is."

Greenham says details for this year's induction ceremony and gala are still being worked out and will be released in the coming months.

The full list of 2021 inductees can be found on the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame's website.