Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeSportsDave Stieb, Patrick Marleau entering San Jose Sports Hall of Fame

Dave Stieb, Patrick Marleau entering San Jose Sports Hall of Fame

SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023, with Lorrie Fair, Patrick Marleau, Dave Stieb, and Chris Wondolowski distinguishes itself from prior classes in one unique way: those responsible for electing members to the hall tweaked their rules to accommodate two of the inductees.
Marleau and Wondolowski were thought to be so synonymous with the city that the San Jose Sports Authority’s board of directors adjusted their bylaws to get both into the hall this year.
Normally, individuals must be retired for at least five years or be over the age of 50 before they can be eligible for consideration. But those guidelines were waived for the 44-year-old Marleau, who played 21 seasons for the Sharks, and the 40-year-old Wondolowski, who played 13-plus seasons with the Earthquakes before he retired in 2021. Marleau officially retired last year.
“To me. there’s three individuals whose DNA is San Jose, and that’s Patrick Marleau, Chris Wondolowski, and Kerri Walsh,” said John Poch, the executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority. “So I presented to our board that when these three athletes retire, there should not be a waiting period. I think there are exceptions to the rule, and so the board unanimously passed it.”
The Nov. 8 ceremony at SAP Center marks the 28th year of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame honoring South Bay sports legends. Including this class, 121 South Bay sports figures have been enshrined.
“It’d be a case-by-case each year,” Poch said, “but for this year, that’s why Patrick and Wondo were automatically voted and unanimously selected.”
Fair, 45, attended Los Altos High School before she starred at North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels win three NCAA titles. Fair earned 120 caps playing for the women’s national team and helped the 1999 World Cup team win gold and the 2000 Olympic team capture silver.
Stieb, 66, was born in Santa Ana but he and his family moved to the South Bay in the early 1970s. He attended Oak Grove High School, San Jose City College and Southern Illinois University before he was drafted in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1978 as a 20-year-old.
Stieb went on to become one of MLB’s winningest pitchers in the 1980s and finished his 16-season big league career with 176 victories.
“I grew up watching Dave play for the Blue Jays,” said Marleau, an Aneroid, Saskatchewan native. “And then just reading about Lorrie and Chris and all of their accomplishments, it’s a pretty strong class, to say the least.”
Here’s a bit more information on the inductees.
Lorrie Fair: As a kid growing up in Los Altos, Fair figured she could have a future in soccer when she was selected to an under-19 regional team when she was 14. That was quickly followed by an invitation to join an under-20 national team and while she was still in high school, she received an invitation to an Olympic training camp.
“My goal was to just play and hopefully get a college scholarship out of it because we didn’t have a ton of money to spend on university, on a tertiary education,” Fair said. “But what happened was so much more.”
When she was 20, Fair played in four matches at the 1999 World Cup, which culminated with Brandi Chastain’s unforgettable shootout goal in the final as the U.S. beat China. She also competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, playing every minute in five matches as the Americans lost to Norway in the gold medal game.
Fair joins Chastain, Danielle Slayton, Aly Wagner, Julie Foudy, and Keri Sanchez as the only women’s soccer players who have been enshrined into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
Patrick Marleau: Marleau was drafted second overall by the Sharks in 1997, and the then-17-year-old forward from a small town in Western Canada would become a future cornerstone of the organization.
Marleau played with the Sharks from 1997 to 2017, and again from 2019 to 2021, setting franchise marks for games played (1,607), goals (522), and points (1,111). He would finish his career with 556 goals, 1,197 points, and an NHL record 1,779 games.
Marleau twice represented Canada at the Winter Olympics, winning gold in both 2010 and 2014. He finished his NHL career having played 910 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in league history.
Marleau joins George Gund III, Arturs Irbe, Owen Nolan, Doug Wilson, and Evgeni Nabokov as the only members of the Sharks organization who have been elected to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
Dave Stieb: Stieb was an outfielder for most of his amateur career and arrived at Southern Illinois in 1976 playing that position. But in 1978, the Salukies had injuries to their pitching staff, and Stieb’s ability to throw strikes during batting practice caught the attention of the coaches.
Stieb, then a sophomore, went into the bullpen to throw and SIU pitching coach Mark Newman asked if the right-hander could help as a reliever.
“I said, ‘That’s all you want me to do?’,” Stieb asked. “He said yes, and I went, ‘Sure.”
Stieb was SIU’s best hitter that season, hitting .394 with 12 homers and 48 RBI in 51 games. But in 17 2/3 innings pitched over six games, including one start, Stieb struck out 24 and had a 2.02 ERA. A Blue Jays scout saw one of those appearances, asked him a bunch of questions that Stieb all said yes to, and Toronto ended up drafting him. Stieb signed and about a year later, was in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore making his MLB debut.
Stieb would go on to pitch in 443 big league games, owning a record of 176-137 with a 3.44 ERA. His 175 wins are the most in Blue Jays history, as he helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in 1985. Stieb’s WAR of 45.2 led all pitchers in the 1980s.
Chris Wondolowski: Wondolowski, or Wondo as he’s more commonly known, is a classic late bloomer.
A Danville native, Wondolowski wasn’t highly recruited coming out of De La Salle High School in Concord and ended up at Chico State. But Wondolowski had a relentless motor and became a decorated athlete, helping Chico State finish as NCAA Division II national runners-up in 2003 when he was named a second-team All-American.
Wondolowski went from being a late-round pick in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft to becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer with 171 goals. He was a two-time MLS Cup Champion, earned the MLS Most Valuable Player award in 2012 and three consecutive MLS Best XI awards, along with two MLS scoring titles.
Internationally, Wondolowski made 35 appearances and scored 11 goals for the United States. He became the first Native American to play for the U.S. at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is the fourth former Earthquakes player to make the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, joining Paul Child, Mani Hernandez, and John Doyle.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »
×