Bailey, Bloom and Bichette among those inducted into Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Denver’s shut-down cornerback, one of the Blake Street Bombers and an Olympic skier/wide receiver headline the 2017 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
Champ Bailey, a member of the Denver Broncos’ 50th Anniversary team, was voted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, along with Dante Bichette, Jeremy Bloom, John B. Wooten, Maurice “Stringy” Ervin and Hashim Khan.
Bailey, who played 10 years for the Broncos after being traded from Washington in 2004, was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, the most of any NFL cornerback. Regarded as one of the best corners in NFL history, he made 812 tackles, 812 unassisted, and intercepted 52 passes in 215 regular-season games.
Bichette played 14 seasons in Major League baseball with five teams, including Colorado from 1993-1999. He was a four-time All-Star with the Rockies and won the Silver Slugger award in 1995 and ended his career with a .299 batting average, 274 home runs and 1,141 RBI in 1,704 games.
Bichette hit the first home run in Rockies history, a solo shot on April 7, 1993 off Bret Saberhagen of the New York Mets. He also hit the first home run at Coors Field in 1995, in the 14th inning to help the Rockies beat the Mets on opening day.
Bloom is one of the best all-around athletes ever in Colorado, with the unique double sport of football and skiing. He was a three-time world champion moguls skier, two-time Olympian and won 11 World Cup gold medals. He played wide receiver two seasons for the University of Colorado and was an electrifying kick returner, with two punt returns and one kick return for touchdowns.
The Loveland native was a fifth-round draft pick in 2006 of Philadelphia. After his NFL career, Bloom founded the Wish of a Lifetime Charity, which grants wishes to people 80 years and older, and in 2010 he co-founded a marketing software company. He’s also a college football and Olympic sports analyst.
Wooten was the fifth All-America football player at Colorado and the first lineman to earn the distinction, in 1958. The offensive tackle was one of the first African-American players at CU, along with Frank Clarke, and in 1989 was selected to CU’s All-Century team.
Wooten was drafted by Cleveland in 1959 and played for nine seasons with the Browns and Washington. He went into player personnel in the NFL and also created continuing education and financial planning programs for the NFL.
Ervin attended Littleton High School, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He coached boys and girls swimming and diving for 46 years, winning more than 530 dual meets, coached 40 individual state champions, 21 state championship relays and 26 All-Americans. His teams won 12 state championships and Ervin is in numerous other halls of fame.
Khan immigrated from Pakistan in 1960 and won the 1951 British Open in squash. He settled in Detroit, but moved to Denver, where he became arguably the greatest squash player in history. He was a member of the sport’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2000 after winning three U.S. Open and three Tournament of Champions titles, as well as seven total British Open crowns.
The 2017 class will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on April 27 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Tickets are $200 each. For information, go to http://www.coloradosports.org or call 720-258-3535. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Museum are located at Gate 1 on the west side of Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver.