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Gay, lesbian sports hall of fame honors athletes

BY DON BABWIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO -- Dave Pallone, who was part of Chicago history when he umpired the first night game at Wrigley Field, is returning to Chicago to take part in another chapter of American sports history: His inclusion in the inaugural class of what organizers say is the first-of-its-kind National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

On Friday night, Pallone will be honored in the first class of inductees that includes tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, and Jason Collins, who in April became the first active male professional athlete in a major team sport to publicly reveal he was gay.

"It is a tremendous honor and ... I hope it gives young people and adults alike who happen to be LGBT and want to be in professional sports another example of why they should continue to strive for their dreams," Pallone said.

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When I was 8 years old back in 1945,my dad gave me a crash course in baseball 101,Cubs history and a special chapter about Hank Greenberg. Being Jewish, it was nice to have something in common with the future Hall of Fame member. I am sure the same held true for Italian kids rooting for Joe DiMaggio,Polish kids cheering on Stan Musial and Black kids rooting for Jackie Robinson. Grant you,you did not have to have something in common with your heroes,however it sure gave you a sense of Pride. I'm also being inducted into the National Gay & Lesbian H o F and it's nice to know that young gay athletes can share their Pride with athletes that have something in common with them. Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher

Here's a link to Jerry's blog:

http://jerrypritikin.blogspot.com/

Steve

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