Muhammad Ali and Mike Claiborne

Mike Claiborne with Muhammad Ali in the early 1980s.

Some of the most notable sports figures ever to walk across St. Louis’ sports pages will soon be honored by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, which will honor 13 individuals and five high school programs/teams.

It’s all part of the Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement presented by Great Southern Bank, set for Sunday, November 14 at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis. A noon reception will precede the ceremony, which will commence at 1 p.m. The Hannibal Regional Foundation also will be honored with the Founder’s Award.

CEO & Executive Director Jerald Andrews announced the Class of 2021 during a press conference Wednesday at Chase Park Plaza. The event will mark the Hall of Fame’s 11th Enshrinement away from Springfield for the non-profit, now in its 27th year. It also will be the third Enshrinement in the area, as the Hall of Fame held ceremonies in 2014 in St. Charles and 2018 in St. Louis.

The Class of 2021 is as follows: Larry Hughes, Andy Van Slyke, Charlie Brown, Steve Savard,  Jack R. Watkins, Jr., John Vianney High School Boys Soccer Program, Frank Viverito, Barbara Berkmeyer, Mike Russell, MICDS Football Program, Mike Claiborne, Lafayette Wildwood High School Girls Swimming & Diving Program, Jim Bidewell, William Greenblatt, Lindbergh High School Boys Cross Country Teams 1972-1979, Sandi Gildehaus, and the Francis Borgia High School Cheerleading Program.

Mike Claiborne – Sports Broadcasting

Sports Mike Claiborne.jpg

Claiborne reached a milestone in 2021, as it marked his 40th year in sports broadcasting in St. Louis. He began at KMOX in February of 1981 co-hosting “Sports Open Line.” His various duties in St. Louis have consisted of being an analyst, providing play-by-play, a studio analyst and sideline reporter for Saint Louis University basketball, Missouri-St. Louis basketball, St. Louis Blues hockey, St. Louis Rams, Fox Sports Midwest and the St. Louis Cardinals. This year is his 15th as a part of the St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcast team with Mike Shannon, John Rooney and Ricky Horton. Overall, Claiborne has covered the Cardinals in seven World Series (1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2013). From 1991-1996, he was program director of what’s now KFNS and has been a sports columnist for The St. Louis American newspaper.

William Greenblatt – Sports Photographer

Sports William Greenblatt.jpg

Greenblatt’s career as a sports photographer spans 49 years, mostly in St. Louis. His work has captured the history of the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Football Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Rams, soccer’s St. Louis Steamers, Spirits of St. Louis and the University of Missouri. He has worked for United Press International for decades and also has been the official photographer of the St. Louis Fire Department, the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Greenblatt’s work has appeared in newspapers (including The St. Louis American) and magazines across the country, including with a Sports Illustrated cover photo of University of Missouri football player Michael Sam. He is a member of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and recipient of the Jim Otis Award from the Lombardo Chapter of the National Football Hall of Fame.

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