What do you say about a legend and a hero? Ask anyone in Columbus about Sam Simmermaker and you’d better be prepared for a long discussion. The beloved Hall of Fame sportscaster has a story with so many people here and his database continues to grow.
“Every now and then we are fortunate enough to encounter a TRUE legend.That’d be the man on the right. Truly one of the most genuine people I’ve ever encountered. A man with a big heart and a genuine soul. And more passion for what has been his life’s work than anyone I’ve ever known. I know I join many others when I express how thankful I am that he chose to inhabit the earth from right here in Columbus, Indiana. Thanks for always being my friend Sammy!”— Dana Perry, CNHS Class of 1979
The Indiana Sports Hall of Fame held its inaugural dinner in Evansville with over 250 people in attendance. Among the inductees? Our own Sam Simmermaker was one of the honored guests. This is quite an honor and it is his fifth (5th) HOF induction.
“Sam Simmermaker has been a staple on I-65 for years with the Columbus Bull Dogs as well as the Indy Indians. We are honored to have Sam in our Broadcasters Section of the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame,” said Tim Turpin of the Hall of Fame. He joins sportscasters Paul Page and Tom Carnegie, taking his rightful place among the legends.
Sam joins an impressive class of inductees, many of whom were in attendance with him at the dinner. They include:
- Mark Cuban, IU grad, Dallas Mavericks owner
- Mark Clayton – Former Miami Dolphin
- Eva D. Jones-Young – Former 3-time world boxing champion, world karate champ
- Tommy John – Former MLB pitcher (Dodgers, Yankees)
- Bobby Plump – Indiana basketball legend, played for 1954 Milan Indians
- Sam Simmermaker, legendary sports broadcaster, Columbus High Schools
- Kyle Macy – Former UK and NBA player, 1975 Indiana Mr. Basketball
- Keith Smart – Former IU and NBA player, hit winning shot in 1987 NCAA tourney.
- Carl Nicks –Former ISU player & NBA first-round pick, member of ISU 1979
- Angelo Pizzo – writer and producer of “Hoosiers” and “Rudy”
- Andy Benes – Former MLB Pitcher (Cardinals, Padres, Mariners)
- Del Harris – Former NBA Coach (Lakers, Bucks), coached rookie Kobe Bryant
- Kent Benson – IU basketball, 1976 NCAA champions, first pick in 1977 NBA Draft