Local Halls store favorite memories

by Gary Shelton on February 21, 2023

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

For a day, Marty St. Louis is skating down the ice once more.

For a day, Carl Crawford is hitting one into the gap. Again.

Ah, memories. When you get down it, that's the purpose of these lesser Halls of Fame, isn't it? To revisit the past, to remember, to savor moments long ago.

They're special places, these Halls. No, they're not the national Halls. No one should pretend that they are. But there are places in the heart for players who touch the locals in a unique way. You don't need the national Hall of Fame for that.

Remember Mike Alstott. To me, he was the definition of someone who should have been immortalized by the Bucs' Ring of Honor. He didn't have sufficient numbers for the Hall of Fame, but anyone who has followed the Bucs can tell you about the sheer effort that Alstott played with.

It was with that in mind that the Lightning and Rays have announced their own Halls of Fame. The Lightning has announced Phil Esposito, St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier as their initial inductees. The Rays have announced Crawford, Wade Boggs and Don Zimmer.

For the Bolts, the first three players were perfect. There was no doubt that, for years, St. Louis and Lecavalier were the best two players the team had. Esposito? The entire Lightning team was his brainchild. No one has loved the Lightning more; no one deserves this honor more.

Next 10?

  1. Steven Stamkos.
  2. Brad Richards.
  3. John Tortorella
  4. Dave Andreychuk.
  5. Nikolai Khabibulin.
  6. Jeff Vinik.
  7. Andrei Vasilevskiy.
  8. Nikita Kucherov.
  9. Jon Cooper.
  10. Brayden Point.

The Lighting obviously had the calendar in mind when they made their choices. The Rays, not so much.

Hey, I loved Don Zimmer. Everyone loved Don Zimmer. But he was never the team's manager -- meaning that Joe Madden, Kevin Cash and Lou Piniella were all put on hold.

Most of Boggs' work was in Boston. Still, he got his 3000th hit here. Crawford was the best player the Rays had had for several seasons.

The next 10?

  1. Evan Longoria.
  2. David Price.
  3. Carlos Pena.
  4. Kevin Cash
  5. Ben Zobrist.
  6. Fred McGriff.
  7. James Shields.
  8. Vince Naimoli
  9. Joe Madden.
  10. B.J. Upton.

Ah, and then, there is the Bucs' Ring of Honor, the most established of the bunch.

The next 10?

  1. Hardy Nickerson.
  2. Simeon Rice.
  3. Tom Brady.
  4. Batman Wood.
  5. Mike Evans.
  6. Lavonte David.
  7. James Wilder.
  8. Warrick Dunn.
  9. Chris Godwin
  10. Ali Marpet

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