Posey, Foudy headline Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame unveiled one of its “most beloved and accomplished groups” yet.
Giants legend Buster Posey, former U.S. women's soccer star Julie Foudy, NBA champion Gary Payton, undefeated boxer Andre Ward and former 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis will be among the five enshrined into the Bay Area Hall of Fame this spring, the organization announced Jan. 26.
The induction ceremony — the first since the pandemic — will be held May 25 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, with proceeds of the event benefiting Special Olympics Northern California.
This year's group boasts a combined 23 All-star/ Pro Bowl nods, four professional sports championships and three Olympic gold medals, among other accolades.
“Each of these athletes were among the greatest performers in their particular sport during their careers, establishing a legacy not only in the Bay Area, but around the country,” chairman of the Hall Mario Alioto said in a statement. “The fact that two of them, Gary Payton and
Andre Ward, were born and raised here makes this Class all the more special and unique. May 25 will be an exciting night.”
Posey, Foudy and Willis all spent significant portions of their playing careers in the Bay Area, while Payton and Ward hail from Oakland.
Here are highlights about this year's class:
• Posey spent his entire 12-year career with the Giants until he retired after the 2021 season. Over that span, the seven-time Allstar brought three World Series banners to San Francisco. He also was named National League MVP in 2012 and won a Gold Glove in 2016.
• Foudy was a four-time
All-american as a standout middle fielder at Stanford before leading the U.S. women's national team to two World Cup wins and two Olympic gold medals. She made 273 international match appearances before hanging up her cleats in 2004. She's still active in the soccer community. Her Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy has helped shape girls on and off the field.
• Payton, who went to Skyline High School, won an NBA title with the Heat in 2006. His defensive capabilities earned him the nickname “The Glove” and the
nine-time NBA All-star was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
• Ward went a perfect 32-0 over the course of his 13-year boxing career. He won Olympic gold in 2004 as a light heavyweight champion.
• Willis was drafted No. 11 overall in 2007 by the 49ers before going on to have a successful eight-year playing career. He made seven Pro Bowl appearances and has already been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fames for his contributions at Ole Miss.