Sports Legends ‘Hall of Fame’ marks 11th anniversary

Photos by Daniel Gretzner

Dearborn Recreation Director Gregory Orner points out the newest members of the Dearborn Sports Legends “Hall of Fame,” Bob Bridges, Jack Bridges and Charles Jestice.

By Daniel Gretzner
The Dearborn Recreation Department presented its annual sports award ceremony in April. This is the main event that continues to salute the city’s rich history of excellence in athletics.

One of the highlights of the latest spring inductions was the naming of three former Dearborn high school head coaches into the Sports Legends Hall of Fame. By all accounts, this trio represents a trip down memory lane for the many folks who have graduated from one of the three Dearborn public high schools.

Chances are pretty good, if you went to Dearborn, Edsel Ford or Fordson, you know, met or heard of these men who coached in the local prep ranks. Their names appear in the following paragraph and they now belong to special group that has reached its 11-year anniversary. They become part of of the 25 members who have been saluted since the year 2000.

Jack Bridges (Football, Edsel Ford); his brother, Robert Bridges (Track, Dearborn); and the late Charles Jestice (Football, Fordson) are the latest three Dearborn Hall of Fame sports legends.

They are in the best-of-the-best company of athletes who have direct connections to the city of Dearborn. Some past members, but not all, include: Gary Danielson in 2000. He went from Divine Child as a star quarterback, on to Purdue, and finished up his playing days in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.

Two of the more recent legend members, Dan Enos and Tom Anastos, were together as recipients in 2007. Enos was an exceptional QB at Edsel before landing a starting role at MSU and a trip to the Rose Bowl. He presently is the head football coach at Central Michigan University. Anastos, another Dearborn native, was a hockey star at Michigan State University and is the new hockey head coach at MSU.

In my many years of editing, writing and covering the sports scene for a few metropolitan Detroit weekly newspapers, I have become familiar with many different cities and their sports Hall of Fame programs. Through it all, there is no classier Hall of Fame that salutes athletic excellence, than the one right here in Dearborn.

By the way, for those who might be unaware, the Dearborn Hall of Fame plaques and recipient name plates are on display and may be viewed at the Dearborn Recreation Department. The display is within the confines of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, right across from the registration activities desk. It is definitely worth a short visit and will be time well spent, especially to those familiar with the history of sports in this great city.

The Sports Legends Hall of Fame is a newer section and add on to the main Dearborn Recreation Department. The DRD has conducted 59 annual sports awards ceremonies to date. During the 59-year period, I would like to know (since 1963) who are the Times-Herald readers who can remember and name at least two Detroit professional athletes who have attended the Dearborn event. If you remember the exact year of their presence, you get extra credit.

(Send your Focus on Sports emails to Suggestions for future sports news during summer months are welcome.)