NORFOLK (WAVY) – Michael Cuddyer says he never played for accolades, but the Chesapeake native who swung a mean bat for 15 years in Major League baseball earned them, as did five other inductees into the Hampton Roads Hall of Fame Monday evening.
Cuddyer was joined by ODU Lady Monarch great Ticha Penicheiro (though she was unable to attend the ceremony), former Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, local wrestling great Gray Simons, Admirals legend Rod Taylor and longtime William and Mary coach Joe Agee.
Cuddyer won a league batting title (2013), was named an All-Star twice, and made an appearance in the World Series. Penicheiro set the record for career assists in the Colonial Athletic Association, and later set the WNBA record for the same category.
Fittingly, Taylor was inducted in the very place where hockey fans in Hampton Roads cheered his name. Nicknamed “The Rocket,” Taylor retired as the East Coast Hockey League’s all-time leader in points and goals scored, but not before winning two titles with the Norfolk Admirals.
Paul Fraim, who served as Mayor for the City of Norfolk from 1994 through last year, has been one of the leading voices for promoting youth sports in Hampton Roads, and was instrumental in the planning and construction for what is now Harbor Park.
Simons was a state champion wrestler at Granby High School and later won three NCAA titles at Lock Haven, while also representing the United States at the Olympics in 1960 and 1964. Agee was synonymous with Old Dominion and William & Mary, playing baseball and basketball for both schools from 1948 to 1952. He would coach the Tribe golf team for 35 years.