David Wright, WAVY’s Bruce Rader nominated to 2020 Virginia Sports Hall of Fame class

Local Sports

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads is well-represented in this year’s class of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, which features former New York Mets star and Chesapeake native David Wright, as well as WAVY’s own Bruce Rader.

Five of the seven nominees announced Monday are from the area. Here’s the list:

David Wright (Chesapeake) — The Hickory High School alumnus and former Norfolk Tide was the face of the New York Mets for years. He played 14 seasons in the MLB before retiring in 2018, earning 7 All-Star nominations, 2 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Slugger awards. A team captain from 2013-2018, he finished his career with a .296 average, 1,777 hits, 242 home runs, 970 RBI and 949 runs scored. He’s now a special advisor to the Mets.

Bruce Rader (Virginia Beach) — Rader was born in the Washington D.C. area, but has called Hampton Roads home for more than 40 years, since joining WAVY in 1979. Rader has covered Super Bowls, World Series, Olympic Games and more throughout his career, and set the tone in the television sports media field in Hampton Roads by focusing on underserved segments, such as high school sports and Hampton Roads’ historically black colleges and universities. The first local broadcaster to regularly cover the Washington Redskins, Rader’s also known for his continued charity work in the community. He’s also been honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Virginia Association of Broadcasters, the Norfolk Sports Club, the CIAA Hall of Fame, the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame and Hampton Roads Sports Media Hall of Fame.

Al Toon (Newport News) — The Menchville alumnus was a 3-time Pro Bowler and 1986 AFC Player of the Year with the New York Jets. He was selected 10th overall by New York in 1985 after a record-breaking career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Toon was named to the Jets All Time Four Decade Team in 2003, and the team’s Ring of Honor in 2011

Tracy Saunders (Suffolk) — The Norfolk State basketball legend and two-time All-American led the Lady Spartans to a 95-25 record during her career, including a Division II Final Four run. In addition to winning the 1991 NCAA Division-II Player of the Year award, she was named the top Division II athlete across all sports in 1991. Her No. 10 jersey is retired at NSU.

Lawrence Johnson (Norfolk/Chesapeake) — Johnson switched from hurdles to pole vault during his freshman year at Great Bridge High in Chesapeake, and it certainly worked out. He won 4 NCAA titles at the University of Tennessee and competed in two Olympic Games. He was the first African-American pole vaulter to medal at an Olympics, earning silver at Sydney in 2000.

Mike Cubbage (Charlottesville) — The University of Virginia baseball standout was drafted by the Washington Senators in 1971 and played 8 seasons in the MLB. He went on to serve as a base coach, bench coach, manager, scout and, most recently, the special assistant to the general manager for the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals.

Dennis Carter (Danville) — Carter, a Danville native, has served 37 years in the sports department at WSET in Lynchburg, covering local and national sports.

The 2020 induction ceremony will take place April 25 at Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach. For more information click here.

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