If you're a hard-core fan of soccer and baseball, leave weekend space on your calender for Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on successive Sundays this summer.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta announced Monday it will enshrine builder Anson Dorrance and veteran Hugo Perez at noon Aug. 3, a week following the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony in Cooperstown.
North Carolina women's coach Dorrance and former United States international standout Perez earned election in separate votes that were released to The Daily Star on March 11.
Soccer Hall spokesman Jack Huckel said the reason for the Aug. 3 date was twofold: It fit into the schedules of Dorrance and Perez, and it coincides with another event the Hall holds annually.
On Aug. 2, the American Youth Soccer Association, the National Intercollegiate Soccer Association and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America will hold their Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Hall.
The Hall has hosted those ceremonies for the past six to seven years, but until this year they have never coincided with the Soccer Hall's induction ceremonies, Huckel said.
Because no players were inducted this year, Huckel said the Soccer Hall needed to do something to make induction weekend more visible.
"We're putting them together for a joint event for the weekend to help increase attendance," Huckel said. "One of our grand challenges, without any players being inducted, is there are going to be fewer fans for a veteran like Hugo, who is from the West Coast, and a builder like Anson, who led the North Carolina program. It won't be like it was last year when Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy were inducted."
In truth, no year was like last year.
Hamm, arguably the most recognizable soccer figure in the United States, and Foudy drew an estimated 5,000 fans, which was by far a record turnout. So many attended the ceremony that it had to be held outside for the first time, and Hamm and Foudy took part in an exhibition match after the ceremony.
Though Dorrance coached the likes of Hall of Famers Hamm, Carla Overbeck (inducted in 2006), Shannon Higgins (2002) and April Heinrichs (1998) at North Carolina, Huckel said that doesn't mean his former players will attend the ceremony.
"You would think some of them would come, but so few have shown up for other players," Huckel said. "Julie (Foudy) was the only teammate to show up for Carla's induction and very few came last year."
The American Youth Soccer Association and National Intercollegiate Soccer Association have not yet named their Hall of Famers for this year. Huckel said the National Coaches Association of America will enshrine Jerry Yeagley, a 1989 Soccer Hall inductee, and Paul Sanderson.
Yeagley coached Indiana University to six national championships and won a Division I-record 544 games from 1973-2003.
Sanderson was a high school coach at Suffield Academy High School in Connecticut.
Huckel said there's a permanent exhibit at the Hall that honors inductees of the AYSA, NISA and NSCAA.
This year's induction ceremony of Dorrance and Perez will be moved back indoors and Huckel said it's unlikely there will be an exhibition game to go along with it, though he didn't rule it out.
Dorrance earned 54 percent of the vote in the builders' election. A builder is a non-player, normally a coach, administrator, owner or referee. Dorrance, 56, has led the Tar Heels to 19 national championships in 29 years as coach.
Perez, 44, was named on 58 percent of the ballots in the veterans' election. A veteran is a player who did not gain induction through the players' vote or someone who has been overlooked, Huckel said. Perez scored 13 goals in 73 international games.
For a builder or veteran to be inducted, he or she must appear on at least 50 percent of the ballots and be the top vote-getter.
On July 27 in Cooperstown, the Baseball Hall will induct Baseball Writers Association of America electee Rich Gossage, and Veterans Committee selections Dick Williams, Billy Southworth, Walter O'Malley, Barney Dreyfuss and Bowie Kuhn. Williams is the only living member of the Veterans' selections.