COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame has announced their 25th induction class, set for next year.
Three men were selected as a part of the “Pre-Modern Era,” which covers 1878 to 1949. Baseball Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter played minor league baseball in Columbus with the Red Birds, part of the 1936 South Atlantic League championship team. Horse racer and trainer George Odom made his name in Columbus on his way to becoming one of two men to win the Belmont Stakes as a rider and as a trainer. John C. “Corn” Griffin took up boxing while stationed on Fort Benning in the late 1920’s, before taking up the sport full-time in the mid 1930’s and competing in over 100 professional bouts.
The Hall of Fame will also induct five new members from the “Modern and Present Era,” covering from 1950 to the present day. Jim Baker was an All-State lineman for the Kendrick Cherokees in 1972 and a three year letter man at the University of Georgia under Vince Dooley and Erk Russell. Kinard Latham has been a sports official in the Columbus community for over 50 years, starting the Columbus Baseball Association in 1969, and was a city championship winning coach at Daniel Junior High School and a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame. George Whitton was a multi-sport athlete at Columbus High and a three year letterman at UGA from 1956 to 1959. Phenix City native Rob Spivery coached basketball over 30 years, including 15 years at the NCAA Division I level, winning 3 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships at Alabama State. Former Columbus State golfer Hugh Royer, III won the 1985 NCAA Division II Player of the Year and 1986 Southeastern Amateur before working his way to the PGA Tour in 1996. Royer now serves as a instructor in South Carolina, training amateur golfers, including current PGA Tour standout Kevin Kisner.
The Class of 2020 will be inducted on February 1, 2020 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.