The man who founded the “Tom Brown Rookie League” youth sports programs on Delmarva will join a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a national high school and college basketball player of the year and others into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Tom Brown is among the 11 honorees that will be inducted in a special ceremony on Sunday, June 23 at Nationals Park prior to the 1:35 p.m. game between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.
The 2019 DC Sports Hall of Fame class also includes Washington Post horse racing columnist Andrew Beyer, Maryland men’s soccer coach Sasho Cirovski, Olympic swimming champion Tom Dolan, DeMatha High School and Duke University basketball star Danny Ferry, the late Redskins coach Ray Flaherty, Redskins Pro Bowl defensive end Charles Mann, longtime DC United executive Kevin Payne, Maryland women’s lacrosse coach Cathy Reese and the late tennis instructor and player Allie Ritzenberg.
The 2017-18 Washington Capitals, last year’s National Hockey League Stanley Cup champions, have been named the DC Sports Hall of Fame’s first-ever Team of Distinction.
“This year’s 10 individual inductees are extraordinary examples of excellence from the Nation’s Capital and represent an impressive range of eight different sports and accomplishments on the high school, college, and professional levels,” said DC Sports Hall of Fame selection committee chairman Bobby Goldwater. “In addition to inducting them, the DC Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to introduce a new designation for recognition, Team of Distinction, and to recognize the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals as the first to be honored. We look forward to adding these deserving names to the DC Sports Hall of Fame honor roll at the induction ceremony at Nationals Park on June 23. Our committee is deeply appreciative for the ongoing support of Mark Lerner and the Washington Nationals.”
Individual nominees for inclusion must have gained prominence in the Washington area through their achievements in sports as an athlete, coach, owner, executive, member of the media, or contributor. A professional, collegiate, or high school team that has made a significant and positive impact in the Greater Washington community through outstanding achievement will be eligible to be recognized as a Team of Distinction.
Brown was a three-sport star (football, basketball, baseball) at Montgomery Blair School. The Silver Spring native played both baseball and football at the University of Maryland and was a professional athlete in two sports, first with Major League Baseball’s Washington Senators in 1963, followed by a six-year National Football League career with the Green Bay Packers, winning three NFL titles including two Super Bowls, and the Washington Redskins.
Years later, Brown created a little league in Salisbury for football, baseball and basketball called Tom Brown’s Rookie League.
In 30 years, the Tom Brown Rookie League enrolled over 3,500 players from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. In addition, the league has provided hundreds of self-funded scholarships to underserved children.
Brown retired from actively running the league in 2015.