Fresno State’s Underdogs to Wonderdogs 10-year anniversary
This year’s class of Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame inductees has a distinct Bulldogs flavor.
Former Fresno State football coach Pat Hill, offensive lineman Logan Mankins, softball star Shelly Stokes, track and field All-American Dot Jones and the 1959 and 2008 Bulldogs baseball teams, along with Fresno Grizzlies founder John Carbray, will be enshrined Nov. 1 at the Fresno Convention Center-Valdez Hall. This is the 60th annual FCAHOF Annual Induction Dinner & Fundraiser. The 2018 inductees will join over 300 enshrined members including Tom Seaver, Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Jackie White, Dave Henderson and Margie Wright.
Hill, who coached the Bulldogs to a 112-80 record and 11 bowl appearances during 15 seasons on the sideline, is perhaps best known for his tenacity and “Anyone, anywhere, anytime” attitude that put Fresno State on the national map in the early 2000s. One of Hill’s best finds was Mankins, a lightly recruited walk-on from Catheys Valley who blossomed into a first-round NFL Draft pick and seven-time Pro Bowler for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They’ll be joined by Stokes, a star catcher for the Bulldogs under Wright who went on to win a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics as a member of Team USA, and Jones, an All-American shot putter who went on to a lengthy acting career in television and movies.
Carbray was primarily responsible for bringing the Grizzlies to Fresno in 1998 as president and CEO of the Fresno Diamond Group. He was also instrumental in building Chukchansi Park. The 1959 Fresno State baseball team, coached by the late Pete Beiden, was the first to qualify for the College World Series. The 2008 squad, nicknamed the Wonderdogs and coached by Mike Batesole, made good on that promise by winning the only national title in program history.
The FCAHOF is inching closer to establishing a permanent home at the Save Mart Center. Plans include educational, interactive displays that teach visitors the values of teamwork, perseverance and sportsmanship.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this class of inductees and we are excited about our new Hall of Fame,” FCAHOF president Gordie Webster said. “This is going to be a technology marvel. There is no other hall of fame in the country that will rival what is being built for our inductees.”