Appling among NC Sports Hall selections

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Jan. 20—HIGH POINT — Luke Appling, a High Point native and member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, is finally going into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Lucius Benjamin Appling, who spent all of his MLB career with the Chicago White Sox from 1930-50, was among 10 members of a 2022 class announced by the North Carolina Hall. He is one of two selections from Guilford County. Torry Holt, the standout wide receiver at Eastern Guilford and N.C, State who was a member of the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" Super Bowl championship team, is the other.

Appling, who went into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964, was a standout at shortstop, He was a seven-time American League all-star and twice was the AL batting champ, compiling a sizzling .388 mark in 1936, still the top average for a shortstop in the modern era, as he drove in 128 runs while hitting just six home runs.

Appling, born in 1907, hit better than .300 15 times during his MLB career. He was also a successful minor league manager and major league coach for many years after retiring as an active player. A street near Truist Point stadium is named in his honor.

Known as "Old Aches and Pains" for a series of nagging injuries, he was named as the White Sox greatest player by Chicago fans during the 1969 season. He finished with more extra-base hits (587) than strikeouts (528) and a career batting average of .310, thanks to 2,749 hits and an on-base percentage of .439 in 1949 at age 42. He died in 1991.

Holt, who played in seven Pro Bowls, led the league in receiving yards twice and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. At N.C. State, he earned first-team All-American honors and was the ACC Player of the Year in 1998. He is currently sixth on the ACC's career receiving yards list with 3,379. The sixth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Holt grew up in Gibsonville and was a star high school athlete at Eastern Guilford.

Other members of the class are Carolina Panthers linebacker Sam Mills; Winston-Salem State and Dallas Cowboys running back Timmy Newsome; longtime athletic trainer Ronnie Barnes; basketball guard Henry Bibby; longtime Duke women's golf coach Dan Brooks; Raleigh sportscaster Tom Suiter; basketball coach Dave Robbins, and women's basketball pioneer Missouri Arledge.

An induction banquet is scheduled April 22 at the Raleigh Convention Center, with a news conference scheduled earlier in the day.

Wake Forest and Charlotte Hornets guard Tyrone "Muggsy" Bouges, who was chosen for the class of 2021 but could not attend the banquet, will also be among those inducted this time.

Mills played 12 seasons in the NFL, including his final three with the Carolina Panthers, where he became a beloved star, and his NFL career occurred after several standout seasons in the USFL.

Newsome is Winston-Salem State's second all-time leading rusher with 3,843 yards in four eventful seasons. Newsome went on to be selected in the sixth round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and enjoyed nine seasons in the NFL, making the Cowboys' All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

Robbins grew up in Gastonia, where he was an standout athlete at Ashley High, and later went on to a tremendous career as a men's basketball coach. He is best known for leading NCAA Division II power Virginia Union University to 713 victories and three NCAA national championships, as well as 14 CIAA titles.

Suiter worked for WRAL-TV in Raleigh for 45 years, from 1971 until 2016, although he retired from the newscasts in 2008. He was one of the first to create a "Football Friday" show of high school football highlights as well the "Extra Effort Award" for student-athletes.

Arledge was a star athlete at Durham's Hillside High, from which she graduated in 1953, and averaged 31.3 points per game during her senior basketball season. She went to Philander Smith College in Arkansas, scoring 21.0 ppg as a sophomore and becoming the first African-American woman to play in an AAU tournament (1954) and the first to be named AAU All-American the following season. Following college, she was invited to become the first female player to join the Harlem Globetrotters.

Barnes graduated from East Carolina University's sports medicine program in 1975. He was an assistant athletic trainer and instructor at ECU, and then went to Michigan State, where he was head athletic trainer and earned his master's. He moved on to the New York Giants in the NFL as an athletic training intern, rising to head athletic trainer in 1980 and now senior vice-president for medical services, working for the Giants for over 40 years.

A native of Franklinton, Bibby was the starting point guard on UCLA men's basketball teams that won three straight NCAA championships in the early 1970s, averaging 14.4 points per game for his career and earning first-team all-American honors, and played nine NBA seasons.

In 40 seasons at Duke, Brooks has guided his teams to seven NCAA national championships and 21 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, and his 140 team victories are the most of any women's golf coach in NCAA Division I history.

Bogues led the ACC in both assists and steals in 1985, 1986, and 1987, was first-team All-ACC as a senior and was the 12th overall selection in the 1987 NBA Draft. Bogues, who became a very popular member of the Charlotte Hornets, ranks among all-time leaders in NBA history with 6,726 career assists and assists per game (7.6).

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