The Houston Sports Authority announced it is hosting its inaugural awards ceremony next Feburary to honors former Oilers running back Earl Campbell, former Rockets center and NBA Most Valuable Player Hakeem Olajuwon and former Astros pitcher and current team executive Nolan Ryan.
According to its website, awards will also honor deserving Houston athletes in the high school, collegiate and professional ranks, featuring awards for coaches, team executives and fans who show support for Houston-area teams.
Organizers said their presentation will also include highlights of the biggest moments of the Houston sports year, including the Astros winning their first-ever World Series title.
Reports show the event could very well be focused on the number “34″ in a stroke of coincidence:
For starters, Campbell wore #34 for the Oilers from 1978 to 1984.
He led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1979 with 19 and led the league in rushing attempts, total yards and yards per carry in 1980.
Along with quarterback Dan Pastorini and wide receiver Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Campbell stole of the heart of Houston as part of the “Luv Ya Blue” Oilers of the late 70s and first years of the 80s.
Around the same time, Texas native Nolan Ryan wore #34 for the Astros, starting with the team in 1980, when he led the Astros to the National League West title and an appearance in the National League Championship Series.
Ryan also threw five of his seven career no-hitters with the Astros in 1981 and led them to the post-season again in 1986.
The most recent #34 to be honored is Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon, who led the University of Houston Cougars to the NCAA Final Four in 1983 and 1984, going on to take the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1986.
Although he lost to Larry Bird’s Boston Celtic during his first run at the championship, the Rockets returned victorious both in 1994 and 1995 Finals.
The ceremony is set take place at the Hilton Americas Hotel near downtown Houston; ticket prices start at $600 for individuals and go up to $34,000 for the “Hall of Fame” table.
We’ll take two. See y’all there!