Sean Pendergast

How Likely Are You To Attend These Houston Athlete Hall of Fame Inductions?

When Jose Altuve makes the Hall of Fame, there will be a sea of Houstonians descending upon Cooperstown.
When Jose Altuve makes the Hall of Fame, there will be a sea of Houstonians descending upon Cooperstown. Photo by Jack Gorman
Sports, in general, have been hit or miss in Houston over the last few years. On the one hand, we have the best team in baseball and a college basketball team that appears destined for a Final Four. On the other hand, our NBA team has drafted a handful of young first rounders and somehow gotten worse, and the Texans are, well, the Texans.

Hopefully, brighter days of on field success are ahead, but one thing that we may have in abundance, more than most cities, is a plethora of future Hall of Famers. Andre Johnson has been two time finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the recently retired J.J. Watt should stroll into the Hall in 2028. The Astros should give us plenty of Hall of Fame chatter, as well.

The big question for me, as someone who's never attended a Hall of Fame ceremony, but should have several of my favorites going in for induction in their respective Halls in the next decade or two, is "Should I attend? Should I be there?" I think it depends on the athlete. Below is my guide on whether or not to attend the future Hall of Fame ceremonies for these Houston sports figures:

"NO BRAINER" ATTENDANCE

ANDRE JOHNSON
J.J. WATT
JOSE ALTUVE

These three are easy decisions. They are all three on the Mount Rushmore of Houston sports in the 2000s, and are inarguably the three most popular Houston athletes in that time. We know Watt WILL go into the Hall in the summer of 2028 on the first ballot, and Johnson should go in some summer before 2028, maybe even 2023. Altuve's candidacy is slightly more complicated, because of the sign stealing "guilt by association," but he should go in by his second or third try after retirement, at latest.

HIGHLY LIKELY ATTENDANCE

DUSTY BAKER
JUSTIN VERLANDER
BILLY WAGNER

These are all "if my schedule works and I can combine the trip with some other vacation time, then I'll go" candidates. Wagner, the Astros' closer back in the late '90s, has a legitimate shot at getting into the Baseball Hall this summer. The World Series sewed up Baker's spot whenever he retires, and Verlander is a first ballot Hall of Famer five years after he hangs up the spikes.

PONDERING ATTENDANCE

ZACK GREINKE
DeANDRE HOPKINS

These two are wild cards. Greinke would be fun to go to purely to see his speech in person, even if the Astros got the "used car" version of Greinke. Hopkins' Hall of Fame pace has taken a hit the last two seasons, and some of the cheap shots he's taken at the Texans since they traded him aren't exactly endearing, but it'd be fun.

UNLIKELY ATTEDNANCE

JAMES HARDEN
CHRIS PAUL
SHANE LECHLER


Of the Halls of Fame for the big three sports, the Basketball Hall of Fame is the one that is kind of a yawner, especially since it's for basketball at all levels, domestic and international, and has a bunch of folks I've never heard of. So, sorry, Harden and CP3. I've been to Springfield, MA, many times, and it ain't worth the trip. Also, former Texans punter Shane Lechler likely goes into the Football Hall someday, but I don't get on planes for punters. Sorry about it.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast