SAN DIEGO, Ca. (Sept. 29, 2015)—A Heisman Trophy winner, a World Champion boxer and a World Series hero comprise the Breitbard Hall of Fame Class of 2016 as announced today by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Ricky Williams, Paul Vaden and Dave Roberts will be inducted at the annual Salute to the Champions on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at the Town & Country Hotel/Convention Center, joining the likes of Ted Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson and Bill Walton, honored since 1952.
Williams gave notice early that he’d be a special football player as he was unstoppable while attending Patrick Henry High. At the University of Texas as he set 20 NCAA records, including career yards rushing at 6,129 and TDs with 73, which earned him the Heisman Trophy Award in 1998. Moving on to the pros, Williams played for 13 seasons, rushing for 10,009 yards, including 1,853 yards his All-Pro year with the Miami Dolphins in 2002.
Vaden, another former Patrick Henry Patriot, remains the only San Diego-born boxer to hold a World Championship Title as he captured the IBF Inter-Continental Junior Middleweight Crown in 1994 and the IBF Light Middleweight Title in 1995.
The fourth boxer to be inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame, Vaden fashioned an incredible 327-10 amateur record before turning pro, where he was 29-3 with 16 knockouts. He was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009.
Roberts, an all-around athlete at Rancho Buena Vista High, cast his lot with baseball and his 10-year career with five clubs included a World Series Championship with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Down 3-0 to the Yankees in the ALCS, the Red Sox rallied with Roberts pinch running, stealing second and scoring the tying run to send the game into extra innings. Boston would capture that game and go on to win the World Series.
The 70th Salute to the Champions dinner will also recognize the professional and amateur Stars of the Year, the announcement of the Ernest H. Wright Humanitarian Award, the Community Champion and the Challenged Athlete of the Year.