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St. Clair Shores athletes to be honored with Hall of Fame induction

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 7, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Local athletes and teams will be honored in March at the 2020 St. Clair Shores Athletic Hall of Fame, which is returning after a year’s hiatus.

Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman said that, henceforth, the inductions will be held every other year.

Bowman said that the Hall of Fame Committee narrowed down about 40 nominations to a list of four athletes and one team that will be inducted in March.

Athletes were nominated by citizens and committee members, he said, and then “every person was discussed pretty heavily.”

“We really felt like we hit a home run with every single one.”

This year’s inductees are Greg Esler, Donald Frederick, David Grauzer, Cynthia Lambert and the St. Clair Shores 1980 Pony All-Star Team.

Esler, who was the director of parks and recreation for St. Clair Shores for more than a decade, was also the head basketball coach of the state championship-winning basketball team from Lake Shore High School.

The 1980 Pony All-Star Team finished in the top 10 in the world for Little League.

Frederick was drafted by the Boston Red Sox organization, but instead stayed to play for Eastern Michigan University. The team won the NAIA College World Series in 1970.

Grauzer was Macomb County Player of the Year in 1974 for basketball at Lake Shore High School and was also a 2002 inductee into the Central Michigan University Hall of Fame.

Lambert was the first female sports beat writer in Detroit, covering the Detroit Red Wings from 1986 to 1998 for the Detroit News.

Grauzer said he is excited to be included because St. Clair Shores has been a big part of his life, having spent 60 years in the city.

There have been “a lot of opportunities for myself, my family,” he said. “I love the community atmosphere. Being part of St. Margaret’s and being part of Lake Shore growing up, and coaching at both of those schools, I feel honored ... honored and humbled at the same time.”

Esler agreed.

“It’s a great honor to be inducted in the St. Clair Shores Hall of Fame,” he said in a text message. “I respect the other winners from this year and in the past.

“St. Clair Shores has been very good to me.”

Bowman said that the Sports Hall of Fame is a great opportunity to recognize athletes from St. Clair Shores who made their mark on the world of sports.

“St. Clair Shores people are, as far as I’m concerned, a special breed,” he said. “We’re kind of a small town right in the middle of everything. So many people have come through here and made such a big impact, and a lot of them still are.”

The inductees for the 2020 St. Clair Shores Athletic Hall of Fame will be honored 1-4 p.m. March 8 at Blossom Heath Inn, 24800 Jefferson Ave. Tickets cost $35 and include dinner, beer and wine. Tickets are available at the St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Department, 20000 Stephens Road.