BINGHAMTON, NY – After having to put the ceremony on hold for a year, the Greater Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame was finally able to induct it’s newest members on Monday night.
The GB Sports Hall of Fame hosted it’s annual induction dinner Monday evening at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Binghamton.
This year’s class featured 12 individual inductees, as well one team.
Among those inducted were former Major League pitchers John Pawlowski and Rob Gardner, Harold “Ty” Cobb, the Union-Endicott stadium namesake, and former coach and hall of fame board member Michele Tidick.
Along with the dinner, music, scholarship ceremony, and the inductees speeches, there is always a guest speaker at this event.
And this year, it was former All-Pro running back and New York Giants Ring of Honor member Tiki Barber.
Before the ceremony, Barber took time for a meet-and-greet where he signed autographs and took pictures with those attending the event.
Living only about 2 1/2 hours from Binghamton, and happy to have the spotlight being on the inductees, Barber spoke about what it meant to be a part of this night.
“To be able to come into a community, which there’s a lot of Giants fans, I know there’s probably some Bills fans as well. But, there’s a lot of Giants fans, and give an uplifting presentation. Most importantly, honor those folks that are going in tonight, it’s special to me. It’s something that I’m going to remember and I hope that they do as well,” he said.
As a player, Barber spent 10 years with the Giants, and is the all-time rushing leader in Giants history, one of many team records he holds to this day.
Having made it all the way to the NFL, Barber learned toughness, strength, perseverance, and hard work.
However, the times of intense, hard-hitting, two-a-days, and playing through injury are gone thanks to advancements in the medical and technological fields.
With that in mind, Barber can definitely see a difference in the world of athletics today compared to when he was younger.
“Things are a lot smarter for athletics these days. Whether it’s the training, whether it’s the focus on health and safety, whether that’s joints, or musculature, or most importantly, your brain. I tend to think that when I grew up, I was stupid-brave. I played with a broken arm. I’d get knocked unconscious and be back in the game in a second. So, I think that evolution is an important one,” Barber says.
And, of course, there had to be some Giants talk.
While Barber thinks the right players and coaches are there for future runs, his team will most likely not be making a run to the Super Bowl this year.
However, he did make a prediction for the game, slating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in it to face the Las Vegas Raiders.
It would be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVII, when the Bucs won their 1st title, and their defense featured Tiki’s twin brother, Ronde, at cornerback.