Cal fans, we proudly present to you the 2015 California Golden Blogs Hall of Fame inductees. There are few greater indication of greatness than popularity among you, the fans, and we thank each and every one of you who nominated Cal legends and voted week after week. Today, we reveal the five inductees of the 2015 class.
Here is the current Hall of Fame:
Inaugural class of 2009: Mark Bingham (who received and deserved his own post of individual merit), Tony Gonzalez, Jack Clark, Jeff Tedford, Leon Powe, Zack Follett, Marshawn Lynch, Natalie Coughlin, Joe Roth, Jason Kidd and Chuck Muncie.
Class Of 2010: The Play Players; Alex Mack; Aaron Rodgers; and, of course, the one, the only Glenn Seaborg.
Class Of 2011: Brent Woodall; Jill Costello; Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien; Deltha O'Neal; Matt Biondi; Kevin Johnson; and Dana Vollmer.
Class of 2012: Nathan Adrian; Joe Kapp; Ron Gould; Robert O. Briggs; and Ken Montgomery.
Class of 2013: Alex Morgan, Jorge Gutierrez, Carli Lloyd, Valerie Arioto, and Pete Newell.
Class of 2014: Desmond Bishop, Layshia Clarendon, Jolene Henderson, Seamus Kelly, Mike Mohamed, and the 2010 Men's Basketball Seniors.
And now, allow us to reintroduce this year's inductees: Michele Granger, Russell White, Bob Calonico, Mike Macdonald, and the winner of the 2015 CGB Hall of Fame Final Vote, the one and only Oski.
On the short list of best softball players ever. 1996 Gold Medalist. This article encapsulates her accomplishments
From 1989-93 Granger amassed 1,640 strikeouts and 94 shutouts in 183 games, both NCAA records.The statistic that perhaps exemplifies Granger's dominance are her 25 no-hitters, five of which were perfect games Granger holds the top four spots in single-season strikeouts at Cal, and her 484 strikeouts during her senior year were a record at the time.
25 no hitters. 25 no hitters.
Granger was the winning pitcher when the USA Softball team that won the sports' first Olympic gold medal in 1996. At the 1996 games, Granger finished with a 2-0 record, a 0.87 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Granger, who now resides in Davis, Calif., compiled a 13-7 record in five U.S. Olympic Festivals, went 4-0 in two ISF World Championships and 9-0 in three Pan American Games. She holds record for most consecutive strikeouts in a Women's Major Fast Pitch National Championship (18).
Granger played for Cal from 1989-93. She is the Golden Bears' all-time career leader in wins (119), games played (183), games started (162), complete games (155), innings pitched (1,202.2), strikeouts (1,640), shutouts (94), no-hitters (25) and perfect games (5).
LeonPowe: Superman. One of the 3 best running backs (some would argue the best ever) to play at Cal. Finished in the top 5 in Heisman as a junior. Carried Cal to a #7 National ranking at the end of the 1991 season. Hurdled a Purdue player well before anyone else did it.
Kodiak: Took it to the house on a 100yd kickoff return first time he touched the ball in a Cal uniform.
Had some crazy reverse-the-field oh-no-he-didn't runs that were Marshawn-esque before Marshawn.
Put up huge #'s while still sharing the ball with another 1000-yd rusher (Anthony Wallace).
Freaky athlete. He hurdled a guy once and got penalized for it...because the guy was still standing. (yes, not diving, not tackling, not kneeling/crouching.)
For you younguns: A little taller/faster than Forsett, similar vision. Not quite as powerful as Marshawn, but similiar wiggle/athleticism.
Cal's all-time leading rusher was perhaps the biggest recruiting coup in school history. Controversy surrounded White's decision to move from Crespi HS to Berkeley, since he was a Prop 48 student who had not achieved a qualifying SAT score. A summer of tutoring revealed that Russell was dyslexic, and he would go on to earn his degree in social welfare in four years with a B average.
He would also go on to become Cal's all-time leading rusher, behind 1,000 yard efforts in 1991 and 1992. Fifteen times he rushed for at least 100 yards in a game, including a 229-yard effort in Cal's record setting 52-30 beatdown of USC in 1991. With White, the Bears reversed a decade of futility and won back-to-back bowls in 1990 and 1991. His '91 season, with 1,177 yards rushing and fourteen touchdowns earned White first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and the FWAA.
Now thanks to Prd74, we all get to bask in Russell's greatness a little; his freshman campaign in 1990 had some great moments, including a 99 yard kickoff return against Miami in the first video and an utterly insane run starting at 4:24 in the second vid.
Cal football really wouldn't be Cal football, without this:
Calonico served as Student Director of the California Marching Band in 1976, and has been devoted to the Band and to music in general ever since then. Whether you were in the Band, or were just a fan of Cal Football, the pregame and halftime shows have been a common thread for multiple seasons and even generations. Very few universities, especially in the Bay Area, can lay claim to that sort of shared heritage.
Calonico's love for music extends beyond just a professional venture; his music is active in the charities and benefits scene as well.
Director of the @CalBand Bob Calonico plays some sultry tunes on Tenor Sax at the #NorCalBenefit pic.twitter.com/nIUV1QR0lZ— Cal Band Alumni (@CalBandAlumni) November 9, 2014
Calbears03 introduces Mike MacDonald:
Mac is considered by most rugby fans to be the greatest American rugby player ever. Between 2000-2004 he was a 5-time All American at Cal and won 4 National Championships. As a professional for Leeds in England, he became the first American to be named Captain to a Pemiership team. Furthermore, he was the youngest player to ever start for Team USA, and is America's all-time most capped player (meaning international matches started) playing in 3 World Cups.
Cal truly runs in MacDonald's blood as well. After retiring from professional and international rugby, MacDonald returned to the Bay Area to become an assistant coach for Cal Rugby under long-time head coach Jack Clark. Clark's own words about MacDonald:
"‘Big Mac' is truly a singular figure in the history of American rugby," Clark said. "He's consistently demonstrated unwavering sportsmanship and loyalty to team and country. His retirement closes out a generation of our most distinguished internationals. We can only say thanks."
For more on MacDonald, check out our very own interview of the Cal Rugby legend from 2011:
1. What got you interested in playing rugby initially?
1. Well, my brother started playing when I was a freshman in high school while he was a senior. The next year, all of his teammates were asking me to come out, so I decided to give it a try. Plus it was a great way to bridge the gap between the end of wrestling season and the start of football season.
2. What got you interested in playing rugby at Cal?
2. I've always been a Golden Bear, since the day I was born. My dad played football and rugby while he was at Cal and then when he graduated, he went on to be an assistant coach for the football team. After a few years of playing rugby for Lamorinda, I had the chance to come to Cal and further my career and jumped at the chance.
NorCalNick shares some thoughts:
Why do I like Oski? Because he's different. Here's the thing: Most mascots are one of two things: Boring, or trying too hard*. Mostly boring. Just within the Pac-12 alone, here is a list of generic mascots:
Arizona. Arizona State. Oregon State. Washington State. Washington. UCLA. Utah.
*By trying too hard, I mean in terms of absurdity and irreverence (hellooooooo Stanford) or pomp and circumstance (hellooooooo USC).
I don't mean generic in the sense that the mascots themselves are generic, although Arizona and Washington State have fallen into the different-name-for-the-same-cat chasm. I mean the costumes. Every school listed above evidently decided that they were just going to put a guy in a boring, bipedal animal costume and then make him wear a football jersey. Most Pac-12 mascots are full-kit wankers.
No, Oski aspires to more. He has class. He wears a cardigan and trousers. While most other mascots act like capering circus clowns or adrenalin-addled über-jocks, Oski calmly strolls around the field, always friendly, always smiling.
One might argue, then, that Oski is boring. Why isn't he doing lazy knee push-ups every touchdown, like some mascots, or constantly twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom, or generally making a ruckus? Because Oski knows how to pick his spots. Oski paces himself. And when called upon, when our need is dire, Oski is there. There to beat down the tree. There to shotgun a bear through a straw in his eye. There to throw a cake at Gary Payton's mom. You know the famous John Wooden quote: ‘Don't mistake activity for achievement?' He coined it after comparing Oski with other, lesser mascots.
Frankly, Oski doesn't feel like a mascot. He feels like another classmate or alum. I'd feel weird sitting next to Wilbur the Wildcat at a bar. But Oski? We could sit right down and reminisce together about our crazy mutual friend from the dorms freshman year or the incredible basketball game against Stanford. Oski is the eternal sophomore, after all. And although you'll have to carry most of the conversation, he's fully capable of getting his point across non-verbally.
Here's to Oski, the best mascot in the Pac-12 that isn't a real live friggin' Buffalo running around the field.