Former Missouri Tiger and Bengals and 49ers defensive end Justin Smith was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Sunday night in Springfield. The former Jefferson City Jay played 14 seasons in the NFL. Linebacker Derrick Johnson, who played 13 of his 14 seasons with the Chiefs, was also inducted along with former Royals manager Ned Yost, former Cardinals third baseman Terry Pendleton, and former relief pitcher Brad Ziegler, the Missouri State player who pitched for four teams. Also inducted, high school coaches Dave Neier more than 700 wins with St. Francis Borgia boys basketball and Blue Springs South and Plattsburg High School football coach Gred Oder and Larry Holley, the all-time winningest coach among Missouri four year colleges, 918 wins was given the Pinnacle lifetime achievement award.
Justin Smith–In the Jefferson City Jays Football Program (MHSOF 2019), Smith helped lead the team to the 1997 state championship in Class 5 – the largest in Missouri – and earned All-State honors. At Mizzou, he was a two-time All-Big 12 selection, First Team All-American as a junior in 2000 and left holding the Mizzou career quarterback sacks record, with 22.5 – a record he set only three seasons. (The record now stands at No. 2 all-time.)
Derrick Johnson–Remembers the experience of Arrowhead
“There is an experience that I cannot explain when you walk on the field and see the sea of red cheering for you,” Johnson said. “The loudest fans in the NFL are in Kansas City, and I will remember and cherish that for the rest of my life. There is nothing like driving to the game on a Sunday afternoon seeing and smelling all the barbecue in the parking lot. Tailgating in Kansas City is very old-school and authentic. The scene and vibe is so special.”
Ned Yost–Yost is the winningest manager in Royals history, with 746 wins over 10 seasons (2010 to 2019).
Terry Pendleton–Pendleton finished seventh in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1984, helped the Cardinals win two National League pennants (1985, 1987) and won the first two of his three Gold Gloves (1987, 1989, 1992) in St. Louis. For his career, he played five seasons with the Atlanta Braves, helping them to N.L. pennants in 1991, 1992 and 1996. He earned N.L. MVP honors in 1991 and finished as the MVP runner-up a year later. He also led the N.L. in hits twice (187 in 1991, 199 in 1992).
Brad Zeigler–A 1998 graduate of Odessa High School, Ziegler pitched Missouri State University to the 2003 College World Series and later made a name for himself as a submarining relief pitcher – that is, a groundball machine – for four big-league clubs (Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins) between 2008 and 2018. The right-hander broke in by throwing 39 scoreless innings to open his career, shattering a 101-year-old MLB record (25) and garnering an eighth-place finish in 2008 American League Rookie of the Year voting. Overall, he pitched 717 1/3 innings, and his 739 relief appearances rank 81st all-time, despite not making his debut until he was 28.
Click here to read more on the 2020 inductees