Nixon, Simpson, Dineen & Grainger enter Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame

WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Dr. James Dineen is a sports medicine pioneer. He spent years researching sports injuries while promoting safety on the field. Dineen was also the first team doctor for New Hanover High School.

The late Ike Grainger is now a member of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. Grainger used to be the nation’s leading authority on the rules of golf. He’s a former president of the United States Golf Association. Grainger died at the age of 104 in 1999.

Trot Nixon is clearly one of the best athletes to come out of Wilmington. He was the top high school football and baseball player in the state his senior year. Nixon chose to pursue baseball professionally. He had a long and productive career. Most of his seasons were spent in Boston as a Red Sox. Nixon graciously thanked a long list of former coaches, players and family. “Lastly I’d like to thank my mom an dad, Nixon said. “Dad, thanks for being the best coach of all. I would have never had it any other way, what I learned from you on the ball field. You were tough on me, but for me to live out my dream I needed to be tough.” Nixon added that he always found comfort in his mom. He said she was always there, win or lose.

Wilmington native Lenny Simpson is a tennis pioneer. At the age of 15 he played in the US Tennis Open. He won his first round match in 1964. In the second round Simpson ran into tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Simpson lost to Ashe in the second round, but it was only the start of something big for Simpson who later became the first African-American to play on the World Tennis Tour. “To be a part of this fraternity of inductees is unbelievable, Simpson told the crowd at the Burney Center at UNCW. “Congratulations to each and every one of you.”

For more information on the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame check out

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