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Kaval's Kickoff: Goonies-esque Hall of Fame weekend

The Goonies-esque ending on Saturday was a fitting tribute to our annual Hall of Fame Night. With iconic members of our club’s past – players, coaches, builders – in attendance, we once again delivered a thrilling finish.

For those who don’t know, we have turned our Hall of Fame game into something special for our alumni. All Quakes alumni are invited back for the weekend to salute the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame, reminisce over some beers, and even strap on the boots and spend some time together back on the pitch. This year we were proud to induct the first members of the NASL Quakes into our Hall of Fame. Acknowledging and honoring our heritage is a core part of our mission. Too many professional sports teams overlook this critical connection to the past that helps define them as an organization.

The great thing about the Quakes is that we have such a rich and storied history. That was certainly on display Saturday in inducting Milan Mandaric and Paul Child into the Hall of Fame. Milan is a true visionary and was the original founder and owner of the NASL Earthquakes. His unwavering commitment to San Jose kept the team out of San Francisco. He came up with the name Earthquakes and saw the potential of professional sports in the Silicon Valley. He now owns Sheffield Wednesday in the English Championship. One of my favorite moments from the weekend was when Milan was reunited with Gus Mavroudis, the former controller of the original Quakes. The smiles on their faces as they retold old war stories was what these events are all about. Gus had some great old photos of the team, including the audio recording of the first press conference announcing the formation of the club.

Paul Child was the poster boy for the original clubs that competed against the New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies. He was the leading scorer on those clubs and led the NASL in goals in 1974 with 15 goals. In a sign of the times, the NASL created an offseason indoor league to keep the players occupied and paid. Paul was the MVP and led the indoor Quakes to the 1975 Championship, the first for any professional team in the South Bay.

To better celebrate this great history, we are enhancing our digital scrapbook of our past. For starters, we will be launching an Earthquakes Hall of Fame section on our website. I am looking for fans to contribute quotes, photos, memories, or anything that we can digitally capture for this section.  Please contact me at president@sjearthquakes.com to help.  We will also expand our Facebook timeline with events that coincide with these players’ great achievements from Milan's first press conference at the founding moment of the club to John Doyle winning the 1996 MLS Defender of the Year for the Clash. Please check out the first postings here.

It is now October so we are closing in on our groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 21. Everyone here at Quakes HQ is excited about the event. Tons of planning is going into making a great day to celebrate the historic occasion and set the Guinness Record. As of today, we have 4,700 registered for the event. We have 6,000 blue shovels so be sure to register to ensure your spot in the ceremony (CLICK TO RSVP). It will be an amazing day to celebrate the Quakes and then take care of the Galaxy at Buck Shaw.


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