SPRINGFIELD–Most kids who grow up playing sports often dream of nailing the game winning shot or hitting a walk off grand slam to clinch the World Series. Let’s get serious though, only a microscopic fraction ever actually do that.

But even if those childhood hopes never do come true, being recognized as one of the best in your field ain’t a bad consolation prize.

Say hello to the class of 2023 for the Missouri State Sports Hall of Fame.

Fourteen incredibly talented men and women, representing 11 different sports were immortalized Sunday at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Headlining the group was former Kansas City Royals pitcher, Bret Saberhagen, Poplar Bluffs star and UNC legend Tyler Hansbrough, along with Mizzou linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon.

But don’t forget about a couple of Missouri State studs. As in men’s basketball player Daryel Garrison, still MSU’s all-time leading men’s scorer, and Bears kicker Jan Stahle.

Those receiving their red coats of immortality were extremely grateful to be apart of the festivities.

“First of all, I’m honored,” said Hansbrough. “But also, being inducted into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is about my community, too. So there’s a lot of people who helped me get to where I am in my basketball life and just in life, so there’s a lot of important people. So this is a way to…even though my name’s attached to it this represents all of Poplar Bluff and the people who’ve helped me.”

“Very honored to be a part of this 2023 class with these guys and women,” said Saberhagen. “We’ve achieved some pretty cool things over the years and being recognized for it, so I’m just proud to be a part of this class.”