SNIDER: Beatrice is next into D.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Rick Snider
June 09, 2020 - 2:41 pm

Ken Beatrice didn't invent sports talk radio, but he's certainly the godfather of late-night debates in Washington. Someone who knew everything before the internet and talked to callers long after the nightly show ended.
Beatrice was named to the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday and it was long overdue. The late sportscaster loved talking sports, whether to callers on WMAL-630 or people he met anytime, anywhere. He had an unwavering opinion that filled the hours long before current sports talk stations. There was this army of "scouts" who kept him informed of players even on small college teams and a memory for stats that went beyond ridiculous.
Most of all, Ken was a nice man who spent his retirement teaching others how to talk to congregations until his death in 2015. Two decades on the radio didn't make him a celebrity in his mind. He was just a friend on the air and off, whose "You're next" to callers was endearing.
And, Ken loved talking about Arby's "curly fries." He didn't eat them personally because of heart problems, but heard they were good. Those commercials remain memorable decades later. So does Ken.
The 2020 class also includes UDC coach Wil Jones, T.C. Williams coach Herman Boone, basketball star Austin Carr, Redskins receiver Gary Clark, Carroll basketball coach Bob Dwyer, national soccer coach Jill Ellis and Maryland basketball guard John Lucas.

The 2019 Washington Nationals and Washington Mystics were named teams of distinction for winning championships.
The late Jones was one of my favorite people to cover. First, he was a great coach at the UDC, taking a small program to the Division III championship in 1982. A District native, Jones played at Dunbar High and American University before several coaching stops led him to the Firebirds' championship.
Jones could curse every other word, making me cobble together quotes. It was just his way of being colorful. He was a good person who looked after people. When I was taken to the hospital from press row with food poisoning at UDC's playoff game in Norfolk, Jones called my desk and gave them a game story. I don't know another coach who would have done that. Jones passed away in 2014 and local basketball sorely misses him.
Boone was immortalized in the movie "Remember the Titans" for leading an integrated football team to the 1971 Virginia state championship. He died in December.
Carr is absolutely on the Mount Rushmore of Washington basketball as one of the city's top players ever. He played at Mackin High and Notre Dame before being selected No. 1 overall by Cleveland in 1971.
Clark was the Redskins' game-breaking receiver on two Super Bowl championships. He should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with former teammates Joe Jacoby and Brian Mitchell. Personally, I thought Clark was more valuable than Art Monk.
Dwyer coached the first locally-integrated basketball team in the 1950s at Carroll and later won 55 straight games (1958-60). He coached 26 years. Dwyer died in 2007.
Ellis was the U.S. women's national soccer team coach that won the 2015 and '19 World Cups. The Robinson Secondary School captain was part of the 1984 Virginia state champions and Braddock Road Bluebelles' 19-under national crown.
Lucas was part of the incredible Maryland basketball teams in the early 1970s along with Tom McMillen and Len Elmore. The guard would be the first overall NBA selection in 1976 by Houston and played 13 years.
It's a fine class, one Beatrice surely could have talked about all night.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks