SOURCE: Hickok Belt Award

September 21, 2011 08:37 ET

The Greatest Comeback in Sports History Begins Now

Announcing the Return of the Hickok Belt™ Award, Recognizing the Best of the Best in Professional Sports

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 21, 2011) - Once the most coveted honor in American sports, the Hickok Belt™ Award is back, as the first Hickok Belt since 1976 will be awarded to the individual deemed the best professional athlete following the 2012 season.

The Hickok Belt defined the careers of Koufax, Hogan, Palmer, Mantle, Ali and 21 other sports legends from 1950 to 1976. Beginning in 2012, with the backing of supporters including the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and the Fergie Jenkins Foundation, it will do the same for today's greats.

The countdown to the naming of the next Hickok Belt winner began with the recent launch of HickokBelt.com, and a Kickoff "Comeback" Dinner is slated for October 16th, at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, where the sports world will celebrate the Belt's rich past and renewed legacy.

"For 26 years, from 1950 to 1976, the Hickok Belt was the Crown Jewel of American sports, bigger than any MVP, bigger than a Lombardi, bigger than a World Series ring, bigger than a Green Jacket," said Tony Liccione, Founder and President of the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame, who has been the driving force behind bringing the Belt back. "In fact, it was bigger than all of them combined, because it honored the best professional athlete across all sports."

"This is special, not only because it recognizes the feats of an athlete amongst his peers in his sport, but also the best of the best in all sports," said baseball Hall-of-Famer, Fergie Jenkins. "It is something that represents competition at its purest."

Winners will be chosen by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Each month, an NSSA member panel will select a monthly winner. The 12 monthly winners will then comprise the candidates from which the full NSSA membership will select the annual Hickok Belt winner.

"The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) is excited to be taking part in the rebirth of the Hickok Belt Award," said Dave Goren, NSSA Executive Director. "We share much of the same history with the Belt and look forward to helping it regain its place among the most prestigious awards recognizing athletic achievement."

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