Meet the Hickok Belt Award® Winners

Past Hickok Belt Award ® winners are truly a select group – a veritable who’s who of sports icons. The award has celebrated the incredible careers of leading figures throughout sports. With names like Ali, Mantle, Brown, Namath, Palmer, Phelps and James it is an impressive list to be sure. To learn more about the amazing athletes behind the award including video highlights of their accomplishments, please enjoy the listings below.


Muhammad Ali (1974)

Crowned “Sportsman of the Century’’ by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1999, Ali ranks as one of the greatest boxers of all time as well as a magnanimous worldwide humanitarian. The native of Louisville, Kentucky, captured America’s attention when he won the light heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He was named Cassius Clay at the time, a name he changed after becoming world heavyweight champion in the mid-1960s and joining the Nation of Islam. Ali became a polarizing figure in 1967 when he refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army because of his religious convictions. He was stripped of his title and his right to fight in most states. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such actions were unconstitutional. Ali finally regained the boxing crown he lost by knocking out champion George Foreman in Zaire, Africa, in 1974. “The Greatest’’ finished his career with fifty-six victories and five losses, but wound up developing Parkinson’s disease as a result of boxing injuries he sustained. Despite his condition, he travels the world on behalf of humanitarian causes. He was born on January 17, 1942.

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Pitoniak, Scott, Jewel of the Sports World: The Story of the Hickok Belt Award, Rochester New York: RIT Press, Copyright © 2010