HOF President Honored at March of Dimes Sports Luncheon

Story originally published in Akron Beacon Journal

Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker received the “Sports Leadership Award” Tuesday during the 34th annual March of Dimes Sports Luncheon in New York City.

He told the Canton Repository that the award gave him “a real sense of pride for what we’re doing.”

Baker has been overseeing not only the sports museum but also shepherding the ongoing $800 million Johnson Controls Pro Football Hall of Fame Village project in Canton.


Baker, an attorney and former commissioner of the Arena Football League, was hired to run the Hall of Fame in 2014. He is the sixth director in the Hall’s 50-year history.

“I think David’s arrival and his vision for the Hall of Fame and his personality — he’s extremely personable — just really lifted the entire community,” Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dennis Saunier told the newspaper. “… Someone like David comes along maybe once in a lifetime, maybe once in a career.”

The event, co-hosted by ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza and NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, reportedly raised $1.17 million.

In addition to Baker’s award, the March of Dimes also honored NFL Executive Vice President Dawn Hudson with the Corporate Leadership Award, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles with the Sportswoman of the Year Award, and baseball analyst Ron Darling with the Sports Legend Award.