ESPN Dallas HOF: Narrowing the field

Here at ESPN Dallas, we are confident that our readers will select the proper five inductees into our first Hall of Fame class. Rounding out the ballot proved to be a more challenging proposition.

A quick peek at the region's sports monuments and retired numbers got us started. We then included individuals who have been immortalized in their sport's hall of fame. Champions, MVPs, gold medalists and front-office contributors joined the list.

We searched for natives who left their mark elsewhere. Finally, we considered figures who had relatively brief but shining moments in the area -- think Jimmy Johnson and Brett Hull.

What began as a list of over 80 hopefuls in the spring was whittled down to an eclectic 30 in late July. Each panel member was then asked to submit his top 20, and six write-in candidates emerged.

The panel's tally gave us our 20 nominees without a need for a re-vote:

ESPN Dallas Hall of Fame nominees

The top 20 vote-getters:

Left on the doorstep? Hall of Fame Cowboys Michael Irvin and Randy White, along with two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez of the Rangers, were among those who just missed the cut:

Left off the ESPN Dallas Hall of Fame ballot

x-write-in candidate

Even at 30 candidates, the list was far from complete and open to debate. As the Hall grows in coming years, you'll see an appearance of worthy candidates who flew under the radar. G.A. Moore, Texas' winningest high school football coach, won't be ignored for long. TCU legend Dutch Meyer, a two-time championship football coach, should receive consideration. So should gold-medal gymnasts Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.

As they say: Once a Hall of Famer, always a Hall of Famer.