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Meet the panel

How do you possibly cull from the wide-ranging history of Chicago athletics just 20 finalists for the inaugural class of the ESPN Chicago Hall of Fame?

You select insiders closely tied to the fabric of the local sports scene ... and let them do the heavy lifting.

Here are our picks for the picks:


  • TOP PICKS
    • Michael Jordan

    • Walter Payton

    • Ernie Banks

    • Bobby Hull

    • Frank Thomas

    Melissa Isaacson

    Melissa Isaacson is a sportswriter and author who has covered Chicago sports for the last 21 years of her 28-year career, most recently as a columnist for ESPNChicago.com since 2009 and before that for 19 years as an award-winning columnist and feature writer for the Chicago Tribune. More »

  • TOP PICKS
    • Michael Jordan

    • Walter Payton

    • George Halas

    • Mike Ditka

    • Red Grange

    Michael Wilbon

    Michael Wilbon is a featured columnist for ESPN.com and ESPNChicago.com. He is the longtime co-host of "Pardon the Interruption" on ESPN and appears on the "NBA Sunday Countdown" pregame show on ABC. Wilbon joined ESPN.com after three decades with The Washington Post. More »

  • TOP PICKS
    • Ron Santo

    • Walter Payton

    • Michael Jordan

    • Mike Ditka

    • George Halas

    Gene Wojciechowski

    Gene Wojciechowski is a senior national columnist for ESPN.com and a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, covering major events and writing news and feature-related columns. He came to ESPN in 1992 as a college football reporter and moved to ESPN full time in November 1997, when he joined The Magazine. More »

  • TOP PICKS
    • Michael Jordan

    • Walter Payton

    • Mike Ditka

    • Dick Butkus

    • George Halas

    Marc Silverman

    March Silverman has co-hosted "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 since 2006. He has been at ESPN 1000 since 1998 (one of the station's original hires), where he served as the Bears beat reporter from 1998 to 2003 and hosted Bears pregame and postgame shows from 2000 to 2003. More »