Avron Fogelman

Tennessean of the Year
Year Honored:
University of Memphis, Tulane


Avron Fogelman’s involvement in professional sports in Memphis began in 1970, when, at the age of 30, he served as President of the Memphis Pros of the American Basketball Association (ABA), the first professional basketball team in the state. Memphis has had a long and rich professional baseball history, but that history was interrupted after the 1976 season of the Memphis Blues. After just one year without baseball, Fogelman worked diligently to bring AA baseball back to the city. On opening night in 1978, the Memphis Chicks were welcomed by an overflow crowd and became one of the most successful teams in minor league baseball in the 1970s and 1980s. During the 1970s, Fogelman was one of the owners of the Memphis Grizzlies football team in the WFL, bringing Memphis its first professional football team. Fogelman’s strong conviction to bring sports to Memphis is perhaps best reflected in how he brought professional soccer to Memphis. He never played soccer, but he saw the number of youngsters across the country who played the game and wanted Memphis to be exposed to the sport. Fogelman bought the Memphis Rogues franchise in 1978 which developed into a championship team that galvanized the city. Beyond Memphis sports teams, for more than 30 years Avron Fogelman has been one of the leading supporters of the athletic program at the University of Memphis and also served as the first Chairman of the Memphis/Shelby County Sports Authority. In 1983, he became an owner of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Just two years later, the Royals won the World Series and Avron Fogelman, who played third base in Little League, was able to realize an accomplishment few others have experienced

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