Inductee Profile

Michael Tollin

shof-2009-Michael_TollinMichael Tollin, a Philadelphia native and rabid Philly sports fan, is an award winning writer, producer and director of many major television series and theatrical films-most of which feature the world of sports.
Tollin is a graduate of Haverford High School and Stanford University where he was a sports columnist and the play-by-play radio announcer for Stanford basketball.

His first post-college job brought him back to Philadelphia as writer/producer for the TV series Greatest Sports Legends which was headquartered above an Italian restaurant, San Marco, on City Line Avenue. His signature moment was convincing a recalcitrant Wilt Chamberlain to participate in the show.

From there, Tollin went to work for Major League Baseball Productions and in 1980 found himself in the right job at the right time as the scriptwriter of the official World Series film chronicling the Phillies first-ever Series Crown.

In 1982, Tollin formed his own company Halcyon Days Productions and was awarded exclusive rights to the fledgling United States Football League where he was again fortunate to cover another Philly sports champion, the Philadelphia Stars, who won the ’84 USFL title.
After years of producing sports shows, he moved to Los Angeles where he formed Tollin/Robbins Productions. Among his TV programs was Arli$$, an HBO comedy about a sports agent that ran for seven seasons. His Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy for best documentary. His recent ESPN min-series The Bronx is Burning was about the 1977 Yankees. He also authored such popular and well-reviewed dramatic series as Smallville and One Tree Hill. Among the major motion pictures he produced and directed that had sports themes were: Varsity Blues, Summer Catch, Radio, Dreamer and Coach Carter.

Though living and raising a family in Southern California, Tollin remains fiercely loyal to his hometown teams. He travels to Clearwater each spring and last fall attended the Phillies World Series triumph over the Rays. His ubiquitous red Phillies cap has become a commonplace component of the Hollywood scene.