ASHOF Class of 2010

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The Board of Directors of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Class of 2010 for induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse Coopers tabulated the votes by the selection committees.

The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2010 are:


Reita Clanton
Howard Cross
Robert Horry
Bobby Johns
Ronald McKinnon
Ben Tamburello


Ed Salem
George “Mule” Suttles


Rick Woodward

The newly elected eight inductees now bring the total of all inductees since 1969 to 290. Rick Woodward becomes the 26th Distinguished Sportsman.

The 2010 Induction Banquet will take place in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 22, 2010. Reception and banquet tickets will be available at a later date. For additional information, please contact Scott Myers, Executive Director, P.O. Box 10163, Birmingham, Alabama 35203; or call (205) 323-6665.

Class of 2010 Modern Category

REITA CLANTON (TEAM HANDBALL) – Born July 30, 1952 in LaFayette, AL. She attended Auburn University and during the pre-NCAA years of women’s sports was named to the AAIAW All-State teams in both basketball and volleyball two consecutive years (1973-’74). She was also an All-American shortstop in ASA softball in 1972. In 1977 she was a Delegate to the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece . She played on the United States Women’s Team Handball in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles . Played Team Handball for ten years and represented the U.S. in competition in 26 countries. In 1985 was the USOC Sportswoman of the Year – Team Handball. She was the Head Coach of the Gold Medal winning teams in the U.S. Olympic Festivals in 1985, ’87, ’95 and her team won the bronze medal in the ’91 games. In 1987 was Director of Team Handball for Special Olympics. In 1996 was the USOC National Coach of Year – Team Handball. She was an assistant coach for the U.S. Team Handball in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta . She co-authored the first book by American authors on Team Handball in 1996. In 1997 she was inducted into Tiger Trail of Auburn. In 2002 was a Torch Bearer in Winter Olympics Torch Relay. In 2003 was Technical Director for Special Olympics World Games, Dublin Ireland . She presently lives in Auburn, AL.

HOWARD CROSS (FOOTBALL) – Born August 8, 1967 in Huntsville, AL. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama under both Ray Perkins and Bill Curry. He was All-SEC his junior year. His senior year he received the Jacobs Award as the best blocker in the SEC. He had 41 career receptions for 459 years and 4 touchdowns. He played in the Senior Bowl before begin drafted by the New York Giants in 1989. In just his second year, he won a Super Bowl ring; and played in another Super Bowl in 2000. Although he was known for his blocking expertise, he finished his 13 year career in 2001 with 201 receptions for 2,194 yards and 17 touchdowns. Retiring in 2001, he played in 207 games, which is a Giants franchise record.

ROBERT HORRY (BASKETBALL) – Born August 25, 1970 in Harford County, Maryland. He grew up in Andalusia, AL. His senior year in High School won the Naismith Alabama High School Player of the Year award. He played collegiate at the University of Alabama , where he established a school record for career blocked shots (282). He was selected ALL-SEC, the SEC All-Defensive Team and the SEC All-Academic Teams. He was drafted in the first round of the NBA in 1992 eleven overall pick by the Houston Rockets. He won seven NBA Championships with three different teams (two with Houston Rockets, three with Los Angeles Lakers and two with San Antonio Spurs). He is one of only three players to win consecutive NBA Championships with two different teams. He is one of two players to win NBA Championships with three different teams. He is the all-time leader in playoff games played. He is second on the all-time list of three-pointers made in the playoffs. He also holds the record for three-pointers all-time in the NBA Finals with 53. He holds the NBA Playoffs record for most three-point field goals made in a game without a miss (seven).

BOBBY JOHNS (FOOTBALL) - Born in Birmingham, AL. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama . He was a two-time All-American at defensive back (1966 & ’67). He was a three-time All-SEC (1965, ’66, & ’67). He was co-captain his senior year (‘67). He was named to the Team of the Decade for the 60’s. The Most Improved Defensive back Spring Award is named for him. For over 30 years he was an assistant coach at universities such as South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee at Chattanooga, Florida State, and Valdosta State. From 1997-2000 was the head football coach at the University of West Alabama.

RONALD MCKINNON (FOOTBALL) – A native of Elba, AL. He played collegiately at the University of North Alabama . He is the only defensive player to ever win the Harlon Hill award (Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy). He led the University of North Alabama to three straight national championships. A three time consensus first team All-American. He was a four-time first team All-Gulf South Conference pick. Named the conference Player of Quarter Century (1971-’95). He holds UNA records for career tackles (621) and season tackles (175). He played ten years in the NFL, nine as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals and finished his career with the New Orleans Saints. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

BEN TAMBURELLO (FOOTBALL) – Born September 9, 1964 in Birmingham . He played collegiately at Auburn University . He was a consensus All-American pick in 1986, an All-American in ’85, and All SEC both years. He was named SEC Lineman of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club and he was also an All-SEC Academic selection. He received the Shug Jordan Award as the Outstanding Senior Player. He was selected to the offensive team of the Century, as well as Offensive Player of the Decade for the 80’s by the Birmingham Post-Herald. As a sophomore he received the Ken Rice Award as Auburn ’s Best Blocking Lineman. Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft and played five years.

Old Timers Category

ED SALEM (FOOTBALL) – Born in Birmingham, AL . He played collegiately at the University of Alabama . He was first team A.P. All-American in 1950. He led Alabama in passing, rushing, scoring and pass intercepted (as he also played defensive end). He presently ranks 13 in touchdown passes in a season at Alabama . He ranks 9th in career touchdown passes with 23. He is tied for third in touchdown passes in a game. He is tied for the longest touchdown pass (77 yards vs. Tulane in ’50). He led the team in scoring in 1948 and ’49. In the 1948 revival of the Iron Bowl he threw three touchdown passes, ran one in and kicked 7 PAT’s in Bama’s 55-0 victory. He was drafted in the second round by the Washington Redskins in 1951. He played one season with the Redskins, intercepting five passes and then signed to play with the Montreal Allouettes of the Canadian Football League. He played both offense and defense and handled kicking field goals. In one game he kicked a 53 yard field goal to win the game. He passed away on December 21, 2001 in Birmingham .

GEORGE “MULE” SUTTLES (BASEBALL) – Born March 31, 1900 in Blocton, AL . He was posthumously inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on July 30, 2006. He played 21 seasons in the Negro Leagues for the Birmingham Black Barons, Baltimore Black Sox, St. Louis Stars, Detroit Wolves, Washington Pilots, Cole’s American Giants, Newark Eagles, Indianapolis ABCs and the New York Black Yankees. He had a career batting average of .321. He appeared in five Negro League East-West Classics (all-star games) hitting five homeruns and a batting average of .412 with a .893 slugging percentage. He hit the first home run ever hit in the East-West Classic. He hit 237 home runs, most in the Negro League history. His average of 40 homers per 550 at-bats was the most of any player. Twice he led the Negro Leagues in homeruns. In 26 documented exhibition games against white competition he had a hitting percentage of .374 with five home runs. He once hit three home runs in one inning against the Memphis Red Sox. He helped the St. Louis Stars to three Negro National League pennants. He passed away July 9, 1966 in Newark, N.J.

Rick Woodward
ASHOF 2010 Distinguished Sportsman

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the late Rick Woodward has been named Distinguished Sportsman for 2010.

Mr. Woodward was the owner of the Birmingham Barons from 1909-1937. In 1910 he built what was at the time, the finest baseball stadium in the minor leagues, Rickwood Field. Today, Rickwood Field is the oldest active baseball park in America ; and in 2010 will celebrate its 100 year anniversary.
A native of Wheeling, West Virginia , he was born on September 16, 1876. He played baseball collegiately at Sewanee (University of the South) from 1892-1895 and then at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1896-1899.

Under Woodward’s ownership, the Birmingham Barons won five pennants, finished second three times, finished third nine times, and fourth twice. They also won two Dixie Series. In 1927 the team set a league record for winning 19 straight games. In 1928 the team set a record for highest team batting average (.331); and 13 players hit .300 or higher. The Barons reportedly sent more players to the majors than any other team during the Woodward ownership. The 1931 opening game of the Dixie Series (the Ray Caldwell – Dizzy Dean pitching duel) set an attendance record of 27,701. He also spent time as the Vice President of the Southern League.

His other sporting interests included yachting, golf, hunting and fishing. He also built Woodward Golf Course in 1916. He was chairman of several large industries, chiefly Woodward Iron Co. He died on November 23, 1950 in Birmingham .

He is survived by nine grandchildren. They are Rick Woodward (Birmingham), Nick Woodward (Birmingham), Robert Woodward ( Gulf Shores , AL.), Elizabeth Cox (Birmingham), William W. Webb (Chapel Hill, N.C.), James M. Burt (Birmingham), Sandra Arnold (Stewart, FL.), Mary Oestenstad ( Birmingham ) and Ann McKee (Cashiers, N.C.).

Mr. Woodward will be enshrined as a Distinguished Sportsman at the 42nd Annual Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the Birmingham Ballroom in the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Previous Distinguished Sportsmen include Ronald Bruno, Dr. David Bronner, Hugh Culverhouse, Charles O. Finley, David Housel, Bill Ireland, Mal Moore, Michael Stephens, Larry D. Striplin Jr., Hall Thompson and others.

Mr. Woodward joins the Class of 2010 sports greats which include: Reita Clanton (Team Handball), Howard Cross (Football), Robert Horry (Basketball), Bobby Johns (Football), Ronald McKinnon (Football), Ben Tamburello (Football), Ed Salem (Football) and George “Mule” Suttles (Baseball). For more information on the May 22, 2010 Induction Banquet call the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at 877-323-6665.