Greater Seattle, Inc. is most remembered for presenting and popularizing Seafair in Seattle. The organization was also earnestly involved in bringing other sporting events to Seattle, including annual professional football and basketball exhibitions from the mid-1950s to late 1960s.
Greater Seattle Inc.’s board of directors featured a who’s who of movers and shakers in the business community and sporting scene of Seattle, and included managing director Walter A. Van Camp, R.C. “Torchy” Torrance, Henry Broderick, Joe E. Gandy and Paul Pigott.
The first game in Dallas Cowboys franchise history was an exhibition contest on Aug. 6, 1960, when they met the San Francisco 49ers in front of 22,000 fans at Husky Stadium in Seattle. Former UW standouts Hugh McElhenny (49ers) and Don Heinrich (Cowboys) were on opposite sides of the field that day, nine years removed from their days as Husky backfield mates.
McElhenny and Heinrich had last played together in the 1950 Apple Cup, when McElhenny established an all-time UW record by rushing for 296 yards and five touchdowns. In the same game, a 52-21 UW win, Heinrich set an NCAA record for single-season pass completions.
McElhenny returned for his senior season in 1951, but Heinrich was forced to the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder. When Heinrich returned in 1952 (an All-America season), McElhenny was already a member of the San Francisco 49ers, having been selected by them in the first round of the 1951 NFL Draft.
By the time they faced each other across the sidelines on Aug. 6, 1960, McElhenny had already won the 1952 NFL Rookie of the Year award and been voted to play in four Pro Bowl games.
McElhenny, who played in the NFL through 1963, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
Heinrich, who played with the New York Giants (1953-59), Dallas Cowboys (1960) and Oakland Raiders (1962), and coached for 18 years with the Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Rams, Steelers and 49ers, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Sports historian David Eskenazi can be reached at (206) 441-1900, or at firstname.lastname@example.org