Mariners Hall of Famer Alvin Davis, 11-time Gold Cup winner Chip Hanauer and ex-University of Washington and NBA standout Detlef Schrempf headline a class of seven voted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. The newest class raises the total of inductees in the Tacoma-based HOF to 189.
Joining the trio in the 2014 class are softball “king” Eddie Feigner, the “Throwin’ Samoan” Jack Thompson, former Indy 500 winner Tom Sneva, and retired sportscaster Keith Jackson.
“This is a bigger class than usual,” said Marc Blau, executive director of the Hall of Fame. “The voting by our statewide panel was so close that we decided a larger class was justified. There also was a feeling among many voters that every one of these 2014 inductees absolutely deserved to be voted in and the sooner the better.”
Davis played eight of his nine major-league seasons with the Mariners and was American League Rookie of the Year in 1984 and an all-star that season. He was the first inductee into the Mariners Hall of Fame. A lifetime .280 hitter, “Mr. Mariner” hit at least 20 home runs in a season three times.
Hanauer, a graduate of Bellevue’s Newport High School, attended Washington State University. He recorded 61 unlimited hydroplane victories, including a record 11 Gold Cups. He entered the Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1995 at 40, the youngest active racer ever inducted.
Schrempf was a foreign exchange student when he led Centralia High School to the 3A (then AA) state title in 1981. He made All-Pac-10 at the University of Washington, and then played in the NBA from 1985-2001 with Dallas, Indiana, Seattle and Portland. He made three NBA all-star teams and played in two Olympics, one for West Germany in 1984 and the other in 1992 for united Germany.
Feigner traveled the world with “The King and His Court” and dazzled softball audiences starting in 1946. Feigner, who grew up in Walla Walla, served as the king, and his court consisted of a catcher, shortstop and first baseman. They performed for more than 20 million fans in 104 countries.
Thompson, who received his “Throwin’ Samoan” nickname from late Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist Harry Missildine, was the most prolific passer in NCAA history with 7,818 yards when he concluded his Washington State career. He is only one of two players to have his WSU number (14) retired. He was the third player taken overall in the 1979 NFL draft (by Cincinnati) and played six seasons in the league. He starred at Evergreen High School in White Center.
Sneva won the 1983 Indianapolis 500 and captured season Indy car championships in 1977 and 1978. In 1977 he became the first driver to qualify for the Indy 500 at a speed of more than 200 mph. Sneva is a graduate of Lewis & Clark High in Spokane. After graduating from Eastern Washington University, he was a school teacher and junior-high principal before becoming a full-time racer.
The Georgia-born Jackson got his start in broadcasting at Washington State University and worked for KOMO radio and then KOMO-TV from 1954-64. He is best known for his enthusiastic ABC telecasts of college football.
Davis, Hanauer, Schrempf, and Feigner will be honored Aug. 10 at Safeco Field prior to the White Sox-Mariners game. Thompson, Sneva, and Jackson will be honored Aug. 28 in Seattle when Washington State plays Rutgers in the WSU football season-opener.
The Hall of Fame was started by late sportscaster Clay Huntington in Tacoma in 1960 and is in the Tacoma Dome. The Web site is www.washingtonsportshof.com.
Very strong list. All are a huge part of Washington sports. Always hoped that Jack could have put on a Seahawks uniform at some point.
The only surprise on my part looking at this is that 182 made it to the Hall before these guys did. Gotta find a list of the previous inductees to see who got in first.
I saw Jack Thompson pitch as a senior for Evergreen once. I was on my school’s track team and snuck away from practice to watch him on the baseball diamond. He could bring it.