50 Classes of ASHOF Class of 1976

Class of 1976

Published Thursday, July 6, 2017 4:00 pm

On April 28, 2018, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 50th Class.  In celebration of this milestone, we will be sending an email out each week, over the next 50 weeks, beginning with the Inaugural Class of 1969, and culminating with the

Class of 2018.

This is the 7th of 50 Classes of the ASHOF

Class of 1976


Leah Marie Rawls Atkins

Leah Marie Rawls Atkins  born April 24, 1935 in Birmingham, AL. She was Alabama's first world's water skiing champion. She dominated the sport from 1951 to 1958.  In 1953 she won both the U.S. Women's Overall National Championship and the Women's Overall World Championship. She was the first woman senior judge of the American Water Ski Association, and the first woman AWSA board member.   She earned her masters and doctorate at Auburn and became the first woman to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.  Auburn University’s highest award for athletics, is named in her honor.

Minter Carney (Jackie) Hayes

Minter Carney (Jackie) Hayes born July 19, 1906 in Clanton, AL. In 1927, Birmingham signed Jackie to a baseball contract right out of the University of Alabama, and they immediately sold him to Washington Senators who paid $25,000 for his contract without him ever having played. He was a major league infielder for 14 years, five with the Senators and nine with Chicago White Sox. He had a lifetime batting average of .265 and was one of the finest double-play second baseman in the league. During his career, he was in the top five in sacrifice hits twice.  He became the first player in Major League Baseball to wear a batting helmet  during a game.  He passed away February 9, 1983.

Harlon Hill
Harlon Hill born May 4, 1932, in Center Hill, AL. He  attended Florence State Teachers College, now known as the University of North Alabama.  He was a four-year lettermen on the team.  For his college career 19 of his 54 receptions went for touchdowns.  During his senior year he was named an NAIA All-American.   His rookie season with the Chicago Bears in 1954 was a memorable one. He set a team record for most receiving yards (1,124) and most touchdown receptions (12) by a rookie.  The twelve touchdowns led all NFL receivers that season as he averaged 25 yards per catch on 45 total receptions.  For his efforts he was named 1954 NFL Rookie of the Year, as well as All-Pro selection, and participating in the 1094 Pro Bowl.  In 1955 he was the first recipient of the Jim Thorpe Trophy for the most outstanding professional football player of the year. He was a three time Pro Bowl selection, three time First Team All-Pro selection.  He twice lead the NFL in touchdowns for a season.  He was selected for the Helms Athletic Hall of Fame in 1956.  In 1986 a new award was created to highlight America's best NCAA Division II players, named the Harlon Hill Trophy in honor of his playing career.  It is  considered the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.  He passed away March 21, 2013.
Bernie H. Moore
Bernie H. Moore was born in Jonesboro, Tennessee in 1895. He coached at Sewanee (1924-26) and Mercer (1926-28) before going to Louisiana State University from 1929 to 1947. Only coach to win national titles in football and track.  He became the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference in 1947 and retired in 1966.  The track stadium at LSU is named in his honor.  He received the Alonzo Stagg award in 1966.  In 1967, he won the inaugural James J. Corbett Memorial Award  given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and is enshrined in the National Football Hall of Fame, The Helms Hall of Fame as well as the Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana Halls of Fame.  He passed away November 6, 1967.



Truett Banks Sewell

 Truett Banks Sewell born May 11, 1907, in Decatur, AL. He attended Vanderbilt University in 1930 and ‘31.  He was a  right-handed starting pitcher in Mayor Leagues for 13 years.  He played for both the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He was was selected four consecutive years to the National League All Star team (1943–1946).  His best season was 1943, when he led the major leagues with 21 wins and 23 complete games.  His overall record that year of 21–9  with a .700 winning percentage, and a career-low 2.54 ERA (was fourth best in the National League.  His overall record was 143 wins and 97 losses. He developed a change of pace pitch called "the blooper." In 1972 he had both legs amputated, and within two years posted an 89 on a golf course near his Plant City, Florida home. He passed away September 3, 1989.


Bryan Bartlett Starr
 Bryan Bartlett Starr born January 9, 1934, in Montgomery, AL. He was a high school All-American quarterback at Sidney Lanier High and a 4 year lettermen at the University of Alabama.  He entered his sophomore year as Alabama's starting quarterback, safety and punter. His punting average of 41.4 yards per kick ranked second in the nation in 1953.  He was a 17th round draft pick (200 overall) by the Green Bay Packers in 1956.   He lead the Packers to dominate the decade of 60's winning five NFC Championships ‘61, ‘62, ‘65, ‘66 and ‘67, as well as, winning Super Bowls I and II.   For which he was named MVP for both Super Bowls.  He was a four time Pro Bowl selection.  He was NFL MVP in 1966.  Five times he lead the NFL in passing efficiency. He has the highest postseason passer rating (104.8) of any quarterback in NFL history and a postseason record of 9-1.   His career completion percentage of 57.4 was an NFL best when he retired in 1972.  He was Green Bay's head coach from 1975 to 1983. He was named to the NFL All Decade Team of the 1960's.  He was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, as well as, the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977. He received the NFL Award for Citizenship and the Byron White Award.  The NFL annually awards the The Bart Starr award to an NFL player of outstanding character.  The Packers retired his jersey number 15.  He was also elected to the to Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981. 

Robert L. Veitch 
 Robert L. Veitch, born in Fairfield, AL. Served as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame's Executive Director from 1971-85. Bob served in this capacity without compensation and with great enthusiasm. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for the success of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Because of his unselfish devotion and dedicated service to the institution, and because his unrelenting efforts focused lasting attention on the athletic heritage of the State of Alabama, he was elected by special board action to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He passed away January 4, 1990.