50 Classes of ASHOF Class of 1987

Class of 1987

Published Thursday, September 21, 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 16th of 50 Classes of the ASHOF

Class of 1987


Junious "Buck" Buchanan

Junious "Buck" Buchanan was born September 10, 1939, Birmingham, AL. He attended Grambling State University where he became a letterman in football and where he was an NAIA All-American selection.  He was the first overall selection in the AFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.  He played in two Super Bowls, the first one ever played in 1967 losing to Green Bay Packers, and in 1970 winning the championship as Kansas City beat Minnesota. He was selected to play in two consecutive Pro- Bowls (1970 &1971).  He was six time AFL All-Star and a six time First Team All-AFL. He was selected to the AFL All-Time Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.  He was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.  The Kansas City Chiefs retired his uniform number 86 in 1999. He passed away July 16, 1992.






   Joe Childress

Joe Childress, born October 26, 1933, in Robertsdale, AL. He played collegiately at Auburn University. He led the SEC in rushing and scoring his junior year (1954).  He was named Back of the Year in the SEC that same year.  In his senior year, he led Auburn in rushing leader with 1,677 yards. He also played linebacker for the Tigers and was considered one of the best in the SEC.   He was a two-time All-American. For two consecutive years he was the MVP of the Gator Bowl.  He was a first round, seventh overall draft pick in the 1956 NFL Draft by the Chicago Cardinals. He had many successful years with the Cardinals both in Chicago and then St. Louis.  After his playing career ended, he coached with the Houston Oilers. He passed away May 5, 1986.









 Hubert Myatt Green
Hubert Myatt Green was born December 28, 1946, in Birmingham, AL. He attended Florida State University (FSU). While at FSU, he won the Southern Amateur in 1966 on his home course at the Country Club of Birmingham. In 1967, he became the Alabama Amateur Golf Champion, a title he successfully defended in 1968. He also won the Cape Coral Inter-Collegiate Tournament by eight strokes and the Miami Invitational by five strokes, among others. His fourth-place finish in the 1968 U.S. Amateur in Columbus, OH, earned him an invitation to play in the1969 Masters as an amateur. He turned professional in 1970 and was one of the dominant players on the PGA Tour during the 1970’s. He  won 26 professional golf tournaments, including two major championships: the 1977 U.S. Open and the1985 PGA Championship. He joined the Senior Tour in 1996. He won the 1998 Bruno’s Memorial Classic in front of his hometown fans for his first win on the Senior Tour.  He was inducted into the Florida State Seminoles Hall of Fame in 1977, becoming the first golfer to be enshrined.  He received the Champions Tour Comeback Player of the Year award in 2002 and 2004, and the American Cancer Life Inspiration Award in 2004. At the 2005 Masters Tournament, Green was presented with the Ben Hogan Award for continuing to be active in golf despite a serious illness. He was inducted into the Southern Amateur Hall of Fame in 2006 and in 2007 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. 
Homer Hill Norton
Homer Hill Norton was born December 30, 1896, in Carrolton, AL. While attending Birmingham Southern College he was a lettered in four sports. From 1916 to 1919 he played professional baseball for the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League. In 1920, he accepted a position as Athletic Director and assistant football coach at Centenary College. After coaching for six years he became the head football coach and quickly developed winning teams. Leaving in 1934 with a record of 60-19-9 he accepted the head football coach's position at Texas A&M. In 14 years at Texas A&M, his record included three national championships, three southwestern conference championships, a string of 19 straight wins over a two year period, and from 1939 to 1941 his team won 29 games and lost 3. His overall coaching record was 142-72-18. He was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971. He passed away on May 26, 1965.



Don Howard Sutton

 Don Howard Sutton was born in Clio, AL, August 2, 1945. He signed a pro baseball contract in 1966 to pitch with the Los Angeles Dodgers.   In 1974 he established a championship series record of 15 2/3 scoreless innings. He led the National League in shutouts in 1972 with nine, and had five one-hit games. He holds the Major League record of 20 consecutive seasons with 100 strikeouts or more. He is ninth in career list with 57 shutouts (prior to 1986). It is reported that he never missed a start in his 21-year career. He left the Dodgers in 1981 and also pitched for Houston, Oakland, Milwaukee and California. In 1986, he had beaten every club in both leagues, joined a very exclusive group when he won his 300th game. His overall record was 324 wins and 256 loses.  He was the Major League ERA leader in 1980.  He was a four time All-Star.  He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. He started his broadcasting career in 1989, splitting duties between Dodgers cable telecasts on Z Channel and Atlanta Braves telecasts on TBS. He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in July 2015 for his work as a broadcaster. The Dodgers retired his uniform #20 in 1998.




James W. "Jim" Whatley 
 James W. "Jim" Whatley was born March 11, 1913, in Tuscaloosa, AL.  He is still regarded by many as Alabama greatest all-around athlete after earning 10 varsity letters in football, baseball, basketball, and track. He was a member of Alabama's 1934 national championship football team and played on six SEC title teams (one basketball, two football, three baseball). He was an All-SEC tackle in 1934 and All-SEC basketball center in 1935 and '36 and was a standout first baseman as well. He played pro football for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1936, 1937 and 1938 before starting a career in coaching. From 1939-1941 he was the head coach in football, basketball and baseball for West Carolina University. After coaching stops at the U.S. Naval Station in San Diego, California and the University of Mississippi, he went to the University of Georgia in 1950. He was assistant football coach for 11 years, head basketball coach for two years, and the head baseball coach for 24 years. He won two SEC Baseball titles for the Bulldogs (1953, '54) and was runnerup twice (1955, '75).  He posted a 25-year record of 336-327-3 as Georgia's baseball coach.  He was the former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association  in 1964.  He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1987. He passed away on May 31, 2001.