50 Classes of ASHOF Class of 1988

Class of 1988

Published Thursday, September 28, 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 17th of 50 Classes of ASHOF

Class of 1988


Walter Jackson "Jackie" Burkett

Walter Jackson (Jackie) Burkett was born December 16, 1936, in Thorsby, AL.He played collegiately at Auburn University.  He was a two starter, playing both center and linebacker.  In 1957 he was named SEC Sophomore of the Year.  That same year Auburn won the SEC and National Championship in football.  His junior year he was named both All-SEC Center and All-SEC Linebacker of the Year.  He was named Second-Team All-American. In the 1959 Draft, he was a first round, 12th overall pick of the Baltimore Colts.  He became one of the original members of the New Orleans Saints, after being selected in the 1967 NFL Expansion Draft.  He also played for the Dallas Cowboys and was traded back to the Saints. He played 11 seasons in the NFL.  On November 8, 1970, he became a part of NFL history, when he was the long snapper on the then NFL record 63-yard field by Tom Dempsey.   He was named to the Auburn All-Century Football Team and Walk of Fame.  He passed away September 1, 2017.






   Cary Cox

Cary Cox was born December 31, 1917, in Bainbridge, Georgia.  He played collegiately at the University of Alabama.  He played center for the Crimson Tide and was a member of the 1937 team that went undefeated and played in 1938 Rose Bowl.  He was elected captain of the team his senior year.  He was elected to the Liberty Magazine All-American Team in 1939.  He he was chosen to participate in the Second Annual Blue-Gray All-Star game also in 1939. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was not able to sign due to military obligations. He had an outstanding military combat service record during World War II.  He passed away December 27, 1991.











 Dave Edwards
Dave Edwards was born December 14, 1939, in Albertville, AL. He played collegiately at Auburn.  He was a two-way player, an end on the offense as well as an end on the defense.  As a senior, he was named to the All-SEC Team.  He played in the 1962 Senior Bowl. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1962 AFL Draft 25th round, 194th overall pick, but chose to sign with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 1963.  He started out as an offensive  on the taxi squad and was later converted to outside linebacker.  He was a key component in the Cowboys' defensive dominance during the late 1960's and early 1970's. He was a part of the linebacker corps that was know as the "Doomsday Defense."  He missed only one game in his 12 NFL seasons. He helped the Cowboys win three NFC  Championships and one Super Bowl (VI).  He also played in Super Bowls V and X.  He passed away on December 6, 2016.

Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines

Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines was born February 17, 1959, in Winter Haven, Florida.He swam collegiately at Auburn University.  While at Auburn he was: 22 times an All-American selection; five times an individual NCAA champion; three times an NCAA Relay Champion; six times an SEC Individual Champion; eight times an SEC Relay Champion. When he graduated he was the holder of five SEC records and six Auburn records and was selected one of the NCAA's five top scholar athletes in 1982.  From 1978 to 1984, he set ten world records.  During the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angels he won three Gold Medals (100 meter freestyle, as well as, swimming the anchor legs for the U.S. team in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay and 4×100-meter medley relay).  He was chosen World Swimmer of the Year in 1980 and 1985.  He still holds masters long and short course world records in several freestyle events.  He was named SEC Athlete of the Year in 1981.  He is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, U.S. Olympic HOF, and the Florida SHOF.  He received the McDonald's Spirit Award in 1982.  In 2007 he was the recipient NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.  His contributions to the sport of swimming have earned him the prestigious USA Swimming Award (the highest honor in swimming).



John Hannah

John Hannah was born April 4, 1951, in Canton, GA.  He played collegiately at the University of Alabama.  He was a was a three sport letterman for the Crimson Tide.  He was an SEC Champion Wrestler, a SEC record holder in the shot and discus, and two time All-American football player (a consensus All-American his senior year).  He was named to the University of Alabama All-Century Team and also to the Tide's 1970s All-Decade team. In the 1973 NFL Draft he was a first round, fourth overall pick by the New England Patriots.  He played his entire 13 seasons in the NFL with the Patriots.  He played in the Pro-Bowl nine times.  He was first team All-Pro ten times.  He was selected to the NFL 75 Anniversary All-Time Team, as the #1 guard on the team.   He is also one of the few players to have been named to two different NFL All-Decade Teams for both 1970's and 1980's.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.  In 1991, he became the first Patriots player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He is in the New England Patriots Hall of Fame and the Patriots retired his jersey number 73.  Sports Illustrated has described him as the best offensive lineman in the history of professional football.   




William Harold "Billy" Southworth

William Harold "Billy" Southworth was born March 9, 1893, in Harvard, Nebraska. He played baseball with the Birmingham Barons in 1917 and 1918 before going to the major leagues playing with the Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Braves, New York Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals. He had a lifetime batting average of .297 and a fielding average .965. After his playing career he went into coaching. He had coaching stints with St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Braves.  From 1942 to 1944, the Cardinals won 106, 105 and 105 games, three pennants and two World Series titles.  He presided over one of the most dominant three-year stretches in National League history.  He was named Top Major League manager in 1941 and again in 1942 by the Sporting News. He also led the Boston Braves to a National League Pennant in 1948.  His overall record as a manager was 1,044–704.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.  He is also a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He passed away November 15, 1969.