Keith Jackson, Tom Sneva, Throwin’ Samoan to be inducted into state HOF Thursday at WSU game

Marc Blau, the executive director of the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame, sent out this press release on Sunday.

Three new members of the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted during the Rutgers-WSU Cougars football game on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The inductees are longtime ABC-TV sportscaster Keith Jackson, Indy 500 winner Tom Sneva and WSU quarterback Jack Thompson.

Four additional inductees – the late softball barnstormer Eddie Feigner, basketball star Detlef Schrempf, hydroplance racer Chip Hanauer and “Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis, were honored earlier this month with their induction prior to a Mariners game at Safeco Field.

(NOTE: Check out this story at Sportspressnw.com about the late Feigner. He was an original. Feigner and crew barnstormed into Bremerton in the early 1990s, taking on Pop’s Inn’s men’s fastpitch team in a game on a makeshift diamond at Thunderbird Stadium. Feigner was up in years but still magical. The show continued into the wee hours at the old tavern that sat next to the rodeo arena. The King and His Court played just as hard off the field as they did on it.)

With this year’s inductees, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame grows to a total of 189 members. Plaques of the inductees are on display in the Shanahan Sports Museum in the Tacoma Dome. The hall of fame was founded in1960 by Tacoma broadcaster Clay Huntington.

Georgia-born Jackson got his start in broadcasting at Washington State University and worked for KOMO radio and then KOMO-TV from 1954-64. Jackson is best known for his more than 50 years of football telecasts. The phrase “Whoa, Nellie!” was his signature phrase. He is also credited with creating and popularizing the description of the Rose Bowl as “The Granddaddy of Them All”. Often forgotten is that Jackson was the first play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Football and covered major-league baseball, PGA golf, the NBA, major auto races, boxing matches and the Olympics during his career.

Sneva won the 1983 Indianapolis 500. He won 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 School in Spokane and after graduating from Eastern Washington University was a school teacher and junior-high principal before becoming a full-time racer.

Thompson may have the best nickname in state history. The “Throwin’ Samoan” was nicknamed by late Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist Harry Missildine. Thompson 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.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Is water a solid or a liquid at room temperature?