Keith Jackson, Chip Hanauer, Eddie Feigner, Detlef Schrempf, Jack Thompson, Alvin Davis and Tom Sneva comprise the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame class for 2014.
A statewide panel of voters elected the seven, raising the number of inductees to 189.
“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 the 2014 inductees absolutely deserved to be voted inane the sooner the better.”
Georgia-born Jackson, the retired sportscaster, 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 and his “Whoa! Nellie!” call.
Davis played eight of his nine major-league seasons in Seattle and was American League rookie of the year in 1984 and also was an all-star that season. He was the first inductee into the M’s Hall of Fame. He was a lifetime .280 hitter and hit at least 20 home runs in three seasons. He’s known as “Mr. Mariner.”
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.
Feigner traveled the world with The King and His Court and dazzled softball audiences starting in 1946. Feigner, who grew up in Walla Walla, was the king and his court consisted of a catcher, shortstop and first baseman. They performed for more than 20 million fans in 104 countries.
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.
Hanauer, a graduate of Newport High School in Bellevue who attended WSU, drove to 61 hydroplane victories including a record 11 Gold Cups. He entered the Motorsport Hall of Fame in 1995 at age 40, the youngest active racer ever inducted.
Detlef Schrempf was a foreign exchange student when he led Centralia High School to the 3A (then AA) state title in 1981. He was All-Pac-10 at the University of Washington 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 and the other in 1992 for united Germany.
Sneva, Thompson, Hanauer and Jackson will be honored Aug. 28 in Seattle when Washington State plays Rutgers in the WSU season-opener.
Davis, Feigner, Schrempf and Gary Payton will be honored at a yet-undetermined Mariners’ game. Retired Sonic great Payton was voted into the Hall of Fame last year but schedule conflicts prevented him from being publicly introduced as an inductee.
The Hall of Fame was started by late sportscaster Clay Huntington in Tacoma in 1960 and is located in the Tacoma Dome. The Web site is www.washingtonsportshof.com