CELEBRATING HOUSTON ATHLETES
The Houston Sports Hall of Fame is a Hall of Fame that honors sportsfigures from or associated with the Houston area that have made a significant impact in their sport. It is located in Downtown Houston at GreenStreet.
CLASS OF 2019
JACK BURKE JR.
This Hall of Fame golfer and co-founder of Champions Golf Club won his first professional tournament in 1949 and went on to win 17 PGA TOUR events, including both the Masters and the PGA in 1956. He played on five Ryder Cup teams, captained two Ryder Cup teams, was an assistant captain once and hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup at Champions.
Houston native, A.J. Foyt, is the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the only driver to have started in 35 consecutive Indianapolis 500 mile races. A record seven-time national Indy car champion, the American racing legend is the only driver to have won the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A product of Houston’s Fifth Ward, George Foreman became one of the world’s most powerful punchers in boxing history. “Big George” won Olympic Gold in 1968 and went on to become a two-time World Heavyweight Champion. Foreman has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round in 1971, Dan Pastorini was known as the golden boy with the golden arm. This tough quarterback thrived under Oilers coach Bum Phillips and led the Oilers to back-to-back AFC title games in 1978 and 1979. In 1978, he threw for a career-high 2,473 yards and 16 touchdowns.
After winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Texas, the Oilers made the 5-11, 232-pound running back the first pick of the 1978 NFL draft and he took the NFL by storm. The Tyler Rose, named for his hometown of Tyler, was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, and Rookie of the Year in his first season, won league rushing championship with 1,450 yards and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. The 62-year-old was one of the best power running backs the game has seen. He was named to the Pro Bowl in five of his first six seasons and finished his career with 2,187 carries for 9,407 yards.
The 54 year old, Nigerian-born Olajuwon first made waves in Houston as a member of the University of Houston’s Phi Slamma Jamma, leading the Cougars to three consecutive Final Four appearances. He was drafted by the Rockets and became one of the greatest players in NBA history, leading the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. In 1993-94 Hakeem had a storybook season, becoming the first player to be named NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP in the same season. His incredible moves under the basket – The Dream Shake – made him almost unstoppable. In 18 NBA seasons, Hakeem averaged 21.8 ppg, and was a 12-time all-star.
Two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy called Ryan “the only pitcher you start thinking about two days before you face him.” The 70-year-old Alvin native’s career spanned four decades, 324 wins and a major league-record 5,714 strikeouts. When Ryan signed with the Houston Astros, he became baseball’s first one million dollar per year player. Nicknamed the Ryan Express, he was drafted by the New York Mets and then played for the California Angels before coming to Houston. He finished his career with the Texas Rangers and is now an executive advisor for the Astros.