HOUSTON— The Harris County Houston Sports Authority, in partnership with Midway and Lionstone, inducted Hakeem Olajuwon, Nolan Ryan, and Earl Campbell into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame Monday. Well deserved!
Inaugural Hall of Fame Class
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 major league-records of 5,714 strikeouts and seven no-hitters. When Ryan signed with the Houston Astros, he became baseball’s first one million dollars 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.
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 Slama Jama, 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, Olajuwon 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, Olajuwon averaged 21.8 ppg, and was a 12-time all-star.