INAUGURAL INDUCTION CLASS OF 2017
(HOF 2017/Class of '45 - Baseball)
Dick Bartell was the Cal-Hi State baseball player of the year while at Alameda High school in 1926. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and played his first game in the major leagues at 19. By 1929 he was a star shortstop for the Pirates with a .302 average, 184 hits and 40 doubles. In 1930 he led all shortstops in the league in total chances and hit .320, but was traded to the Phillies after feuding with management.
Bartell was known for his hyper-aggressive play with the Phillies, and was chosen to start the very first All Star game at shortstop, reflecting his status as a top player. During his four years with the Phillies he had three seasons with 40 doubles and 100 runs scored. After four years he was traded to the New York Giants, and helped them win two National League pennants. Bartell hit .381 in the 1936 world series in a losing effort to the powerful New York Yankees. In 1937, the Giants again won the pennant with Bartell hitting .306; and he was chosen to be an all star again. After one year playing with the Cubs, he was traded to the Tigers in 1940 and helped lead them to a pennant.
Bartell was known as “Rowdy Richard” because of his fiery attitude and aggressive style of play. Although only 5’ 9” and 160 he was often involved in fights and was known to never back down from anyone. He was accused of spiking players on the base path and was traded six times in his career. During his 18 year big league career he amassed an impressive 2165 hits with an excellent lifetime batting average of .284. Dick Bartell is a member of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, and the baseball field at Lincoln Park in Alameda is named in his honor. He passed away in 1995 at age 87 in Alameda.
(HOF 2017/Class of '63 - Golf)
Bob was a lifelong Alameda resident attending Otis, Lincoln and Alameda High Schools, graduating with the class of 1963. Upon graduation, he turned his sport to ‘professional’ and over the next three years served as an assistant golf pro at both The Presidio Golf Club and Sequoyah Country Club. His request to regain amateur status was granted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1968.
As a newly reinstated amateur, Bob wasted no time by winning his first amateur event, capturing the prestigious Oakland City Championship in 1968. From that point on, he excelled at the local, regional, national and international levels where his golf accomplishments were significant.
The collection of Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), USGA, and other prestigious medals that Bob won over the years are a site to behold (his NCGA medals alone count up to 18)! In 1999, he was presented the California Sports Writer’s John Swanson “Good Guy” award. In 2001, he was honored by the NCGA with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his 30 years of stalwart play and great golf sportsmanship, characteristics that exemplified the true spirit of the dedicated amateur golfer. Over the course of his career, he was also invited on five occasions to participate in the highly regarded Bing Crosby Pro-Am Tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Bob’s involvement at the Alameda Golf Course is legendary, where he would regularly help out the Alameda High School golf teams by offering sound advice and/or swing tips. Without a doubt, Bob was Alameda’s ambassador to golf and a true gentleman golfer.
Patricia Canning Todd
(HOF 2017/Class of '40 - Tennis)
Pat Canning Todd was one of the top women tennis players of the post World War 2 era. There were no women sports teams at Alameda High School during the 1930’s, but she brought great honor to Alameda High as an age group national tennis champion in singles or doubles in 1935,1937, 1938 and 1939. She married Richard Todd in 1941 and gave birth to a daughter, Patricia Ann, in 1943. In a very unusual move, she resumed her amateur tennis career as a young mother and steadily improved into a top 10 ranked player in the world in both singles and doubles.
Pat was at her tennis peak in 1947 and 1948. In 1947 she won the French open singles championship. Teaming with Doris Hart, Pat also won the Wimbledon doubles championship in 1947. She lost in the finals of the US Open in doubles In 1948 she was a singles semi-finalist in the US Open and Wimbledon and won the French Open in both doubles and mixed doubles.
She very nearly won a third title at the French in 1948. After winning both doubles and mixed doubles, she was competing in the singles as defending champion and favorite. She was asked to move her match from center court to court 2. She refused, because there would not have been a complete set of line officials, so she was defaulted in a controversial and very unusual decision.
She reached the semifinals in singles at Wimbledon in 1950 and 1952; and the finals in doubles at the US Open in 1949 and 1951. She was a finalist at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles in 1950.
Pat was a member of the winning Wightman Cup team from 1947-1951, and was 4-1 in doubles against the Great Britain team.
Pat Canning Todd was ranked in the top 10 from 1946-1952, with a highest singles ranking of #4 in 1950. In 2010 she was inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2011 was inducted into the Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame. She passed away September 5, 2015 at age 93.
(HOF 2017/Class of '68 - Football)
Eric Cross was a three sport star at Alameda High School and is widely considered the finest football player ever for the Hornets. In 1967 he was first team All-ACAL as a Junior, but he was just getting started. The 1968 Hornet football team was undefeated and untied, and finished the season ranked #1 in California and #8 in the United States. In 9 games Eric scored an incredible 25 touchdowns despite being gang tackled on every play. The 25 touchdowns and 150 points are school records. He was selected to play in the North-South All Star game and set a then record of 4 touchdowns against the best competition in California.
Eric played collegiately at Stanford, and was a member of two Rose Bowl winning teams. He led the Pac 8 in receptions during the 1972 season with 53. He established a Stanford team record with 14 receptions in a game against the University of Hawaii. His 172 receiving yards in that game still ranks 11th all time . He was a game breaker at both punt returner and receiver is still remembered for his 41 yard run on the first play against Ohio State in the 1971 Rose Bowl. In the 1970 season opener against Arkansas on a nationally televised broadcast, he returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown.
(HOF 2017/Class of '54 - Basketball)
Willie Davis is arguably the greatest two sport athlete in Alameda High School history. In basketball, he was a Tournament of Champions all-star selection and chosen All-Northern California in 1953, his Junior year. He averaged 19.8 points per game. His senior year he averaged a record 27.8 points per game and set the single game record of 46 points. He was first team All-Northern California and selected the Cal-Hi State Player of the year in 1954.
Willie was an excellent sprinter in track, and placed second at the North Coast section meet in the 100 and 220; beaten both times by his teammate James Jackson, the national leader in both events. The Hornets won the NCS team championship, and more was to come. At the 1954 state track meet, Willie Davis and James Jackson teamed up with Hosea Harper and Bob Thompson to win the 880 yard relay. Jackson had already won the 100 and 220 individual events, so the relay victory clinched the team state track championship for the Hornets.
(HOF 2017/Class of '85 - Basketball)
Christine Fairless holds the single season scoring record in women’s basketball at Alameda High School. In 1985 she was the leading scorer in all of Northern California with 26.7 points per game. She was selected 1st team All Bay Area, Northern California Player of the Year and All State.
She holds the Alameda High School record (male or female) for most points in a single game with 54. This was before the 3 point line was established. She also holds the single season record of 26.7 ppg; and most accurate free throw percentage for a season at 87.2%.
Christine continued her prolific scoring at the University Of Wyoming. She is the all time leading scorer there with 1933 points and averaged 19.5 points per game for her college career. She also ranks first all time for the Cowboys in single game field goals (17), single season field goals (243), and career field goals (865). Her free throw percentage for single season (94.6%) and career (87%) are also school records. Her college coach called her the best pure shooter (male or female) he had ever seen and watched her make 500 consecutive free throws in practice. She was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002
(HOF 2017/Class of '54 - Track)
James Jackson put on one of the most electrifying performances in California prep track history at the 1954 State Championships, held at U.C. Berkeley. In the qualifying rounds of the 100 yard dash, James tied the long-standing national record of 9.4 seconds, held by the great Jesse Owens. James then beat a strong field in the finals of the 100, winning in 9.6. He then won the 220 championship in 21.2; after setting an NCS record of 21.0 the previous week. In both races he beat Leamon King, who would tie the world record of 9.3 two years later. To finish the meet, he anchored the Alameda High 880 yard relay to an unexpected win in 1:28.7. Those three state championships clinched the team California state championship for the Hornets. It was the first time any school from northern California had won the state track championship.
The 1954 state meet is widely believed to be the greatest collection of prep track talent ever. Monte Upshaw broke the national long jump record with an incredible jump of 25’ 41/4”. Don Bowden set the national prep record in the 880 and later became the first American to break the 4 minute mile. Rafer Johnson won the 120 yard high hurdles, and later set the world record and won the gold medal in the decathalon. Charlie Dumas got second in the high jump, but later became the first high jumper to clear 7 feet. In a meet filled with stars, the star that shone most brightly was James Jackson from Alameda High School.
(HOF 2017/Class of '79 - Wrestling)
Steve Markey is the most decorated wrestler produced by Alameda. He started his wrestling career competing as a youth wrestler with the Bay Area Wrestling Association. He was followed in the BAWA by his two younger brothers, and then his sister, Tiffany,broke the gender barrier by becoming the first girl to wrestle for the BAWA.
Wrestling for Alameda High School in 1979, Steve won the NCS championship to qualify for the state meet. There he barreled through the 138 lb class and won the 1979 California state championship. In the finals he dominated, winning by a majority decision 12-3 to cap an undefeated season. During his prep career as a Hornet, Steve was 112-6, was 2 time team MVP, 3 time League champion, North Coast Section and State Champion.
Steve continued his wrestling career at Chabot Community College. In 1981 he captured the California Community College championship at 142 lbs. At Chabot, he compiled a record of 62-6, was team MVP, and 2 time Nor Cal champion as well as state champion. After he graduated from Chabot, he was recruited by NCAA Division II powerhouse Cal State Bakersfield. Steve was a natural 142 lb wrestler, but CSU Bakersfield had another great athlete at that weight. In order to help the team. Steve was able to cut weight down to the 134 lb. class, four pounds lighter than he wrestled in high school; a herculean feat. His sacrifice and hard work paid off at the 1984 Division II National Championships. In the finals, Steve won by a majority decision 11-4 to be crowned national champion in the 134 lb class. His teammate Jesse Reyes followed by winning the 142 lb crown. Those two national champions helped lead Bakersfield to a second place finish in the team competition. While at Bakersfield, his record was 35-5 and he was selected team MVP.