Despite three Super Bowl rings and a pair of Pro Bowl appearances during an 11-year NFL career, one inductee in the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2018 is best known for two plays he’d like to forget.
Another member of this year’s class has a Cy Young award in his trophy case after being named the National League’s best pitcher in the prime of his career, another Major Leaguer ranked 18th on the all-time stolen base list at retirement, and one more inductee has five Gold Medals from the U.S. Sailing Association’s Women’s National Championship.
The last two members of this year’s stellar class are equally talented, with one still holding the NFL record for most fumbles recovered in a single season, while the other has over 800 coaching wins in basketball, ranking ninth on the national junior college’s all-time list.
Ex-Dallas Cowboy Leon Lett, MLB’s Jake Peavy and Juan Pierre, former NFL star Don Hultz, women’s sailing sensation Amy Chapman Kleinschrodt and legendary Faulkner State basketball Coach Jack Robertson will all be permanently enshrined during the 2018 MSHOF Banquet Tuesday night, April 24, at the RSA Battle House.Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m., with the banquet to immediately follow at 7:00.
“It’s an honor to be selected to the Sports Hall of Fame in Mobile,” said Lett, now a Cowboys assistant.
“I looked at the list of names (that are already in the Hall) and it’s just an honor to be associated with those people.
“I’m appreciative and humbled.”
While Lett had a solid NFL career, he’s most remembered by two botched plays … being run down by Buffalo’s Don Bebe and losing the ball during a premature celebration just before crossing the goal line with a 64-yard fumble return in Super Bowl XXVII, and a failed ball recovery after a blocked field goal in a Thanksgiving Day game.
What does he think of those two plays he’ll forever be linked to?
“They come up often,” he said with a laugh.
“I get it from players I coach now. I get it from little ladies on the airplane, flight attendants, young people who’re related to parents who remember those plays.
“But it makes you think to not ever give up. Never let one thing define you.”
The Sports Hall of Fame will also pay special recognition that night to a pair of Mobile sports broadcasting icons, WNSP Radio’s Lee Shirvanian and WKRG TV’s Randy Patrick.
Tickets for the banquet are $100 each and may be purchased on line at www.mobilesportshalloffame.net, or by calling Pam Young at (251) 709-0310.
- Starred at Fairhope High School
- Played two years at Emporia State, leading team to conference championship and NAIA National Championship Game
- All NAIA Honorable Mention as a junior
- Drafted in the 7th round of the 1991 NFL Draft
- At 6’6, 270 pounds nicknamed “Big Cat” because of his agility
- Member of 1993, ’94 and ‘96 Cowboys Super Bowl Champions
- Recorded a sack and set record longest fumble return in Super Bowl history (64 yards) in Super Bowl XXVII
- In Super Bowl XXVIII, has six tackles and forced a game-changing fumble that was recovered and returned for a touchdown.
- Selected to Pro Bowl in 1995 (68 tackles, 4 sacks and 26 quarterback pressures) and 1998 (51 tackles, 20 quarterback pressures, seven tackles for loss and four sacks)
- Played the 2001 season for the Denver Broncos
- Volunteer Assistant Coach, UNLV, 2009
- Assistant Coach Louisiana-Monroe, 2010
- Defensive Line Coach, Dallas Cowboys 2011-present
- Born December 6, 1940 in Moss Point
- Attended Grand Bay (South Mobile County) High School
- Played both ways at Southern Miss, winning the Small College National Championship in 1962
- Signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in 1963 and started all 14 games as a rookie
- Holds the NFL record for the most opponents’ fumbles recovered in a season, nine, set in his rookie season
- Traded to Philadelphia with three other players for RB Ted Dean and the rights to rookie QB Bob Berry.
- Spent the next ten years with the Eagles, starting as a defensive end, defensive tackle, and middle linebacker
- In 1966, he helped the Eagles post a 9-5 record and earn a berth in the Playoff Bowl (NFL 3rd Place Game played at the Orange Bowl 1960-69) against the Baltimore Colts.
- Played eight games for the Chicago Bears in 1974
- Played in 151 NFL games
- Intercepted four passes, returning two for touchdowns, and recovered twelve fumbles
- Only Jerrel Wilson, Kenny Stabler, Willie Anderson and Rich Caster have played in more NFL seasons, among Mobilians
- Played on the defensive line with his older brother George Hultz both at Grand Bay and at Southern Miss. George played in 13 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963 and later became a professional wrestler
- Post NFL, he worked as a criminal investigator for the Shelby County (TN) District Attorney’s Office
- Now lives in suburban Memphis
- Born May 31, 1981 in Mobile
- Grew up in Semmes
- Attended St. Paul’s where he led the Saints to the 1999 5A State Championship
- Named Alabama High School Player of the Year, 1999
- Turned down Auburn and signed a professional contract after being drafted in the 15th Round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres
- Pitched in 5 games in 2001 and 14 games in 2002 for hometown Mobile BayBears (AA)
- Made Major League debut June 22, 2002 vs. New York Yankees
- Became one of the top pitchers in baseball in 2004, leading MLB with an ERA of 2.27. Became the youngest pitcher to lead majors in ERA since Dwight Gooden, 1985
- Named to his first All-Star Game in 2005
- Led National League in strikeouts in 2005 with 216
- Struck out 16 in game vs. Braces, May 22, 2006
- Helped Padres to NL West title in 2006, leading the NL in strikeouts per nine innings.
- Started All-Star Game for National League in 2007
- Named NL Pitcher of the Month May, August, and September 2007
- Led NL in fewest walks and hits/innings pitched
- Won the 2007 National League Pitching Triple Crown – leading the league in wins (19), ERA (2.54) and Strike Outs (240)
- 2007 National League CY Young Award winner
- 2007 Sporting News NL Pitcher of the Year
- Finished 7th in NL MVP voting, 2007
- Traded to Chicago White Sox, July 31, 2009
- Limited by injuries 2010 and 2011
- Named AL Pitcher of the Month, April 2012
- Named to 2012 All-Star Game but did not appear in game
- Won 2012 American League Gold Glove Award
- Traded to Boston on July 30, 2013
- Started one game in the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series as Red Sox won 2013 World Series
- Traded to San Francisco, July 26, 2014
- Went 6-4 in 12 starts to help Giants to playoff spot
- Started one game in NLDS, 1 game in NLCS, and two games of 2014 World Series
- Became first pitcher in MLB history to win two World Series in two consecutive years, representing two different leagues
- Career States: 15 MLB seasons, 388 games, 377 starts, 152-126 record, 2377 innings pitched, 3.63 ERA, 2207 strikeouts
- Born August 14, 1977 in Mobile
- Graduated from Alexandria (LA) High
- Drafted by Mariners, but attended Galveston College (JC)
- Hit .373 with 54 stolen bases in lone season at South Alabama
- 1998 All-American at USA
- Drafted by Colorado Rockies in 13th round of 1998 draft
- Had 14 year MLB career
- Retired #18 all-time in stolen bases
- Had more than 2,200 career hits and a .295 lifetime average
- Led the National League in stolen bases three times: 2001, 2003, 2010
- Led National league in games played five times: 2003-2007
- Led National League in at bats three times: 2003, 2004, 2006
- Led National League in triples, 2004
- Led the National League three times and the American League once in sacrifice hits
- Led the American League in HBP (21) 2010
- Hit .333 for the victorious Florida Marlins in the 2003 World Series
- Played for the Rockies, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox, and Phillies
- Earned $57 million in career
- Lives in Parkland, Florida
Amy Chapman Kleinschrodt
- 5 Gold Medals as winner of the U.S. Sailing Assoc. Women’s National Championship, having been presented the Charles Francis Adams Trophy – the competition for the United States Women’s Sailing Championship
- While living in New Orleans and sailing out of Bay Waveland Yacht Club, was a crew in the 1977, 1978, and 1980 finals, winning Gold in the 1977 and 1980 championships.
- Moved to Mobile in 1981 and sailed out of Buccaneer Yacht Club
- Skippered in 1997, 2003, 2009 and 2011 Championships, winning Gold medals in 1997, 2009 and 2011 regattas and winning Bronze medals in 2003 and 2010 events.
- Competitors in the US Sailing Assoc. Women’s National Championship sail boats that are provided by the host club, and teams are required to race each boat at the event once so that nobody will have an advantage in terms of equipment.
- Veteran of 42 seasons as head coach of the Faulkner State Community College basketball team
- Guided the Sun Chiefs to 832 wins and 440 losses thru 2015 season
- Ranks 9th all-time in wins among coaches in the National Junior College Athletic Association
- Teams have also won 14 Southern Division championships.
- 1991 team won the state JuCo championship and finished sixth in the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.
- Graduate of Baldwin County High School and Marion Military Institute
- First coaching job was at Robertsdale High School before moving to Escambia High School in Pensacola
- Coached MSHF inductee Pete Myers who played in the NBA
- Former player Leonard White played in the CBA
- Inducted into the Baldwin County High School Hall of Fame in 1997
- Inducted into the NJCAA Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010
- Son Robby is basketball coach at Fairhope High School
Special Recognition Award
Lee Shirvanian has been the most recognized voice at WNSP-Radio for over 30 years and was the voice of University of South Alabama Jaguars’ sports teams for several of those years. He handled play-by-play for South’s football team the first five seasons and handled the Jags’ radio broadcasts for men’s basketball and baseball.
Randy Patrick has been Sports Director at WKRG-TV since 1991.
He began his WKRG career in 1980, starting at WKRG Radio and then on to WKRG-TV in 1988, where he has garnered dozens of awards for broadcasting excellence, including the John Harris Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mobile Press Club in 2005.