The enshrinement of the 2019 Class of Inductees of the Parrish Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame (TBSHOF) will “Celebrate Athletic Brilliance” by giving honor to another compact yet highly inspiring lineup of Texas sports figures that is heavily loaded with groundbreaking historic achievers who stared down and overcame the toughest of racial barriers.
The 23nd Class of TBSHOF will be formally recognized at their Induction Luncheon February 23, 2019, 11:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas, TX.
The 2019 Class of Inductees include: Cecil Cooper (Baseball), Mark McLemore (Baseball), Bill McKinney (Coaching), Karl Douglass (Football), Damien Robinson (Football), Rev. John Hill Westbrook (Football, Deceased), Eugene Harrison, Howard McCowan Jr., Lee Powell and Charles Washington (Golf, All Deceased), Chris Arnold, (Journalism), Vasti Bradley (Tennis, Deceased), and Telisa Young (Track and Field).
“The 2019 Class of the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame is not only a celebration of athletic brilliance, but is also a celebration of community achievements,” said Ronald Parker, Chair of the TBSHOF Advisory Committee. “These athletes were not only great on the field of play, but they’ve continued that level of performance by serving as good community stewards, in which we are very pleased in celebrating as well.”
This year’s diverse class of inductees represents five sports, coaching and journalism: 4 in golf, 3 in football, 2 in baseball, 1 in coaching, 1 in track & field, 1 in tennis and 1 in Sports Journalism.
The 13 Inductees this year have collectively attained: 2 World Series Appearances, 2 NAIA National Championships, 2 NCAA National Championships, 4 Olympic Appearances, 5 MLB All-Star Appearances and 1 All-American Honor.
Achievements by this year’s class include:
Cecil Cooper, who compiled a stellar 17- year Major League Baseball career before making history as the first Black manager for the Houston Astros;
Mark McLemore, one of the most versatile Major League Baseball players during his era, stockpiling a 19-year career with seven teams, including a Texas Rangers squad that won 3 American League Division Championships in 4 years;
Bill McKinney, an innovator of several prestigious basketball tournaments and programs that attracted hundreds of primetime basketball stars at local, national and international levels;
Karl Douglass, a groundbreaking and record-setting quarterback for Texas A&M-Kingsville and Houston Worthing High School;
Damien Robinson, a much-feared defensive back for 3 NFL teams and a Dallas Hillcrest High School sensation;
Rev. John Hill Westbrook, the first football player to break the color barrier in the former Southwest Conference;
Eugene Harrison, Howard McCowan Jr., Lee Powell and Charles Washington, all pillars of the Lone Star Golf Association that helped several black golfers “Dare to play before Tiger”;
Chris Arnold, the highly renowned Dallas-based radio and television sportscaster and sports media personality who has covered virtually every single major sporting event with style and distinction;
Vasti Bradley, a 4-time SWAC tennis champion with Southern University and one of the highest ranking black tennis stars in the nation during the 1950s, before breaking color barriers in the Texas tennis community;
Telisa Young, a top-flight multi-event track and field standout who competed in four Olympics in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame is an effort to chronicle the contributions African American Texans have made to the history of sports. To achieve this goal, the following objectives are being offered:
1. To honor African American Texan athletes and coaches who have made outstanding contributions to sports.
2. To collect and preserve records and objects documenting the activities of African American Texan athletes.
3. To develop a permanent exhibition at the African American Museum on the African American Texan athletes.
4. To develop an educational program on African American Texas athletes using traditional methods and newer technology.
The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame (TBSHOF), housed at the African American Museum, was established to chronicle the sports history contributions made by African Americans. It was established in 1996 to honor coaches and athletes of high character and athletic achievement, who are either Texans by birth or by athletic participation (collegiate or professional), and who have made recognizable contributions to African American culture and/or history. The general public submits the nominees, and a panel of judges (including sports/media journalists) makes the final selection.
The Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame includes legendary Dallas Cowboys Stars such as Tony Dorsett, Drew Pearson, Preston Pearson, Mel Renfro, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Robert Newhouse, Rayfield Wright, Billy Joe Dupree, Jethro Pugh, Everson Walls, Greg Ellis and Tony Hill.
The Hall of Fame also includes other heroes and heroines such as Eric Dickerson, George Foreman, Abner Haynes, State Senator Royce West, 1966 “Glory Road” Championship Basketball UTEP Team, Coach Hensley Sapenter, Ervin Garnett, Coach Jackie Carr, Jolanda Jones, Anthony “Spud” Webb, Rolando Blackmon, Earl Campbell, Ernie Banks, Zina Garrison Jackson, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Levias, Coach James “Bo” Humphery (Founder TSU Relays), and William Nicks.
Other luminaries include 1968 NBA number one draftee and three-time All American, Elvin “Big E” Hayes; WNBA Champion Fran Harris, NFL Hall of Famer, the late Dick “Night Train” Lane; former Negro Leaguers Bill Blair, Ernie Banks and Willie Wells (Chicago Clubs); Olympiads: Rafer Johnson (also a charter member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame), Gold Medalist Fred Newhouse, Track team Head Coach Barbara Jacket, U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist, and a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), John Carlos, first black heavyweight champion of the world Jack Johnson, outstanding game-breaking running back Greg Pruitt, five time Super Bowl champion Charles Haley; 1968 Olympic Gold medalist Jim Hines and teammate Tommie Smith, and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown are all members of the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.