The purpose of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names, deeds and records of those, living and dead, who by achievement or service, have brought lasting fame and honor to the State of Alabama and to themselves through their outstanding accomplishments.
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame was established by the Alabama State Legislature on August 14, 1967 through Legislative Act 225. Zipp Newman, Sports Editor Emeritus of the Birmingham News, worked with former Alabama football player Holt Rast, a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, to establish the ASHOF.
During the first meeting of the ASHOF Board of Directors on July 16, 1968, retired Major League Baseball player Frank “Pig” House was named Chairman of the Board. The first Board of Directors established a Selection Committee that represented each congressional district in the state. Through a ballot process, the Selection Committee elected eight members to the inaugural class of the ASHOF.
At the Inaugural ASHOF Induction Banquet & Ceremony on February 7, 1969, the Class of 1969 was inducted, it included: Joe Louis Barrow, Johnny Mack Brown, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Mike Donahue, Jimmy Hitchcock, Don Hutson, Ralph “Shug” Jordan and Frank Thomas. Over the last 50 plus years, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame has honored some of the greatest sports figures in the nation including Jesse Owens, Bart Starr, Willie Mays, Alice Coachman Davis, Bo Jackson, Mia Hamm and many more.