For more information contact:

: Marty Willadsen
Phone: (417)889-3100
December 13, 2011


Springfield, MO - A total of fifteen inductees, one high school program and one university program will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Sunday, January 29th, 2012, at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield, Mo.  The Killian Group of Companies is the presenting sponsor of the annual event, along with associate sponsors, Advertising Plus, Hiland Dairy, Hillyard, Inc., and White River Valley Electric Cooperative.

The Enshrinement events will kick-off with a reception on Sunday, January 29th, 2012, at the Hall of Fame from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The Enshrinement Ceremonies will get underway at 4:00 p.m. with a reception at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, with the banquet immediately afterwards. All festivities will conclude around 8:00 p.m. Please note that these times are different than previous Hall of Fame Enshrinement activities. 

Tickets for the Enshrinement are $150 each or $1,500 for a table of 10.  Tickets are on sale now and available by calling (417) 889-3100. Tickets are limited, so reserve your seat today. All proceeds will benefit the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.  For additional information please contact Marty Willadsen, Vice President of Operations and Administration at (417) 889-3100 or visit the Hall of Fame website at

Jim Edmonds - Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals

In eight full seasons with the Cardinals, Jim Edmonds made three All Star appearances and in 2000 became the first Cardinals outfielder ever to hit 40 or more home runs in a season.  In 2004, Jim earned a Silver Slugger Award, hitting .301 with 42 home runs and driving in 111 runs. At the end of his seventeen year career, Edmonds retired with a .988 fielding percentage and eight Gold Gloves, six of which came while playing for St. Louis.  Jim hit the game-winning walk-off home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 in the 2004 LCS against Houston to send the series to Game 7.

Emmitt Thomas – Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs

Emmitt Thomas returned to his football roots in Kansas City in 2010, joining the Chiefs as the defensive backs coach. Thomas played cornerback for 13 seasons with Kansas City (’66-78) and finished his career with a franchise-record 58 interceptions. 2011 marked Emmitt’s 31st season as an NFL assistant coach and his 44th overall NFL campaign. He was a member of both of Kansas City’s Super Bowl squads, with the 1969-70 team winning Super Bowl IV. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Chiefs Hall of Fame in ’86, Thomas was also enshrined into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Jon Sundvold – Guard, University of Missouri

One of only two players in Big Eight Conference history to play on four consecutive league championship teams, Jon Sundvold played on Mizzou teams that had a cumulative record of 100-28. A guard from Blue Springs, MO, he twice won all-conference, all-district and all-Big Eight Tournament honors, and was an all-American in 1983. Jon is one of only four players to have his jersey (#20) retired. He played professionally for the Seattle SuperSonics, the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. He was a second-team choice on the Big Eight's all-decade team, and was named the MVP of MU's own all-decade team in the 1980s. Sundvold was a 1990 Missouri University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.

Jamie Quirk – Catcher, Kansas City Royals

During his 18-year playing career, Quirk appeared in 984 Major League games, 525 of those as a catcher. He compiled a .240 career average with 43 home runs and 247 RBI and played for a total of eight different teams, including the 1980 AL Champion Royals, 1985 World Champion Royals and the 1990 AL Champion Oakland A's. Quirk originally was the Royals first-round selection (18th overall pick) in the 1972 June Draft. An American Leaguer at heart, Jamie spent only one year in the senior circuit, that being with the St. Louis Cardinals. Quirk is currently the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs.

Mel Gray - Receiver, University of Missouri, St. Louis Football Cardinals

At the University of Missouri, Gray lettered in football and track from 1968-70. In track, Gray was an all-American once indoors and twice outdoors. In football, Gray was all-Big Eight in 1969, when he caught 25 passes for 705 yards and a school-record nine touchdowns.  He at one time held the MU career record for receiving touchdowns (14). He was chosen to MU’s all-century team in 1990. Gray was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, and was an all-pro receiver during a career that lasted from 1971-82. Gray appeared in four straight Pro Bowls from 1974-’77 during the “Air Coryell” years.

Al Onofrio – Football Coach, University of Missouri

In 1971, after spending 12 years as an assistant coach, Albert Joseph Onofrio was named the head football coach at the University of Missouri, a post he held until 1977. While his record hovered at the .500 level, he was noted for having pulled upsets, mainly on the road. He coached four All-Americans, and 30 NFL players. He led Missouri to two bowl games, in the 1972 Fiesta Bowl, a loss to Arizona State in Tempe, and the 1973 Sun Bowl, a win over Auburn in El Paso, Texas. A 1993 inductee to the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame, Coach Onofrio passed away on November 5, 2004.

Mickey Owen – Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers

A native of Nixa, Missouri, Arnold Malcolm "Mickey" Owen was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1935. He made his major league debut in 1937, appearing in 80 games, and spent the next three full seasons in St. Louis before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941. After spending 5 seasons as the Brooklyn backstop, Owen finished out his career with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. In a 13-season career, Mickey posted a .255 batting average with 14 home runs and 378 RBI in 1209 games.  Owen passed away on July 13, 2005.

Dr. Richard Lehman – Sports Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Dr. Lehman obtained his medical school degree from the University of Miami Medical School. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Washington University in St. Louis and was trained in orthopedic sports medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Rick has been involved with ownership groups on the professional level with the Florida Panthers and has served as team physician for the St. Louis Blues and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The personal physician of many professional athletes, he practices at the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Lehman received the Missouri Athletic Trainers Association Sports Medicine Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

Rex Sinquefield – Chess, St. Louis, MO

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has taken the lead of the International Olympic Committee which recognizes chess as a sport. St. Louis’ Rex Sinquefield founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a venue where newcomers can learn and seasoned veterans can compete in local and national and international tournaments. In 2011, the Sinquefields opened the World Chess Hall of Fame. The historic15,000-square-foot building features displays of artifacts from the permanent collection as well as exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and the rich cultural history of chess. Rex is making St. Louis the Chess Capital of the World. 

Lawrence Walls – Football Coach, Sumner High School, St. Louis, MO

From the 1960s through the '80s, when the Public High League dominated St. Louis-area football, Lawrence Walls, who retired in 1998, presided over a dynasty at Sumner High School.  His coaching career at Sumner began in 1971 and continued until his retirement in 1998. When Larry totaled his record at the end of his reign, it tallied an impressive 248 wins compared to only 53 losses and two ties.  Coach Walls who has coached his teams to four State Championships was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association in 1999.

Jim Pearson – Golf / Football Coach, Kickapoo H.S., Springfield, MO

A graduate of Missouri Valley College, Jim played football for the Vikings under Coach Ashford from 1951 to 1955.  After his graduation, Pearson held positions as assistant football coach and head golf coach at high schools in Missouri and Illinois. In 1971, he was named the first head football coach at Springfield’s Kickapoo High School.  Jim retired after 20 years with a record of 135-66.  He is a member of four Halls of Fame - the Missouri High School Football Coaches, the Springfield Area Sports, the Ozarks Golf and the Missouri Valley College Athletic.  Jim passed away on February 12, 2007.

Richard Hantak – NFL Official, St. Louis MO

In additional to his many years officiating high school basketball and college and high school football, Rich Hantak’s NFL career as an official has spanned 25 years, working as a Line Judge, Back Judge and Referee. His accolades in the NFL are numerous and include such assignments as the 1985 and 1997 NFC Championships, the 1989 AFC Championship and two Pro Bowls, but the biggest assignments in his career were being named as the Back Judge in 1982’s Super Bowl XVII and as a Referee in the 1992 Super Bowl XXVII.  Rich is a product of Roosevelt High in St. Louis and SEMO in Cape Girardeau.

Ellen Port – Amateur Golf, St. Louis MO

The “First Lady of Missouri Golf”, Ellen Port hales from St. Louis. Ellen won her 7th Missouri Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship in 2010, placing her in a tie for the most ever. She has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur 17 times.  Ellen has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid Amateur an amazing 22 years, winning four times. She has won the (St. Louis) Metropolitan Amateur Ladies Championship 12 times and in 1997 was named Amateur Athlete of the Year by the St. Louis Sports Commission. Port has competed in the U.S. Women’s Open three times.

Clyde Lear – Sports Media, Jefferson City, MO

Clyde Lear is the retired Chairman and CEO of Learfield Communications, Inc., a company he started in 1972 as an outgrowth of his master’s project at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Learfield Sports is the preeminent leader in the collegiate sports marketing arena, boasting a rich history dating back to 1975.  Today Learfield is the exclusive provider of marketing services for athletic departments at 54 major institutions, including the likes of MU, UNC, Stanford, Indiana, Wisconsin, OU, Miami, and Clemson.  Learfield also markets for the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) and spearheads corporate partner platforms for the Big Ten Conference and the Western Athletic Conference. 

Gene Ruble – Basketball, (Southwest) Missouri State University,

Ruble was born in Plato, Missouri, and began making a name for himself as a basketball standout in Camdenton, Missouri. He helped guide that team to the Missouri Class B state championship during his first year of high school play in 1941. His junior year, Ruble moved to Lebanon High School and helped the Yellowjackets to a 28-1 campaign. He led the team back to the state finals and a second place finish in his senior season.  In 1946, after serving in the Army and seeing action at The Battle of the Bulge, Ruble joined the Southwest Missouri State basketball team where he was a four-time first team all-conference selection, while leading the league in scoring each of those four seasons. He finished his SMS career with 1,406 points and was the school’s all-time scoring leader until 1967. Today he is still among the top ten all-time scorers in Bears basketball history.

Columbia College – Volleyball, Columbia, MO

From 1998 to 2001, the Cougar Volleyball team amassed an overall record of 167 wins and only 2 losses. They participated in four straight NAIA National Volleyball Championship matches, winning three National Titles.  During that time, they set an NAIA record by winning 102 consecutive matches dating from August 28, 1998 until September 22, 2000.  The Cougars from those teams also boasted a 504 – 27 game record and a 27 – 1 NAIA National Tournament record. Additionally, Columbia College holds the record for consecutive home court wins, winning 126 straight matches from 1994 until 2003.

New Haven High School – Basketball, New Haven, MO

Since the school’s first game one hundred years ago, New Haven has established itself an unparalleled basketball tradition recognized throughout the state.  The Shamrocks have ten Final Four appearances and eight State Championships. From 1956 – 1959, the teams won four consecutive Class S State Titles and boasted an overall record of 130 – 9. During that span, they were undefeated against all Class S opponents, posting 57 wins.  They were the first team in Missouri to score 100 points in a state playoff game.

St. John’s – John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award, Springfield, MO

St. John’s Health System (soon to be named Mercy) is the 2012 John Q. Hammons Founder Award Recipient. As part of an integrated health system with more than 500 physicians and 10,000 co-workers, St. John’s has been caring for the people of the Ozarks since 1891. St. John’s is home to the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the region’s only burn unit and a Children’s Hospital. As a leader in Sports Medicine, St. John’s has provided comprehensive programs and services for athletes of all ages in Southwest Missouri for more than 30 years and serves as the official sports medicine provider for Missouri State University and the Springfield Cardinals. The team works to improve athletic performance or get athletes back in the game following an injury.




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