Nine Athletes Named to Cal's Hall of Fame



April 30, 1998

BERKELEY, Calif. - Former University of California softball pitching star/Olympic gold medalist Michele Granger and 1920's football star Roy Riegels head a class of nine former Golden Bear athletes who have been selected for induction into Cal's Athletic Hall of Fame. The group will be formally inducted on Friday, Oct. 23, in the annual banquet at Hs Lordship's near the Berkeley Marina. They will also be honored at halftime on Oct. 24, during the Bears home game against the UCLA Bruins.

The class of '98 brings the total number of athletes enshrined in Cal's Hall of Fame to 147 individuals and four crews, each of whom represent the best of Cal's rich athletic heritage. The Cal Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1986.

Granger, who starred in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and Riegels, known for his wrong way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl, will be joined by football star Pete Schabarum, 60's track and field high jumper Gene Johnson, Olympic half-miler Lon Spurrier, baseball pitcher Bill Priest, gymnastic star Dan Millman, Wimbledon tennis champion Thomas Brown, Jr. and 1924 Olympic javelin thrower Bill Neufeld.

Perhaps the greatest pitcher in the history of women's softball, Michele Granger was a four-time All-American at Cal, completing her career with a 119-52 mark and a 0.46 ERA. Granger set an NCAA record with 1,640 strikeouts during her career and had 25 no-hitters and five perfect games as a Golden Bear. She holds Cal records in career wins (119), games (183), games started (162), complete games (155), innings pitched (1202), strikeouts (1640) and shutouts (94). Granger's best season was when she compiled a 33-10 record in 1991. She was a member of the U.S. Olympic Gold Medal team in 1996, going 2-0 with an 0.87 ERA and 25 strikeouts. One of Granger's wins came in the Gold Medal game against China.

Roy Riegels was the protagonist of one of the most famous plays in college football history when he went 69 yards the wrong way in the 1929 Rose Bowl. Riegels had scooped up a fumble at the Georgia Tech 30-yard line and took off the wrong way until teammate Benny Lom spun him around at the Cal one and he was tackled by the Yellow Jackets. That play may have obscured Riegels many talents, as he earned first team All-America honors in 1929 as a center as named by Associated Press and Central Press. He served as Cal team captain in 1929 and helped the Bears to a 7-1-1 record.

Pete Schabarum was a rugged fullback who was a first team all-conference selection on Cal's 1950 team which posted a 9-1-1 record, the last of Pappy Waldorf's Cal Rose Bowl teams. Schabarum was also a co-captain on the 1950 squad a led the Bears in scoring with 11 touchdowns. He was a second round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers and went on to play three years with the 49ers, in 1951 and '53-54. Schabarum also lettered at Cal in baseball in 1950.

The Cal record holder in the high jump during the early 1960s with a jump of 7-0 1/4, Gene Johnson broke the existing school record by over five inches. Johnson was the first person in the world to jump over 7-0 feet using the Western roll style of jumping and was the fourth American to ever jump 7-0 feet. He won the national AAU title in the high jump in 1963 and placed second in the USA/USSR dual meet in Moscow in '63, behind world record holder Valery Brumel. Johnson was undefeated in Cal dual-meet competition in 1962 and '64, winning AAWU league high jump titles those same years and placed second in the NCAA high jump in '62 and '64.

Cal's first great half-miler who set a world record in the 880 in 1955 (1:47.2), Lon Spurrier was also a Gold Medalist in 1956 as part of the U.S. 1600 meter relay team and finished sixth in the 800 meters at the same Melbourne Games. Spurrier claimed numerous conference and national titles, including the IC4A 880 title in 1952 and the PCC 880 crown in 1953. He anchored Cal's two-mile relay team that broke the world record in 1954. Spurrier qualified for the Pan Am Games by finishing first in the Pan Am Trials with the fifth-fastest time in American history in the spring of '55. He finished second in the 800 meters and first in the 1600 relay at the Pan Am Games in Mexico City in '55. After graduation, Spurrier served as the president of the Big C Society and was a warden in the Order of the Golden Bear.

Bill Priest was an outstanding pitcher who helped Cal to a 77-28 record while lettering from 1936 to '38. Priest helped the Bears to CIBA titles in '37 and '38, and as a senior batted .308 and led Cal with a 7-2 record on the mound. He later received a doctorate in education and became Chancellor of the Dallas Community College District. Priest has been honored in many ways while living in Dallas, including having the Bill Priest Vocational Service Center named in his honor.

One of Cal's top gymnastics stars of the past, Dan Millman helped lead Cal to the 1968 NCAA team title. Millman's senior season came after suffering a serious leg injury in a motorcycle accident in 1967 and going through extensive rehabilitation. He was named Cal's Senior Athlete of the Year, over Craig Morton, among others. Millman's specialty was the trampoline and he was the first world trampoline champion during competition in London in 1964. He was also a standout in the floor exercise and won that event at the 1966 USFG Championship. Millman also won the 1965 NCAA vaulting competition as a sophomore and earned NCAA All-America honors three times at Cal. He was head coach of gymnastics at Stanford from 1968-71 and served as Cal's women's coach from 1978-80. Millman is currently an internationally best-selling author and penned the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior , which has been read by two million readers in nine languages. He also wrote The Warrior Athlete, which has been lauded by sports greats, including Billy Jean King, Roger Craig, Dave Scott and Steve Stefanki.

Inducted into the college tennis hall of fame in 1995, Thomas Brown, Jr. was a finalist in the 1943 NCAA singles tourney to Miami's Francsico Segura. Brown was also a doubles finalists (with Harry Buttimer) the same year. He was a finalist in the Wimbledon singles (to Jack Kramer) in 1947, and a Wimbledon doubles champion (with Kramer) and a finalist in the U.S. singles in 1946. Brown won the U.S. hardcourt singles in 1957-58 and doubles in 1950-52-53. He was on the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1946-50-53. Brown ranked in the U.S. Top 10 eight times from 1946 through '58 and currently ranks No. 1 in U.S. 70 singles.

Bill Neufeld was the captain of the 1924 California track and field team and took fifth place at the 1924 Olympic games in the javelin. Neufeld helped Cal win the national collegiate IC4A title in 1923 when he was the high point scorer. He dominated all the weight events on the West Coast in 1923 and '24 and took first place in the discus in the 1924 IC4A national meet. Neufeld was selected on Walter Christie's all-time Cal track and field team in the discus.

1998 California Hall of Fame Inductees
Name                Sport(s)      Year(s)
Thomas Brown, Jr.   Tennis        1942
Michele Granger     Softball      1989-93
Gene Johnson        Track & Field 1962-64
Dan Millman         Gymnastics    1964-68
Bill Neufeld        Track & Field 1923-24
Bill Priest         Baseball      1936-38
Roy Riegels         Football      1927-29
Pete Schabarum      Football      1948-50
Lon Spurrier        Track & Field 1952-55

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