Eight different sports and seven different decades are represented in the 2001 class selected for induction in the University of California Athletic Hall of Fame, the school announced this week.
The eight individuals and one team induction group include a .400 hitter in baseball, the first one-handed shooter on the West Coast in the sport of basketball, a three-time Olympic water polo star and a five-time track and field All-American.
The group will be formally inducted on Friday, Nov. 2, at the annual Hall of Fame banquet at Hs Lordships restaurant located on the Berkeley Marina. They will also be honored at halftime on Nov. 3, during the Bears home football game against Arizona.
The class of ‘01 brings the total number of athletes enshrined in Cal’s Hall of Fame to 173 individuals and five crews, each of whom represent the best of Cal’s rich athletic heritage. The Cal Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1986 and this year’s group represents the 16th class of inductees.
• An outstanding outfielder who earned All-America honors in 1953, Tom Keough was a superior hitter who had a career batting average of .398, which remains No. 1 in Cal history. Keough hit .400 in 1952 and .396 in 1953, and then went on to play for the Boston Red Sox for several seasons. He was a versatile athlete who also played three years under Pappy Waldorf on the Bears football team, having the distinction of playing in the 1951 Rose Bowl.
• The first player on the West Coast to use a one-handed shot to any extent, Joe Kintana earned All-Coast honors and was a first team All-America selection by the Helms Athletic Foundation as a senior in 1932. Kintana also led Cal to the conference title in 1932 and started as a junior in 1931, earning All-Coast honors that season as well.
• One of the finest water polo players this country has ever produced, Chris Humbert earned All-America honors four straight seasons at Cal and led the Golden Bears to three NCAA Championships (1988, ‘90 and ‘91) during his career. Humbert was the NCAA Player of the Year as both a junior and senior and has been a starter on the U.S. Olympic team at the 1992, ‘96 and 2000 Olympic Games.
• A five-time All-American middle distance star at Cal, Forrest Beaty helped the Bears to an NCAA Championship mile relay in both 1964 and ‘65. Beaty finished second in the NCAA 440 in 1965 and was on Cal’s national runner-up mile relay team in 1966. He won both the Pac-8 220 and the 440 in 1965, while also helping the Bears to first place finishes in the 440 relay and the mile relay.
• Steve Rivera held Cal’s all-time leading receiving mark with 138 receptions in his three-year career from 1973-75 for 16 years (until the record was broken by Brian Treggs in 1991). Rivera earned consensus All-America honors in 1975 when he hauled in 57 catches, the most ever by a Cal player in a single-season. His 205 yards in receptions against Stanford in 1974 ranked as the second best single-game total in Cal history.
• One of the great point guards in Cal history, Gene Ransom was only 5-9, but was extremely athletic. He ranks as the Bears 14th leading career scorer with 1,185 points in three years, a 14.8 average. Ransom led Cal in assists all three years he played and averaged 17.0 points a game during 1977-78 season. He ranks fifth on Cal’s career assist chart with 356 and led the Bears in steals with 2.3 per game in ‘77-78.
• The 1980 Cal women’s crew captured the Bears first women’s team championship in any sport. Under first-year coach Pat Sweeney, a 1976 Olympic silver medalist from Great Britain, Cal dominated the National Championship, putting together possibly the finest regatta ever in the history of women’s collegiate rowing.
• Chuck Thompson was one of the world’s best tumblers during his era and placed first in the NCAA tumbling competition in both 1948 and ‘49. Thompson also captured the Southern Pacific Division tumbling title in ‘48 and ‘49, won the NAAU Championship in 1947 and finished second in both ‘48 and ‘49.
• Gene Smith played three seasons of tennis at Cal and was undefeated in conference singles matches at home during that time. He was a member of Cal’s 1933 conference championship team and, as a senior in 1934, defeated UCLA’s Jack Tidball, who had won the NCAA singles title the previous year.