Dec. 14, 2013
Ruthie Bolton-Holifield accepts induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 (Todd Van Emst photo).
By Phillip Marshall
Former Auburn linebacker Bill Cody and former women's basketball great Ruthie Bolton-Holifield have been elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Cody, a native of Greenwood, Miss., was a three-year letterman at a time when freshmen weren't eligible. He played from 1963-1965 and was an All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1964 and 1965. He was named to the Birmingham Post-Herald's Auburn Team of the `60s and played in the 1966 Senior bowl.
Drafted by both the Detroit Lions of the National Football League and the New York Jets of the American Football League, Cody signed with Detroit. He was chosen by the New Orleans Saints in the 1967 expansion draft and played on the first Saints team.
Cody was captain of the Saints special teams 1968-70. After being traded to the Vikings, Cody announced his retirement from the game. He returned in 1972 to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles and was special teams captain again.
Bolton, from Lucedale, Miss., was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. She scored 1,176 points in her Auburn career and ranks fifth all-time in assists with 526. She played in a record 132 games and helped the Tigers win three consecutive SEC championships and advance to the national championship game twice.
In a 15-year professional career, Bolton, whose married name is Bolton-Holifield, played on 10 U.S. National teams. She won Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000 and was a WNBA All-Star.
Bolton-Holifield scored more than 2,000 points in her career and is fourth all-time on 3-point baskets. She was the 1991 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.
Others in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014:
Born August 22, 1922 in Fairfield. He played collegiately at Wake Forrest. For three years he fought in World War II serving in the Army Air Corps. He played his final college year in 1946 and participated in the Blue-Gray All-Star game. He was drafted by the St Louis Cardinals of the NFL as a defensive back and punt returner. At that time he set a Cardinals record for punt-return average and at one time was ranked third in the NFL punt return average category. He played on the Cardinals NFL Championship team in 1947 and the runner up team in 1948. He played in ten NFL Championships games and was a member of seven championship teams. After his retirement from playing professional football, he went back to his Alma Mater to coach the running backs. After leaving Wake Forrest he had coaching stints at Detroit, Green Bay, St. Louis, and San Diego. He was a member of Vince Lombardi's staff during Green Bay's glory years of five NFL titles and a runner-up, plus Super Bowl I Championship in 1966. In 1997 he was inducted into the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. He passed away on September 5, 2004.
Born December 15, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. He started his sports broadcasting career in 1972 working as a weekend reporter with the Mutual Broadcasting System. He has done play-by-play assignments for professional hockey, including the World Hockey Association (Birmingham Bulls) and the National Hockey League (St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators). He was the first play-by-play announcer for the UAB Blazers basketball team and remained part of the broadcast team for eight years. He spent four years as the voice of the Birmingham Barons Baseball team and was named the Southern League's Broadcaster of the year for 1983. Since 1976, he has been a member of NASCAR's Motor Racing Network which broadcasts NASCAR racing events and has been a network co-anchor since 1988. He has been the radio play-by-play voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide's football team since 1988. He is a four-time Alabama Sportscaster of the Year award winner.
Born January 1, 1950 in Clayton. He played basketball at Kentucky State University. He holds the all-time-all-division scoring record in NCAA basketball history with 4,045 points. His senior year he averaged 39.5 points per game. He led Kentucky State to three consecutive NAIA National Championships and was presented the NAIA Chuck Taylor Most Valuable Player Award twice. He was the first small college player to be award the Lapchick Trophy - Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Year award in 1972. He still holds numerous NAIA tournament records including most career points in the tournament (518), highest points per-tournament game average (34.5), most points in a single tournament (213), and most points in a single tournament game (60). He was the 13th overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played one season with the Lakers and played the next three years in the ABA. His career field goal percentage was 53.6% making 934 of 1,743 shots. During the 1974-1975 season he averaged 25.2 points per game. He was the second leading scorer in the ABA that season. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009; and the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Born January 19, 1974 in Aliceville. He played offensive tackle and tight end for Holmes Community College. He was named Mississippi Junior College Player of the Year in 1994. He played one year at Florida State University where he earned second team All-ACC honors. He gave up his senior year and entered the 1977 NFL Draft where he was the sixth overall draft choice of the Seattle Seahawks, where he played his entire career. He was first team All-Rookie (1997), nine time Pro Bowl selection, seven time All-Pro selection, was the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year (2005), selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and is a member of the Seahawks 35th Anniversary team. He is only the second player in Seahawk franchise history to have his number retired. In 2006, he topped the list of the 101 best NFL players by the Sporting News.
Born September 30, 1962 in Tampa, Fla. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama. His senior year he set the SEC batting average record at .525, which is still the record (it is 5th best in NCAA history). His .439 career batting average is the SEC record and is 10th best in NCAA history. He also won the NCAA Batting Crown that year. He won the Golden Spike Award (which is the equivalent of winning the Heisman Trophy in football). In 1983 he was an AP All-American, Sporting News All-American and the College Player of the Year by Baseball America. He was second round pick of the New York Mets in the 1983 Major League Draft. He played sixteen seasons for seven different teams. His best season was 1990 with the Mets when he had a batting average of .328, which was third in the National League. He appeared in 1,582 major league games and collected 1,197 hits. He finished his career with a .288 batting average; a .390 on-base percentage; and a .377 slugging percentage. He was on the coaching staff of the Boston Red Sox for their 2007 World Series Championship and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. He is presently hitting coach for the Texas Rangers.
Born December 12, 1958 in Birmingham. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama, where he was an All-SEC First Team performer in 1979 and Second Team All-SEC in 1980. He was an Academic All-American in 1979. He played on two national championship teams in 1979 and 1980, and three SEC Championship Teams in 1977, 1978 and 1979. He was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the 1980 Sugar Bowl; and was also the MVP in the 1981 Cotton Bowl. He was Captain of the 1980 team and holds the distinction of being named to the All-Decade Team for both the 1970s and 1980s. During his career at Alabama under Coach Bryant, the Crimson Tide was 44-4.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: