STEVE LARGENT – Football
From his NFL Hall of Fame bio:
“Steve Largent, a 5-11, 187-pound wide receiver with only average size and speed but armed with exceptional determination and concentration, became one of history’s most outstanding pass catchers during his 14-season, 200-game career with the Seattle Seahawks from 1976 to 1989.
At the time of his retirement, he held six major career pass receiving records – most receptions (819), most consecutive games with a reception (177), most yards on receptions (13,089), most touchdowns on receptions (100), most seasons with 50 or more receptions (10) and most seasons with 1,000 yards or more on receptions (8). All this by a receiver who the Houston Oilers thought was too small and slow to make it in the pros.
Largent attended the University of Tulsa, where he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference star with 103 receptions his final two seasons. He was the fourth-round pick of the Oilers and the 117th player taken in the 1976 National Football League Draft. He played only four preseason games with Houston before being traded to the expansion Seahawks for an eighth-round draft pick. It was the catch of the century for Seattle. Largent became an almost instant star with the Seahawks with 54 receptions, third best in the NFC, in his rookie season.
He led the AFC with 71 receptions in 1978 and he had five other seasons with 70 or more receptions. The sure-handed receiver, who ran nearly perfect pass routes, also led the NFL in pass-receiving yardage in 1979 and 1985. An All-Pro choice in 1983, 1985, and 1987, he was also named All-AFC three times and selected for seven Pro Bowls in a ten-season span between 1978 and 1987.
Seemingly indestructible, Steve missed only four games because of injuries his first 13 seasons. An NFL Man of the Year winner in 1988, Largent also was a positive force off the field.”
ROD BELCHER — Media
Rod Belcher was an outstanding Northwest radio and TV sports broadcaster for over 50 years. He covered UW sports, Major League and Pacific Coast League baseball, Seattle University basketball in the O’Brien era, hydroplane races and other major NW events. Voted State of Washington Sportscaster of the Year for three consecutive years during his tenure as KING-TV sports director. Radio voice of the San Francisco 49ers for one year and a color commentator on the 1964 NBC-TV Rose Bowl telecast.
CLAY HUNTINGTON – Media
Called Tacoma’s all-purpose ambassador and sports treasure, his radio and television sportscasting career extended over 55 years. He also was a sportswriter with several local daily newspapers including The Tacoma Times. He was one of the founders of the Tacoma Athletic Commission in the 1940s. His signature feat was establishing the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 1960.
A longer bio of Huntington is available at the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Museum website.
MAC WILKINS – Track & Field
One of the state’s outstanding track and field champions, Mac Wilkins is the holder of numerous records including All-America discus honors at the University of Oregon in 1972 & ’73, and Olympic Gold Medalist in 1976 and Silver Medalist in 1984. He was ranked first in the world in 1976 and 1980, a four-time world record holder, eight-time U.S. National Champion in discus throw, and National Champion 1977 in shot put. Mac was elected to the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1993 and held the world’s best combined results for discus, shot put, javelin and hammer throw. His personal bests were 232-10 in the discus, 69 1 ¼ in the shot put, 208-10 in the hammer throw and 257-4 in the javelin. He was a member of state prep championship team at Lakewood’s Clover Park High School in 1968.
PAT LESSER (HARBOTTLE) – Golf
The peak of Pat Lesser’s golf career came upon winning the 1955 U.S. Women’s Amateur championship. She didn’t desire a pro career, preferring to have a family, but she became reknown in local golf with decades of contributions and an active tournament that still bears her name.
As a 17-year-old, she had defeated eventual golf legend Mickey Wright 4 and 2 in match-play finals at a dampened Wanakah Country Club in Buffalo, N.Y. for the U.S. Junior Girls championship.
She was inducted in the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame and the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame, where she played on the men’s team and was the top-ranked golfer in five of her first 13 matches as a freshman. One of the men on the team was John Harbottle. Together, the Harbottles become the pre-eminent golf family in Washington.
ROD FUNSETH – Golf
Out of Spokane’s North Central High School, Rod Funseth won the British Columbia Amateur in 1956 and turned pro that fall. He worked as a club pro for several years before joining the PGA Tour full-time in 1963. He won the 1965 Phoenix Open and the 1973 Los Angeles Open at Riviera. In 1978, at age 45, he won the Greater Hartford Open. He tied for second at the 1973 Masters, his highest finish in a major. He stayed on the PGA Tour until 1979 and, in 1983, switched to the Senior PGA Tour with a nine-stroke win in his tour debut, the Hall of Fame tournament in North Carolina at Pinehurst.