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Posts Tagged ‘shemus’

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame snubs pro wrestling

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 9, 2010

By Matt Murphy

I won’t rant long about this. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has inducted exactly two professional wrestling legends in its 60-year history. Sam Muchnick was inducted in 1992 and Lou Thesz was inducted in 2002. This is a slap in the face to professional wrestling and to the many wrestling legends deserving of inclusion.

Wrestling fans, wrestlers, promoters, writers — let’s let the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame know exactly how we feel about it! Whether they like it or not, professional wrestling has been a major part of Missouri’s rich sports history. They owe it to the legends and to all of us as fans to recognize our sport.

Here’s their info:
Website: www.mosportshalloffame.com
Address:
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
3861 E. Stan Musial Drive
Springfield, Missouri 65809
Phone: (417) 889-3100 or (800) 498-5678
Fax: (417) 889-2761
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

I’ve included an email exchange between me and Todd Yearack, who at the time worked for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. For the record, no wrestlers, wrestling promoters, or wrestling announcers have been inducted since these letters.

From: Matt Murphy
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2005 10:21 PM
To: Todd Yearack
Subject: MO Hall of Fame

Dear sir:

I am writing to inquire why an organization whose catchphrase is “All the memories and all the thrills of sports” has neglected to recognize so many stars of professional wrestling.

Harley Race with the Missouri State Heavyweight Championship belt.

(A total of 17 wrestlers held the Missouri State heavyweight championship from 1972 through 1985. Eight would hold major versions of the World heavyweight championship.)

Lake Ozark resident Harley Race was one of the most respected athletes of his era. He was an eight-time NWA World Champion professional wrestler (he broke 2002 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee Lou Thesz’s record of six World Title reigns). He was also inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. Race currently runs World League Wrestling, an Eldon, MO-based small independent wrestling organization which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities in the state since 1999.

I certainly feel Mr. Race’s inclusion from the Hall of Fame is necessary. He is, after all, considered by many to be the greatest wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots. Mr. Race is now sixty-one years old, and I think he should be inducted in the very near future.

Warrensburg native Bruce “Butch” Reed was a star football player for CMSU and one of the ground-breaking African-American athletes in professional wrestling. A former World Tag Team Champion and one of the top wrestlers of the 1980s, Bruce was among the first black professional wrestlers to achieve national superstardom.

Cowboy Bob Orton

St. Louis-area resident “Cowboy” Bob Orton is the father of current WWE superstar Randy Orton and a former WWE superstar himself. He is being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

Bulldog Bob Brown

These are just a few notable pro wrestlers deserving of being recognized as the elite athletes in Missouri sports history. Others who deserve induction include wrestlers “Bulldog” Bob Brown, Rufus R. Jones, Mike George, and Bob Geigel, announcers Bill Kersten and Larry Matysik, and promoter Gus Karras.

While many don’t consider wrestling a sport, it is undoubtedly an important part of Missouri sports history. Just ask a bunch of Missourians about wrestling. “I remember watching Harley Race and Bulldog Bob Brown at Memorial Hall” and “I watched ‘Wrestling at the Chase’ every week with my family” will likely be responses you’ll hear often.

Please let me know what I can do or how many like-minded Missourians should contact you to accomplish my goal of seeing the elite of those who contributed to “All the memories and all the thrills of sports” in Missouri recognized properly.

Please let me extend my invitation for assistance. If you need anything, from doing research to writing bios to conducting interviews with any professional wrestler deserving of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inclusion, please don’t hesitate to email or call me.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to a response.
Matt Murphy
__________

Todd Yearack wrote:

Matt:

Thank you for your note about Mr. Race and a few of the other wrestling icons from Missouri. You are certainly on the right track with your suggestion that Mr. Race be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He was given very strong consideration for our most recent induction ceremony (February 13th) and will be up for consideration again for 2006. If you wish, feel free to mail us a letter of recommendation/nomination on Mr. Race and I’ll be glad to include it in his nomination file.

Again, thank you for your interest in the Hall of Fame. I hope to hear back from you soon.

Received your letter, and thank you! If you wish, you are welcome to look into additional letters in support of Mr. Race. While the number of letters doesn’t have any true direct affect on the individual’s induction, it is nice to hear from a broad range of folks who support a given inductee. Anything that is sent to us will be put in Mr. Race’s file, which will be reviewed by the selection committee later this year.

Thanks,
Todd

__________

From: Matt Murphy
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 1:28 PM
To: Todd Yearack
Subject: RE: MO Hall of Fame

Dear Mr. Yearack:

Thank you for the speedy reply. I have attached a letter to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. If I need to send it through postal mail, please let me know to what address it needs to be sent and I will have a letter in the mail next week.

Please tell me if my letter will suffice. Would several dozen letters from other fans help the cause or would it just make a lot of unnecessary work for you and others involved with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame? I’m willing to do as much work as it needed to witness Harley’s induction to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Matt Murphy

__________

Todd Yearack wrote:

Received your letter, and thank you! If you wish, you are welcome to look into additional letters in support of Mr. Race. While the number of letters doesn’t have any true direct affect on the individual’s induction, it is nice to hear from a broad range of folks who support a given inductee. Anything that is sent to us will be put in Mr. Race’s file, which will be reviewed by the selection committee later this year.

Thanks,
Todd

MWR Editors note:

Just recently MWR fans we pulled together to support the future of Midwest wrestling by having our voice heard in regards of Mike Sydal, a wrestler that we felt very strongly deserved to be the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year.

Now it is time for us to pull together to remember the past wrestling stars that gave their body hearts and soul to entertain the Midwest before there was cable TV, internet and PPV, families came together too boo the bad guy and cheer their heroes. On a personal level my dad who is not a wrestling fan at all does not have a clue who Shemus or The Miz is, but he knows who Rufus R Jones and Harley Race are.

I was shocked to hear that “MR. Race” had to have a file to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, just as Cooperstown would not be right with out Babe Ruth inducted or Michael Jordan in the NBA shrine, I just could not imagine that Harley Race was not there. Hopefully, once we are able to get the ball rolling with Race in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame the many other great men and women who entertained the very rich history of athletes in the sport of wrestling will be inducted as they should be.

No sport has a more passionate fan base that pro wrestling, lets show the support for Missouri’s greatest mat stars from the past by taking our friend Matt Murphy’s advice and send Missouri Sports Hall of Fame a letter requesting that Pro wrestling not to be over looked.

MWR Fans remember when sending the request to be professional and respectful in your letter to each and everyone at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

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