2011 San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Rudy Galindo, Art Lambert, Dan Pastorini, Peter Ueberroth & Kristi Yamaguchi

SAN JOSE, CA – Five South Bay sports icons that made their mark in professional, college, and Olympic sports make up the 2011 Class of Inductees of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The 17th class, which will be inducted at the November 9 ceremony at HP Pavilion at San Jose, includes:

  • Rudy Galindo: U.S. Figure Skating National Champion
  • Art Lambert: SJSU & Stanford Water Polo Player and Coach
  • Dan Pastorini: SCU and NFL Quarterback
  • Peter Ueberroth: Iconic Sports Executive
  • Kristi Yamaguchi: Olympic Gold Medalist, Philanthropist

The November 9th event, presented by Hewlett-Packard, celebrates 17 years of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The event begins with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Dinner tickets begin at $250 each and sponsorship packages are available ranging from $3,000 to $15,000. For information and to purchase tickets (408) 288-2936.

The 2011 Class brings the total number to 81 of South Bay sports figures in the Hall of Fame, which recognizes each honoree with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at HP Pavilion. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, HP Pavilion Management/San Jose Sharks and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract or host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, The First Tee of San Jose, and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit www.sjsa.org.

Inductee Biographies

Rudy Galindo
Rudy Galindo’s story began when he was born into a blue-collar family in San Jose in 1969 – and his journey to figure skating stardom would take him around the world – but would ultimately be found only miles from where he grew up, lived, and trained.

Galindo won the novice singles title at the 1982 U.S. Championships, and beginning in 1985, he began competing in both singles and pairs, with partner Kristi Yamaguchi. The two won the junior pairs competition at the 1986 and 1988 U.S. Championships, and Galindo took the men’s junior singles title at the 1987 World Championships. Galindo and Yamaguchi graduated to senior competition and stole the show at back-to-back U.S. Championships, taking home pairs titles in 1989 and 1990.

Soon thereafter, both skaters focused on their singles careers, with Yamaguchi finding almost instant solo success, Galindo won several regional and minor national competitions, but struggled to dominate at the U.S. or World Championships. During this time, Galindo also suffered three tragic losses; his father Jess died of a heart attack in 1993, his brother George passed away a year later, and a former coach and trainer, Rick Inglesi, in 1995.

Following a fifth place finish at the 1995 U.S. Championships, Galindo stopped training and was considering retirement as a skater, when he learned that the 1996 U.S. Championships would be held at two-year old San Jose Arena (now HP Pavilion).

In what many consider one of the sports’ all-time Cinderella-stories, Galindo stamped his name into U.S. figure skating history with a breath-taking performance for the ages, set to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

“It was the most exciting sports event that I ever witnessed,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed during a press conference announcing that the 2012 U.S. Championships would return to San Jose.

The feat gave Galindo the distinction as the oldest male to win a singles championship title in 70 years, as well as being the first Latino and openly gay skater win a U.S. title. He followed-up his performance with a bronze medal at the 1996 World Championships.

In 2000, Galindo announced that he was living with HIV, and has become an advocate and spokesperson for several AIDS charities and support organizations. He continued to skate professionally until 2007 – despite multiple hip surgeries – and a total hip replacement – during that time.

Galindo was a member of the Bid Committee and is a member of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will return to the South Bay for the first time since Galindo thrilled the hometown crowd in 1996.

Now a coach in the South Bay, Galindo is helping the next generation of skaters find the inner strength and confidence that he exemplified during his extraordinary journey.

Art Lambert

The South Bay is home to many great leaders, and Art Lambert is certainly one of the finest and most influential.

He graduated from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, CA in 1953 and went on to San Jose State, and was a standout on the national championship water polo teams in 1957 and 1959 with the Olympic Club of San Francisco. By the time he graduated from SJSU, Lambert was a team captain and three-time All-America in both water polo and swimming for the Spartans.

He earned a masters degree from SJSU in 1965, while at the same time working his first coaching job at Awalt High in Mountain View (now Mountain View High), from 1963-1966. His Awalt teams won four Santa Clara Valley Athletic League and four Northern California water polo titles, and were undefeated against all high school competition over that time period.

In 1967, he was hired at De Anza College (Cupertino, CA), and from 1967-73 and coached the Dons to six Golden Gate Conference and Northern California titles, and won a state championship in 1971. From 1964-1973, Lambert coached the Foothill and De Anza Aquatic Foundation water polo teams to six national AAU titles (1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, and 1971).

Lambert coached the 1967 Pan Am Games team to gold, its first international gold medal. As a result, he was selected as head coach of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team that placed fifth in New Mexico City, and an assistant on the 1972 team that won a bronze medal in Munich.

Lambert coached water polo at Stanford from 1974-1976, taking over a team that had been winless the previous two years in Pac-8 play and leading the team to a national championship. He was named the 1976 Pac-8 Coach of the Year and Northern California Coach of the Year, and had a career record of 55-19 at Stanford.

In 1975, Lambert took over the reigns of Stanford’s new varsity men’s volleyball team, and promptly took the squad to Northern California Intercollegiate Volleyball Conference titles in 1976, 1977, and 1978. In 1977, he also coached the Stanford women’s volleyball team and won the Northern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.

Lambert has shared his coaching philosophies in the book The Techniques of Water Polo. From 1959-60, he served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Water Polo Committee from 1960 -72 and the AAU National Water Polo Committee from 1965-1976. Lambert is a member of the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame, the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame, the De Anza College Hall of Fame, and the California Community College Water Polo Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the Olympic Club of San Francisco Hall of Fame in September.

Dan Pastorini

Born in Sonora, CA, Dan Pastorini attended Bellarmine College Preparatory and Santa Clara University, where he excelled as a quarterback for the Broncos. In his three seasons as a starter (1968-70), Pastorini was a second-team Associated Press Little All-America selection and ranked in the Top-10 in nine of the schools all-time passing records. He was named the most outstanding player in the 46th annual Shine East-West Classic at the Oakland Coliseum in 1971. Pastorini was selected third overall in the first round of the 1971 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers – just behind top picks Jim Plunkett and Archie Manning.

Always regarded as a tough player, Pastorini only missed only five regular season games between 1971-1979, famously playing through the pain of broken ribs at various times during his career. He was named to the 1975 Pro Bowl, and had his best season statistically in 1978 when he threw for 16 touchdowns and 2,473 yards while leading the Oilers to a 10-6 record, the teams’ best record since entering the NFL in 1970. In the ’78 playoffs, Pastorini led the Oilers to wins over Miami and New England, advancing to the AFC Championship Game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. He led the Oilers to a second consecutive AFC Championship game again in 1979 against the eventual XIV Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1980 Pastorini was traded to the Oakland Raiders, and although sidelined with a broken leg, the Raiders won Super Bowl XV over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Following his NFL career, Pastorini reengaged a passion for racing that he discovered while with the Oilers. While in Houston, Pastorini set four world records in Unlimited Drag Boat racing. His boat “The Quarterback Sneak” was the first to break the 8-second elapsed time barrier and later broke the world record four different times. As one of the premiere drivers on the NHRA Top Fuel Circuit, he won his first national event at the NHRA Southern Nationals in 1986 and finished 7th in NHRA Championship Points. Pastorini’s best career elapsed time was 5.18 seconds, topping out at 287 mph. He was the third man to break the 270-mph barrier in a Top Fuel Dragster.

He is a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the Santa Clara University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Peter Ueberroth

Peter Ueberroth was drawn to sport as a young man, and excelled athletically when his family settled in the South Bay…but he found his niche blending business and sport – and would go on to be one of the most influential sports executives of our time.

He graduated from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale where he lettered in football, baseball and swimming, and went on to attend San José State University on a water polo scholarship. He competed in the 1956 United States Olympic Water Polo Trials, and as top scorer in 1957, he led San Jose State to its seventh straight college water polo championship.

Upon his graduation from San Jose State with a business degree, Ueberroth began a career in the travel industry and founded his own company – First Travel Corporation – in 1962. When he sold the company in 1980, it was the second largest travel business in North America with over 300 wholly owned retail travel agencies.

From 1980 to 1984, Ueberroth served as president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC), the private non-profit organization responsible for staging and operating the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Under his leadership and management, the first privately financed Games resulted in a surplus of $238 million that continues to support youth and sports programs throughout the United States. He was named Time’s “Man of the Year” in 1984.

On October 1, 1984, Ueberroth took office as the sixth Commissioner of Major League Baseball. During his tenure, he arbitrated successful resolution to a looming labor dispute with MLB umpires, and also limited a 1985 players’ strike to one day by negotiating a new agreement with the Players Association. When Ueberroth began his work as Commissioner, 22 teams were annually losing money. By the time he left in 1989, all were profitable. He also increased attendance, led MLB to its first overall profitable year since 1973, and negotiated a four-year, $1.1 billion contract with CBS, and a four-year $400 million national cable contract with ESPN.

In 2004, Ueberroth was named chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, a position he held until 2008.

Ueberroth now serves as the managing director of Contrarian Group, Inc., an investment and management company. The group invests in small and medium size companies and takes a management role providing strategic guidance. In July of 1999, Ueberroth successfully orchestrated the purchase of the Pebble Beach Company; bringing it back to United States ownership after years of foreign ownership. Ueberroth now serves as an owner and co-chairman of the Pebble Beach Company.

Ueberroth is a member of the board of directors of The Coca Cola Company, Aircastle LTD, Easton-Bell Sports and The Irvine Company, and is a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the San Jose State Athletics Hall of Fame and received the San Jose State’s highest honor, the Tower Award.

Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi has redefined herself in her post-Olympic career in a way few Olympians are able to; as a spokesperson, TV star, media contributor, author, and philanthropist.

Born in Hayward in 1971, Yamaguchi grew up in Fremont and trained in San Jose.

In 1986, she and Rudy Galindo won the junior pairs title at the U.S. Championships, and in 1988, she won singles and teamed with Galindo to win pairs at the 1988 World Junior Championships. Advancing to the senior level, the dynamic duo continued to dominate for the next two years, winning back-to-back pairs titles at the U.S. Championships in 1989 and 1990. After a transition to focus on her singles skating, Yamaguchi won the 1991 World Championships, and in 1992, on a U.S. Olympic team that included Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding, Yamaguchi became the first American to win gold in singles competition since Dorothy Hamill in 1976. She went on to defend her Worlds title later that year in Oakland, CA.

Yamaguchi was named to the U.S. Hall of Fame by the United States Figure Skating Association and to the World Skating Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2005, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Olympic Hall of Fame.

In 1996, she founded the Always Dream Foundation, an active fundraising and support organization for children’s charities in Bay Area. Yamaguchi was a local commentator on figure skating for KNTV (NBC Bay Area) during the 2006 Winter Olympics and joined NBC as a national analyst during the 2010 Games.

In 2008, Yamaguchi became the celebrity champion in the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. She is the author of Always Dream, Pure Gold, and Figure Skating for Dummies. In 2011, she published a children’s book, Dream Big, Little Pig, which was #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. She was a member of the Bid Committee and is a member of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Almost 20 years after she won Olympic gold, Yamaguchi’s star dances in the public eye – for all the right reasons – as bright as ever.