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  • James "Jaybird" Hamblen

    Inducted: 1991
    Sports: Football, Baseball, Basketball

    A star end in MT football and an attention-getting left-handed first baseman for the Blue Raiders, James "Jaybird" Hamblen is widely credited with attracting Charles "Bubber" Murphy, the school's winningest coach, to MT. Murphy was working in Nashville when Hamblen, a fellow athlete/graduate from Central High School, persuaded him to join classmates at MT where he played football, baseball and basketball.

    After graduation, Hamblen and Murphy both signed pro-baseball contracts with the New York Giants. Hamblen went on to play four seasons as a first baseman in the pros. With World War II looming large, Hamblen joined the Navy and served in the Pacific. He returned to coach for two-and-half years at Nashville's Isaac Litton High School.

    Class of 2013

    Dewon Brazelton

    Roger Carroll

    Dwone Hicks

    Priscilla Robinson Murray
    Basketball, Volleyball

    James "Doug" Shrader
    Basketball, Baseball

    History of the Hall of Fame

    In the early spring of 1975, a pair of long-time supporters of Middle Tennessee State University's athletic program decided that the University should honor its greatest athletes. Homer Pittard, alumni director, and Gene Sloan, public relations director, came up with the idea and asked sports information director Jim Freeman to join them in setting up an athletic hall of fame.

    After getting approval for the Hall of Fame from President M. G. Scarlett, the trio began laying the groundwork to select the first inductees. Others, including Bob Womack and Joe Nunley, were also involved.

    "We decided not to have categories but to put all candidates in one group," said Freeman. "We also decided against inducting a large group to start with and felt that three per year was the ideal number. That way, everyone got a good share of the spotlight."

    The nominating and voting for the first several years was done by members of the old "T" Club, now reorganized and called the Varsity Club. Nominations were solicited, and the the list of candidates was mailed to the voters. They selected Horace Jones, Charles "Bubber" Murphy and Teddy Morris as the initial inductees in 1976.

    The Blue Raider Hall of Fame was originally housed in the old Blue Raider Room under the west side of the football stadium. It had to be torn down when then stadium was expanded in 1998. After several years without a home, the Hall of Fame moved into the new Rose and Emmett Kennon Sports Hall of Fame building in 2004.