Antioch’s World Champion Cowboy Jack Roddy to be inducted into San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Jack Roddy sings The Last Cowboy Song with friend Jeff Severson (left) and the California Cowboys at Delta Advocacy Foundation’s 2012 Roddy Ranch Roundup on Saturday, September 29. Photo by Allen Payton

Jack Roddy. Courtesy of Wrangler Network

Joins Dwight Clark, Ken Caminiti, Mark Marquess, and Danielle Slaton

The cowboy, Hollywood stuntman, pilot and philanthropist to be honored at induction ceremony in November

By Allen Payton

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame will mark its 23rd year of honoring South Bay sports legends when it inducts five new members on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the SAP Center at San Jose.  The inductees hail from the upper echelon of collegiate, professional and/or Olympic competition. Although from different sports in different eras, they have made a lasting impact both on and off the field of play.

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Inductees are:

  • Jack Roddy:  Rodeo Hall of Famer, Collegiate and Professional Steer Wrestling Champion
  • Ken Caminiti: Baseball All-Star, Gold Glove Winner and 1996 National League MVP
  • Dwight Clark: San Francisco 49er Wide Receiver, Super Bowl Winner and Humanitarian
  • Mark Marquess: All American Player/Gold Medal and NCAA Championship Coach
  • Danielle Slaton: National Champion Soccer Player, Olympic medalist

Roddy is a five-time champion steer wrestler, once in each decade of his life from his 20’s through his 60’s, and a six-time World Champion. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. Born Oct. 3, 1937, in San Francisco, Roddy competed in his first Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) rodeo at the age of 14 and won $90 in the wild horse race.

Jack Roddy at Salinas in 1978. by Brenda Allen

Early participation in rodeo was not unusual for the youngster who grew up on the family ranch in San Jose where he attended elementary and high school, and spent time on his father’s rodeo grounds near Colma, Calif., riding and roping with his father’s friends in the rodeo business. In 1956, he joined the RCA and competed around the country, entering all the events.

His lanky, 6-foot, 5-inch frame didn’t fit the usual cowboy mold, but it didn’t keep him from becoming college rodeo’s all-around Intercollegiate World Champion Cowboy in 1959 representing Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where Roddy has been instrumental in the survival of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team. That same year he was the World Champion Steer Wrestler, as well. Adding weight to his height, Roddy became a powerful force in steer wrestling in the early 1960s.

He went to the National Finals Rodeo for the first time in 1962. In 1966 and 1968, he won the professional world championship in steer wrestling, in 1966 set a record for total earnings in the event.

In 1991 and 1992 Roddy was the Seniors Steer Wrestling World Champion.

He went on to serve on the RCA as Steer Wrestling Director for over 16 years and in 1997 Roddy was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

He also won the Steer Wrestling title at the California Rodeo in Salinas in 1962, 1964 and 1966 and was inducted into the California Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010, as well as the California State Fair Hall of Fame. Today, he mentors future rodeo champions and carries on the traditions of the West.

Roddy and his wife Donna are the owners of the Roddy Ranch just outside the Antioch City limits, where he continues to run cattle on the property he sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District a few years ago. He is the former owner of the Golf Club at Roddy Ranch where he could be seen golfing in his special pair of spiked cowboy golf boots. He has been very involved in the Antioch community through Rotary and the Delta Advocacy Foundation, among others. Roddy has been a singer, a pilot and as a Hollywood stuntman, he worked in four movies, two of which won Academy Awards.

Jack Roddy walking from his plane in younger years. Courtesy

He did the stunts and bronc riding in the movie, “The Horse With The Flying Tale” by Disney which won an Oscar in 1962. Another movie, part of which was filmed in Martinez, “The Great American Cowboy” was an Academy-award winning documentary about one of his bulls named Oscar which lived on his ranch in the Antioch and Brentwood area.

Roddy also had parts in the film, “J. W. Coop” in which, he did the “bull dogging” and then “Twister The Bull From the Sky” another Disney movie, in which he also had a small acting part. Finally, another documentary, “Cowboys in Ireland” about Roddy’s life was shown on TV three years ago. Roddy’s father was born in Ireland and it tells why a lot of Irish have been cowboys.

“It’s a great honor to be in the Hall of Fame with Ken Caminiti and Dwight Clark,” Roddy said when reached for comment at his ranch. “I think it’s the first time rodeo is being included in the hall of fame. I’m from San Jose so I’m very proud to be in there.”

In addition to the documentary, a woman is now working on a book about his life, he shared. Photos of Roddy’s rodeo career can be seen inside the bar at Vic Stewart’s restaurant in Brentwood and on a website someone else created about him,

Jeff Severson, a cowboy friend of Roddy’s and former NFL football player in Super Bowls 7 and 14, will be introducing the champion steer wrestler at the installation dinner.

Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at the SAP Center at San Jose. Including the 2017 inductees, there will be 106 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks, and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.

“San Jose’s incredibly rich and diverse sports history makes the Hall of Fame selection process very difficult each year,” said Charlie Faas, Chairman of the San Jose Sports Authority Board of Directors.  “The Class of 2017 is a wonderful representation of the deep and meaningful impact athletes and coaches with South Bay connections have made in their respective sports, locally, nationally and internationally. We are excited to welcome these five remarkable individuals into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.”

The November ceremony kicks off with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Individual tickets begin at $300 each; sponsorship and table packages are available starting at $3,000. For information and to purchase event tickets call (408) 288-2936.

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 and 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 and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit

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5 Comments to “Antioch’s World Champion Cowboy Jack Roddy to be inducted into San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017”

  1. Rjb says:

    Hey Allen,

    How about an article on the girl that was severely beaten at Dallas Ranch Middle School? Occurred in class, caught on phones, no one helped her but they sure laughed about it. Victim’a mother is scared for her child’s safety, police were not even called.

    • Allen Payton says:

      Really, RJB?
      I just saw this comment today.
      Couldn’t you have sent that to me in an email instead of connecting it to this positive news story about a great, local man and his accomplishments? The email addresses are on our website.
      Talk about something completely unrelated. SMH
      Allen Payton, Publisher

  2. Nancy Fernandez says:

    I’m with you RJB. Been waiting for that to be picked up. Channel 4 had it on for two days.

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