Year Inducted: 1984
Nominated By: B. Ernerst Watkins
Sports Competed In: Basketball, Football
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete

Walt Pickard

High School:
Attended Pueblo Centennial H.S., graduating in 1922.

Achievements:
High School:
● First black to play basketball and break the color barrier in a Pueblo High School.
● Played shortstop and 3rd base on Centennial’s 1921 and 1922 undefeated baseball team but was not allowed to play basketball until W. S. Kettering became coach.
● First black athlete to make All-State basketball player as a forward for the Bulldogs (1921-22).
● Helped lead Centennial to the South Central League Championship and defeated Salt Lake City, the InterMountain Champions, 22-17.
● Lost to Greeley High School 22-20 in overtime at the State Tournament played in Boulder, CO.
● Regarded as the outstanding player of the State Tournament and chosen to the All-State team along with team captain Hatfield Chilson.

Related Activities:
● Semi-Pro pitcher for 20 years.
● Pitched for the La Junta team receiving $25.00 a game.
● Played on year for Colorado Springs and several years for semi-pro teams including one year with the White Elephants in Denver.
● Was offered a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs, a traveling black team, but didn't want to quit his job at the C.F. & I.

Honors:
Served in World War II.

Quotes:
"John Elbeck, one of the great black athletes of our city, and known as "Johnnie" in high School, was born fifty years ahead of his time. John’s family moved here from Alabama in 1912. They lived in the old Pepper Sauce Bottoms area and John attended Hinsdale Grade School, and then Centennial High School where he graduated in 1922. John was the first black to break the color barrier in the Pueblo schools and the first black to make the All State Team. After graduation John went to work at the C.F. & I. For $4.00 a day and continued playing semi-pro baseball for 20 years. He is a gentleman and I am proud to call him my friend."
-- From the nomination Letter by B. Ernest Watkins

Occupation:
Worked at the C.F.&I. 20-inch mill.

Personal:
Lived in Pueblo... Married twice, first to Olga Elbeck then again to Permilla Ewing Elbeck... Passed away on May 10, 2004.


GPSA "E" By The Numbers

LEGEND: p = awarded posthumously; ^= attended first meeting; * = deceased;+ = charter member (placed after year inducted)

1
Athlete
John X. "Johnnie" Elbeck (1984*)

Athlete/Coach/Administrator
Jerry L. Ellis (1998*)

Athlete/Official
Voyd Joseph "Butch" Elich (1983*)

Attended Pueblo Centennial H.S.
John X. "Johnnie" Elbeck (1984*)

Basketball
John X. "Johnnie" Elbeck (1984*)

Skeet & Trap
Peter Anton Elich Jr. (1976*)


2
Athlete/Coach
Sel Elizondo (1992)
Peter Anton Elich Jr. (1976*)

Football
Sel Elizondo (1992)
John X. "Johnnie" Elbeck (1984*)

4
Attended Pueblo Central H.S.
Jerry L. Ellis (1998*)
Sel Elizondo (1992)
Voyd Joseph "Butch" Elich (1983*)
Peter Anton Elich Jr. (1976*)

Honorees Deceased
Jerry L. Ellis (1998*)
John X. "Johnnie" Elbeck (1984*)
Voyd Joseph "Butch" Elich (1983*)
Peter Anton Elich Jr. (1976*)

5
Honorees in "D" Section

Remembering Our Fallen GPSA Inductees

The Greater Pueblo Sports Association (GPSA) has announced a list of honorees that have passed since the 2022 induction ceremony on Nov. 16.

 

Dennis TrujilloDennis Trujillo
11/28/2022
Class of 2007