12/08/2016 3:50PM

Wall, McKay chosen for Hall of Fame's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor


Maryjean Wall, the Eclipse Award-winning former racing reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, and Jim McKay, the late racing broadcaster, have been selected to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, the museum announced on Thursday.

Wall and McKay become the 16th and 17th media members to be inducted in the Roll of Honor, which was established in 2010 and named after the longtime Daily Racing Form columnist. McKay is the first inductee known for his work in broadcasting rather than print media.

Wall, who won Eclipse Awards in 1980, 1997, and 1999 and has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, was the racing writer from the Herald-Leader from 1967 until 2008. After her retirement from the paper, she earned a doctoral degree in American history and wrote two books focusing on Kentucky.

“She embodied that exemplary combination of never falling into treating the subject as routine and never losing the urge to keep learning,” said Edward Bowen, the chairman of the Media Roll of Honor. “That she persevered to earn her doctorate is illustrative of her pride in the professions of writing and history.”

McKay, who died in 2008, was the host of ABC’s popular “Wide World of Sports” from its debut in 1961 until 1998 and was the host of most Triple Crown broadcasts during that time. A lifelong fan of the sport, McKay was a founder of the Maryland Million, the first series of races designed to showcase statebred horses on a single day.

McKay won 13 Emmy Awards and was inducted into the U.S. Olympics Hall of Fame and the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame.

“Jim McKay was such a friendly individual that it would have been easy to forget that he was a celebrity were it not for how frequently he was starring in coverage of one sport or the other,” Bowen said.