1957 inductees

  • Willie Devore
    Boxing 1957

Like Willie Ames, professional featherweight boxing star Willie Devore (1915-25) was the victim of lax supervision and legislation in boxing’s early days when no-decision bouts were permitted. Championships thus were able to protect their title status by fighting challenger after challenger in no-decision bouts which were no more than exhibitions. Devore boxed two world champions, gaining a draw with bantamweight champ Joe Lynch in 1918 and decisioning American flyweight champ Jimmy Papas.

  • Arthur F. Deibel
    Football 1957

At 6'3" and 200 pounds he played for coach less Clinton High before entering Lafayette College in 1921. Deibel was a four-year starter on varsities coached by Jock Sutherland which lost only five games. He captained the 1924 team, gaining first-team All-American honors at tackle on Walter Camp’s honor roll. Lafayette over a two-year span won 17 straight games, defeating teams like Pittsburgh (twice), Rutgers, Pennsylvania and Boston College. Deibel later played professional football with and captained the Canton Bulldogs.

  • Ed "Chief" Conner
    Official, Administrator 1957

Goodyear’s first athletic director and basketball College (Maine) teams in all varsity sports and as a player-coach of World War I army service teams before coming to Akron. He was identified with many facets of Ohio athletics as a professional football official. Soap Box Derby official, founder with Wallace Martz and U. J. Bauer of the Goodyear Hunting & Fishing Club.

  • Benny Cole
    Bowling 1957

The alley manager-teacher-bowler is a member of the Who’s Who Bowling, an honor explained in part by the fact that in 31 appearances in American Bowling Congress tournaments he average 193 and rolled 29 perfect games during his long competitive career. Cote is recognized as one of the early starts of Ohio and Akron area bowling.

  • John Collyer
    Crew 1957

This B.F. Goodrich Company executive of later years was captain and stroke of the Cornell University crew during his college days 1914-17. The Big Red scullers won the Poughkeepsie Regatta in 1915. Collyer is considered, by all who watch him perform, the smoothest piece of rowing machinery that ever occupied a seat in a rowing shell, “wrote Tom Thorpe in the New York Journal on April 10, 1916.

  • Meyers "K.O" Christner
    Boxing 1957

A prep school baseball teammate of Babe Ruth, Christner came to Akron first as a catcher for Goodyear’s industrial team. He was taught football line play by Goodyear athletic director Ed “Chief” Conner after being recruited by the deaf-mute Goodyear Silents with whom he spent two seasons. He switched allegiance to Firestone where Paul Sheeks resurrected him from the pits and turned him into a heavyweight boxing headliner. Christner won 150 of 180 professional bouts. One of his defeats was at the hands of Jack Sharkey in a 1932 title bout.

  • George W. May
    Horseshoe Pitching 1957

Representing the Akron Fire Department at St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1920, May not only won a national horseshoe pitching championship but revolutionized the sport by introducing a new grip with which he threw the shoes open end toward the peg. May repeated as U.S. king in 1922 as Ohio pitchers held the title for 11 of 14 years (1920-1934).

  • Frederick Stanley Sefton
    Basketball 1957

A nine-letterman at Colgate University where he gained All-American mention at end prior to graduation in 1914, Sefton was selected as Akron U coached over 49 other candidates in 1915. He played for the pro championship Canton Bulldogs of 1916. His 1918-1920 Akron basketball teams won 37 of 41 starts, including 22 in a row and twice claimed Ohio Conference titles. He retired in 1954 after 39 years of Akron U service.

  • Howard "Red" Blair
    Coach 1957

Blair coached for 9 years at The University of Akron where his teams won 43, lost 30 and tied five football games and 90 of 129 basketball games. His 1934 varsity cagers won the Ohio Conference championship with a 15-1 record behind the efforts of Dave Appleby, Vern Sir Louis, Russ Ester, Earl Hensal, Dave Finn, and Bob Preusse, a majority of who subsequently followed him into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame. His 1929 and 1930 football varsities lost only two of 19 starts, finishing as conference runner-up in both seasons.

  • Bruce "Scotty" Bierce
    Football 1957

A three-sport starter (football, baseball, track) at The University of Akron where he earned all-state honors at end in 19199, Bierce later played professional football with the Akron Pros and Cleveland Panthers. With the former he became a member of the American Football Association championship team of 1920. The association became the National Football League in 1921.

  • Norman J. Elder

Gymnastics 1957

A versatile athlete. This University of Akron graduate and native of Carnegie, Pa. competed in gymnastics, swimming and diving and was a YMCA instructor for many years in all three sports. Competitively the highpoints of his career were each in Ohio and Ohio-West Virginia gymnastic meets. He won the state championship in 1954 and the Ohio-West Virginia YMCA open division crown in 1955 at Ohio State University field house in Columbus. Elder died following a fall from the high bar during a national YMCA meet in Dayton.

  • John Mallo

Powerlifting 1957

The American College of Modern Weightlifting, Larry Barnholth’s East Akron brainchild has produced many national, international and Olympic champions but Mallo was the first. After only three years of competition he won the national heavyweight championship in 1934.

  • Clifford "Gip" Battles·

Football 1957

This Kenmore High School graduate, who passed away last April, established a collegiate record at West Virginia Wesleyan by winning 15 varsity letters, which matched the number of touchdowns he scored in 1931. In 1968 he became the first small college player to be inducted into the National Professional Football Hall of Fame after starring for the Washington Redskins, including the 1937 championship team, of the National Football League throughout his professional playing career.

 

  • John Moir·

Basketball 1957

Thrice an All-American basketball player for Notre Dame University (1935-38), Moir starred on Firestone quintets in the National Basketball League coached by Paul Sheeks. Moir won all-league honors in the 1939 and 1940 seasons. He was Helms Foundation “Player of the Year” in 1936.

 

  • Glenn "Speed" Bosworth

Baseball 1957

Bosworth played with Akron General Tire baseball teams that won Akron Industrial League and semi-professional championships. The infielder then became a backer-manager of boy baseball and basketball teams, pioneering league play for both. Later he managed the Akron Orphans to the National Amateur Baseball Federation title. He closed out his colorful career as a scout for major league baseball clubs.

  • Al Espinosa

Golf 1957

Five-time Mexican Open champion and six-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Espinosa qualified for the National Open 15 straight years. The Portage Country Club Professional (1931 to 1944) won Ohio Open golf championships in 1932, 1933 and 1935 during his brilliant competitive career.

 

  • Harold Falor

Horseshoe Pitching 1957

At age 15 Falor amazed horseshoe pitchers everywhere by winning the national championship, the youngest player ever to do so. That was in 1923 at St. Petersburg, Fla. Where, among others, Falor defeated fellow Akronite George May, 1920 and 1922 titlist. Using the horseshoe grip originated by May, Akron pitchers monopolized national tournaments for a decade.

 

  • Andy Fela

Swimming 1957

In 1928 Fela, an 18-year-old swimmer for Larry Ricker’s East High School tank team, qualified for the national high school championships at Northwestern University Evanston, III. To send Fela to the nationals the Beacon Journal sold “shares” at $1 each. Fela rewarded his “backers” on the first day of competition by swimming to a new world interscholastic record of 1:06:1 in the 100-yard backstroke. A three-time all-American for Ohio State University, Fela was rated by OSU coach Mike Peppe “the first polished swimmer the Buckeyes had.”

 

  • J. Luther "Luke" Sewell

Baseball 1957

Sewell holds the American League record (20) for the most active years as a catcher. He caught for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox. Sewell managed the St. Louis Browns from 1941 to 1944, the only season the Browns won the American League pennant. He was Sporting News Manager of the Year in 1944. In addition, Sewell managed the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1950 to 1952.

 

  • Denny Galehouse

Baseball 1957

This Doylestown native pitched professional baseball for 18 years. He started his major league career with the Cleveland Indians and later played for the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns. Galehouse pitched the 1948 American League playoff game for the Red Sox, losing to the Indians’ Gene Bearden 8-3. Cleveland went on to win the World Series from the Boston Braves. In the 1944 Series between the Browns and the St. Louis Cardinals Galehouse both won and lost for the Browns despite compiling a 1.5 ERA against the Cards.

 

  • Earl Winfield "Zur" Graham

Football 1957

Acquired the second nickname of “Zev” as a quarterback for Fordham University in 1923. Graham picked up a fumble and raced 92 yards for a touchdown against Lehigh. A thoroughbred named Zev had won a race against an English horse of considerable reputation earlier in the day. As Graham crossed the goal line a fan shouted “There goes Zev.” The nickname stuck. He was an All-American choice in several polls during his Fordham playing days, once scoring 30 points in a 48-0 ram victory over St. Mary’s. Graham also starred as an outfielder for Fordham and the Akron General Tires.

 

  • Howard Harpster

Football 1957

Like “Zur” Graham, Harpster starred for West High School before entering college where he, too, played quarterback, making Grantland Rice’s All-American team in 1928. That season Harpster led his Carnegie Tech team to victory over a Knute Rockne-coached Notre Dame University varsity just as he had in 1926 at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field when Rockne, off to scout Navy, had left the Irish in charge of a coaching aide. Harpster is a member of the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame.

 

  • John W. Herron

Golf 1957

Sent to Akron by the Quaker Oats Co., this Lake Forest College graduate became an Akron crude rubber and carbon black broker and an Ohio amateur gold champion. In all, starting in 1916, he won nine Portage Country Club championships to cement a reputation as one of the city’s more successful adopted sons. The native of Peoria, III. Also won the Akron District Gold Association crown in 1927.

 

  • Patty Laursen Helbig

Skeet Shooting 1957

Few skeet shooters ever attained the heights reached by Mrs. Helbig. In 1938 she ruled as Great Eastern champion; in 1938-39-40 as national women’s titleholder. The years 1938 and 1939 found her being named to the All-American men’s team. She broke the world’s record for the 20 gauge shotgun in 1941 with a perfect score of 100 for 100 targets.

 

  • Henry Luther "Lu" Hosfield

Coach 1957

A North High School and Oberlin College graduate, Hosfield coached football and basketball at North from 1930 – 1946. His 1935 and 1939 Viking quintets won Ohio Class A high school basketball championships. The Wright-Hosfield memorial trophy given by the Touchdown Club to the Summit County football coach of the year is named for Hosfield and the late Earl O. Wright of Garfield.

 

  • Leo "Lee" Jackson

Football 1957

Recognized as one of the greatest fullbacks in Buchtel College and University of Akron history, Jackson captained the 1910 Buchtel football varsity that defeated Oberlin College and laid claim to the state championship. Oberlin had beaten Ohio State, Case, Western Reserve and all its other opponents except for a tie with eastern power Cornell. Jackson played football, basketball and baseball under coaches Clarence Weed (1909-10) and Frank Haggerty (1910 – 1913). He won all-state honors both at Buchtel and Akron High School.

 

  • Charles Jahant

Basketball 1957

This feisty little athlete led all Buchtel College basketball scorers for two seasons while captaining both the 1907 and 1908 teams. The latter upset Yale University, 32-28, at Crouse Gymnasium on New Year's Day, 1908 for the first victory over a major college opponent ever scored by the Hilltoppers.

 

  • William "Bill" Klein

Coach 1957

Over a coaching span of 24 years (1917 – 1941) Klein without high school or college degrees led amateur and semiprofessional football team (Bulldogs, Strollers, South Akron Awnings, Orient A.C., Welch A.C. and Ellet Junior Order) to 39 and 28-game winning streaks and enough championships to satisfy a dozen coaches. In 1940 and 1941 the Awnings ruled semi-pro football in five states (Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.)

 

  • Paul "Pepper" Sheeks

Coach 1957

A native of South Dakota, Sheeks coached at Wabash College before coming to Firestone Tire and Rubber Company after World War I. He continued his football playing days until 1922 with the Akron Pros and then in early 1930’s, along with “Red” Cochrane, Coached the Red Pepper bantamweight football team to nation recognition. However, the highlight of his career was as the Firestone Non-Skids basketball and baseball coach where he guided his cagers to consecutive National Basketball League championships in 1939 and 1940.

 

  • Harry "Pop" Souers

Bowling 1957

With Clyde Sumerix this veteran Firestone bowler won the American Bowling Congress doubles championship in 1935 with a 1348 total. Souers rolled 686 and Sumerix 662. Born in Sharon Center, Souers worked at Firestone 43 years before retiring in 1955.

 

  • Clyde Sumerix

Bowling 1957

Souers' partner in the 1935 American Bowling Congress championship doubles performance, Sumerix was inducted into the Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame posthumously June 13, 1971. He had died the previous May 21 at age 81. Sumerix served the Akron Bowling Association as both president and vice-president. He was a member of the Quarter Century Bowling Club.

 

  • Jack Taylor

Swimming 1957

While representing the Firestone Aquatic Club at Clementon, N.J. in 1947 Taylor won both the national AAU junior 440-yard freestyle and long distance events, breaking the record for the three-mile event with a 1:15:24.6 clocking. He set a national 440-yard freestyle mark of 4:44.3 and a 1500 record of 18:38.3 in 1950. After establishing a national backstroke record in 1952 he placed third in that event in the Olympic Games.

 

  • Leroy "Tommy" Tomkinson

Football, Basketball 1957

Few historians will dispute the fact that Tomkinson was Akron U's first full-blown basketball star, predating the immortal Eddie Wentz and numbering among his teammates "Tumble" Crisp, "Scotty" Bierce and Art Knowlton - all Hall of Famers. Tommy earned nine letters in four sports and earned All-Ohio honors at quarterback and at forward his senior campaign of 1917-18.

 

  • Edward P. Wentz

Football 1957

During Wentz' three seasons as University of Akron center, Fred Sefton's varsities won 37 of 41 basketball starts including 22 in a row and made off with two Ohio Conference titles. Wentz scored 725 points in 36 games, including 30 against Kenyon and 31 against Defiance, both in 1919. His 20-point plus average, three-year and one-year (266 points in 1919) and high game totals all constituted records. Later, Wentz entered the coaching profession at St. Vincent's High School - enjoying tremendous success in both football and basketball.

 

  • Clifford Guy Zimmerman

Football 1957

A Central High School graduate (1919) and all-city selection in both football and basketball, Zimmerman in 1917 defeated national champion (1916) Toledo Waite, 3-0, with a 32-yard dropkick. He was an All-American halfback at Syracuse University, captaining three varsities (football, basketball and track) and played with the Canton Bulldogs in the pro ranks in 1924.

 

  • Al Nesser

Football 1957

One of the famous Nessers who were the hard core of the professional Columbus Panhandles, Al played pro ball for a quarter century – Panhandles, Akron Indians, Akron Pros, New York Giants, South Akron Awnings and Cleveland Indians – earning all-league honors and in 1952 a place in the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

 

  • Harry Krohn

Boxing 1957

The “Akron Thunderbolt” was the kind of fighter who always made a hit with the fight fans. From 1915-26, Krohn battled the best in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. In a 1920 bout in New York City, he knocked out Canadian middleweight champion Mikan McTigue in the 11th round. Two years later Krohn lost a close decision to middleweight champion Brian Downy in a non-title bout at the Akron Armory.

 

  • Reaves "Ribs" Baysinger

Football 1957

Central High School graduate and star lineman, Baysinger accompanied Giff Zimmerman to Syracuse University and played guard for the Orangemen in 1921, 1922 and 1923, gaining All-Eastern honors and All-American mention following the 1923 season.

 

  • Curtis J. Bowman

Coach 1957

Bowman coached the Akron High School football teams of 1909 and 1910 and in the later season his varsity became the first to win a state championship, defeating seven straight opponents including Canton, Massillon, and Youngstown Rayen. That season the Akron team’s goal line was uncrossed with Canton being the only team to score on Akron, connecting on a field goal in a 6-3 loss. Bowman

 

  • Larry Barnholth

Powerlifting 1957

Started and managed the American College of Modern Weightlifting with his teams winning Ohio state championships from 1943 through 1950. His weightlifters included the George bothers – George, Pete and Jim – all of whom won national and Olympic honors. Barnholth pupils also included John Mallo who gave Akron its first national weightlifting championship in 1934 y winning the heavyweight division after only three years of competition.

 

  • Willie Ames

Boxing 1957

Akron boxer who fought 150 amateur and professional fights as a bantamweight, featherweight and junior lightweight between 1917-28. During Ames career, he defeated three world champions, featherweights Johnny Dundee and Steve “Kid” Sullivan and former bantamweight champion Charley “Phil” Rosenburg, without holding a title during his career. This distinction as champion that eluded this talented fighter was because, in all three instances, Ames met the titlist in non-championship bouts, a favorite device used earlier in the century to protect titles from dangerous challengers.

 

  • Fred A. Arbogast

Fishing 1957

Akron-born Central High School graduate and a left halfback on the 1911 and 1912 varsities that won 16 football games while losing one and tying one. Arbogast began bait casting at age 12. He won the world championship in 1922, establishing a plug distance casting record of 250 feet in 1924 and a light tackle distance mark of 244 in 1926. That same year Arbogast started his own business in Akron with the Fred A. Arbogast Co. Inc. This grew into one of the largest bait manufacturing companies in the world by the time of his death on October 27, 1947.

 

  • George Sisler

Baseball 1957

One of the all-time great athletes to ever come out of Summit County, Ohio and the United States, George Sisler's outstanding career over 15 years of professional baseball earned him induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY in 1939. Born in Manchester on March 24, 1893, Sisler moved to Akron at age of 14 and after starring for Akron High School played college baseball for Branch Rickey at the University of Michigan. After being selected a three-time Vanity Fair All-American Sisler graduated in 1915 with a degree in mechanical engineering. That same year, Rickey, who was now the manager of the St. Louis Browns of the American League, quickly signed Sisler to a contract worth $7,400. Over 15 seasons, 12 with St. Louis, Sisler, nicknamed "Gentleman George", skyrocketed to baseball immortality. Starting in 1916, the first baseman batted above .300 for seven consecutive seasons that included League-leading .407 average in 1920 and a .420 average, the third highest in the 20th century, in 1922. During that 1920 season he collected 257 hits to break Ty Cobb's Major League record of 248 set in 1911 with the Detroit Tigers. Sisler's record lasted an unbelievable 84 years, until 2004, when Ishiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners had 262 hits. While earning the American League MVP Award, the left-handed Sisler set another Major League record with hits in 41 consecutive games that New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio broke, and still holds, with 56 in 1941. Believe it or not, Sisler still owns another Major League record, his .407 batting average for 600 plus at bats. He closed out his 2055-game career playing the 1928-30 seasons for the National League's Boston Braves where he continued his excellent batting with .340, .326 and .309 averages, respectively. Five times he led the American League in stolen bases, including a career-high of 51 in 1922 and Sisler's lifetime major league batting average was an awesome .341. In 1999, The Sporting News, nicknamed "the Bible of Baseball", placed Sisler at number 33 in its issue of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players." At present there is a statue of Sisler, a tribute to his outstanding career, outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Sisler passed in 1973.

 

  • Howard "Soup" Cable

Basketball 1957

This West High School athlete never attended college, taking a short cut to national basketball fame via the amateur ranks where, like teammate Paul Tobin, he vaulted directly from the M. O’Neil Moncos to the Firestone Non-Skids and subsequently performed for Paul Sheeks’ industrial quintets in the National Basketball League, forerunner of the present National Basketball. The 6-3 forward and team captain led the Firestone cagers to NBL championships in 1939 and 1940, winning all-league honors in 1939.

 

  • Nick Lazor

Golf 1957

A 1938 Garfield High School graduate and star end for the bantamweight Red Pepper football teams of 1934-35, Lazor originated the Rubber City Open golf tournament, forerunner of the All-American Golf Classic. He won three Firestone Country Club titles and an Akron District Golf Association title (1943) prior to turning pro. In 1947 Lazor resurrected the Akron U golf program which he coached until 1951.

 

  • Titus Lobach

Official 1957

A graduate of Franklin and Marshal College, Pa., where he starred in three sports, Lobach played basketball for Goodyear following World War I before launching into an officiating career that made him the dean of referees, field judges and umpires. Lobach estimated he officiated 3,500 baseball games, 1,200 football games and 5,500 basketball tilts during his career.

 

  • Florence Ehrhart Amrein

Bowling 1957

Like her husband Joe Amrein a member of the Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame, this early Akron area star won the Women’s International Bowling Congress championship in 1926 as the highpoint of her competitive career. In the 1932 Beacon Journal Bowling Classic she won the class A women’s title with an 1121 series. Mrs. Armein taught business at Akron South High School for 38 years before retiring in 1959. To date she has outlived all but one other member of the charter group, Denny Galehouse.

 

  • Charles "Chick" Aston

Bowling 1957

This alley manager and/or owner (Masonic Alleys, Buchtel Recreational Center, Akron Recreational Center) didn’t miss a state or national bowling tournament from 1916 to 1932. He teamed with Phil Young to win the National Bowling Congress doubles championship in 1926. With his wife, Abbie, now Mrs. Harold Aston, he pioneered women’s bowling in Akron, organization the first league for women keglers.