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1959 inductees

  • Keith Carter
    Swimming 1959

An Akron native who graduated from Western Reserve Academy and spent three years in the Army Air Force before he became nationally known for his swimming exploits at Purdue University in1946-49. He established numerous records for the Boilermakers and qualified for the 1948 Olympics in London in the 100 yard freestyle. As captain of the Purdue swimmers his senior season, Carter broke the Big Nine Conference records in the50 and 100 yard freestyle and 200 yard breaststroke, established a new American record for the 150 yard individual medley and garnered the world record (59.4) in the 100 yard breaststroke.

  • John W. Heisman
    Coach, Administrator 1959

The first paid coach and athletic director at Buchtel College, forerunner of the University of Akron, Heisman came on the scene in 1893, early in a long and successful football coaching career. He guided BC to its first winning season, 5-2, establishing a record of 276 points that stood until 1969. After helping Buchtel to its only win ever over Ohio State, 12-6 in ’94 he went on to coach at Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, among others. His name lives on today, engraved on a trophy craved by many players annually – the Heisman Trophy.

  • Michael J. Kahoe
    Baseball 1959

 This Yellow Springs, Ohio lad, who was born in 1873, first broke into the big leagues in 1895 with the Cincinnati Nationals. A catcher, Mike was sent back to the minor leagues for more seasoning before returning to the Nationals in 1899. He stayed in the big leagues for the next 10 years with the Chicago Cubs (1901), St. Louis Browns (1902-04), Philadelphia Phillies (1905-07) and the Washington Senators (1907-09). He caught the first game the immortal Walter Johnson pitched for the Senators. In later years, he moved to Akron where he died in 1949.

  • Ralph Shafer
    Coach 1959

A native of Cincinnati who went on to play football, baseball and basketball at Indiana University. While serving in the U.S. Army during World War I, he played football for Ed “Chief” Connor which brought him to Goodyear in 1919 as a baseball and basketball coach. Shafer directed the 1920 Wingfoots to the National Industrial AAU Championship.

  • Gus Ruhlin
    Boxing 1959

One of the best heavyweights during a period known as the “Golden Age of Boxing,” a period which boasted of such champions as James F. Jeffries, Jim Corbett, Bob Fritzsimmons and Tom Sharkey. Born in Canton, Ruhlin launched his boxing career in Akron in 1896. His first big fight of his career came in San Francisco, where he battled Jeffries to a 20 round draw to become nationally known. Later he was knocked out in the first round by Sharkey, but in a return match in 1900 at Coney Island, N.Y., Ruhlin KO’d Sharkey in the 15th round. Eventually, Ruhlin fought Jeffries in his only world championship bout in San Francisco – losing by a TKO in the fifth round. He fought his last fight in 1905, and seven years later dies at the age of 40.

  • Edward "Stretch" Sadowski
    Basketball 1959

A 6-3, 170 pound center on Lu Hosfield’s state championship North High School team in 1935, who grew to 6-5, 240 as an All-American basketball player at Seton Hall and a professional with a number of teams. While in the Basketball Association of America forerunner of the NBA, he played with the Philadelphia Warriors, Baltimore Bullets and the Boston Celtics and consistently was among the league’s top scorers. In 1947-48, while with Boston “Stretch” averaged a pro career high of 19.4 points a game.

  • James T. Flowers
    Football 1959

This Akron born athlete, who later in life served as Summit County sheriff, played tackle and fullback on Central High School’s unbeaten (8-0) team in 1913. He entered Ohio State in 1916 but his career was interrupted by World War I. While serving in the U.S. Army, he continued to play football and was named by Walter Camp to the All-American Expeditionary Force eleven. Returned to playing end at OSU, graduating in 1921. He finished out his playing careers performing for owner Frank Nied on the Akron Props team from 1921 to 1926.

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