GABHoF Special Awards

Click Here to see a year by year list of inductees.

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Glenn ‘Speed’ Bosworth Award

The GABHoF instituted the Glenn ‘Speed’ Bosworth award in 1988 to recognize the personal efforts of a person in the community whose contributions supported, served and organized any level of baseball in the Greater Akron area.

Honorees

1988 – Charles ‘Bud’ Krampe

1989 – Ben MacDonald

1990 – Joe Sherman

1991 – Robert Stein

1992 – Clifton Skeen

1993 – Lawrence ‘Doc’ Ricker

1994 – William J. ‘Doc’ Malone

1995 – William ‘Tiny” DiMenna

1996 – Bob Nold

1997 – Russ Ilg

1998 – Jon Durgala

1999 – Tom Hafler

2000 – Walter W. Bettinger II

2001 – Leo Kline

2002 – Dave Gagat

2004 – Tom Stavroff

2013Dave Bryant

2014Tom Floyd

Glenn Bosworth

An organizer, promoter, manager and tremendous friend of baseball for 60 years, ‘Speed’ Bosworth had a keen impact on baseball played in the Akron area.  Bosworth played with the General Tire baseball teams that won the Akron Industrial League and semi-professional championships.  The infielder then became a backer/manager of youth baseball.  The highlight of his career centered on the Akron Orphans, who won several championships but none more gratifying than the 1945 team that captured the 1945 NABF National Championship.  He closed out his colorful career as a scout for several Major League teams.  In 1957, Bosworth was a charter member inductee of the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame.

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George Popp GABHoF Service Award

The GABHoF George Popp Award recognizes the commitment, service and professionalism of Summit Umpires Association Man-of-the-Year, and is chosen Summit Umpires Association.  The Popp award was originally established in 1988 to recognize the individual deemed by the GABHoF Board of Directors to have contributed the most to the successful operation of the organization during the previous year.  SUA assumed jurisdiction of the award in 2014.

Honorees

1988 – Ernie Kusnyer Sr.

1989 – Keith McClure

1990 – Ed Millhoff

1991 – Alex Ellesin

1992 – Jeanie Rakich

1993 – Steve Paschen

1994 – Paul Carroll

1995 – John Porter

1996 – Jim Honsberger

1997 – Don Plusquellic

1998 – Ed Millhoff & Rudy Piekarski

1999 – Carl Kieffer

2000 – Bill Johnson & Bob Piekarski

2001 – Patty Pangle

2004 – Louis Yovanovich

2013Ron Piekarski

2014Andy Uy

George Popp

Colorful sports figures like George Popp are welcomed anywhere they travel.  And in George’s case, his career has seen a lot of traveling … as one of the best baseball umpires to ever come out of the Akron area.In the early years, Popp sparkled in baseball, track and football at Akron’s Garfield High and got his first taste of A League baseball for Michael A.C.  However, umpiring is Popp’s claim to fame.  He says he got to into the profession by accident.  Evidently he and lifelong friend, Hermie Ziruolo, took a wrong turn when they ended up at McGowan’s Umpiring School in Florida.  George was appointed to the Tobacco State League, but eventually rose through the ranks to be the best in the Southern League.  In 1956 he became the first professional umpire to strike for better wages and returned to Akron to take up officiating on the local level.  His career has been highlighted with a thousand zany stories, no doubt precipitated by his flair for showmanship, his quick wit and marvelous sense of humor.

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Frank Garcia Award

The GABHoF established the Frank Garcia Memorial Outstanding Player Award in 1956 in honor of the memory of Frank Garcia, who passed away at an early age in the midst of an outstanding career as a player-manager.  The award annually honors a player, manager or sponsor for outstanding contributions to the Akron AA Baseball League.

Honorees

1956 – Dean Dutton

1957 – Dave Young

1958 – Mike Grimm

1959 – Pete Baltic

1960 – Don Lombardi

1961 – Karl Kramer

1962 – Ray Glinsky

1963 – Linc Hackim Jr. & Jim Barton

1964 – Rick Handy

1965 – Art Kusnyer

1966 – Carl Rakich & George Nichols

1967 – Jeff Hogan

1968 – Dick Lui & Jim Olson

1969 – Jack Bisesi

1970 – Jerry Johnson

1971 – John Pangle

1972 – Don Croskey

1973 – Scott Carnes

1974 – Dave Kerestly

1975 – Winston Austin

1976 – John Rasicci

1977 – Tim Justice

1978 – Scott Fletcher

1979 – Rudy Donatelli

1980 – Bob Baker

1981 – Winston Austin

1982 – Doug Gruber

1983 – Jeff Tabaka & Jeff Brown

1984 – Ed Vargo

1985 – Joe Nauer

1986 – Dan Rizzo, Ron Piekarski & Byron Sturm

1987 – Dave Weithman, Scott Wightman & T.J. Myers

1988 – Rod Rickert

1989 – John Mast & Brian Williams

1990 – Jeff Rollyson & Scott Jalowiec

1991 – Mark Dean & Roger Begue

1992 – Brian Butash & Dave Layton

1993 – Matt Dennison

1994 – Jeff Fisher

1995-2004 – AA League dormant

2005 – Jesse Michel

2006 – Jeff Forbes

2007 – Ron Spears

2008 – Sam Crea

2009 – Danny Campfield & Craig Knott

2010 – Casey Jirsa

2011 – Phil Smith

Frank Garcia

Although his career was cut short in 1950 at the relatively young age of 38 due to a back injury, this great player lived long enough to see his teams become perhaps the best in the history of Akron sandlot baseball.  Garcia was player/manager on teams that won 4 AA League titles and 4 Ohio Amateur Baseball Congress championships.  Twice his teams came within a victory of the AABC National Championship.  In 1945, he led the Akron Orphans to the NABF National Championship, earning the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.  As a player, he was good enough to be signed by 3 Major League teams – Yankees, Phillies and Cardinals.  He even had a fling with pro basketball with the Cleveland Alleman Transfers.  His name lives on, on the award that goes to the annual winner of the AA League MVP.

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Jack S. Tramonte Award

The Jack S. Tramonte Award was established in 2003 to recognize outstanding contributions to the game of Baseball.

Honorees

2003 – Dave Gagat

2013Sheldon Ocker

2014Mike Hargrove

Jack S. Tramonte

Through his interests in amateur sports and personal influence, Jack Tramonte, along with his brother Don and the Tramonte Distributing Company, sponsored the powerful and tremendously successful Black Label teams of the 1960s that have become a model of excellence for the Class AA League.  Along with winning championships in 9 years, the Labels became on of the strongest and most-feared teams on the State and national levels.  Jack Tramonte not only provided his own teams with everything they needed to display their winning style of baseball, but also could always be counted on to help other teams in the AA League.

mike kura_75Mike Kura Award

The GABHoF established the Mike Kura Award in 2014 to honor the legacy of Mike Kura by recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of a person whose contributions support, serve and foster youth baseball in the Greater Akron area.

Honorees

2014 - Lonnie Stacy Sr & Mike Dies

Mike Kura

Youth baseball flourished in Akron’s Firestone Park area for more than 30 years under the volunteer efforts and leadership of Mike Kura. His mission was to make it possible for the youngsters of his neighborhood to play the game he passionately loved, and through his love, care and service, the Firestone Park baseball program became the standard bearer for all groups in the city. Mike was an organizer, a coach, a groundskeeper, a general manager and an equipment manager. Not only were his teams successful locally, but they became State powers as well from the class H thru the class D level. Mike spent countless hours promoting and building the competition and the growth of the Greater Akron Baseball Federation and AABC Leagues.

Ron Reed_75Ron Reed Award

The GABHoF Ron Reed Award is given annually to the Summit Umpires Association’s Rookie-of-the-Year.  The award is selected by the SUA Executive Committee.  Established in 2014 in conjunction with the GABHoF, the Reed Award supplants the Dick Leidig Award and is presented at the annual GABHoF Induction ceremonies.  

Honorees

2014 - Robert Hoffman

 

Ron Reed

Chances are that the vast majority of amateur baseball umpires in the Greater Akron area are Ron Reed products. Reed, an Akron native and Springfield High School graduate, has been umpiring nigh on to 50 years. Reed, graduated from pro umpires school in 1969 and started his own umpiring program in Akron in 1970. Since then, in addition to umpiring on all levels, he has taught umpiring and put more than 600 umpires through his program. On the field, Ron has worked more than 500 college games, mostly at Kent State, Akron, Wooster and Ashland, and also worked in the Eastern League in 1989. He also has done more than 1,450 high school games, including the state finals an impressive 22 times. He was a fixture in the Akron AA League from 1970 through 1995 and in the NEO Roy Hobbs league since its inception in 1989. His full-time job was as a steelworker at National Standard. He often worked the midnight shift so he would be able to practice his passion in the afternoons and early evenings.