Tony Esola

As a youth, Tony played on the 1963 Meadows Realty who won the GABF Class F City Championship. In 1970, he played on the Goodyear Heights Orientals who won the GABF Class D City Championship. During that season, he threw a no-hitter (perfect game for 6 1/3 innings).

 

Tony was a Varsity letterman at Ellet High School during the 1969, 1970, and 1971 school years. He also was a standout in basketball. As a pitcher on the team, he was instrumental in helping Ellet grab Metro Championships, Sectional Championships, and District Championships.

 

After high school, he moved onto the Greater Akron AA League and played for the Manchester Anthe’s team from 1972 to 1973. From 1972 to 1984, he also was picked to play in the “Big Four” Industrial Tournament which included teams from Goodyear, Goodrich, General Tire, and Firestone. He was a six-time “Big Four” Tournament All-Star Outfielder.

 

Tony has played in the Roy Hobbs league since 1992 for the Akron 40’s, Akron Dodgers, Akron Phillies, Grandpa Sports Card A’s, and the Colt 45’s. Most recently, Tony had been pitching for the Akron Blues team since 2000. He, along with inductee John Sarver, was instrumental in helping the Blues win 4 straight championships from 2012 to 2015, while going undefeated during the 2015 season. He was a five-time All-Star during his 24 year stint in NEO Roy Hobbs. In 2010, he was chosen as the Team MVP for the Blues in the Roy Hobbs World Series in Florida. Tony was runner up to John Sarver for “Pitcher of the Year” in 2013 in the NEO Roy Hobbs League. In the 2015 RH World Series, he was instrumental in pitching the Akron Blues to the Classics (60+) Championship in the AAA bracket.

 

It could be argued that Tony has been the best and most valuable pitcher for the different age divisions in Roy Hobbs in the time period which he competed. He has won the most regular season games in that time span and been virtually unbeatable in playoff games. Tony has consistently been a premier pitcher, earning both personal and team recognition at all levels. He is a great competitor (as all champions are), but he is also a good teammate – always supporting the team by being willing to carry out any assignment that is given to him. He never criticizes his fellow players and leads by example when he is on the field. Throughout his baseball career with the Blues, Tony has to be one of the most consistent pitchers, always giving his best and, as a starter, rarely ever losing a league, playoff, or championship game.

 

Tony also spent time as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2003 and head coach from 2003 to 2008 at St. Vincent/St. Mary High School. He was a pitching instructor at Home Field Advantage and Pronio Sports from 2001 to 2007. He has coached a number players who went on to excel in college and beyond. Along with coaching, Tony was an Associate Scout for the Cincinnati Reds from 2005 to 2009.