Year Inducted – 1988
Sometimes a person’s skill in one sport is so overwhelming that his excellence in another is often overlooked. Such is the case involving Ara. His football prowess and coaching ability has diminished the perception of his baseball skills. But make no mistake, he could play the game. So much so, that the late “Speed Bosworth” (1984 Famer Cleveland Indians scout) maintained he would have been every bit as successful as a baseball player. The G.A.B.H.O.F. would be remiss had we failed to honor that early segment of his life. He pitched and played first base for the National A.C. Team, moving up to the championship Grays IGA team of the American Legion. At South High School he was instrumental in helping them have several winning seasons. In 1940 he was selected on the 1st Akron Orphan Team of high school All-Stars, along with Hall of Famers Bill Starkey (1990), Hal Schumacher (1991) and Jesse Raines (1993). He continued playing with the Orphans until his enlistment in the Navy in 1943. He was able to pitch some in the service and a try-out was arranged with the Pittsburgh Pirate organization following his service commitment. However he opted for a scholarship at Miami of Ohio, where he starred in baseball as well as football and basketball. Following graduation, football became his preference in life and the rest is history.