Year Inducted – 2017
For more than a quarter of a century Ventura has played or coached in the Akron area, accomplishing much on the field and helping at least 77 prep players get the opportunity to play at the college level. Ventura grew up in Stow and pitched for Walsh Jesuit High School from 1990 to ’94, before matriculating at Walsh College in Canton and becoming an all-conference pitcher in 1997. He played amateur baseball for more than a decade in the NEO Class AAA and A leagues and the Akron AA League. Ventura was the 2002 MVP in the A League and Cy Young winner with an 8-0 record and 1.17 earned-run average. Ventura won championships with Kent VFW, Sharon Center (Cox Painting) and the Colonels. As a coach, he was a part of the Walsh High staff that guided the team to state championships in 2006 and 2008 and received the Walsh High Steve Grescovich Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Ventura, who lives in Norton, co-owns the IVL Baseball Academy in Wadsworth and works in the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.