Steve Jankowski

Induction Year: 2000 Sport: Baseball

Born and raised on Cleveland’s near East Side, he wrote an admirable story of perseverance as he scratched his way through nine noteworthy minor league baseball seasons in search of a cherished berth on his hometown team, the Cleveland Indians, only to be thwarted by a career ending injury with his goal in sight. Unable to play high school baseball, he signed with the Indians in 1953 and began a minor league odyssey that took him to the Green Bay Blue Jays, the Fargo-Moorhead Twins, the Keokuk Kernels, the Mobile Bears, the Reading Indians, on to San Diego, where he was to earn a spot in their Hall of Fame and Toronto (both then minor league franchises), Mobile, and Salt Lake City. En route, he was named to four league all-star teams, set an Eastern League record with 11 consecutive hits, and twice went to spring training with the Indians. The dream ended in 1961with a collision between his shoulder and a wall during a second stint with Mobile and he returned to Cleveland, where he worked with Klein News until his retirement. A long-time resident of Seven Hills.