Russ Schneider

Induction Year: 2006 Sport: Media

As a native Clevelander he was treated to the successes and subjected to the agonies of the Cleveland Indians form his earliest childhood. After graduating from West Tech in 1946, serving two stints in the U.S. Marines, and failing, thanks to a recalcitrant bat, in an attempt to personally improve the Tribe’s fortunes by signing on as a catcher in their farm system, he sharpened his skills by acquiring a degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace College and eventually found his way to a desk in The Plain Dealer sports department, where he would assume the task of covering the Indians in 1964 and eventually become a nationally known chronicler of the Indians fortunes and history. It was a labor of love – often touch love – for the first 14 seasons as he covered a succession of teams which finished as high as third only once. He was reassigned, perhaps mercifully, to cover the more successful Cleveland Browns in 1978. Then in February, 1984 he assumed a new role as the paper’s investigative reporter for sports and in 1988 his assignment was further broadened to that of national baseball writer, columnist and special assignment reporter. The latter assignments were tailor made for the hard-nosed Schneider who thrived on burrowing deeply into the facts for his news stories. Firmly established in the eyes of his peers and the public as a reporter’s reporter (he has been inducted into three journalism-related halls of fame and earned a Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Professional Journalists), he embarked on a new career in 1993 as an author, primarily dealing with Cleveland Indians history. He has written a dozen books, including The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia, now on its third edition. He makes his home in Seven Hills.