Kenneth Carter was the national Tumbling Champion in the 1930s, and was considered one of the top flight gymnasts of his day, having made the USA Olympic Team in 1940. He toured the United States and Europe with an acrobatic group which gained extensive notoriety.
Rated one of the greatest catchers in the history of the sport, Ann Smith Downs was equally renowned for her hitting, her throwing arm and her ability to handle pitchers. She played on the Cleveland area’s finest teams, ending her career with the National Screw & Manufacturing Co. team that won the World Girls Softball championship. Ann also became one of the top women basketball players in Cleveland.
Marge Kelley Cook starred for the Favorite Knits, Fleming Furniture and Blepp-Coombs teams during the period from 1922-1930, when those teams were perennial international champions. A righthanded fastball pitcher, she also played the outfield because of her outstanding ability as a hitter. Marge frequently pitched successfully against men’s teams.
Ron Annotico played in eight softball World Championships, beginning in 1956. Selected as All-World center fielder three times in those championships, every team on which he played from 1956 through 1962 won its league championship. Ron was recognized by his peers as Cleveland’s finest softball player of that era.
Ranked as one of the nation’s top pitchers during the 1930s, Frank Brauer competed for some of Cleveland’s best teams, including Weaver Wall from 1935-38 and Nickel Plate Grill in 1939.
An All-American collegiate basketball player, Frank Baumholtz’s exceptional talent allowed him to play both professional basketball and baseball at the same time. He starred for the Cleveland Rebels and the Youngstown Bears in the pro basketball league that was the forerunner of the NBA as well as playing baseball for ten years in the National League with the Reds, Cubs and Phillies. His lifetime batting average was .291.
The dominant pitcher in Cleveland amateur baseball in the era between 1915 and 1924, he gained his greatest fame in pitching the White Auto team to the World Amateur Championship in 1915. In seven games in the championship series he allowed just two runs. Crowds estimated between 40,000 and 100,000 watched the series games played at Cleveland’s Brookside Park.
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