Mike Hegan

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Baseball

Mike Hegan’s name is familiar to Indians fans as Tom Hamilton’s partner on the Tribe radio broadcasts, but in a previous life he was one of the finest athletes ever produced by St. Ignatius High School. Mike made all-scholastic in both football and basketball and all-state in baseball. He was named Greater Cleveland Catholic High School Athlete of the Year in 1960.

After a year of college at Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Mike signed a baseball contract with the Yankees and went on to a 12-year Major League career with the Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland A’s as a first baseman. He played in the 1964 World Series with Oakland.

In 1969 he hit the first home run in Seattle Pilots history in his first at bat and was the Pilots’ only representative in the All-Star Game, a distinction that never will be duplicated. After only one year in Seattle the Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. Much like his father, Jim Hegan, a great defensive catcher for the Indians in the 1940s and 50s, Mike was known for his glove. In 1971 and ’72 he set the Major League record of 178 consecutive errorless games at first base, a record that stood until Kevin Youkilis of Boston eclisped it in 2007.

Mike retired in 1977 with a .242 lifetime batting average and entered broadcasting.  He was the television color commentator for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1977 to 1988. He joined the Indians broadcast team in 1989 on television and for the last 11 years teamed with Hamilton on the radio. He intends to retire after this season, ending 34 years in the baseball broadcast booth. He and his wife, Nancy, now make their permanent home in Hilton Head, S.C.

Jerry Holtrey

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Jerry Holtrey knew how to bring home a winner.

The Hawken School swimming coach won the 23rd state championship of his career in 2011, with 21 of those coming with the girl’s team. He guided the Hawks to their record-tying 13th straight title in 2011. Since the Ohio State Athletic Association added Division II in 2000, Hawken has won all 12 championships.

He also produced champions outside the high school level. Coaching the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, his swimmers have won every district championship, long course and short course, for the last 42 years and holding almost two-thirds of individual District records.

A native of Huntington, Indiana, he was a member of the 1957 Huntington YMCA nation championship team. He went on to swim two seasons at both the University of Michigan and Indiana University, the latter under legendary coach James “Doc” Councilman.

After short coaching stints in Indiana and Kentucky, he took over coaching duties with the Silver Dolphins and began a teaching and coaching career at Hawkin in 1969. He retired from teaching in 2008.

During his tenure, more than 400 Hawken swimmers earned All-American status. He coached Olympians Melanie Valerio and Diana Munz, along with open water champion Erica Rose.

He has been the head and assistant coach for numerous national and international teams. He was previously inducted in both the Ohio high school and national swimming hall’s of fame.

Along with his wife, Donna, they raised three children.

Bob Golic

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Football

The multi-talented Bob Golic starred as a wrestler, football player and television entertainer in a career that began at St. Joseph High School (now Villa Angela-St. Joseph) on Cleveland’s east side, where he was an all-scholastic linebacker and state champion wrestler.

At Notre Dame Bob was a two-time all-American in both football and wrestling. He was the middle linebacker on Notre Dame’s 1977 national championship football team. He set a school record with 26 tackles in a win over Michigan and was the defensive MVP of Notre Dame’s 38-10 victory over Texas in the Cotton Bowl with 17 tackles and a blocked field goal.

As a heavyweight wrestler he compiled a 54-4-1 record and finished fourth and third in consecutive NCAA wrestling tournaments.

The New England Patriots drafted Bob in the second round in 1979. When they released him after three seasons the Browns immediately claimed him and converted hm to nose tackle. Bob went on to enjoy an eight-year career as a nose tackle with the Browns, who reached the AFC championship game three times with Golic at nose tackle. He made all-pro twice and was picked for three Pro Bowls.

Bob played in the NFL for 14 years, the last four with the Los Angeles Raiders. He retired after the 1992 campaign and became an actor and TV sports reporter. He was a star on the sitcom “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” Bob currently hosts a daily sports talk show on Akron radio station WNIR-FM (100.1). Bob’s name also is on the marquee of a sports bar at the corner of West Sixth and Lakeside in the Warehouse District.

Caldwell Esselstyn

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Rowing

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.’s last rowing race turned out to be better than his best. Sitting No. 6 as a member of Yale’s eight-man crew, the underdog team won the 1956 Olympic gold medal during the Melbourne games. After the college crew failed to win its opening race, the Elis came back to win their next three, knocking off favorites Canada and host Australia on Lane Wendouree in Ballarat, Australia.

He has since lived up to the motto of his Olympic champion team: “Press on Regardless.”

Focusing on his life’s work, he began his medical career at Western Reserve University School of Medicine, with subsequent surgical residency at the Cleveland Clinic and St. George’s Hospital in London, England.

After that came a tour of duty in Vietnam. In January 1969 he began a distinguished 31-year career at the Cleveland Clinic, that included positions of President of Staff, Board of Governors, Chairman of the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

Dr. Esselstyn Jr. has written more than 150 scientific publications, including the highly-regarded “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” in 1995. He was recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009.

While his Olympic victory came more than half-a-century ago, Dr. Esselstyn Jr. refers to it as the “springboard” as it taught him self-confidence, the rewards of “total effort, personal courage, and most importantly, persistence.”

He lives in Pepper Pike with his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn. They have four children.

Zoltan Gombos

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Media

The editor and publisher of several ethnic weekly newspapers serving the Greater Cleveland area for over 40 years, he has been a vigorous supporter of amateur sports. In 1956 he was a major factor in the establishment of the Cleveland International Invitational Fencing Tournament. The tournament grew to be one of the country’s best-known fencing competitions. He also served as Ohio’s racing commissioner from 1952-59.

George Gardner

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Sailing

The mayor of Cleveland from 1890 to 1896, he left a profound mark on yachting, both locally and nationally, through his innovative planning. To preserve a portion of the lakefront for the people of Cleveland when railroads began laying their tracks he founded the Cleveland Yacht Club in 1878 and served as its commodore from 1878 to 1894. Founded the Inter-Lake Yachting Association in 1885 to develop a sensible handicapping rule for sail yachts and was commodore of the I-LYA from 1885 to 1894. Was the driving force in establishing the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes and finally organized the North American Yacht Racing Union (now the U.S. Yacht Racing Union) in 1897 to further develop equitable handicapping rules on a national basis.

Alex Ferenczy

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Track & Field

One of the nation’s finest women’s track coaches for nearly a quarter century, he took the coaching reins of the Cleveland Division of Recreation Track Club (later the Cleveland Track Club) in 1957 and produced five Olympic and/or Pan-American Games contestants, including two-time Olympic Champion Madeline Manning. His athletes won and outdoors. He coached the U.S. Women’s Olympic Track Team in 1968 and 1976, and coached several National AAU squads before retiring after the ’76 Olympics.

John Endzvick

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Handball

One of the best handball players of his era in the United States, he won the National AAU Junior Singles Championship in 1932, the National AAU Junior Doubles Championship in 1928 and the National AAU Senior Doubles Championship in 1933. In 1934 he added the National YMCA Double Championship to his collection. In the period between 1928 and 1944 he won six Ohio State AAU, four Northeastern Ohio AAU, and ten Ohio YMCA singles titles and shared five Ohio State AAU, four Northeastern Ohio AAU and seven Ohio YMCA doubles championships.

Phil Goldstein

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Boxing

Cleveland’s flyweight champion in 1920, 1921 and 1922, he earned the right to compete in the National AAU Boxing Tournament in Boston in 1923. Fought his way to the semi-finals of that tournament before losing a split decision to Fidel Labarbra who went on to win the AAU crown, the 1924 Olympic championship and eventually the world professional flyweight title.

Johnny Farr

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Boxing

A rugged lightweight who came out of Cleveland’s “Little Italy” to face some of the finest fighters of his era. Among those he fought were three world champions: Tony Canzonneri, Barney Ross and Jimmy McLaren. He defeated Mclaren, the former lightweight champion, in a match in Los Angeles on March 17, 1926.