“Fighting Billy Sunday” was the popular tag given to him because he looked more like a minister than a fighter. However, his many opponents quickly learned the difference as he worked his way through the Heavyweight field which at that time was headed by the great world champion, Jack Johnson. Spectacular and successful fights were recorded against the likes of Mike McLaughton, Jack Clancy, Hank Harter and George Rogers.
Became Cleveland’s AAU and Golden Gloves 126 lb. Champion in 1930, as well as capturing the National AAU Junior Championship. He repeated as City Champion the following year adding the Chicago Golden Gloves title. A memorable international match at Soldier Field saw him defeat the French champion.
Cleveland’s AAU and Golden Gloves flyweight champion in 1936, he won both titles again in 1940 as a bantamweight. As a featherweight he won the Cleveland Open Championships in 1941 and 1942 and added the National Golden Gloves featherweight title in the latter year. A stellar competitive career was followed by selection into the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame as he continued to provide leadership for the sport at many levels including working with the U.S. Olympic Team.
An outstanding and durable career, spanning 1927 to 1942, led her to star for numerous Class A and Tri-State championship teams including the World Champion Newman Stern girls. A top scorer, she holds a one-game record of 100 points.
From 10th grade until graduation, he led the East Technical High School team in the scoring and was selected for All-City and all East Senate honors. He was rated number one Ohio High School player in the second year that Tech won the state title. A collegiate career at Grambling College and Providence College continued his star role leading to All-American honors. After college, he was the leading scorer in the Greater Cleveland Class A league for six years.
While attending St. Ignatius High School from 1956 through 1958 he won all-scholastic and most valuable player honors in the last two years, and All-Ohio designation in 1958. At the University of Dayton he was voted most valuable player in 1960 and 1962, (the year Dayton won the NIT Championship) which led to All-American selection that year.
A star at third base for women’s class A fast-pitch softball teams from 1923 to 1941. During that time she led such teams as the 1935 World Champion Fleming Furniture, Blepp Coombs and Weaver Walls. After Pearl Harbor she served in the Women’s Army Corps.
From 1922 through 1927 she pitched for Fleming Furniture (national champions) and Blepp Coombs. A blazing southpaw pitcher, her skills enabled her to beat men’s teams, striking out 18 in one 9-inning game, when women’s opposition wasn’t available.
Known as “Mr. Class A” in the glory days of fast-pitch softball he hit .342 in 1922, his first year. His batting exploits were accomplished against the best pitching, including the legendary Bill Miller, who purposely walked only one batter in his career: Philip Comella. His personally backed team, “Comella Sports,” won several class-A titles.
Pitched for Fischer Foods, Class A, leading the team to City, State and National championships in 1931, 1932, and 1936. During those years he won 3, 3, and 4 games, respectively, in the National tournament. Voted “Most Valuable” in class A in 1932.
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