Roger Davis

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Football

A Sports Illustrated cover photo in November of 1959 focused the camera lens directly on greatness. Surging under two of those famous orange helmets of Syracuse University were All-American lineman Roger Davis and All-American running back Ernie Davis.

Roger Davis, a graduate of Solon High School where he earned 10 letters in football, basketball and baseball, and joins the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame to crown a career that saw him win championships in the NCAA and NFL.

Davis was known at Syracuse as “Hound Dog” because of his love of training coonhounds, an American hunting dog. He played three years for the Orangemen, from 1957-1959. His final year was his finest as Syracuse was unbeaten, defeating Texas in the Cotton Bowl to become national champions.

Receiving All-American recognition, Davis was much sought after by the pros. In the 1960 NFL draft, he was a first round selection of the Chicago Bears, being the seventh choice of the entire draft.

Davis played like a No. 1 selection. He was a starter at right guard on the Bears team that won the 1963 NFL title by defeating the New York Giants, 14-10 in a game played on Dec. 29 at Wrigley Field in temperatures that struggled to get out of single digits.

There were two more NFL stops for Davis. He played for the L.A. Rams in 1964 and for the New York Giants that he helped defeat in 1965 and 1966.

While at Syracuse and Chicago, Davis played for two legendary coaches. Hall of Famer Ben Schwartzwalder was his coach in college and George “Papa Bear” Halas, one of the NFL’s founding fathers, was his coach in Chicago.

In 1999, Davis was honored with a spot on Syracuse’s All Century Football Team.   

Since retiring from football Roger has worked for Nationwide Insurance. He is the father of four children, grandfather of seven and makes his home in Pepper Pike.

Katie Class Marquard

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Speed Skating

Family has played a major role in shaping the career and lifestyle of Katie Class Marquard, just the third speed skater inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

At age five, Marquard, the youngest in a family of seven siblings, followed an older sister back in their native Minnesota to the Midway Speedskating Club (sis claimed it had the best uniforms of any club). She eventually met her husband Dennis, a Clevelander and fellow National Hall of Fame inductee, through the ice sport, and now coaches her children Abbie and Nick at the rink near her home in Westlake.

In several interviews, Katie has repeated that speedskating is a family sport and that since she took to the ice before she was old enough to attend school, her family has been involved and very supportive.

Twice a member of the U. S. Olympic team (Sarajevo in ’84, Calgary in ’88), Marquard was on five World Sprint squads, three World Allround and three additional World Cup teams.

Her best finishes in speedskating came at the World Championships in 1987, when she captured a bronze medal in 500m. Katie was also third overall in the 1500m World Cup rankings in1986 and 1987.

Marquard competed in the 500m, 1000m and 1500, in the Olympics. While the Games of Calgary were open and carefree, she recalls the Games of Sarajevo for its tight security that included security guards toting machine guns in the athlete’s village.

Katie retired from competition a year after the Calgary Olympics and a year later graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business/marketing.

Speedskating remained paramount for Marquard as she became executive director of U.S. Speedskating. The relocation of the office brought her to Ohio.

Last year, Marquard was inducted in the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame. Again, her strong family ties came into play when Katie said one of the best parts of the honor was having her mother tell her how proud she was of her.

Arthur B. (Mickey) McBride

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Football

Arthur B. (Mickey) McBride is one of the most important sports figures in Cleveland history for two reasons. First, he founded the Cleveland Browns in 1946 and, second, he hired Paul Brown to coach them.

McBride started his business career as a newsboy on the south side of Chicago in the late 1890’s, defending his corner with his fists and with his guile. At the age of 23 he was circulation director of the Chicago American. Three years later in 1913 the Cleveland News hired him as its circulation director.

The resourceful McBride eventually expanded his horizons. In 1931 he bought a half interest in Zone Cab and in 1933 he bought Yellow Cab. He invested in real estate in Cleveland, Chicago and Florida. He bought a printing company and a horse racing wire service.

He became interested in football in the early 1940s when his son, Art Jr., was a student at the University of Notre Dame. In 1942 he attempted to buy the Cleveland Rams of the National Football League from owner Dan Reeves, who rejected his overture. Consequently, when the All-America Football Conference was launched, McBride purchased a franchise for $50,000 and put Paul Brown on the payroll when he was still in the Navy. He also signed players and began paying them, such as Lou Groza and Dante Lavelli, when they were still in the service overseas. In 1950 McBride navigated the Browns into the NFL. In seven years under McBride’s ownership the Browns won five championships and had a record of 83-13-3. They rightfully called themselves the greatest show in football. McBride sold the Browns in 1953 to a Cleveland syndicate for $600,000.

He also contributed to the lexicon of pro football with his “Cab Squad,” giving borderline players jobs driving cabs until they were needed. The cab companies are still owned by his family.

Jack Staph

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Track & Field

Jack Staph has become a rite of the Cleveland spring.

It’s because when May rolls around, Northeast Ohio’s running community comes together for the annual Cleveland Marathon race and Staph has been at the center of the organization directing the event.

Since it began as the Revco Cleveland Marathon in 1977, Staph has served as the executive director and race chairman as the event evolved into the CVS Marathon and the Rite Aid Marathon in 2002, when Staph acquired the race’s rights under his Cleveland Marathon, Inc.

Through different course routes, the vagaries of Cleveland’s spring weather, the ups and downs of running participation, Staph has persevered to maintain the event through its various stages. For runners of all genders and ages, it has become a highlight event and Staph’s organization has accommodated participants with races of varying distances, including the popular 10-kilometer and half-marathon.

While adding to the economic well being of the city, it has also become a important fund-raising event for local charities. The Northern Ohio chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Stroke Association and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are a few of the charities that benefit.

Reaching out to area students, the races have encouraged participation from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland.

In staying the course with commitment, Staph’s persistence has paid off as the race has grown in recent years to more than 15,000 participants. It has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s best organized events.

A graduate of Youngstown State and Cleveland State’s Marshall College of Law, Staph served as senior vice president and general counsel for Revco, D.S., Inc. from 1972 to 1997.

Staph, who found the time to run seven marathons, lives in Moreland Hills with his wife, Bernadette. They have three children.

Mike Macenko

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Softball

He is the greatest home run hitter in the history of slow pitch softball. In 27 years of softball, 25 of them in the country’s highest level, Mike Macenko hit 7,000 home runs. Only one other player in the world ever hit as many as 6,000. In 1987 alone he hit 844 home runs and in 1988 he hit 830, the two greatest seasons by far that any softball player ever enjoyed.

A six-foot, three-inch behemoth who tipped the scales at 285 pounds in his playing days, Macenko grew up in Brook Park where he began playing softball in 1973 at the age of 16 with Tom Coyne’s team in the Brook Park Men’s League.

“In my first game, my first four times up, I hit four home runs. As I rounded third base after the fourth home run, Tom Coyne said, ‘You’ve got to sign this.’ It was a contract,” Macenko recalled.

Two years later Mike was recruited by John Neale, manager of Number One Lounge, one of the powerhouse teams in the PD-Major League.

“Do you want to come to Pittsburgh with us this weekend to play softball?” Neale said to him.

“I’ve got to ask my mother,” said Mike, who was 18 years old.

Mike’s mother gave him the green light and Tom Coyne gave him his release and Mike began a 20-year association with teams managed by John and Dave Neale.

Fourteen of those years were with Steele Sports, a sporting goods firm in Grafton, Ohio, which traveled the country taking on all comers in the ancient tradition of “barnstorming.” They played more than 100 games a year. In 1986 Sports Illustrated featured them in a story headlined “Men of Steele,” which can be found on Macenko’s web site.

He was the most valuable player of five different national tournaments. He was named to 34 different all-world teams and was inducted into five different softball halls of fame. He lives in Brunswick and sells sporting goods on line.

Buddy Schultz

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Baseball

Buddy Schultz inspired the Ohio High School Athletic Association to make a major rules change for the state baseball tournament after he pitched Shaw to the state championship in 1968. Because of rain, the state semi-finals and championship games were played on the same day, back to back, and Buddy pitched every inning of both games. In the first game the hard-throwing lefthander crafted a three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. In the second game he threw a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts. Before another tournament was played the OHSAA adopted a rule limiting the number of innings a pitcher is permitted to throw on one day. It is called the “Buddy Schultz Rule.”

Buddy pitched seven of Shaw’s eight tournament games that year and did not allow an earned run.

One of the greatest athletes in the storied history of Shaw High School, he lettered in three sports. In football he was an all-scholastic quarterback with a record of 15-1-1 in games in which he started. In baseball he was a starting pitcher for four years. In successive years he was all-league, all-scholastic and all-state.

Buddy went on to set five pitching records at Miami of Ohio and after 38 years he still holds two of them. One is likely to stand forever — 26 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

While playing summer baseball for the Gardner Realty team in the Lakewood A League, Buddy broke Bob Feller’s strikeout record in the AABC national tournament in Battle Creek, Mich. Buddy struck out 18 in 8 1/3 innings.

He went on to pitch in the Major Leagues with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals from 1975 to 1979. He retired with a five-year record of 15-9, 12 saves and 3.68 earned run average. He lives in Phoenix and owns a marketing and promotion company.

Ernie Kellermann

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Football

The left-handed quarterback was a member of Chanel High School’s first graduating class in 1961 and went on to star at Miami of Ohio and later with the Cleveland Browns, where he made all-pro.

At Miami he was an all-conference signal caller for three straight years from 1962-64. He is still Miami’s all-time total offense leader with 3,978 yards. His 88-yard touchdown pass led to a 10-7 victory over Purdue, which was called the biggest upset of the 1962 college season.

Ernie was drafted in the 12th round of the 1965 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who already had Don Meredith firmly entrenched at quarterback, so they moved him to defensive back. In those days it was not uncommon to move an athletic quarterback to defensive back. Although Ernie had not played defense since high school, he was a quick learner and was making progress. But when the final cuts were made, Ernie was released. He was determined, however, to play pro football and his resolve paid off.

Acting on a recommendation from Miami coach Bo Schembechler, Browns coach Blanton Collier signed Ernie to the Browns’ taxi squad in 1965. He practiced with the Browns but never dressed for a game.

In 1966, however, an injury created an opportunity at safety and Ernie seized the chance. He started most of the season and intercepted three passes. He went on to start for five seasons and was a key backup for a sixth campaign. Ernie was a starting safety in the 1969 Pro Bowl. The Browns made the playoffs four times with him in the lineup.

After being cut by the Browns, he hooked on with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 1972 season and with Buffalo for the ’73 campaign. Ernie then retired and remained in business in the Cleveland area.

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.