Tony Rini

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Horse Racing

Tony Rini is arguably the most accomplished jockey ever born in northeastern Ohio.  He’s also the most courageous.  And to the delight of his friends and acquaintances, he’s probably the funniest.

Rini is the third thoroughbred jockey inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.  He joins Danny Weiler, a former rival and one of his best friends, and the late Michael Rowland who rode for Rini when Tony turned to training.

It was a horrific accident during training hours at Oaklawn Park  in 1983 that ended Rin’s 24 years in the saddle, a career that saw him win 2,438 races and account for more than $10 million in purse earnings.

The accident left Rini with a broken back and a paralyzed left arm.  Doctors, after telling Rini he might never walk again, asked him if he would like to speak with a psychiatrist.  They feared he would attempt to kill himself.  He cautioned them that if they found him dead in the following moring, that he hadn’t done it.

Rini, born in Cleveland and reared on the near West Side, was introduced to racing at the Berea Fairgrounds where he hauled water buckets until a trainer gave him a leg up on a horse.

He won his first race at Thistledown in 1959 aboard Date Me.  It launched him on a path to nine riding titles at Thistledown and Randall Park.  He swept all four Thistledown riding championships in 1970 and his 287 winners that year ranked hm fourth in North America.

The outstanding season graduated Rini to the top level of racing at tracks like Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Arlington Park.

Rini participated in two Kentucky Derbys, finishing 19th on Jr.’s Arrowhead in 1971 and ninth aboard Chief Dixieland in 1978.  He did win the 1972 Illinois Derby on Fame and Power and returned home to win the 1973 Ohio Derby with Our Native.  Rini is now a trainer at Thistledown.  Among the riders he uses is his son, Wade Rini.

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 1940’s and 50’s, 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.

Dominique Moceanu

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Gymnastics

Dominiqude Moceanu never let youth stand in her way.

An accomplished gymnast beyond her years, she was the youngest competitor at the Junior Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1992, where she won four gold medals and was the all-around silver medalist at age 10.

Her international stature only continued to grow as she developed under famed coach Bela Karolyi.

In 1994, she was the all-around gold medalist at the U.S. Junior National Championships and, at age 13 in 1995, she was the youngest gymnast to win the senior all-around title at the U. S. National Championships.  She went on to win a silver medal in the balance beam at the World Championships in Sabae, Japan, and was the youngest member of the United States team that earned a bronze medal.

A seasoned veteran at age 14, she was the youngest member of the gold-medal winning 1996 Olympic Team, named “The Magnificent Seven,” as she cemented herself as one of the sport’s elite competitors.  She showed her courage and determination at the Olympics as she competed despite a stress fracture in her right tibia.

After recovering from her injury, Moceanu trained under coach Luminita Miscenco and won gold medals in the vault and balance beam at the 1998 U.S. Senior Nationals.  At that year’s Goodwill Games in New York, she became the only American to win the all-around gold medal.

Once again, injuries took their toll and she retired in 2000.

Graduating from John Carroll University in 1999 with a degree in business management, she continues to coach and promote her sport in the area and at the national level.  She married Dr. Michael Canales, a former Ohio State gymnast, in 2006 and the couple have two children.

Dick Crum

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Football

In a state famous for turning out great football coaches, Dick Crum ranks among the best ever from Ohio.  This native of Boardman played college football at Muskingum and Mount Union Colleges.  He started his coaching career as an assistant at Boardman in 1957.  He moved on to Sandusky and Warren Harding before becoming the head coach at Mentor High School in 1963 where he compiled a 50-9-1 record over six years, including perfect 10-0 seasons on 1966 and 1968.  Mentor opened the 1968 season with a shocking 19-0 victory over Massillon in storied Paul Brown Stadium and was ranked first in The Plain Dealer ratings and second in both state wire service polls the rest of the season.

In 1969 Dick moved on to Miami as an assistant coach under Bill Mallory and in 1974 Dick succeeded him as head coach.  In four years Crum posted a 34-10-1 record with three Mid-American Conference championships and Tangerine Bowl victories over Georgia and South Carolina.  In 1978 he moved on to North Carolina where over the next 10 years he became the Tar Heels all-time winningest football coach with a record of 72-41-3, one Atlantic Coast Conference title and six bowl game appearances where he registered victories over Michigan, Arkansas and twice over Texas.  He was fired after the 1987 season and North Carolina has not won an ACC title since.

He finished his coaching career at Kent State from 1988 to 1990.  He has received Mount Union College’s Award of Excellence and is a member of Miami University’s exclusive Cradle of  Coaches Society.  He is a member of six halls of fame, namely Boardman High School, Mentor High School, Ohio High School Football Coaches, Tangerine Bowl, Gator Bowl and Miami University.  The Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame is pround to welcome Dick into number seven.

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.

Barb Mucha

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Golf

If it hadn’t been for a junior golf tournament that she entered as a 10-year-old, Barb Mucha may be rolling strikes instead of putting for birdies.  She won the tournament, fell in love with golf, and the bowling ball went into mothballs.

The rest is professional golf history.  Mucha, a Parma Heights native and a graduate of Valley Forge High and Michigan State University, won five times on the LPGA tour with career earnings of $2.4 million.

Perhaps even more impressive than Barb’s victories was her consistency.  Of the 321 LPGA tournaments in which she competed, Mucha posted top 10 finishes an astonishing 115 times, including 30 of them in her last 37 tour stops from 2004 through 2009.

Barb credits the yearly season pass that her parents, George and Lillian, bought her to Ridgewood Municipal Golf Course in Parma where she studied under head pro Leo Zampedro.  Mucha believes Zampedro, who became her longtime coach, is the reason she was a success on tour.

There is also a tip of the hat towards the ethnic kitchens of her hometown.  Barb admists to developing a weakness for pierogies and baklava.

She turned profressional in 1985, playing the Futures Tour where she posted six victories over two years on the rookie circuit.  Barb qualified for the LPGA tour in 1987 and won her first tournament, the 1990 Boston Five Classic, in a playoff.

Her other victories came in the 1992 Oldsmobile Classic, the 1994 State Farm Rail Classic, the 1996 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship and the 1998 Sara Lee Classic (in a four-way playoff).

Barb’s career low round was a sizzling 62, shot in the spring of 1999.  She has made 17 holes-in-one.

Although she retired from the LPGA tour in 1999, Barb continues to play competitive golf on the Legends Tour and remains the model of consistency (eight Top 10 finishes from 12 appearances.)  She also teaches at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Dick Brubaker

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Football

Dick Brubaker was the epitome of determination.

The one-time standout at Shaker Heights High, where the Raiders won the Lake Erie League championship in 1949, he played two seasons at Ohio Wesleyan University.  The Bishops won the Ohio Athletic Conference title in 1951.

Seeking a bigger challenge, Brubaker transferred to Ohio State and approached legendary coach Woody Hayes to allow him to play as a walk-on wide receiver.  After sitting out a season, he was rewarded for his hard work when he made the first team midway through the 1953 season.

In 1954, Brubaker and John Borton were elected co-captains by their teammates.  They helped guide the Buckeyes to the school’s first 10-0 record, a Rose Bowl victory against Southern Cal and the second national championship in school history.

In the vaunted OSU rushing game, he helped block for future Heisman Trophy winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady.  Brubaker never received an athletic scholarship.

After playing with the Chicago Cardinals in 1955, he was drafted by the navy and served 18 months.  He played part of the 1957 season with the Cardinals, before setting his sights on a law degree that he obtained from Western Reserve University.  He returned to the football field in 1960, playing a final season for the Buffalo Bills of the newly-formed American Football League.

He went on to a long and illustrious legal career with Calfee, Halter & Griswold in Cleveland, specializing in estates and trusts law.  With his wife, Nancy, they raised three children and live in Newbury.