2002 Inductees


Frank W. Emmer was born on February 17, 1896 and was raised in Crestline, Ohio. He died on October 18, 1963 in Homestead, Florida. Frank first joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1916 as a 20-year-old rookie. He played back up to the great shortstop Heinie Groh and played in forty-two games that season. He was out of organized baseball from 1918 to 1920 then played for Flint, Michigan in 1921. He then played for Albany, N.Y. in the Eastern League from 1922 to 1923. In 1924 and 1925, he played for Seattle, Washington, in the Pacific Coast League. Seattle won the pennant in 1925 and Frank batted .329 that season.

In 1926, the Reds bought him from Seattle for $15,000 and two players. He appeared in eighty games that season hitting .281 with 44 hits. Frank then played in Minneapolis from 1926 to 1931. In 1928, his batting average was .340 and he led the American Association with 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Although he was to play for Detroit in 1929, a leg fracture during spring training sidelined him and he returned to Minneapolis during 1930/31.

In 1933, Frank Emmer was a player/manager with a Semi-Pro Industrial Westinghouse, Mansfield, Ohio team. He hit the first home run in the then newly constructed, Cleveland Water Front Stadium.

Frank joined the Reds first Alumni Association in the Big Leagues in 1950.

Earl H. Fletcher was born in Crestline, Ohio, in 1921. He attended Crestline High School and graduated in May 1939. He played Football and Basketball and earned three varsity letters in each. Earl served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945. On December 30, 1944, he played at University Stadium in Havana, Cuba on a Navy football team based at San Julian Air Base. Their opponents were the Flying Yanks from Batista Field, Cuba. The Flying Yanks were undefeated but Earl’s “”Navaltons”” beat them 7 -0. Earl also played with the Atlantic City Naval Air Station Team in the fall of 1945.

After returning to Crestline, Earl Fletcher was an assistant coach for Coach Merle Hutson along with Lou Cellini and Bob Frye. He also served as an assistant coach for many other coaches after Coach Hutson retired. Earl served on the Hutson Scholarship Committee for many years. Earl owned and operated a grocery store for 25 years in Crestline. He volunteered his time to many boards and organizations and his contribution to the Crestline community will long be remembered.

Phil Ganni was born on April 22, 1921 in Rankin, Pa. He attended grade school in Willard and high school in Crestline. While in high school, Phil was an outstanding athlete, excelling in both basketball and football. Phil comprised one-half of the 1939 touchdown duo known as “”Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside””. The other half was Bob Frye who was inducted into last year’s Hall of Fame. Coach Merle Hutson was quoted as saying that Phil Ganni was a fierce competitor, a great broken field runner, who had blazing speed and great cutting ability.

Phil was awarded ALL-Ohio in football in 1939. He was a great contributor to the 1939 undefeated Class B State Championship Team. Phil received a scholarship to play football at Ohio University. However, his football career was cut short after a broken leg injury.

Phil went on to be a leader throughout his entire life. He served as President of the Canton Hot Stove League, President of the Christopher Columbus Club of Alliance, and President of the Booster Club for Alliance High School. Phil was a union organizer, Teamster representative, and President of the union at the Ford Motor Company.

Phil served as the chief scout for Purdue and Cincinnati Universities. In addition, he was the chief organizer of the Canton Bulldogs, a semi-pro football team.

Donald Gehrisch attended school in Crestline for 12 years and graduated CHS in 1948. He earned three varsity letters in Football and three varsity letters in Basketball. Don was the first basketball player at Crestline to score 25 points in one game (against Bucyrus). Don was named to the ALL-Ohio First Team in 1947 at the End position. He was named to the Northern Ohio League First Team in 1947 and was named Lineman of the Year in 1947 by the Northern Ohio League. After graduation, Don attended the University of Dayton and earned Freshman Numerals in Football in 1948.

Al Parker was an outstanding all-around athlete in the mid-1930s at Crestline High School, playing baseball and football for four years. In 1936, he led Crestline’s football team to a 7-0-1 record and their first League of Six Nations Championship. Among his accomplishments were rushing for 772 yards and passing for 480 yards. After graduation, Al attended Capital University where he earned 12 letters in three sports. He was named to the all-time Capital university football team in 1950 and later was inducted into Capital’s Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation from Capital, Al served in the United States Navy where he began his coaching career. He was named to the Navy’s Who’s Who for his coaching efforts with the first Negro baseball team at the Great Lakes Naval Station. Parker coached with Paul Brown, Gene Tunney, and George Steinbrenner; and, members of the teams included Larry Doby and Bill White.

After WW II, Al Parker returned to the area and became the head coach of the Bucyrus High School Redman football team. In 1948, they won the Northern Ohio League title with a record of 8-0-1. Parker would later coach at Hiram College, Grove City College, Northwestern University, and finally at Purdue, where he remained for 20 years. At the time of his death in 1974, he was the assistant athletic director and head baseball coach at Purdue. In 1975, the NCAA honored Al Parker for his contributions to college athletics. Al also served as a talent scout for the Cleveland

Eugene (Gene) Reardon was born in Canton, Ohio and arrived in Crestline as a freshman in 1936. Gene was a member of the CHS basketball team from 1937 through the 1939-40 season. He played football as a lineman from 1937 through 1939. In 1939, Gene was a member of the undefeated and State Championship football team. Gene feels fortunate to have played with such fine athletes. Gene served as class president at CHS in 1940. During and after his High School days, Gene played fast-pitch softball with area teams. Gene has served on the Board of the Crestline YMCA, which later became the Crestline Railroad Community Center, for over 40 years. He has been the Board Chairman for over 20 years. The Board has contributed greatly to sports and sports-related activities in Crestline for many years.

Robert A. Sand attended Crestline High school for four years, graduating in 1948. He earned three varsity letters in Football and three in Basketball. In his junior year, he was voted Most Valuable Player in Football. In his senior year, he was selected to the First Team, ALL-League Football Team and was Honorable Mention for AII-Ohio. In addition, that same year, he received Honorable Mention, ALL-League, in Basketball. Bob says, “”Thanks to the great teammates I had in my senior year at CHS, I scored 14 TD’s and 10 extra points.””

After serving in the U.S. Army in the early 1950s, Bob returned to Crestline and has lived here for most of 50 years. He was employed at the Shelby Air Force Depot and Shelby Business Forms where he retired in 1993.

Don Stover played football and basketball for four years at Crestline High School before graduating in 1948. He earned four letters in football and three letters in basketball. In 1947, Don was named to the First Team ALL- Northern Ohio League for his play at center in football. In 1948, Don was named Captain of the CHS basketball team and received Honorable Mention to the Northern Ohio League for his basketball skills at the center position. Don went on to play one year of semi-pro football and three years of semi-pro basketball.

Don is a very loyal fan and supporter of Crestline sports. He attended his first football game in 1939 and has missed very few games since that time.

Ruth Varga was born and raised in Crestline, Ohio. Ruth played forward and lettered in basketball at Crestline High School. She also played tennis with Pauline Grummel and they won medals in doubles play at Hamilton Park. She graduated in 1931 from CHS and went to Wittenberg College where she lettered in Field Hockey. She also participated in intra-mural sports while in college. Ruth taught Physical Education in grades 7-12 at CHS and at Galion Middle School. She has also taught line dancing in Florida and in Crestline.

In 2001, Ruth received “”The Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award”” by the Knights of Columbus. She and her husband Fritz were also named “”Honorary Town Founders”” during Crestline’s Sesquicentennial and their special day during week long festivities was the “Sports Day”.

Paul Winemiller played football, baseball and basketball at Crestline High School. He earned eight Varsity letters while participating in these sports. In 1948, Paul was elected to the ALL-Northern Ohio League for his play at forward in Basketball. Attending Ohio University after graduating CHS, Paul continued his participation in sports by playing football for four years, earning three letters. In 1949, at the age of 18, Paul was the starting quarterback against top ranked West Virginia and led Ohio U. to victory, 17- 7. Also, in a game against Kent State that year, Paul intercepted 3 passes while playing defensive back.

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