This year’s Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame class of 11 inductees and seven special award winners is a versatile group, many of whom excelled in multiple sports and went on to impact organizations such as the National Football League, the Ohio legislature and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
These are the inductees for 2023:
Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2023
Tim Adams – For three years, Adams played baseball at Barberton High School, hitting for power and a high average while playing more than one position. He led the Magics in hitting as a senior and was named to the Diamond Conference All-Star Team in 1980 and ’81. After a tour in Iraq as an Army platoon sergeant, he returned to the Akron area and won three Roy Hobbs championships in the same season and was selected Hobbs Masters Division MVP in 2017, when he hit .620. He continues to play baseball in in Canton and Cleveland.
Hal McCoy – A native of Akron and graduate of East High School — where he played baseball with former big-league infielder and New York Yankees executive Gene Michael — McCoy went on to have a distinguished career as a baseball writer. Before covering the Cincinnati Reds for the Dayton Daily News for four decades, he was an honors graduate of Kent State’s journalism school and played first base for the Flashes. McCoy reached the pinnacle of his career in 2002, when he was inducted into the writers’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and 13 years later he was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
Drew Patton – As a stellar member of the University of Akron baseball team, Patton won four letters, was a two-time co-captain and 1978 Pitcher of the Year. After several years of playing in Northeast Ohio summer leagues, he coached at UA, Ashland University and Tiffin University. In 26 years of coaching, Patton’s teams qualified for nine NCAA regional tournaments and two Division II World Series. Fifteen of his players went on to play professionally and three of his pitchers became Division I coaches.
Mike Phillips – As a multi-sport athlete, Field High School was Phillips’ training ground, but he switched from playing to umpiring in the Firestone Park youth baseball program. He was the Summit Umpires Association Rookie of the Year in 1993. He has served on the Summit Umpires board for 23 years and is currently president. Phillips has called games at practically every high school in Summit and Portage counties and many in Stark, Wayne and Medina counties. His duties as umpire in chief for the Green Baseball Softball Federation include recruiting new umpires.
Randy Schoenly – After graduating in 1972 from Barney Deary’s Umpire Development Program in St. Petersburg, Florida, Schoenly became an instructor in the Summit Umpires Association. He earned a reputation as an excellent umpire, working games at University of Akron, Kent State, Malone, Walsh University, Ashland University and Case Western Reserve University, among other colleges. He also worked high school games and served as president of Summit Umpires Association.
Derek Sivy – In 1999, Sivy began playing in the Akron Roy Hobbs League as a shortstop for the Akron A’s. He was part of eight league championships and four national titles before retiring in 2014. Sivy began making an impact in baseball at Marlington High School, becoming an All-Ohio pick in 1986. He played at Walsh University and played 15 years in the Canton Class A League. He was inducted into the Canton Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Steve Sosebee – Being a four-year letterman at Kent Rosevelt High School was only the beginning of Sosebee’s baseball career. He started playing Roy Hobbs baseball in 1993 and was the starting catcher on seven championship teams in Akron, three in Canton and two at the Hobbs World Series in Fort Myers, Florida. In addition to playing on the Palestinian National Team, he is working to build a baseball field and a youth baseball program in the Gaza Strip. Sosebee lives in Kent.
Frank Stams – As a star athlete at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, many observers thought Stams could make it to the NFL as a linebacker or the major leagues as a catcher. Stams eventually played football for Notre Dame before playing seven years for the then-Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. Stams made all-district and honorable mention all-Ohio as a high school catcher. He played in the Akron AA League, becoming an all-star. When he got a little older, he turned to Roy Hobbs baseball, where he was known for power, defense and speed for a big man. He also was known as a great teammate. Currently, Stams in a councilman in Cuyahoga Falls.
Jimmy “Taco” Summers – Born in Mexico, Summers was a two-year letterman at Green High School, making honorable mention All-Suburban League in 1991. He played on the nationally ranked 1993 Malone College team and pitched for Suarez Corporation, winning the NABF World Series in 1994. He went international the next year, playing for Karlovac Olimpija and was named best pitcher in the Croation finals seven times. He pitched for the Roy Hobbs Akron A’s beginning in 2009, winning multiple titles. He has been an assistant coach at Columbus State Community College and Hoban and Jackson high schools.
Keith Waesch – Since the 1980s, Waesch has been involved in multiple aspects of baseball in southern Portage County. He umpired Hot Stove League games then became a coach at Waterloo High School. In 1998, Waesch moved on to Rootstown to become athletic director for the district and eventually the Rovers baseball coach, posting a 175-85 record with four Portage Trial Conference titles and one district championship.
Don Young – Making his mark as a teenager, Young threw four no-hitters for American Legion Post 209 in the summer of 1955. He went on to pitch for East High and four years at the University of Akron. He pitched for Zoff’s, Tramonte Black Label and Krispie Kreme in the Akron AA League and the Cleveland AA League. Young also managed Black Label briefly. He coached kids in Tallmadge and one year at his high school alma mater, winning a district title.
Special award winners
Portage South – Team Award – Portage South won three NEO AAA division titles (1998, 1999, 2001), made two state final four appearances (1998, 2000) and won two regular-season championships (2007, 2011). The team also won the AABC district title in 2006 and the AA title in 2011. In Roy Hobbs competition, Portage South won two AA League titles (2020, 2022), the Wood Bat Classic (2014) and was regular-season champ in 2016.
John Kuntis - Frank Garcia Award – A graduate of Firestone High School, Kuntis was taken in the 42nd round of the 2009 amateur draft by Cleveland and again in 2010 in the 19th round by the New York Mets. He played six seasons in the minor leagues and currently pitches for the Greece National Olympic Team.
Dave Hanna – George Popp Umpire of the Year – A shoulder injury his senior year of high school took Hanna away from baseball until he turned to umpiring. He has umpired regular season and tournament high school games throughout Northeast Ohio and for 11 years he has worked Roy Hobbs games.
Rev. Dr. David Cobb – Ron Reed Award for Rookie Umpire of the Year – Since March, Cobb has been an OHSAA umpire working Portage Trail Conference games. Cobb decided to become an umpire to help pay for his son’s college education and offset costs of his daughter’s AAU basketball season.
Doug Bryson – Mike Kura Award – Bryson played baseball through college and is an enthusiastic supporter of kids baseball. He coached in the WABL for 10 years and has coached at Firestone High School for 18 years.
Bill Roemer – Glenn “SPEED” Bosworth Award – For 27 years Roemer has coached youth baseball and worked as an administrator in Richfield kids leagues. He began by coaching his 4-year-old daughter Becky in 1990. That assignment eventually turned into executive positions, including director of umpires, for Richfield Baseball. Roemer is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
David Elliott – Golden Cleat Award – Being born in 1947 has not impeded Elliott from continuing to play infield and catcher in the Roy Hobbs program and the MSB league today. He played baseball for Mayfield High School and wrestled at 137 pounds for Ohio State.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: 2023 Greater Akron Baseball HOF inductees a versatile group