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Local legends list - Baseball

By admin Published: July 5, 2007

I have been researching professional athletes who were born and/or went to high school in the Beacon Journal's five-county coverage area (Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina and Wayne). Below is a list of baseball players who made it to the majors.

 I couldn't find all the high schools, so please let me know if you have any additional information about the players listed. Also, please notify me if you know of any players who have been left off the list.  Finally, I must thank Beacon Journal baseball historians Bill Lilley and Larry Pantages for helping me compile the list.

Here it is:

Andy Sonnanstine (pitcher) Wadsworth High School/Kent State University -- Tampa Bay ... 2007-current.

Damon Minor (first baseman/DH) born in Canton and went to Hammon H.S. in Oklahoma/University of Oklahoma -- San Francisco ... 2000-04. 

Ryan Minor (first baseman/third baseman/DH) brother of Damon Minor born in Canton and went to Hammon H.S. in Oklahoma/University of Oklahoma -- Baltimore, Montreal ... 1998-2001. 

Jeff Tabaka (pitcher) Copley H.S./KSU -- Pittsburgh, San Diego, Houston, Cincinnati, St. Louis ... 1994-2001. 

Kenny Robinson (pitcher) Archbishop Hoban H.S. -- Toronto, Kansas City ... 1995-97. 

Mike Birkbeck (pitcher) Orrville H.S./University of Akron -- Milwaukee, New York Mets ... 1986-95.

Scott Fletcher (shortstop) Wadsworth H.S./Ga. Southern University/University of Toledo -- Chicaco Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit ... 1981-95. 

Bob Knepper (pitcher) born in Akron and is believed to have moved out of the area for high school -- San Francisco, Houston ... 1976-1990. 

Randy Bockus (pitcher)  Sandy Valley H.S./KSU -- San Francisco, Detroit ... 1986-89.

Thurman Munson (catcher) now-closed Lehman H.S. in Canton/KSU -- NYY ... 1969-79.

Art Kusnyer (catcher) Buchtel H.S. -- Chicago White Sox, California, Milwaukee, Kansas City ... 1970-78. 

Billy Baldwin (outfielder/DH) Buchtel H.S./Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana -- Detroit, NYM ... 1975-76. 

Gene Michael (shortstop) East H.S./KSU -- Pittsburgh, L.A. Dodgers, New York Yankees, Detroit ... 1966-75.

Dean Chance (pitcher) what is now called Northwestern H.S. (formerly called West Salem H.S.) -- L.A. Angels, California, Minnesota, Cleveland, NYM, Detroit ... 1961-1971. 

Mike Hershberger (outfielder) Massillon Washington H.S./University of Cincinnati -- Chicago White Sox, Kansas City, Oakland, Milwaukee ... 1961-71. 

Jack DiLauro (pitcher) North H.S./UA -- NYM, Houston ... 1969-70. 

Joe Sparma (pitcher) Massillon Washington H.S./Ohio State University -- Detroit, Montreal ... 1964-70.

Gene Woodling (outfielder) East H.S. -- Cleveland, NYY, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington ... 1943-62. 

Hal Naragon (catcher) Barberton H.S. -- Cleveland, Washington, Minnesota ... 1951-62.

Rod Graber (outfielder) born in Massillon -- Cleveland ... 1958. 

Ron Negray (pitcher) Garfield H.S. -- Brooklyn, Philadelphia, L.A. Dodgers ... 1952-58. 

Paul Stuffel (pitcher) Marlington H.S./KSU -- Philadelphia ... 1950-53.  

 Tommy Henrich (outfielder/first baseman) Massillon Washington H.S. -- NYY ... 1937-50. 

Charles Stanceu (pitcher) born in Canton -- NYY, Philadelphia ... 1941-46. 

Vince Shupe (first baseman) born in East Canton --Boston ... 1945. 

Dick Hahn (catcher) born in Canton -- Washington ... 1940. 

Steve Rachunok (pitcher) born in Rittman -- Brooklyn ... 1940. 

Rabbit Warstler (shortstop/second baseman) North Canton Hoover H.S. -- Boston, Philadelphia ... 1930-40.

Fred Tauby (outfielder) born in Canton -- Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh ... 1935-37. 

Bob "Fatty" Fothergill (outfielder) Massillon Washington H.S. -- Detroit, Chicago White Sox, Boston ... 1922-33. 

Hal Haid (pitcher) born in Barberton -- St. Louis, Boston, Chicago White Sox ... 1919-33. 

George Sisler (first baseman) now-closed Central H.S. in Akron/University of Michigan -- St. Louis, Washington, Boston ... 1915-30.

Fred Bratschi (outfielder) born in Alliance -- Chicago White Sox, Boston ... 1921-27.

Roger Peckinpaugh (shortstop) born in Wooster -- Cleveland, NYY, Washington, Chicago White Sox ... 1910-27. Player/manager for NYY in 1914, manager for Cleveland 1928-33 and 1941. 

Bill Upham (pitcher0 born in Akron -- Brooklyn, Boston ... 1915-18. 

Harry Betts (pitcher) born in Alliance -- St. Louis, Cincinnati ... 1903-1913.

Fred Graf (third baseman) born in Canton -- St. Louis ... 1913.

Scott Ingerton (utility) born in Peninsula -- Boston ... 1911.

Bob Spade (pitcher) born in Akron -- Cincinnati, St. Louis ... 1907-10. 

Herm Malloy (pitcher) born in Massillon -- Detroit ... 1907-08. 

Warren Shanabrook (third baseman) born in Massillon -- Washington ... 1906. 

Ed Poole (pitcher) born in Canton -- Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Brooklyn ... 1900-04. 

Sam Wise (utility) born in Akron -- Detroit, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Buffalo ... 1881-93. 

Joe Neale (outfielder/pitcher) born in Wadsworth -- Louisville, St. Louis ... 1886-91.

Ossie France (pitcher) born in Green -- Chicago Cubs ... 1890.



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