ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Over 30 years ago an idea was proposed by a gentleman by the name of Doug Pollock to create a local baseball Hall of Fame. Since 1986, 139 men with a variety of backgrounds in the game have been inducted for their achievements.
Saturday night the Muskingum Valley Old-Timers Association held their 31st Hall of Fame Ceremony, inducting 10 new names into the hall– the biggest class to date. Inductees this year included former players, board members, sponsors, and media members– but the one thing that all the men had in common was their passion for the game, and tireless devotion to the M.V.O.T.A. organization.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1986 for three reasons. First, to honor those, both living and deceased, who contributed positively to baseball in the Zanesville area. Second, to remember, maintain, and add to the sense of history of the great baseball in the Zanesville area. And finally, to pay back to all baseball fans in Zanesville and to pay forward to future generations.
The men inducted in the 2017 class all have different backgrounds, but each has shown support for area baseball and the Muskingum Valley Old-Timers Association in different ways. And while not all the men inducted tonight could be there to to enjoy their achievement, family members of those deceased inductees had the opportunity to accept the awards on their behalf.
Below is a list of the 2017 inductees:
Bruce Barclay — Bruce has served on the Old Timers board ever since being introduced in the early 90’s. He served as president in 1999. Bruce has given countless volunteers and donated money for door prizes over the years. Bruce also has two sons, Blair and Brad, that are members of the Hall of Fame.
Dave Denton (accepted by brother Tom) –Dave began his playing days for the Y-City Little League, and would go on to be a three-year starter at Zanesville High School. He won MVP in both 1972 and 1973. He also played for the Senior Pioneers for one season.
K.C. Frick — K.C. began his career in 1982 playing for the Zanesville Pepsi team. He continued to play through the M.V.O.T.A. system until he became a member. K.C. has been named to the Board of Directors for the last 25 years, serving as President in 2003 and 2004. He also donated a dump truck to the organization, along with time and work to help make it successful.
Ron Herman — Ron began playing in 1969 for Rankin and Rankin. He made the varsity baseball team at Rosecrans as a freshman– he also made the Zanesville American All-Star team. Ron went on to play for the Junior Pioneers before being signed by the New York Mets single-A team in 1975. He came back to play for the Senior Pioneers after being the last catcher cut.
George Hiotis — George’s work with WHIZ made sure that the M.V.O.T.A. always had coverage and support to spread the word about donations that were needed to refurbish their new stadium. George also made sure that crews were at the stadium reporting on the progress and helping out. He’s also helped provide coverage for area teams throughout their successful seasons.
Jim McGinnis — Jim played for the Senior Pioneers from 1963-1967 and took over as Manager in 1968. In 1968 and 1969 he stayed on the team as a player-manager. He returned to playing only in 1970 and from 1974-1976 coached the Zanesville National All-Star Team. He has over 30 years of playing, coaching, umpiring, and working on projects.
Larry Merry — Larry began coaching at the age of 16 in 1970. He coached little league for 25 years and was president for 10 years. He took over running the State Babe Ruth tournament in 1994. He retired after running the tournament for 18 years in 2002. Larry continues to support the M.V.O.T.A.
John “Legs” Pagath (accepted by son Dave) — John began his career in 1935 when Armco offered him a job if he agreed to pitch for their baseball team. He played for 15-plus years, also playing for Shawnee Pottery (Potters), the Chandlersville Red Sox (C-Reds), American Legion, Hazel Atlas, Adams Brother, and P&M Cafe. John also coached for the American Legion team in 1946, and managed the Armco team in 1947.
Jody Spencer — Jody started playing at Y-City with the Zanesville Police Department. He played in the Babe Ruth league for three years and for Tire Town in the Ohio Youth League for three years. He was a four-year varsity player at West Muskingum from 1974-1977. He was MVP in 1977. Jody is now an one of the organizations biggest sponsors through Century National Bank.
Brad Wolfe — Brad started playing in 1974 with the Multi-Listing Service team of the Babe Ruth league. He made the Zanesville National All-Star team in 1975, and made the Rosecrans team as a freshman that same year. He played for Tire Town in 1976 and then made the Zanesville American Legion team in 1977 and 1978. He coached for the Royal Cleaners team in 1981 and 1982.