While the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds have failed to capture an MLB title in the last decade, Ohio is one of the premier U.S. States for producing some of the all-time greatest big leaguers. There are 16 players in the Hall of Fame from Ohi0; the fifth most for any state. Some of the Ohio legends include:
Mike Schmidt is considered to be one of the best third basemen of all time. He played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies, won the NL MVP three times, and was named to the All-Star team 12 times. Schmidt graduated from Fairview High School in Dayton. He later attended Ohio University and led the Bobcats to the College World Series.
Cy Young was such a great pitcher at the turn of the 20th century that the MLB named the award for the league’s best pitcher after him. Young played for 21 seasons and holds numerous pitching records including most wins (511), most innings pitched (7,355), most games started (815), and most complete games (749). Cy is from the small farm town of Gilmore, Ohio located in Tuscarawas County. He started his baseball career playing for a semi-pro team in Carrollton.
Thurman Munson was the catcher and captain for the New York Yankees. He led the team to three consecutive World Series and won two of them (1977, 1978). He is the only Yankee to win both the Rookie of the Year and the AL Most Valuable Player. Thurman was born in Akron but his family moved to Canton at the age of eight. He attended Lehman High School in Canton and was the captain of the football, basketball, and baseball team.
Sisler is considered to be one of the best hitters of all time. He held the record for the most hits from 1920 until 2004 when Ichiro Suzuki eventually eclipsed him. His career batting average was .340 and batted .420 in his 1922 season. George was born in Manchester, Ohio, a suburb of Akron. He started his baseball career with a minor league affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Ohio-Pennsylvania League.
Barry Larkin is not only one of the greatest Reds players of the 20th century, but a true hometown hero. Larkin played 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, won one World Series ring, three Gold Gloves, and, 9 Silver Slugger awards. Larkin was born and raised in Cincinnati attending Archbishop Moeller High School. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Pete Rose has been a part of more winning games (1,972) than any other athlete. He played the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Reds. Throughout his career he made 17 All-Star appearances at a record, five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B, 1B). He is also a three time World Series champion and one time NL MVP. Rose was born in Cincinnati and attended Western Hills High School where he played baseball and football.
Roger “The Rocket” Clemens was an MLB pitcher for 24 seasons. He was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time. He tallied 354 career wins and had an earned run average of 3.12. Clemens was an 11-time All-Star and 7-time Cy Young winner. Roger was born in Dayton and lived in Vandalia until he was 15 years old.
Phil Niekro is one of the best known knuckleball throwers in MLB history. He has the most career victories for a knuckleball pitcher (318). He also broke a major league record for recording 121 victories after the age of 40. He is a five time All-Star and five time Gold Glove winner. Phil was born in Blaine, Ohio and attended Bridgeport High School.
The only thing more prolific than his handlebar mustache, was his pitching. He was the second relief pitcher to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a three time World Series champion and one time AL MVP. Rollie was born in Steubenville but moved to California at a young age.
Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken “The Kid” Griffey Jr. was not only one of the best players of the 1990′s, but a pop culture icon. Playing for the Seattle Mariners, he was named an All-Star 10 times and won 10 Golden Gloves. He is also part of the 600 Home Run Club. Griffey moved to Cincinnati at the age of six. He attended Archbishop Moeller High School and was named the U.S. High School Player of the Year in 1987.