Revised by Tamara Jones, 2012
ABOUT THESE PAGES –The pages that follow are intended to be a comprehensive listing of Toledoans and northwestern Ohioans who have achieved a certain measure of national fame in the world of sports. The listing is a work in progress and the author welcomes additional information about the people listed (e.g. school attended for those whose information is not provided) or those that should be added to the listings. The list is divided by sport and each sport is divided into two sections – Toledoans and northwestern Ohioans. To determine whether someone should be listed requires a determination of what is a Toledoan or someone from northwestern Ohio and what constitutes fame.
As to the first question, those who were born or died in Toledo (or northwestern Ohio) are listed, as well as any who went to high school in Toledo or spent a considerable amount of their youth in Toledo. Also included are persons who may not have met any of those categories, but clearly made Toledo (or northwestern Ohio) their home as adults. Those who lived in Toledo or northwestern Ohio only as part of their career in sports, such as players and coaches with the Mud Hens, the University of Toledo, or Bowling Green State University, however, are not included. Included in the Toledo section of each sport are those from Toledo and its immediate environs, e.g. Sylvania, Maumee, Genoa, Perrysbug, Swanton. The northwestern Ohio listing includes an area that runs roughly from Sandusky through Tiffin to Lima and west from Lima to the Indiana border. (Thus, the following towns would fall outside this line – Norwalk, Bellevue, Bucyrus, Upper Sandusky and Wapokeneta.) Those who might qualify as both a Toledoan and a northwestern Ohioan, such as someone who was born in Toledo, but grew up and attended high school in Wauseon or Bowling Green, are included in the Toledo section only. People from southeastern Michigan are not included, unless they were born or attended primary or secondary school in Toledo. A couple of coaches that might not otherwise qualify are included, because they served as high school coaches in Toledo for several years before going on to achieve national fame.
As to the question of what level fame merits listing – it must be achieved on a national level. For baseball, this would mean playing in the major leagues, or being a first team All-American at the college level or being drafted in the first round of the major league draft. For football, this means playing professionally in the NFL or a league that merged into it, the WFL, USFL or CFL (Arena football and NFL Europe do not qualify, nor does playing in the NFL only as a replacement player during a work stoppage). In addition, those who did not play professionally but achieved some national fame at the college level are included. There is no bright line, but this would include being named All-American, All-Conference in a major conference, leading the nation in a statistical category, captaining or leading a major college team in a major statistical category, scoring a touchdown in a bowl game, or being a starter or significant contributor to a national championship team. For the purposes of determining national fame on these pages, the Mid-American Conference is not considered a major conference. Serving as head coach of any Division I school, including the MAC, does qualify. For basketball, the same general guidelines apply as for football; playing in the NCAA basketball tournament would qualify. For other sports, playing professionally, making an Olympic or Pan American games team, or achieving All-American status in NCAA Division I, clearly qualifies.