For the past 59 years, the Pa Sports Hall of Fame has honored and inducted over 745 incredible men and women who have made a lasting impact in Pennsylvania through extraordinary athletic achievement and contributions. Whether these activities have been achieved on or off the field, we honor them. And through our future virtual museum we will educate and celebrate their achievements for years to come.
DeBenneville "Bert" Bell
Bell played football at the University of Pennsylvania, where as Quarterback, he led his team to an appearance in the 1917 Rose Bowl. After being drafted into the U S Army during World War II, he returned to complete his collegiate career at Penn and remained on to become an assistant coach with the Quakers in the 1920s. During the Depression, he was an assistant coach for the Temple Owls and was a co-founder and co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. He led the way in the establishment of the NFL Draft and became
sole proprietor of the Eagles. He eventually sold the club and bought a share of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After the war, he was elected NFL Commissioner. He implemented a pro-active gambling policy, negotiated a merger with the AAFC and crafted the entire league schedule to enhance the dramatic
effect of late season matches, enforced a rule to black out local TV broadcast to safeguard ticket receipts and unilaterally recognized the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association). Bert Bell was elected to the National Football League Hall of Fame In the 1963 Charter Class.
Roy Campanella a native of Philadelphia played in the Negro Leagues and the Mexican League for nine years before entering the minor leagues in 1946. He made his Major League Baseball debut in 1948 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, for whom he played until 1957. He retired in 1958 after being paralyzed in an automobile accident in January, 1958. Campy was widely considered one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game. For his career he batted ,276, with 242 home runs and 856 RBIs. He was inducted into the Baseball hall of Fame in 1969.
Charles Robinson "Chick" Davies
Chick Davies served as the head men’s basketball coach at Duquesne University from 1924 -1948, compiling a record of 314 – 106. His teams played in one NCAA Tournament and three National Invitation Tournament. He led Duquesne to the 1940 NCAA Final Four as well as the 1940 NIT championship game, where the Dukes lost to Colorado.
James Joseph "Jimmy" Dykes
Jimmy Dykes played in Major League Baseball as a third and second baseman from 1918 through 1939. Most notably as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics dynasty that won three consecutive American League pennants from 1929 to 1931 and won the World Series in 1929 and 1930.
Jimmy started his major league career in 1918 and served in the wartime Army before reporting back to baseball in 2019. He remained with the Athletics for the next fourteen seasons. He was a league leader in home runs in 1921 and 1922 and batted .312, .323, .324 in 1924, 1925, 1927. He was named team MVP in 1924.
In 1933 he was traded to the Chicago White Sox as Connie Mack was paring expenses. He played his final six- seasons with the White Sox After his playing career, Dykes became the winningest manager In Chicago White Sox history with 899 victories over 13 seasons, even though his team never finished above third place; he later became the first manager in history to win 1,000 games without capturing a league pennant. Over the next 18 years Dykes had short stints as a manager or coach for 9 different major league teams. His managerial record was 1,406 wins and 1,541 losses.
James Emory "Jimmie" Foxx
Jimmie Foxx played soccer, track and baseball at Sudlersville High School, excelling at all three sports. He joined the Class D Easton Farmers minor league team with the hope of being a pitcher, but since the team was short of catchers he moved behind the plate.He immediately drew interest from the A’s and the Yankees. Foxx Signed with the A’s and made his major league debut in May, 1925 at the age of 17 and still a junior year in high school. In 1929 he was installed as their regular first baseman and Foxx had a breakout year, batting .354 and hitting 33 home runs. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. In 1932, Foxx hit .364, with 58 home runs and 169 RBIs, just missing the Triple Crown by three points. Foxx did win the Triple Crown the following season; with a batting
average of .356. hitting 48 home runs and 163 RBIs. He won back-to-back MVP honors in 1932 and 1933. Connie Mack continued to breakup his high- priced stars and in 1936 sent Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox for $150,000. He played 6 seasons for Boston, including 1938 when he batted .349, had 50
home runs, 175 RBIs and won his third MVP award. He finished his career with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, as his skills diminished Foxx 20 year career numbers were outstanding with a .325 batting Average, 534 home runs, 1,922 RBIs, 1,751 runs scored, 2,646 hits, 458 doubles. 125 triples and 1,252 bases on balls. Many were records to be broken in the live ball era of baseball. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.
Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove
Lefty grew up the son of a coal miner in Lonaconing, Maryland. He was a sandlot star in the Baltimore area during the 2010s and didn’t play organized baseball until he was 19 years old. In 1920 he made his professional debut with the Martinsburg Mountaineers of the Class D Blue Ridge League. In six games
he pitched 59 innings with an era of 1.68. He caught the eye of Jack Dunn owner/manager of the minor league Baltimore Orioles. He broke into their starting rotation at midseason and had a 12-2 record the rest of the way . Grove posted marks of 25-10, 18-8, 27-10, 26-6 and led the International League is strike outs each season. He helped the Orioles run their League Titles streak to six. Dunn finally agreed to sell
Grove’s rights to Connie Mack for $100,600 a record at the time.
Lefty battled injuries his first year with the Athletics and despite the injuries he won 10 games and led the league in strikeouts. In 1926 he won the first of a record nine straight earned run average (ERA) Titles with a mark of 2.51. In 1927, Grove won 20 games for the first time and in 1927 raised that to 24. The Athletics won the AL pennant from 1929 to 1931 and consecutive World Series Championships in 1929 and 1930. During this run, Grove was the the league’s top pitcher posting records of 20-6, 28-5, 31-4. In 1931, he led the league in ERA (2.06), strikeouts (175), Winning percentage, complete games, shutouts and earned the League’s MVP award.
In 1933 Connie Max trade Grove and two others to the Boston Red Sox in A three for three and cash deal. Grove got off to another slow start with his new club but came back to post a 14-4 record in 1938 and 15-4 in 1939 along with taking the ERA Title four times between 1935 and 1939. “Lefty” Grove retired after the 1941 season with a career record of 300-141. He was inducted into the Athletics Wall and Red Sox Hall of Fame and named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team. Grove was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
Hinkle was widely regarded by teammates and opponents alike As one of the toughest, most talented and dedicated players of the “Iron Man Era” which covered the first three decades of pro football. A contemporary of the Chicago Bears’ legendary Bronko Nagurski, Hinkle was 4 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter, but just as tough. In an era when players doubled on offense and defense he was everything a team desired in a back; versatile, a rugged line smasher, with breakaway speed, a capable passer, punter and placekicker and a devastating tackler on defense. He was considered by many as the greatest Packer ever. In college he led Bucknell to a 20-5-3 record over three seasons. He became a Packer fan and accepted Lambeau’s offer of $125 a game over others from the Giants, Portsmouth and Boston. In all, Hinkle played in 114 games, started 82 and missed only 5 games in 10 seasons for the Packers. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1942 and did not return to the Packers following World War II. He was inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame In 1972
William Marshall "Bill" Hollenback
Bill graduated from Blue Bell High School in Phillipsburg. He went to the University of Pennsylvania wjere he became one of the schools most renowned football player from 1904 to 1908, he played end in 2004, sat out the 2005 season with a broken leg and return to play fullback in 2006 to 2008. He was an All-American Fullback in each of those years. In 2008 he was captain of the undefeated Penn team that was named national champion. Hollenback received a degree n dentistry at Penn, but opted to become a football coach. He served as the head coach at Penn State (1909, 1911-1914), University of Missourt (1910), Pennsylvania Military College (1915) and Syracuse (1916). His coaching record was 46-19-8.
Connellsville native John Lujack is considered one of the greatest T-formation collegiate quarterbacks of all time. But there was a time when Lujack doubted his ability to get a scholarship and play major college football.
The 1947 Heisman Trophy winner played college football for the University of Notre Dame, and professionally for the Chicago Bears. He was the first of several successful quarterbacks who hailed from Western Pennsylvania. Others include Pro Football Hall of Fame members Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Joe Montana and George Blanda.
“In my senior year of high school (1941), they named four All-State teams in Pennsylvania and I didn't make any of the four teams,” Lujack recalled.
“I did make All-County, but then, as my good friend and Notre Dame teammate Creighton Miller liked to say, ‘I understand that your high school was the only one in the county.' That wasn't true, but it did make people laugh.
“Honestly, I didn't think I was good enough to get a scholarship to attend Notre Dame. I told people that if I could just make the traveling squad in my junior or senior year, I could probably come back to Connellsville, run for mayor and win it hands down.”
Lujack played for a couple of pretty good teams during his high school playing days with the Cokers.
“I remember that we had an awfully good team in 1941. We were tied the last game of the season against Brownsville or we would have gone on into the playoffs,” Lujack said. “That was a big disappointment to us, but we really had a nice team. We had Wally Schroyer at fullback and Dave Hart at halfback and Dick Pitzer, who eventually went to West Point and was captain of the Army team. I played against him in the 1946 Army-Notre Dame game. I think back to those days many, many times and eventually I get a clipping of some sort and I remember this clipping said that I ran for two touchdowns of over 70 yards against Mt. Pleasant and I don't remember that at all.”
Lujack played for Art Ruff at Connellsville and holds him in high esteem.
“He was a very strong fundamentalist,” Lujack offered. “He was a really fine coach and he was always for the players. If you wanted a good high school coach that would coach my son, I would want it to be Art Ruff.”
When he graduated from Connellsville, Lujack sifted through some college offers and enrolled at Notre Dame in 1942.
“Henry Opperman was a strong athletic supporter of Connellsville and for some reason he thought that I could go on to college,” Lujack recalled. “I was getting offers from Pitt and Duke and other schools. Opperman got hold of a guy named Fritz Wilson in Pittsburgh and he was kind of responsible for Notre Dame scouting in and around the Pittsburgh area. Eventually I went out to Notre Dame for a tryout and after I had the tryout, about a day or two later, I received a scholarship, which really kind of surprised me, because I didn't really think that I was good enough to make a Notre Dame team. I said to my parents and my brothers and sisters, ‘If I can make the traveling squad at Notre Dame my junior or senior year, I will be happy and feel that I had a successful career.’”
Lujack was off the mark in his assessment of his abilities.
He took over at quarterback for Notre Dame as a sophomore in 1943 when Angelo Bertelli joined the Marines and he ended up helping the Irish to three national titles and establishing a reputation as one of the great signal-callers in college football history.
In his initial start versus Army in '43, he threw for two scores, ran for another and intercepted a pass in a 26-0 victory. Lujack spent most of the next three years in the U.S. Navy, but returned in time to earn consensus All-America honors as a junior and senior on Notre Dame teams in ‘46 and '47 that did not lose a game.
Lujack won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1947.
“As you look back now, you say, ‘Boy that's something,’” Lujack stated. “In 1947, I was the 13th Heisman winner. It really didn't have the publicity and the hoopla that you have going on today. I was told after the Southern Cal game in 1947 that I won the Heisman Trophy and I was really very surprised, because I wasn't after any individual stuff. Now it really means an awful lot when somebody says John was an All-American at Notre Dame and that doesn't grab them, but then if they add 'and he was a Heisman Trophy winner,’ it grabs their attention.”
Lujack was a No. 1 draft choice of the Chicago Bears, and in four busy seasons, he twice was All-Pro, once on defense and then on offense.
He also was the Bears' extra-point kicker and led the NFL in scoring one season, all for a top seasonal salary of $20,000.
One of Lujack's big highlights with the Bears occurred on December 11, 1949 when he passed for 468 yards and six touchdowns in a 52-21 shellacking of the Chicago Cardinals. The 468 passing yards is a Bear record that still stands today.
When Bernie Crimmins left Frank Leahy's staff in 1952, Lujack was hired as his replacement at Notre Dame.
After Leahy resigned in January of 1954, Lujack had mild aspirations for the head-coaching job, but when it went to Terry Brennan, he returned to the Chicago area and his insurance business.
In 1948, Lujack married Patricia Schierbrock of Davenport, Iowa, a girl he had met with a little urging from Leahy's secretary, Snub Pollard. Pat's father, Frank, had retired from a Chrysler Company dealership in Davenport, but he long had desired a Chevrolet agency.
When he approached Lujack as a partner, they went into business and the Lujack’s were home in the Davenport area for the next 45 years.
Now 96 years old (in 2021) and retired, he is currently the oldest living recipient of the Heisman Trophy., Lujack lives in Iowa during the summer and California during the winter.
Lujack was elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1960 and remains close to the Notre Dame scene.
Edward Everett "Hooks" Mylin
Mylin attended Franklin & Marshall College where he played quarterback and graduated in 2016. He began his coaching career at Massanutten Military and several years as an assistant at Iowa State. He served as the head coach at Lebanon Valley College (1923-1933), Bucknell University (1934-1936, Lafayette College (1937-1942, 1946) and New York University (1947-1949). He compiled a career college football coaching record of 99-95-17. Edward was also the head basketball coach at Lebanon Valley from 1923-1934 and the head baseball coach at Bucknell from 1935 to1937. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a Coach in 1974.
Frank "Butch" Snyder
Frank “Butch” Snyder was the oldest of eight children born to German parents in Erie, PA He began working in bowling alleys in the early 1900’s. In 1918, he bowled his first tourney at age 31 and went on to maintain a 192 average while competing in ABC competition for 42 years. He and Mike Flick captured the 1927 ABC doubles title. Butch was a member of three state Championship teams. He was a popular lane manager and was proprietor of the Commodore Bowling Alley in Erie for many years. In November, 1965, at the age of 78, he was recognized as a PA State All-Star. Butch finished his ABC career with an average of 190.83 in 46 years of competition.
Christy "Matty" Mathewson
About This Inductee:
• Factoryville native
• Keystone Academy (1895) and Bucknell University-baseball
• 1898 with Taunton, Mass. of New England League
• 1899 with Southern League’s Norfolk, Virginia team
• Won 20 games as rookie with New York Giants in National Baseball League
• 1905 shut out Philadelphia Athletics 3 times in one week in World Series
• 1908 beat previous endurance records, pitching 425 innings, winning 37 games
• Helped Giants win 5 National League Pennants
• Played in World Series in 1905, 1911-1913
• Holds record for most consecutive innings pitched (68) without walking a batter
• Pitched two no hitters, and 83 shutouts
• At retirement, he held/shared parts of 57 individual, club and league records
• Managed Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants, president of the Boston Braves
• 1936 inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY
• Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1965
Chris as born on August 17, 1880 in Factoryville, PA. Christy’s baseball career spanned over 27 years. Christy began pitching at the age 13 for his hometown team in Factoryville. He earned his first money playing baseball for Mill City, PA in 1895. He entered Keystone Academy in 1895, where he played baseball for the college. After graduating in 1898, he continued his education at Bucknell University, where he made a name for himself in football as well as baseball. Christy signed a contract to play with Taunton, Massachusetts, of the New England League of $90. per month in 1898. The next year, Christy signed a contract with the Southern League’s Norfolk, Virginia team in October of 1899.
The following year he became a member of the New York Giants of the National Baseball League. Christy won 20 games as a 21-year-old New York Giant rookie. His most famous trick pitch was the “Fadeaway.” In 1905, he shut out the Philadelphia Athletics three times within one week during the World Series, scoring his greatest baseball triumph. In 1908, he beat all previous records for endurance by pitching 425 innings, winning 37 games and only losing 11. Christy helped the Giants win five National League Pennants and was in the World Series in 1911, 1912 and 1913, as well as the championship year of 1905. He pitched 16 seasons for the Giants. Christy holds the record for most consecutive innings pitched (68) without walking a baser; he pitched two no hitters-one against St. Louis in 1901 and another against Chicago in 1905. He pitched 83 shutouts in his career. Christy also ranks in the top ten of the all-time strikeout list.
At the time of his retirement, Christy held or shared parts of 57 individual, club and league records. Mathewson’s marks in the record books continue to this day. On his retirement in 1916, Christy began managing the Cincinnati Reds. On August 28, 1918, he left to serve his country in World War I as a captain of the Western Front, where he was hit by a whiff of poison gas. Upon his return from the war, Christy coached the New York Giants from 1919 through 1921. In 1922, Christy became president of the Boston Braves until his untimely death from tuberculosis in both lungs on October 7, 1925. Mathewson was inducted posthumously to baseball’s inaugural class of the Hall of Fame in 1936, with 205 votes of 226 ballots cast (90.71%). Today there is a permanent exhibit dedicating to Christy Mathewson at Keystone College in LaPlume, PA.