O – H – I – O


Way to go, Ned and Sam !

Ohioans took note last weekend at the death of one of their own — former Major League Baseball pitcher and Ohio Baseball Hall of Famer Ned Garver. Ned graduated high school at Ney, Ohio, in 1943. All Ohioans know where Ney is located, right? Well…

Ned is one of two Ohioans to whom this post is dedicated today. The other recipient is a race car driver, from Defiance and Napoleon, Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish, Jr.

The common thread that binds these two time-honored Ohioans together can be summed up in one word: service.

While currently waiting for his next racing opportunity, Sam has been busy being a family man. He has two daughters and a son. He recently gave a suggestion to the school his two daughters attend. Have a dinner and program for fathers and daughters together, he offered; sponsored by the fathers, specifically to impress upon their daughters the facts of the right way a man should treat them when they become old enough to begin dating.

That is one awesome fatherly suggestion! The event was planned and held and was a smashing success! Applause goes to Sam and daughters and all the fathers and daughters who took part in this worthy event!

Ned also served his community, giving back to Ney as an elected mayor, a town council member, and a member of the town’s park board, after his return home in 1961.

As a major-leaguer, Ned recorded 20 wins in 1951 with the St. Louis Browns when his team lost over 100 games, and he remains the only ballplayer to achieve that distinction. In 14 years of Major League baseball, Ned constructed a stellar career with four different teams. He tossed 153 complete games and 18 shutouts overall, including 22 and 24 complete games in 1950 and 1951, respectively, with St. Louis. In 1951, Ned was the American League’s starting pitcher in the annual All Star game.

Ned’s success didn’t lead him away from his home area; rather, it brought him back to it. He worked the next 14 years after his baseball retirement for Dinner Bell Foods, Defiance. The company hired him as personnel director.

Defiance attorney Steve Hubbard described Ned in Mark Froelich’s column “Tributes Pour in for Ned Garver” published March 1, 2017, in the Defiance Crescent-News: “Ned was respected and admired by everyone who knew him.”

Others noted in Froelich’s column that Ned took time to sign autographs, serve officially in his little home town of Ney — nestled between Northwest Ohio’s Bryan and Defiance, and, yes, which actually had a high school once — and do good deeds for others, as well as to watch, instruct and encourage his area’s youngsters in their pursuit of playing at the major league baseball level.

The professional career successes of Ned and Sam have been noted numerous times, and it will continue to be so and to be well-deserved.

But their best successes have been achieved on the humankind playing field. They both are examples of how success should be handled and redistributed.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


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