Athletics Hall of Honor Class of 1998 Announced

Oct. 5, 1998

Robert "Whitey" Baun '72
"Whitey" Baun distinguished himself as one of the great players during one of Wittenberg's greatest football eras.

In 1971 Baun had a stellar senior season as he was a second team All-America pick by Associated Press and most valuble defensive player in the Ohio Athletic Conference as a linebacker. He also served as a team captain and most valuable player. During his four-year career, the Tigers compiled a 30-7 record including the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl championship in 1969. A three-year starter, Baun was a the defensive signal caller for the Tigers' undefeated teams of 1969 and 1970.

Off the field, Baun was a winner as well. He carried a 3.5 grade point average as a sociology major and was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. During his summer months Baun worked with emotionally disturbed children.

Now a resident of Manchester, Mass. Baun is married to Becky and they have two children, Max and Willie.

He will be presented for induction by his brother, Bill, a 1970 Wittenberg graduate who was a member of the Tiger swimming team.

Roberta "Robbie" Blumenshine '78
Roberta "Robbie" Blumenshine was a standout athlete who participated in field hockey and softball while at Wittenberg. But her contributions to the university went well beyond the athletic field as the Denver, Pa. native was involved in a number of campus activities.

She was a member of Shifters, Alpha Xi Delta sorority, Wittenberg University Student Education Association and Women's Recreation Association.

Now a resident of the Columbus area, Blumenshine is a claims representative with Indiana Insurance.

She will be presented for induction by her former coach and mentor, Betty Dillahunt.

Jim Osborne '67
One of two baseball standouts to be inducted this year, Jim Osborne also played basketball while in a Tiger uniform. He was named most valuable player in basketball in 1966 and in 1967 he was picked second team All-America as a pitcher.

Known as the "Wizard of Oz", he was named most valuable player of both the basketball and baseball teams, a rare accomplishment. In addition he was a co-captain for two years in basketball and one in baseball.

In baseball Osborne compiled a career record of 14-2 with an earned run average of 1.09. His senior year he had an ERA of 0.55 and threw a no-hitter against Denison and did not allow a hit in the last 15 2/3 innings of his career.

In basketball he lettered two years and after graduation served as an assistant coach under Eldon Miller for two more years.

Aside from his athletic endeavors, Osborne was a member of Shifters and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

For 21 years he has taught at Gallia Academy High School and for 19 of them he has been head basketball coach compiling a 379-250 career record and earning seven Coach of the Year honors. He also coached baseball for 10 years, tennis for three and track for one.

He is married to Jennifer and he has two children, Tige and Tia.

He will be presented for induction by Eldon Miller '61.

Wittenberg Memories...
"Without question the leadership of the academic and athletic staff of Wittenberg instilled in me a work ethic and persistent attitude that carries me through my teaching and coaching every single day. Eldon Miller, Bob Hamilton, Howard Maurer, Davey Maurer, Gary Tranquill, Bill Edwards and Betty Dillahunt were major influences in my daily planning and living. Being coached by Eldon and Bob instilled confidence and an attitude that success can be garnered by outworking and being more mentally tough than those around you. 'Red' Maurer thoroughly enjoyed life and the day-to-day pursuit of the perfect athletic or coaching moment.. Most of all I enjoyed and still enjoy the great athletes and people that i was fortunate to be around as a player. However talented we were we knew that each of us must do our part so that the ultimate would happen. We still look at each other with that special "Wittenberg Pride."

Roger Rossi '43
Roger Rossi was another in a long line of standouts from a group which comprised the famed 1940 undefeated Tiger football team. Unfortunately Rossi suffered a broken leg in the first game of his senior year, but that did not diminish what was an outstanding career in a Tiger uniform.

He transfered to Wittenberg from Ohio State where he attended for two quarters and was a member of the freshman football team.

At Wittenberg, Rossi played center and linebacker. In his junior season Rossi was chosen by Associated Press as the outstanding center in Ohio and was named honorary captain of the All-Ohio Athletic Conference team.

After graduating from Wittenberg Rossi started his coaching and teaching career at Marion Harding and Urbana high schools, then entered private industry. Upon 27 years of service he was honored by the department of the Air Force with a Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Rossi, a Springfield resident, and his wife Elaine have three children: Susan Rastetter, Elizabeth Martin and Roger Jr., a 1967 Wittenberg graduate who will present his father.

Wittenberg Memories...
"As a youngster I watched many Wittenberg football games and tried to emulate Bill Edwards' and Willis Baughman's football skills and their stellar performances. Thomas Rankin, who earned all-star recognition in football and all-conference honors in basketball encouraged and helped me enter Wittenberg. President Rees Edgar Tulloss took time to visit me in the hospital when I broke my leg and later approved my need for a student loan to finance my last semester before graduating in 1943. Professor Patmos' electrifying lectures in economics aroused my interest in the business world."

Sheila Simon '83
Sheila Simon ranks as perhaps the greatest female track and field athlete in Wittenberg history and set a standard for other Tiger athletes to aim toward.

In 1982 she became the first women's track athlete to earn All-America honors by winning the high jump at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national meet and as a senior she finished third in the first-ever NCAA Division III women's track and field championship.

A summa cum laude graduate, Simon received a coveted NCAA Posgraduate Scholarship which goes to only the finest student-athletes in college sports and was selected to the Academic All-America team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Outside of her exploits on the track, Simon was president of Wittenberg's student senate and received the M. Alice Geiger Award for her outstanding contributions to the university community.

After graduating from Wittenberg she received her law degree from Georgetown University and is now an assistant state's attorney in Jackson County, Mich.

She and her husband, Perry Knop, have two children, Reilly and Brennan.

She will be presented for induction by Gerry Hudson, professor of political science at Wittenberg.

Wittenberg Memories...
"Wittenberg was a fantastic opportunity to explore options, both academic and extra-curricular. I grew a great deal at Wittenberg. I had professors who challenged me. Among my favorites were Dr. George Hudson, Dr. Richard Flickinger, Dr. Joe O'Connor and Dr. Elizabeth Brinkman. I also learned a great deal from my friend and rommmate Janet Thompson."

Arthur Thomas '75
Wittenberg Memories...
"Wittenberg prepared me for life in the real world. It taught me to deal with people, how to relate and get along with others. Most importantly it taught me teamwork. My professors and my coaches taught me that you have to work hard for the things that you want out of life. Nothing comes easy, never give up and always try to help someone else if you can."

Milton Thompson '76
The second of two baseball greats to be inducted in the year's class, Milt Thompson is unquestionably deserving of the honor due to his accomplishments on the diamond. In addition, he remains one of Wittenberg's most fervent boosters and loyal alumni.

Thompson was selected a first team All-America as a designated hitter in 1976.
He hit .373, seventh in the Ohio Athletic Conference, and was third in stolen bases with .69 per game. He also ranked among the nation's leaders in home runs per game. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles.

Also at Wittenberg he was a residence hall advisor and a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity among a host of other activities and was a Dean's List student.
A member of Wittenberg's Board of Directors, he resides in Indianapolis, Ind. where he is a civic leader and professional icon.

He is general partner in The Grand Slam Companies, a sports and entertainment management consulting and licensing firm. Indianapolis Monthly magazine ranked Thompson as one of the top lawyers in Indianapolis.

He is a trustee of the Indianapolis Foundation and one of the founders of the Indiana Amateur Baseball Association. Thompson served as general counsel and vice president of corporate development to the organizing committee of the 10th Pan-American Games held in Indianapolis in 1987.

Thompson and wife, Susan, have one child, Macey.

Wittenberg Memories...
"Along with parents, Wittenberg provided me the value-based foundation necessary for professional, personal and spiritual growth. Among those I remember most fondly are Professor Robert O. Long, Dr. Joe Bindley, Dr. Jeffrey Mao, and baseball teammates Greg Murphy, Quincy Landingham, Doug Moore and J.J. Jackson."

Elsa Krott Wertz '72
Elsa Krott Wertz was a standout field hockey and lacrosse star during her collegiate days at Wittenberg.

In field hockey she started every game during her career as a center halfback and was chosen to play on various regional all-star teams and was a captain as a senior.

In addition she was a pioneer in lacrosse, playing on the first varsity squad in 1972.
Away from the playing fields, Wertz was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and president of Panhellenic Council.

Wertz, who received a mster's degree in education from Temple University, is a fifth grade teacher in the Conrad Weiser Area School District.

She and her husband, John who reside in Robesonia, Pa. have two daughters, Annie and Mary.

Wittenberg Memories...
"Professionally many of the concepts I learned during my years at Wittenberg I use now, although they have been renamed or slightly reworked. Personally I attended during difficult social and political times and I graduated with strong values developed through my friendships and association with various staff members. Friends included Maggie Brandson, Nancy Archer Pappoon, Dora Fitsimmons Daniluk, Mary Spencer, Connie Wakeland McKee. Professors I remember most include Dean Heimtraut Dietrich, Dr. Robert Hartje and Betty Dillahunt. Wittenberg handled controversy straight-on. Faculty, administration and students would gather in the Union for informal discussions after major events."