For the past 58 years, the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame has honored and inducted over 735 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 here.
Jack played tackle at Waynesburg College and appeared in the first televised game in U. S. history against Fordham at Randall’s Island, New York. He took a break from football, after graduation, to serve in the Army during World War II, rising to the rank of captain. He came home from the services to play football for the Pittsburgh Steelers and coaches Jock Sutherland and John Michelosen from 1946 to 1950.
He left the Steelers in 1951 to take the head coaching job at his alma mater Waynesburg College (now Waynesburg University). After a four-year record of 22-9-1 at Waynesburg he left to become an assistant at Pitt, where he is credited with his two star recruits Mike Ditka and Marty Schottenheimer. He left coaching in 1961 to take a sales position.
A four-year letterman at East Texas State, Dwight found football stardom in Western Pennsylvania and decided to make it his home. An outstanding defensive end, he was an original member of the famed "Steel Curtain" defense which defined the Steeler teams of the 70's. The team won four Super Bowls and he was named to the Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973. Dwight recorded the first Super Bowl safety when he trapped Fran Tarkenton in the end zone. Although one of the top pass rushers at the time, he twice intercepted two passes in one game. His NFL career lasted from 1971 until 1979 and he recorded a regular season sack total of 56.
A graduate of North Hills High School and Duquesne University
Covered high school sports for the Post Gazette since 1979 and was High School Sports Editor since 1985
Color Commentator for WPIAL football and basketball Championship games
Co-host of high school football radio show on the Fan and spot contributor to other radio sports talk shows
AAU and elementary school basketball coach for many years
Winner of writing and reporting awards; including Golden Quill, Keystone Press Award and others
A member of the North Hills High School Sports Hall of Fame and Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame
Mike is a graduate of Bethel Park High School where he captioned the 1964 undefeated football team. He went on to star at Wichita State as a three-year starter. His senior year effort brought him a captaincy and most valuable player honors. He coached high school football at Peters Township and Canon MacMillan and went on to hone his trade in college at Indiana University, Dayton, Northwestern, and TCU. In the NFL, he had been with the Colts for three years and the Dolphins for the past fifteen. The 1989 winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, he is currently the Dolphins Special Teams Coach.
Dr Charles F. West
Graduated from Washington High School where he lettered 4 years in both football and track. All WPIAL 3 years in football, Graduated from W&J, where he played all back field positions, defensive safety and punt returner. Quarterbacked W&J in 1922 Rose Bowl (0-0) tie with California, Won 1923 and 1924 U.S. Pentathlon at Penn Relays. Earned a position on 1924 U.S. Olympic Team. Voted America’s “Most Outstanding Athlete in 1923 for Football and Track”. Coached Howard University.
Ron has been Allegheny County’s outstanding horseshoe pitcher for 20 years with a record of 400 State and National Tournaments plus 10 world Tournaments. He was State Class Champion 23 times and doubles champion in 1999. He has been President of the Western Pennsylvania Horseshoe Pitchers Association since 1985 and state officer for the past 17 years. As a promoter of his sport, Ron is President of H.O.P.E. (Horseshoe of Pittsburgh Enterprises) owners of Pittsburgh’s first indoor pitching facility in Carnegie. He has been instrumental in the development of many state and national events. Ron was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Horseshoe Pitching Hall of Fame and is known within his sport as the “Father of Horseshoe Pitching in Pennsylvania.”
John is a graduate of Carrick High School and attended Indiana University where he played baseball for three years. He was signed as a free agent in 1988 and played 11 years with the Pirates and Marlins. He shares the Major League record of playing 99 consecutive errorless games at third base with Jeff Cirillo.
John hit the last home run in the history of Three Rivers Stadium on October 1, 2000 and also holds the dubious honor of making the last out in that game. He was a minor league coach for several years and joined the Pirate broadcast team in 2005, serving as an analyst on both radio and television.
George "Spider" Webb
A graduate of Westinghouse High School and Thiel College
Twenty four years as head football coach at Westing-house High School, 156 wins and 82 losses
Nine city championship games and five titles.
Seven Coach of the Year awards
Elected to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005
Inducted into Pittsburgh City League Sports Hall of Fame in 2014
Head track and field coach at Valley High School 2004-present
Dave R. Wannstedt
Baldwin High School: lettered football, basketball, track; senior year–All WPIAL 1st Team All State, selected Big 33. Scholarship to University of Pittsburgh: 3 year letterman, 3 year starter offensive tackle, Honorable Mention All East, selected North-South Football Game, Captained Senior year 1973 Fiesta Bowl Team. Drafted by Green Bay Packers. Inducted into Baldwin High School Hall of Fame. Has coached in 10 Bowl games, 1976 Sugar Bowl and 1987 Orange Bowl–National Champions. Coached for Pitt, Oklahoma State, USC, University of Miami, and Dallas Cowboys.
Lloyd James “Little Poison” Waner
Lloyd James Waner (March 16, 1906 – July 22, 1982) nicknamed “Little Poison,” was a big-league center fielder. His small stature at 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) and 132 pounds (68 kg) made him one of the smallest players of his era. Along with his brother, Paul Waner, he anchored the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield throughout the 1920s and 1930s. After brief stints with four other teams (Braves, Reds, Phillies, Dodgers) late in his career, Waner retired as a Pirate. Waner finished with a batting average over .300 in ten seasons. He earned a selection to the All-Star game in 1938. Lloyd with 2,459 hits and Paul Waner with 3,152 hits set the record for career hits by brothers in major league baseball. Lloyd was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1967. He worked as a scout for the Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles after retiring as a player.
Paul "Big Poison" Waner
Paul Waner (April 16, 1903 – August 29, 1965) nicknamed “Big Poison” was a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1926 through 1940 and with the Braves, Dodgers and Yankees to conclude his Hall of Fame career in 1945. A four time All Star (1933-35, 1937) and prolific hitter winning three National League batting championships collecting 3,152 career hits. Waner (3,152) and his younger brother, Lloyd (2,459), hold the career record for hits by brothers (5,611), outpacing the three Alou brothers (5,094): Felipe (2,101), Matty (1,777) and Jesús (1,216), and the three DiMaggio brothers (4,853): Joe (2,214), Dom (1,680) and Vince (959). For most of the period from 1927 to 1940, Paul patrolled right field at Forbes Field while Lloyd covered the ground next to him in center field. On September 15, 1938, the brothers hit back-to-back home runs against Cliff Melton of the New York Giants. The origin of the nicknames "Big Poison" and "Little Poison" that were given to Paul and his younger brother Lloyd, respectively, is from a game at the Polo Grounds during the 1927 season when a fan pronounced "person" as "poison" as he called out to the brothers. Paul was a finalist for the MLB All Century Team. An interesting sidenote on Waner was his astigmatism; he did not like wearing glasses on the field as it made the ball appear smaller and in focus, but without glasses the ball looked grapefruit sized. With the larger apparent size of the baseball, he was able to hit the center more often.
Joseph "Joe" Walton
A 60 year football career as a player, scout, and coach. Two-time All-American at the University of Pittsburgh, consensus in 1956. Played 8 years in the NFL for the Redskins and Giants. Following injury, scouted 4 seasons for the Giants. Coached professional and college football for 43 seasons. Assistant Coach for the Giants, Redskins, Jets, and Steelers during a 23-year stretch. Head coach of Jets, leading them to playoffs game twice in 7 seasons. Recently retired after a 20-year career football program founder and head coach at Robert Morris University, winning two division 1-AA National Championships and six Northeast Conference Titles.