Richard G. Messner
A 1948 graduate of Ashland High School, Dick distinguished himself in the sports of basketball and baseball, with four varsity letters in each activity. District champions in basketball in 1946-47, he was named All-Ohio first team and repeated the honor his senior year on a C.E. Taylor coached team that won 20 and lost 2 games. Teammate Dave Burns made honorable mention All-Ohio that year, too.
Dick still holds the all-time record with 1,114 points in four years. He was chosen to play in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star game in 1948, in Middletown, Ohio.
Baseball saw a repeat of the All-Ohio honors as a pitcher and outfielder. At Wheaton College he was selected All-Conference in both baseball and basketball in 1951 and 1952, with a free throw percentage of 86.6 over four years. From 1952 to 1955 he played baseball under contract with the New York Giants organization, at Sioux City, Iowa.
An honor student in high school, Dick played four years in both band and orchestra, and was trumpet soloist in the All-Ohio Boys Band.
Dick coached both basketball and baseball at Grace College, was Director Athletics from 1955-1964, and taught in four areas through 1984, also serving as Director of Development for the college and seminary. Active in many civic activities, he served as president and on the board of directors of Rotary, United Way, Bakers Boys Club, and Christian Businessmen.
Since 1984 he has been associated with Ketchum, Inc., the largest fund raising organization in America and Canada, presently residing in North Carolina. A champion table tennis player in high school, Dick now keeps active with tennis and racquetball, and has a private pilot’s license.
Dick obtained two masters’ degrees and his wife Yvonne a P.E.D. degree as a professor in Physical Education Department at Ball State University. Their children are Michael Richard, Merilyn Yvonne, and Marlene Elizabeth.
Inducted into the Wheaton Crusader Hall of Honor in 1980, Dick joins his brother Max, an inductee in 1984, in the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame.
Nominator: Cloyce Taylor
Presenter: Howard Honaker