Jack Purtell, Sr.
Jack grew up in Painesville, Ohio and was a star athlete at Harvey High School.
Although he started his college at Baldwin-Wallace College, Jack transferred to Ashland College where he again played a starring role in Eagle athletics.
He was captain of the baseball and basketball teams and led George Donges’ super baseball nine in 1954 with a brilliant .411 batting average. This team is still regarded as the most outstanding in AC baseball annals. Purtell was a catcher, pitcher, and first baseman on that squad.
In basketball, Purtell was twice All-Ohio as he set Ashland College marks with 18 consecutive free throws, highest points average per game in a season, and snared 32 rebounds in one contest.
While serving in the United States Army, Purtell’s team captured the Army World Series. Jack’s throw from left field was considered the play of the series.
After a stint at Black River High School as football coach, Purtell joined the Faultless Rubber softball team and played with the Rubbermen for 12 years.
He was an outstanding performer, hitting over .300 as he caught and played first base. In 1968, he was voted to the Amateur Softball Association All-World Team.
Jack also managed Faultless for two years and on the links captured the Brookside Golf Course Championship.
A fierce competitor, Purtell always looked for an edge.
“My mother raised three boys by herself in tough times,” Purtell noted. “Athletics gave me a chance to excel.”
He credits Bill Miller with luring him to Faultless and playing on the first Ashland team to win the state championship.
“I’ll always remember playing in the national championship and the smallest city represented was Ashland,” Purtell remarked. “We really battled and finished third in the nationals.”
Nominator: Dean Sterling
Presenter: Tom Gaus