PRICE HILL – More than 70 years ago, a group of youngsters came together to play baseball. That group, now known as the Price Hill Baseball Oldtimers, began at Dempsey Park. As a way to continue the tradition, they began an annual dinner to induct new Hall of Fame members and recognize local high school student athletes from Western Hills, Oak Hills and Elder.
This year, on May 6 at The Farm, three students will receive the Andy Gallagher Award and six local, former athletes/coaches will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Gallagher was an original member of the Dempsey Park crew and the first inductee into the Hall of Fame in 1952. This year’s recipients of the Gallagher Award, which includes a $500 college scholarship, are Western Hills’ Laurene Darby, Oak Hills’ Jared Drewes and Elder’s Greg Cappel.
Cappel, an honor roll student, plays baseball at Elder, and he’s undecided on college. Darby, headed to the University of Akron, has starred in three sports (volleyball, basketball, track) for the Mustangs. Drewes is a baseball and basketball standout, and he’s headed to play baseball at Thomas More next year.
The Hall of Fame inductees are: Phil Brown, Dave Grawe, Mark Kneflin, Fred Meier, Ron Ott and Harry Tabler. Brown and Grawe are both being posthumously inducted.
Brown, a graduate of Western Hills and the University of Cincinnati, had successful baseball careers in high school and college. In 1994, Brown, who also taught in Cincinnati Public Schools for 30 years, began coaching baseball at Elder, and was on the staff for the school’s two most recent state titles (1999, 2005).
Grawe graduated from Elder where he played baseball and basketball. In 1966, Grawe was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round, and played four seasons in the minor leagues. Grawe was a retired Cincinnati Police officer.
Kneflin played football and baseball at Elder, then Xavier University. Kneflin went on to teach and coach at Newport Catholic High School from 1974 to 2009.
Meier was a West High graduate, where he was a diver, wrestler and played baseball and football. He went on to play baseball at Ohio University, then obtained his master’s degree from Xavier. After college, he began his coaching career, which ran for 30 years between Colerain, Northwest and Oak Hills.
Ott also graduated from West High where he was a dominant pitcher on the baseball team for a number of years.
Tabler played baseball at Elder on the 1973 state championship team. He went on to Ohio State where he was the starting catcher for four years. Tabler, a two-time MLB draft selection, still plays baseball in the Columbus Senior League.
Cincinnati Reds historian Greg Rhodes will be the guest speaker.