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Milan Zban

Youngstown native Milan Zban is best remembered as a notable sportswriter for many of the newspapers in the area, which included the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Youngstown Vindicator and the Akron Beacon Journal. For some 40 years Zban roamed Northeast Ohio plying his journalism trade while covering the area high school and college sports programs. However, not many are aware that prior to banging out stories on his typewriter, Zban had an outstanding athletic career in military, collegiate and minor league baseball circles. Just two days out of Youngstown East High School in 1950, he left for Sanford , FL, as a signee of the New York Giants. That promising minor league career and excellent spring training effort abruptly came to a halt, however, when Zban tore up an ankle sliding into second base. Well, if his professional baseball career seemed to be over, there still were several colleges interested in his athletic prowess. The fall of 1950 found him at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where he would be a two-sport star. Zban , a strapping 6-3, 223 pounds, would earn four letters in baseball, playing at first base, and he lettered three seasons at both offensive and defensive tackle in football. His highest collegiate honor came his senior season in baseball when he batted .348 with seven home runs and 29 runs batted in. The Giants, who had followed him throughout his college career, came calling again and signed him to minor league Class A contract. In 1956 Zban was assigned to Johnstown, PA. Later he played for Michigan City, IN of the Midwest League. Milan proudly recalls that he got his first home run as a pro off Tracy Stallard, the pitcher who in 1961 would surrender Roger Maris' record-breaking 61st homerun. "I guess that's my only claim to fame," said Zban, who resides in Hartville with his wife, Pat.

Inducted 2000 | Baseball