Dick Lombardi was a baseball standout at the high school, college and professional level, but he is best remembered for his long association with the Greater Akron AA League, spanning five decades as a player, manager, sponsor and administrator, Lombardi began playing in the AA league when he was still in high school at St. Mary. He also played two seasons at The University of Akron, before signing a pro contract with the Chicago White Sox. His best season in the minor leagues was in 1956, when he led the Northern League with a .337 average and 31 home runs. He returned to Akron after his minor-league career ended and resumed playing in the AA league. He led the Black Label team to eight championships during a 9-year span in the 1960s. He blasted seven home runs in the 1962 Ohio Stan Musial Tournament. He was a charter inductee into the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.