Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back for the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers, will be honored by the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at its 29th Annual Induction Ceremony and Dinner, Sunday, May 15, 5 p.m., at Congregation Beth Shalom.
Harris will receive the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame’s Manny Gold Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work for youth education.
An integral part of the Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls, Harris also became known for his philanthropic work, particularly with the Pittsburgh Promise, a foundation-backed program that ensures college funding for high school students.
“Franco is one of the greatest athletes our city has ever produced, and he has used his legendary stature to open doors for others willing to work hard to achieve their dreams.” Hall of Fame President Arnie Reichbaum said in a prepared statement.
In addition to Harris, 26 scholar-athletes will be recognized at the banquet and three will be awarded college scholarships. The hall of fame also will honor Jewish former athletes who went on to impact the community through their careers or philanthropic efforts.
The honorees include Herb Goldstein, recipient of the Ziggy Kahn Award for his work in expanding 14th Ward Little League baseball, and Nelson Goldberg, a sports telecommunications pioneer who will be recognized posthumously.
A New Kensington native, Goldberg in 1968 developed the first cable system in western Pennsylvania and the largest independently owned television production company in the
country, which offered the first pay-per-view broadcast of a sporting event.
Tournament bowler Robert Alman, track and field contributor Mark Schwartz, Point Park College (now Point Park University) baseball standout Jack Sable and Dr. Stuart Kline, a University of Pittsburgh football player and Pitt Varsity Letterman inductee, also will be recognized.
Visit thejewishchronicle.net in the Style section to view the complete profiles of the inductees.
Call Alan Mallinger at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 272 for tickets, which can also be purchased at the door.
The hall of fame will honor the following Jewish former athletes who have made an impact on the community through their careers or philanthropic efforts.
Ziggy Kahn Award
Before 1971 there was only one little league organization in Squirrel Hill. Considering the 14th Ward had a population of around 45,000 people, with only 180 boys able to play, you must realize how many boys they turned down each year who wanted to play little league baseball. They didn’t have the field space to accept any more players, turning down around 150 boys a year. For most of these boys it was a heartbreaking experience.
Enter Herb Goldstein, who lived in Squirrel Hill. Goldstein knew there was a City Parks softball field built in the mid-’60s that was correctly proportioned for little league at Frick Park on Beechwood Boulevard, complete with grass outfield, fences and dirt infield; it even had stands where people could watch the games. It was the perfect solution to the problem of not enough space for too many kids.
There was only one problem, a sign reading “No Hardball Allowed.”
Upset that there was a field available and the fact that half the boys in the area were denied the chance to play little league baseball, Goldstein campaigned, sometimes daily, against parks administrators, politicians and athletic programmers until they listened, and the Frick Park field was made available to Squirrel Hill youth. Although the other league had tried for five years to obtain use of the field it was always denied.
Goldstein, along with Rick Cohen, Chuck Cooper of Duquesne University basketball fame and St. Philomena Parish, obtained the use of the field and organized an entire new little league program, promising baseball to all boys, and eventually girls, who lived in the area. Within two years, the field was renovated, lights for night play were installed, dugouts were built and seeds were sown for what became the 14th Ward Baseball for Boys.
Through the efforts of Goldstein and his friends, boys would never have to hear that they were cut from the team — very hard for both parent and child alike. Fourteenth Ward Baseball for Boys did not turn away anyone as long as they followed the rules of fair play and were age appropriate. The Squirrel Hill community is thankful to Goldstein for his efforts.
Dr. Stuart Kline
Dr. Stuart N. Kline was born in Johnstown, in 1931. His father, Dr. Harry Kline, a dentist, was an avid golfer, basketball and baseball player who coached basketball at the local YMHA.
Kline attended Westmont Upper Yoder High School where he lettered in basketball, baseball, track and football. In his senior year, Mike Milligan, head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, recruited him to play football.
Kline came to Pitt in 1949 as a National Merit Scholar. Combined with his football scholarship, he graduated within seven years with his bachelor’s degree as well as his doctor of dental surgery degree from the dental school. Kline’s post-graduate work, also completed at Pitt, was in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Although his intellectual achievements served him well, it was as a Pitt offensive lineman that he made his name in college. Kline started on the freshman football team in 1949 and quickly joined the varsity squad, where he played center and long snapper in a single wing offense. During the early ’50s he was coached by some of Pitt’s finest: Len Casanova, Tom Hamilton, and Red Dawson. It was in the 1952 season that the Panthers crushed the nationally ranked Notre Dame team as well as beating Iowa, Army, Indiana, North Carolina State and Ohio State.
Kline finished his four years of eligibility in 1952, but continued with Pitt football as an assistant coach for the freshman football team while completing dental school and his residency. He completed his training in 1955 and joined the oral surgery practice of Sydney Spatz and Harold Zubrow. He practiced at many hospitals in the Pittsburgh area, most notably Montefiore Hospital where he made earned a reputation as both an educator and a surgeon.
Desiring to return to academia, Kline joined the University of Miami School of Medicine as an associate professor of surgery and became chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the Department of Surgery in 1970. As a trauma surgeon, he built one of the premier centers in the country for training in OMS. He educated more than 100 residents in 35 years, many from the Pittsburgh area. During his tenure at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Kline pioneered many new procedures, becoming an innovator in his field. He also merged his love of sports with his practice of OMS and became a member of the medical team that supported the University of Miami Hurricanes football team.
Kline was inducted into the Pitt Varsity Letterman of Distinction for his accomplishments both on and off the field. He later established a scholarship at Pitt, which supports a scholar athlete on the football team that plays the center position. He retired in 2007 and returned to Pittsburgh where he now resides.
Married to Frani Zimmerman Kline and Clara Jeanne Cooper Kline, he has three children Aaron Kline, Jani Singer and Debra Demchak and five grandchildren, Emily, Sam, Tyler, Jack and Sydney.
Track & Field Contributor
Mark Schwartz is a graduate of Peabody High School and Washington & Jefferson College. He continued his education at The University of Pittsburgh and Penn State-McKeesport.
Schwartz started as a track and field contributor almost 43 years ago in the summer of 1968 as an assistant coach for the City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation. He secured his first coaching job in 1974 as an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Pittsburgh Central Catholic. From 1984 to 85 he was the head coach at Hilltop YMCA and from 1985 to 1987 an assistant coach at Fox Chapel High School. Also, in 1985, he became the head coach and president of the Striders International of Pittsburgh, Track Club (cross country, track and field and road racing). From 1988 to 1992 he volunteered as an assistant coach for the Wilkinsburg High School track and field and cross-country teams. In 1992 he became the head cross-country coach at St. Francis Academy.
Schwartz became the head juniors’ coach for the U.S.A. World Maccabiah Games track and field team in 1993 and the assistant coach for Pitt’s men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country teams in 1994 and 1995. In 1997 he was the assistant coach for the Montour High School track and field team. In 2000 he became the assistant coach for the Western Pennsylvania Track Club — a position he still holds today.
In 2004, Schwartz became the head coach for the Fox Chapel High School cross-country team.
He is a USATF level one certified coach and master official and PIAA official and is the vice president of the Fort Pitt Chapter PIAA Track and Field Officials.
He was named the 2000 volunteer of the year for the West Penn Track Club and in 2010 was nominated for the Pennsylvania High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Schwartz has coached many high school, junior national, national scholastic All Americans plus a NCAA Division I National Cross Country qualifier and Academic All American, AAU and USATF Junior Olympic national champions and medalists, along with World Maccabiah Games Junior Medalists including a sweep of the men’s 800 and 1500 meter medals. He has been a meet director for three regional Youth Maccabiahs in Pittsburgh as well as many other events. Schwartz is also the USATF Three Rivers Association Men’s and Women’s Open and Masters Track and Field chairman.
Jack Sable is a Squirrel Hill resident, a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School and Point Park College.
He pitched at Taylor Allderdice from 1963 to 1965 and for Point Park College from 1966 to 1969. While at Allderdice, he pitched for the legendary coach Anthony “Peppy” Giovane, who called Sable his go-to pitcher. Although he was only a junior, in 1965 Sable was named as the team’s captain and MVP. Since Sable had pitched as a freshman he was ineligible to play his senior year so he joined the Federation League.
At Point Park College, Sable, a sophomore at the time, pitched in the opening game of a doubleheader against St. Francis Oct. 6, 1968, and threw a no hitter to lead his team to a 6-0 victory. He struck out 10 batters that day with what coach Frank Gustine called a blazing fastball, snapping curve and effective change up. His was the first no hitter in the history of Point Park College.
Named to the Tri-State College Baseball Coaches Association All Star Team in 1969 and 1970, both games were played at Forbes Field.
After leaving Point Park College, Sable played for the Monroeville Maulers from 1969 to 1976 and for the Salem Warlocks from 1998 to 2009 in his post-college career.
Sable is married to Saralee; they have two children — Shanie, married to Jesse, and Charles, married to Michelle. He has a grandson James and will welcome another grandchild due in October.
Nelson L. Goldberg
Nelson Goldberg, a native of New Kensington, was an innovator, pioneer and visionary in telecommunications. He graduated from Arnold High School and Penn State University.
Goldberg developed the first cable system in western Pennsylvania In 1968 — Westmoreland Cable system — the first cable system to be acquired by Comcast Corporation. He also developed WEFB-TV (channel 3), one of the first local area access television stations. Channel 3 was a pioneer in broadcasting local high school football games.
Goldberg also owned two radio stations, WKPA- AM and WYDD-FM. WYDD was the first radio station to offer an all jazz format and Goldberg developed and promoted Jazz Horizons, Pittsburgh’s first jazz concert series that featured jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and Nina Simone. WKPA broadcasted local high school sports in Alle-Kiski Valley. Goldberg also founded Mass Communications and Management and Total Communications Systems (TCS). TCS, which was at one point the largest independently owned television production company in the country, did the first pay-per-view broadcast of a sporting event (a Penn State vs. Cincinnati football game); syndicated broadcasts of Penn State, Notre Dame and Big Ten football; syndicated college football highlight show (“The Penn State Story”); the Penn State Radio Network (1983-1988), and “The Joe Paterno Show” (1985-1987). In 1981, TCS introduced the largest and most sophisticated mobile television facility in the industry that was used to televise hundreds of events, including Super Bowls and Olympic broadcasts.
In the late 1970’s, Goldberg, by then considered a pioneer in the creation and development of an all sports television format, created Action TV, an all sports cable network the was to broadcast a format consisting of taped delayed Penn State Football, Pirates baseball, high school sports, the Canadian Football League and a host of other sports formats.
He developed the Meadows Racing Network (now Ladbroke Racing Network), one of the first cable horse racing networks with a call in bet at home feature. Nelson’s experience in sports broadcasting also led him to a secondary career in sports marketing and representation, working with former NFL players Tony Dorsett, Jimmy Cefalo, Terry Bradshaw and Matt Bahr.
In the 1980s, Goldberg became the first to privately own satellite transponders and anticipated the advent of commercial television satellite broadcasting. By the 1990s he was awarded a patent for a horse racing wagering system.
Throughout his career, he continuously broke ground in developing new kinds of broadcast programming and the manner in which they were transmitted. Goldberg has three sons, Fred, Brad and Eric.
Robert “R.J.” Alman
Robert Alman started bowling at the age of 14 and when he was 17 was selected to be a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Junior All-Star team, which traveled to matches around western Pennsylvania. He averaged about 175 at that time.
As a teenager, Alman developed a bowling style that is marked by an unusual heel-toe shuffle. He never lifts his feet from the floor and remains almost in a crouch as he approaches the foul line.
A Churchill Area High School graduate Alman went on to the University of Pittsburgh were he bowled on Pitt’s club bowling team for four years, competing against other college teams from the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. He won the 1981 singles event in the Mountaineer Classic at West Virginia University. In his senior year, 1982, Pitt won the Association of College Unions International regional team tournament by one pin over Penn State, and Alman captured the all-events individual title earning the right to compete in the national ACUL championship. He was also named to the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Bowling Conference All Star Team.
Since college, Alman has participated in many tournaments. In 1987 he had 12 300 games in unsanctioned tournament play while finishing second out of 400 in the John Brannen Spring Classic and third in the Pennsylvania Masters Classic that had over 300 participants including many touring players. He also finished first in the Deluca Enterprises Tournaments in 1987, 1999, 2001 and 2002. In the Cochran Open he finished fourth in 1996 and second in 1998; both events had over 200 participants.
Alman has appeared 11 times on the Bowling Proprietors Association of America of Greater Pittsburgh (BPAA) television show, going undefeated in the first six shows, winning 12 straight matches. He was the season champion of the Pittsburgh Bowling Best TV show in 1988, which the BPAA sponsored; there were over 1,000 participants.
Alman was the individual all-events champion at the 62nd Greater Pittsburgh United States Bowling Congress Bowling Association City Tournament in 2007, an event that drew 150 bowlers.
Alman’s sanctioned United States Bowling Congress league achievements include a composite average over 210 since 1979 in nine different bowling centers in Allegheny County, eight sanctioned 300 games in league play, four sanctioned 800 series in league play, over 200 sanctioned 700 series in league play and 8 league championships. In the PBA Blue Valley Classic a regional tournament in 2007 Alman bowled a 300 game.
He and his wife Susan have two children, Jennifer and Christopher.
The following student athletes will be receiving the 2011 Nathan H. Kaufmann Scholastic Athletic Award at this year’s banquet. Two of these student athletes will receive the Paul Bloom Memorial Scholarship. One will receive the Jack Morris Scholarship.
Jennifer Bahm, Mt. Lebanon High School
Lauren Barney, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Jacob Belkin, South Fayette High School
Ben Cohen, Shady Side Academy
Hill Coulson, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Jason Diaz, Mt. Lebanon High School
Emery Feldman, Fox Chapel High School
Shane Fischbach, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Reed Frischman, Winchester Thurston High School
Daniel Ginsberg, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
David Gordon, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Alex Greenblatt, North Allegheny High School
Cooper Handelsman, Shady Side Academy
Daniel Hoffman, Winchester Thurston High School
Rebecca Levine, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Eric Mallinger, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Randy Mallinger, Fox Chapel High School
Sonya Meyers, Schenley High School
Matthew Miller, Fox Chapel High School
Sara Perelman, Shady Side Academy
Zachary Perelman, Mt. Lebanon High School
Ally Ross, Shady Side Academy
Jacob Roth, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Jeffery Steiner, Winchester Thurston High School
Zach Sufrin, Shady Side Academy
Heather Weisberg, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School