Eldora founder Earl Baltes dies at 93

First Posted: 3/23/2015

ROSSBURG — Earl Baltes, the founder and longtime promoter of Eldora Speedway, has died. He was 93.

Speedway officials say Baltes died Monday at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

Eldora owner and three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart says Baltes “was the yardstick other track promoters measured themselves by. He constantly raised the bar, and he did it by creating events everyone else was afraid to promote. He did them himself, too.”

Stewart added it was a time without “major sponsors or millions of dollars in TV money.”

Baltes built Eldora in 1954 and slowly shaped it into a showplace for dirt motorsports. Eldora races were shown on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” with Keith Jackson and Al Michaels as broadcasters.

He is survived by Berneice, his wife of 67 years, and a son and daughter.

Van Horn, Stapleton named Shively Scholarship winners

Waynesfield-Goshen’s Abbie Van Horn and Riverside’s Levi Stapleton are the Northwest Central Conference’s Jonathan R. Shively Memorial Scholarship Award winners this year.

The NWDD each year honors one female and one male student-athlete with a $500 scholarship in memory of Jon Shively, who was an athletic director, coach Dean of Students and teacher at Perry. Shively lost his battle with cancer in 2011.

Van Horn earned 10 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. She has a 3.96 grade-point average and plans to attend the Bowling Green State University. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, student council, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was also class secretary for three years and was on the superior honor roll for the last three years.

The NWCC has honored Van Horn with first team selections in basketball and softball. She also earned second team honors in volleyball.

Stapleton earned seven varsity letters in football and track. He has a 4.0 GPA and plans on attending the University of Cincinnati. He’s a class officer, working in student government and as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

He is also the local president of the National Honor Society. Stapleton has earned seven scholar-athlete awards in football and track over his high school career. He was honorable mention NWCC in football.

Lima Express to play makeup game on Friday

The Lima Express will play at home makeup game against the Dayton Air Strikers at 7 p.m. on Friday at Lima Central Catholic High School.

The game had been postponed on Jan. 4 because bad weather.

Louisville Slugger maker announces deal to sell iconic brand

The company that made bats for a who’s who of baseball greats, including Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, announced a deal Monday to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million.

Hillerich & Bradsby Co. has made the iconic bats for more than 130 years, supplying the bats with the recognizable oval logo for generations of baseball players — from the sandlots to the big leagues.

Wilson’s deal to acquire the global brand, sales and innovation rights of Louisville Slugger still requires approval by H&B shareholders, according to the joint announcement Monday.

Under terms of the agreement, H&B will become Wilson’s exclusive manufacturing partner for wood bats. H&B will continue to manufacture wood bats at its factory in Louisville, Kentucky.

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