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2017 Circle of Champions Inductees

2017 Circle of Champions Inductees

Tim Belcher was an outstanding pitcher who graduated from Highland High School in Morrow County and then pitched at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Tim was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Minnesota Twins, but he signed in the supplemental draft with the Yankees in 1984. He spent 14 years in the majors between 1987 and 2000, pitching for seven different teams. In 1988, Belcher was part of the Dodgers’ World Championship team, winning a World Series game, two National League Championship Series games and the Sporting News’ Rookie Pitcher-of-the-Year Award. In 1989, Tim led the National League with 10 complete games and major league baseball with eight shutouts. He won 146 games during his career and won 10 or more games in a season nine times. Tim has been with the Indians’ organization since his retirement, serving in a variety of roles including pitching coach for two years and his current title as special assistant to baseball operations. He and his wife have three children and reside in Sparta, Ohio.


Brianne McLaughlin is from Sheffield Village near Elyria and attended Elyria Catholic High School, where she participated in four sports. Also an ice hockey goaltender, Brianne played hockey for the Ohio Flames before playing collegiately between 2005 and 2009 at Robert Morris University, where she set an NCAA record for career saves. As a senior, she was named first team all-conference and to the league’s all-academic team. Since her collegiate career, Brianne was has played on two U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey teams and helped the team win a Silver Medal in the 2010 Vancouver Games and another Silver in 2014 in the Sochi Games. Since 2011, she has also been on U.S. teams that won two gold medals and a Silver in the World Championships and another that won the Women’s Four Nations Cup. McLaughlin currently owns and operates a goalie training facility northwest of Pittsburgh while spending the winter playing professionally for the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League. She was selected to play in the league’s all-star game the past two years. She and her husband reside in Moon Township, Pa.


Renee Powell graduated from Canton Central Catholic High School in 1964 and attended Ohio University and Ohio State University, serving as captain of the women’s golf team at each institution. She became the second African-American ever to play on the LPGA Tour, joining four years after tennis star Althea Gibson. Renee played on tour from 1967 through 1980, persevering during a time of civil unrest in the country. She competed in 250 professional golf tournaments and won the 1973 Kelly Springfield Open in Australia. Just like her late father, Renee is an ambassador for diversity in the game of golf. She has been touting the sport for four decades, playing, teaching and promoting the game throughout the United States and the world. In recent years, she has been courting women veterans, young people, novices and seasoned golfers alike to play a game that continues to impact her life. She also serves as the head professional at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, a course that her father built 70 years ago and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Because of her tremendous advocacy, dedication and life of teaching and giving, Renee has received numerous honors, including the PGA of America’s First Lady of Golf Award; the inaugural Rolex For the Love of the Game Award, and two honorary doctorates. In 2015, she became one of the first of seven women to be granted membership into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, ending 260 years of male exclusivity.


Ed Ratleff was an outstanding basketball player who grew up in Columbus. In high school, he helped one of the state’s all-time best teams win back-to-back big-school state championships at East High School in 1968 and ’69 after the team was runner-up in 1967. The Tigers’ three-year record was 70-1, and Ed was first team all-state as a senior. Ed then attended Long Beach State University, where he was a two-time first team All-American under Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian. He still holds the school’s career scoring average record at 21.4 points per game and was twice the league player-of-the-year. In the summer of 1972, Ed was on the U.S. team that participated in the Olympic Games in Munich. The sixth pick in the 1973 NBA Draft by Houston, Ratleff played five seasons for the Rockets before a back injury ended his career. The Rockets’ best season during that span was 1977 when they reached the Eastern Conference finals. Ed is a member of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He is in business in Long Beach, Calif., and resides in Cypress, Calif.