NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – For the last five years, Niles has celebrated Harry Stevens Day — and here’s why.
Stevens settled in Niles after coming to the US from England in the late 1800s. He’s credited with creating the hot dog, the baseball score card and the drinking straw.
Now, a Warren man thinks those accomplishments should land Stevens into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Nick Spano can tell you whatever you’d want to know about Harry Stevens. A 1993 Ohio Magazine article peaked his interest.
“And when I got to the end of the article, it said he was buried in the Niles City Cemetery,” Spano said. “And that began my quest”
A quest to get him into Cooperstown.
Spano has a box things dedicated to Stevens. He also has several poster boards, which he uses when he speaks to local organizations.
Spano has even visited Cooperstown to speak with Hall of Fame officials about why Stevens deserves to be inducted.
“I’d just like to find someone that appreciates his accomplishment and it just seems like Cooperstown doesn’t,” he said.
Spano nominated Stevens twice for Major League Baseball’s Lifetime Achievement award. It’s given out every three years and places the winner in the Hall of Fame.
Spano says if he can’t get Stevens into the Hall of Fame, he’d like to see something locally.
Niles has an alley dedicated to Stevens, but Spano is thinking bigger.
“A house — perhaps a museum for Harry Stevens,” he said. “I think it’d bring in a lot of visitors to the city of Niles and to Trumbull County and give this man something he deserves back in return.”