Honoring the Past     Celebrating the Present     Inspiring the Future
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The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.


Today we have over 400 individual and team inductees recognizing the accomplishments of the best of the best in Fresno County Athletes. The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, which will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus, is a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses.

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History

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 1958 by John Voenes, the original chairman of the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, and Ed Orman, Sports Editor for the Fresno Bee.

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Our mission, from our inception, as it remains today, is to honor and remember the past accomplishments of our Fresno County athletes, to annually celebrate the enshrinement of our new inductees and to provide inspiration to our youth so they too can become all they can be in their lives.

In Memoriam
In Memoriam
Truman Eugene “Tex” Clevenger
July 9, 1932 - August 24, 2019

Standing a tad under 5 feet tall and weighing just 86 pounds, Truman Clevenger didn’t look like a baseball player his freshman year at Visalia High School and, in fact, didn’t play the game.

But when the school brought aboard a new coach the following season, Hank Viden, the change provided an opportunity that Clevenger parlayed into eight big-league seasons and two World Series rings with the New York Yankees.

“I started as an outfielder and the coach asked if anyone wanted to pitch. That's how I got started,” said Clevenger, recalling his sophomore season at Visalia High.

Even though he never played baseball in the state of Texas and his family had moved to Visalia from Missouri, the now 6-foot-1 righthander picked up the nickname “Tex.”

Credit a Boston Red Sox teammate for that. Shortstop Johnny Pesky thought that Clevenger was a dead ringer for former Red Sox pitcher Tex Hughson.

Clevenger starred for Fresno State from 1951 through 1953, finishing with a career earned-run average of 1.94 — second-best in Bulldogs history.

In the 1953 season, Clevenger tossed a no-hitter against College of the Pacific, striking out 20 batters and going 6-for-6 at the plate.

He is enshrined in both the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame (1987) and the Fresno State Baseball Hall of Fame.

“He was a tremendous guy, had a great personality,” Jack Hannah, a longtime friend of Clevenger’s and a former Fresno State teammate, told The Fresno Bee. “And he was a dominant pitcher. He had great control. Never walked anybody. His pitches moved.“

The pitch that moved the most was his sinker, which became his ticket to the American League, where he pitched for the Red Sox, the Washington Senators, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Yankees.

In 1958, he appeared in an AL-leading 55 games for the Senators, fashioning a 9-9 record as a spot starter and reliever. The following year, he posted an 8-5 mark, with a 3.91 ERA, for a last-place club that won just 63 games.

When Clevenger was picked by the Angels, an expansion team, following the 1960 season, he was thrilled to be back in California. But when New York traded for him, he couldn’t wait to wear Yankee pinstripes.

“When you put on this Yankee uniform, you have a little more pride, a little more confidence,” he said.

Manager Ralph Houk used Clevenger exclusively in the bullpen in 1961 and 1962. The Yankees won the World Series both seasons with huge contributions from future Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra.

Of Roger Maris’ record-breaking 61st home run in 1961, Clevenger said, “I was throwing in the bullpen and the ball landed about 15 feet away from me in the stands.”

Clevenger spent one more season in professional baseball with the Triple-A Richmond Virginians and then retired before the 1964 campaign.

He ended his Major League career with a 36-37 record, 4.18 ERA, and 30 saves.

He later sold insurance bought a Ford car dealership in Porterville. There, he developed close relationships with employees and enjoyed conversing with customers.

At the time of his passing, Clevenger was in hospice care in Visalia. Clevenger is survived by his wife Donna, daughter Jan, son Marty and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
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View Past Inductees
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Enshrinement Dinner
2019

More information coming soon.

YOUR 2018 FRESNO COUNTY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
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OUR MISSION: TO INSPIRE THE FUTURE!

We hope to empower and to encourage our community members to realize that through commitment, hard work, and dedication anybody can achieve their goals and their own individual levels of greatness in life. As with any team sport, our community will thrive with the combined efforts of individuals. We support, encourage, and motivate one another to achieve success.

Just as our outstanding athletes have achieved success with the support and guidance of family, coaches, and mentors, our youth and the future of our community will also require guidance, life coaches, and mentors to thrive. You can become a mentor by contributing to the success of our exhibit and providing a place where children can be inspired and motivated to overcome the negative influences in their lives and to realize the opportunities that they have available to achieve greatness in their own way.

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.

HELP US REALIZE OUR VISION

The future home of Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus. We are a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses. You can become a proud participant by pledging your financial support today!

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THE FUTURE
THE FRESNO COUNTY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors
  • Gordie Webster, President
  • Tim Leary, Vice President
  • Bill Chaltraw, Treasurer/Secretary
  • Jean Ainger
  • Gena Strang-Behrens
  • Walt Byrd, Jr.
  • Diane Carbray
  • Jeanne Contel
  • Steve Darnell
  • Dick Ellsworth
  • John Higginbotham
  • Tom Kane
  • Andrew Marden
  • Pat Ogle
  • Donna Pickel
  • Tom Sommers
  • Ron Thomas
  • Shelly Van Houwelingen
  • Jackie White
  • Auxiliary Board Members
  • Mark Cameron
  • Joe Cooper
  • Kellie Deyer
  • Pete Esraelian
  • Bill McEwen
  • Tom McFerson
  • Jim Pardini
  • Casey Rowe
  • Jim Sandrini
  • Chris Torrence
  • Mike Watney
  • Rod Webster
  • Jim Yovino
  • DeWayne Zinkin
  • Committee Chairs
  • Walt Byrd, Jr., Capital Campaign
  • TBD, Dinner Committee
  • Diane Carbray & Jean Ainger, Women’s Conference
  • Tom Kane, Peter G. Mehas Memorial Scholarship
  • Pat Ogle, Individual Selection Committee
  • Jeanne Contel, Team Selection Committee
Honoring the Past
Celebrating the Present
Inspiring the Future