New honor for Bob Zide

From staff reports

A Marietta businessman and innovator on Tuesday was inducted into the 2014 class of the National Sporting Goods Association Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame.

The late Bob Zide is the founder of Zide’s Sport Shop in Marietta, a well-known supplier of sporting goods and athletic protective equipment.

Rodney Zide, one of Zide’s sons, was at the event at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, Calif., and said it was humbling, then remindful of how much his father is missed.

“You’re full of pride,” he said.

The ceremony was held during the association conference.

Immediate members of the Zide family who attended are Zide’s wife, Anita Zide; sons Rodney and John Zide and their families; Zide’s daughter, Lori Williamson; and his sister, Gloria Absi and her husband Phil. The group totaled 15 and included close friends Carolyn Beard and her family.

A five-minute video about Zide was prepared for the event by John Zide’s niece, Vicki Bornak.

Zide’s career in sporting goods was influenced early in his life, the Hall of Fame said.

He played varsity basketball for four years in high school and in the summer, while working in the family business, coordinated the local YMCA basketball and softball leagues. He continued to coordinate the leagues after graduating from college and helped establish local youth baseball leagues.

Zide also played semi-pro baseball.

Zide’s Sport Shop was founded in 1958. For 45 years his primary emphasis was on protective equipment and was the first dealer in the country to individually fit helmets and shoulder pads on players for football teams in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The fitting program, considered revolutionary, resulted in many of those athletes who became coaches to return to the store when purchasing football equipment for their programs.

Also inducted was Ira Silberman, a retired senior vice president of Diversified Products.

“This year’s two inductees embody exactly what members of the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame should – integrity, values, a will to succeed and an innovative spirit upon which our industry has been built,” said Hall of Fame committee Chairman Bob Dickman.

The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame was created in 1955 to honor sporting goods pioneers, innovators and leaders. The association has inducted about 160 people into the Hall of Fame since its creation.