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Jack Aynes to celebrate his 90th birthday — and a Ludlow, NKY sports legacy unlikely to be bested

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

He was born the same year the Yankees swept the Cubs in the World Series.

Yup, that was the Series Babe Ruth had his famous “called” home run shot.

That was 1932 – and if you’re counting, that’s 90 years ago.

Jack Aynes turns 90 on the 6th of May – and perhaps no one has done more for Northern Kentucky-area sports.

“It’s kinda funny,” he told the Northern Kentucky Tribune, “I was actually born in Bedford, Ind. and moved to Ludlow, Ky. when I was in the third grade.”

And he never left.

Never left Northern Kentucky – or Ludlow High School.

A member of the Panthers’ class of 1951, Aynes played varsity baseball, basketball, and football.

“Make that four years of football, six years lettering in basketball, and five years of baseball,” he said.

In fact, Aynes pitched not one – but two no-hitters for the Lions.

His love affair with Ludlow continued after his military service – he fought in the Korean War – and attended one year at the University of Denver where he received a military certificate in preventive medicine.

Back to Ludlow.

He started the Hall of Fame Room at their high school stadium and has served on the school’s Board of Directors for the past 20-plus seasons.

He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

Jack Aynes wasn’t finished by a long shot.

A member of the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame – as well as a Board member – Aynes started the non-profit’s organization golf tournament.

This year the event is set for Kenton County Golf Course, Saturday, July 16.

“I took over an event that had about $100 in the bank,” he said, “it’s a lot more now,” he laughed.

Aynes works year-round obtaining raffle prizes and gifts for the event.

“Nobody has better door prizes, and nobody brings in more,” said Joe Brennan, president of the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

Ken Shields, a fellow Hall of Famer, and the former successful basketball coach at Northern Kentucky University perhaps summed it up best: “Jack is the cornerstone of Ludlow as well as Northern Kentucky.”

Oh, did we mention Aynes also handles the golf tournaments for Ludlow’s Hall of Fame?

“I’ve been doing the golf thing for over 20 years,” he said, “and all that money goes for scholarships.”

Ludlow gives 10 scholarships at $1,000 each, yearly, Aynes notes – and he says that total is approaching $34,000.

The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame celebrated his birthday – albeit prematurely – this week with a cake and open bar at the Garden of Park Hills.

It was the last general meeting for the group, which inducts new members to the Hall on the third Wednesday of each month — except May through August.

You can bet it won’t be the last meeting for Jack Aynes.

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  1. Kirk Pfefferman says:

    The Lions?

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