Henry "Zeke" BonuraBaseball Player, 1927-40
Loyola University/MLB

Inducted: 1979

  • A standout athlete at Loyola University in the late 1920s, lettering in basketball, baseball, track and football before leaving school early to pursue a professional baseball career.
  • As a freshman in 1927, Bonura played on and coached the freshman basketball team because Loyola did not field a varsity team that year. He also served as captain of the team and was its "super player," scoring 226 points, an average of 25 points per game. His total was more than half of the team's total.
  • As a sophomore, he continued his phenomenal scoring record in varsity competition, and was named the outstanding forward of the AAU League in which Loyola participated.
  • Probably would have become one of Loyola's all-time great athletes, but he left the university at the end of his second year to sign a professional baseball contract.
  • Returned to Loyola for the 1930-31 season to coach the varsity basketball team. 
  • Played professional baseball for 10 years, including seven years in the major leagues.
  • As a Chicago White Sox rookie in 1934, hit .302 with 110 RBIs and a then team-record 27 homers (which also stood as the Sox rookie record until Ron Kittle broke it in 1983). In 1936, he drove in 138 runs, also a White Sox record until Albert Belle broke it in 1998.
  • Over four seasons in Chicago, hit .315 and smashed 79 home runs.
  • Traded to the Washington Senators for the 1938 season and he hit 22 home runs with 114 RBIs.
  • Also played for the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs.
  • After serving in the military for World War II, returned to baseball as a minor league manager for eight years.
  • A graduate of St. Stanislaus High School in Mississippi.
  • As a teen, he was the 1925 National AAU Champion in the javelin throw, defeating 1924 Olympic gold medalist Johnny Myra, and set an American record (213 feet, 10 1/2 inches), which stayed on the books until 1930.

 

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