Many times when the subject of Johnson County sports figures arises, the name Clyde (Hardrock) Shoun comes to mind. Hardrock was an outstanding baseball player. Born and raised right here in Johnson County, he used his rocketing fastball to carve out a great career when he was in the Major Leagues. As far as I know, he was the only man from Johnson County to attain Major League status. While playing for Cincinnati, he hurled a no-hitter in 1944 against the Boston Braves.
During his career and even after, Shoun received a great deal of publicity both nationally and locally and rightly so. After all, being the only major leaguer from his home county was a big deal. Local folks didnt get far from their radios when Shoun was hurling the ole horsehide into his teammates mitt behind the plate.
As I mentioned in the outset of this column, the name Hardrock was a dominant part of many conversations when the subject came around to Johnson Countys sports heroes. Heard less, if I remember correctly, was talk about Hardrocks older brother, Milas. Milas who stood seven feet, two inches and was perhaps as adept on the basketball court as Hardrock was in the baseball stadium. Milas or slim as he was sometimes called by his teammates, was said to be one of the tallest basketball players in the country. He was a star for the Firestone Non-Skids and later for the Chicago Bruins.
Milas received his secondary education at the old Johnson County High School (now Johnson County offices and Heritage Hall; a venue for plays, musical shows and community events.) I recently learned that along with Milas, the 1922 JCHS squad consisted of Earl Rambo, Frank Hawkins Ross Fritts, Raymond S. Phillippi, Jack Shoun, Roderick Hawkins and Charlie Dillon. I knew some of those men but some must have left the county to start their careers and I was never privileged to know them.
Milas went on to Carson-Newman College where he played football and baseball and starred in basketball before playing semi-pro and professional basketball.
This column is my tribute to the memory of Milas Shoun. He, as well as his brother Clyde, went on to an illustrious professional career. While I was acquainted with Hardrock after he retired from the majors, I never knew Milas personally. As a native of Johnson County, he stands out as a person of whom the county can be justly proud.