Saturday, March 02, 2013

Len Winkler, Voice of Sandusky High School Athletics

Leonard Winkler, son of William and Emma Winkler, was a 1923 graduate of Sandusky High School. According to the March 2, 1966 issue of the Sandusky Register, Len Winkler coined the phrase “Blue Streaks” as the nickname for Sandusky High School athletes. In the early 1920s, Len was a reporter for the Sandusky Star Journal.  Another reporter had called Sandusky High School athletes the “Blue Devils.” After Winkler called them the “Blue Streaks,” the nickname stuck. For several years Len Winkler resided in an apartment underneath the home grandstand at Strobel Field. (Now Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium.) Click here to read an article at for more details about other residents of the apartment beneath Strobel Field.

For almost thirty years, Len Winkler was the “Voice of Sandusky High athletics.” He announced almost every Sandusky High School football game, basketball game, track and wrestling match from 1936 to 1965. Due to illness, Len was forced to quit announcing in 1965. At that time he also resigned his teaching job at Sandusky High School. On October 9, 1965, Sandusky Mayor William Harbrecht proclaimed that day as “Len Winkler Day.” Later that night Len Winkler announced his final game at Strobel Field. Len Winkler died on March 1, 1966 after a lengthy illness. He had been a teacher of industrial arts, mathematics and physics at Sandusky High School. He was a graduate of Ohio State University, where he earned an engineering degree. While Len was employed at the Ohio Public Service Company, he supervised the installation of public address system at the SHS stadium. Len Winkler was survived by his wife Mary, two sisters, and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services for Len Winkler were held at the Charles J. Andres’ Sons Funeral Home, and burial was at the Castalia Cemetery.


Ed Daniel said...

Len Winkler also announced the football games at Strobel Field played by St. Mary's High School's Panthers.

Anonymous said...

He also taught drivers ed. My first day out he asked who had never driven before and when I raised my hand he put me in the drivers seat. Scary. I still remember some of the things he taught us to do. Well, all of them I guess.

Lisa said...

Len Winkler was my uncle but I have few memories of him. He was best known for his role as the announcer but my family remembers him as a naturalist. He was doing "natural landscaping" at his home to a degree that people would come to visit it, to see what could be done in that way. He also was apparently a great storyteller - and a pretty good teacher, too. He and my aunt Mary built a cottage on North Bass Island, which I used to enjoy as a kid and just revisited last summer. It was still there, with the big W on it. I'm so sad that I didn't know him better. He died of Lou Gehrig's Disease when I was only 6.