Class A has established a new Hall of Fame of its own. “It’s long overdue in regards to acknowledging “HOF” managers, players and umpires from our leagues,” stated Riverview League Commissioner Shawn Vellek.
The first class of eight inductees will be introduced on Saturday, July 9, 2011 in a day of baseball and celebration at Dunning Field in St. Paul. At noon the Park National League all-stars will play the St. Paul Muni League all-stars. The induction ceremony will be held at approximately 3:00 P.M. Then, at 4:00 P.M., the Riverview League all-stars will play the Skyline League all-stars.
“We hope you all can be a part of a very special day for a number of well deserving “baseball guys,” said Vellek.
Here are the 2011 Class A Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees
Tim Kiemel was the long time manager and third baseman of the Eastside Merchants in the St. Paul Amateur League. Tim had a tremendous passion and love for the game of baseball. His teams would play anywhere and everywhere. Tim was a farmhand in the Chicago Cubs system and was briefly a member of the Cubs major league team. Tim appeared in eight State Tournaments and had the great fortune to play alongside his son Tim Kiemel Jr. for over 20 years and the great Eastside Merchants teams.
Steve Winfield was a fleet footed center fielder for 35 years in the St. Paul Amateur League combined his speed with power and a thorough knowledge of the strike zone. Steve (Winny) was a member of the state championship West St. Paul Americans in 1979 and was one of the premier lead-off hitters in St. Paul for 20 years. Steve continues his active involvement in promoting baseball as a teacher, coach and mentor to the many coaches and players that are involved in the Twins St. Paul RBI program.
Jerry Sevlie was the premier “big game pitcher” in the St. Paul amateur league during the 1970’s and early 1980’s. His team, West St. Paul Americans which he managed for eight years, appeared in 10 State Tournaments and was a member of the 1979 state championship team. The Americans also finished second in the state tournament in 1974, 1980 and 1982. Jerry was selected to the All-State team in 1974. When his playing days were over, Jerry umpired in the St. Paul amateur League for 12 years. Jerry’s involvement in St. Paul baseball spans over four decades.
Jim Lawton, a lifetime .384 hitter has played and managed the Highland Park team in the St. Paul Amateur League since 1968. Jim was named to the 1970’s and 1980’s All- Decade Team as a player and the 1990’s All-Decade Team as a manager. His Highland Park teams dominated the St. Paul Amateur League for the better part of three decades as evidenced by their 24 state tournament appearances and two state championships (1993 & 1996). Jim (Lawty) is the manager of the 2011 St. Paul Amateur League All-Star Team and this marks his 30th all-star appearance as a player and manager.
Jeff Monson’s hard work and dedication to baseball has long been his trademark. Jeff burst on the amateur baseball scene in 1987 as a full-time player for the Bloomington Bulldogs of the Riverview League and led them to the state championship and was named State Tournament MVP. Jeff, an All-Big Ten selection in 1991, managed and played for the Edina Buckshot team from 19996-2003 before returning to the Bloomington Bulldogs as player/manager. As manager of the Bulldogs, he appeared in additional state tournaments.
Jim Botten and the Minneapolis Park-National League will forever be joined together. Jim known to all as “Botts”, played in the Park-National League for 41 years, played in 12 state tournaments and won a state championship in 1988. Jim, a .340 lifetime hitter, personally sponsored the J. Botten Company team for 25 years and he was very proud of the fact that his players always played for free. Jim will be long remembered for his mammoth home runs, his competitive fire and his passion for the game.
Larry Gallagher may be known to many as a skilled and hard working umpire. Indeed, Larry umpired at all levels of baseball including the NCAA Division III Regional in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2008 and for seven glorious games in the Major Leagues in 1979. However, Larry also had a stellar career as a player and manager of amateur teams in and around the Twin Cities, most notably for Dick’s Place in Columbia Heights. Larry continues to umpire and is presently the Umpire Supervisor for the MSHSL state tournament in the Twin Cities Metro Area.
Mark Young was an incredible athlete and leader who always played the game of baseball hard and fair with a sense of humility. Mark was a career .373 hitter, which ranks him third all-time in Minnetonka Millers history, and was a charter member of the Millers Hall of Fame and is one of only two players to have his number retired by the ballclub. During his 17 seasons with the Millers, Mark played a large role in the teams first four state championships and was named to the All-State Tournament team five times. In 1999, Mark was voted the “Player of the Quarter Century” by the Minnetonka Millers commemorating the first 25 years of the club’s history.