Marshall Baseball Hall of Fame

Presented by Ace Home and Hardware and MDI

The Marshall Baseball Association (MBA) in conjunction with Ace Home and Hardware and MDI are excited to announce the establishment of Marshall Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Kelly Loft, MBAs President said, "It is long overdue for Marshall to recognize those individuals who have played, organized, and sponsored 'the great game of baseball' in the community of Marshall.

Each of these individuals has served Marshall baseball with passion, commitment and has brought recognition to the game we all love.

The inaugural 2015 class was inducted during a ceremony on May 29, 2015.

Lionel Bolden (2016) - Bolden was a long-time player for the Marshall As in the 1970s and 80s leading the squad to several state tournament appearances. Following his career he was an active volunteer of Marshall baseball serving in various roles. He arrived in Marshall in the early 1970s and played both football and baseball at Southwest Minnesota State. He was a two-time all-conference honoree in baseball and was inducted into the SMSU Athletics Hall of Honor in 1994.
Dean Champine (2016) - Champine was dominant force for the Asand later the Marshall Giantsfor 19 years. One of the most feared pitchers in the state, Champine lead the As to 14 state tournament appearances in the 1970s and 80s. He was also an outstanding hitter for the As, playing outfield, first base and DH. In the handful of years the As failed to make the state tournament, Champine was drafted by other teams and pitched for them in the state tournament. Champine came to Marshall in the early 1970s, pitching two seasons at Southwest Minnesota State and was named all-conference in 1973.
Jim Culhane (2018) - Baseball has always been a big part of Culhane's life, first as a player and later as a coach. He spent many years playing for the various Marshall teams, including joining the A's in the summer of 1965. After 10 years as Head Baseball Coach at Tracy High School, Culhane returned to Marshall. He coached the Marshall Blue, Orange and Red teams from 1995 until 2005, leading them to four state tournament appearances. Culhane also coached and scheduled 7th-8th grade teams in the Spring from 1995-2002. He was involved in the beginnings of MAYBA and continued as the scheduler for Blue and Orange until 2013. He also spent several yars as the 10-14 year old coach within MAYBA. One of Culhane's career highlights was being able to coach with his son Sean on the Marshall Orange.
Dale Erickson (2018) - Life in the Erickson household revolved around baseball. Dale was involved in all aspects of Marshall baseball. He was a founding member of the Marshall Area Youth Baseball Association (MAYBA) in 1995. He was also the district VFW baseball coordinator for 12 years. In that time he helped Marshall host 2 state tournaments. Dale spent many years on the Marshall Baseball Association board and served as the Gambling Manager for their charitable gambling operation. Besides baseball, Dale was the Head Wheelchair Basketball coach at SMSU for 9 seasons, leading them to a final four appearance where they finished as national runner-up. On any given night you could find Dale at the ball field, cheering on Marshall Baseball. Dale was first and foremost a family man and passed his love of baseball onto his family.
Mike Gort (2016) - Mike has played a significant role in the organization of all levels of Marshall Baseball, including the As, the American Legion and VFW teams. Mike has been around Marshall baseball for more than 40 years, starting as a player for the As, before becoming manager in the late 1970s. Following his As career, he coached Legion baseball in Marshall and later served as co-chair of the 1989 Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament hosted by Marshall. Gort was a longtime umpire in the area and was active involved with American Legion baseball serving as tournament director in many regional tournaments. He was inducted into the Minnesota American Legion State Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Ron Halgerson (2017) - Ron was a dominant force on the mound for the A's from 1975-92. He was part of 12 state tournament teams during his 18 year career and is considered by many to be among the best pitchers to ever put on an A's uniform. Ron also served as pitching coach for Southwest State University from 1986-95 and taught many young pitchers proper mechanics at MAYBA clinics throughout the years.
Dallas Kluksdal (2017) - Dallas served as A's manager from 1980-83 and then Giants manager in 1989. He directed his A's teams to a state tournament berth in all four seasons he managed. Dallas also served on the Marshall Baseball Association board for over 20 years, and was a key part in helping bring the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament to Marshall in both 1989 and 1999.
Lawrence "Larry" Knigge (2015) - Longtime umpire and secretary/treasurer of the Southwest Umpires Association. Served as manager of Ghent baseball team from 1956-60 and then as president of the Southwest Minny League for 20 years. Umpired 13 state tournaments and was inducted into Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. Commonly referred to as "Marshall's Mr. Baseball", Larry dedicated more than 70 years of his life to the game and played a big role in bringing two state tournaments to Marshall during the 1980's.
Jerry Krause (2015) - First A's manager. Instrumental in restarting the A's team after it had previously folded. Jerry was a respected, trusted, and well-liked businessman in downtown Marshall and had a connection to a number of baseball supporters. It was through those many contacts that would help in the revitalization of not only amateur baseball, but baseball all the way from little league up through high school - building the foundation for many fine young men that played baseball for Marshall and area teams. Jerry's love for the game was reflected in the many supporters he had connections with. In the early days he was the contact with the community, lining up the many supporters that served on the board, helped with the fundraisers, laid the sod, and helped build the foundation of Marshall A's baseball.
James "Jim" Muchlinski (2015) - Started his coaching career at Holdingford High School in 1956. After one year he moved to Marshall and was the head coach at Marshall Central Catholic High School for 10 years before moving to Marshall High School in 1958. Jim became the head coach there in 1974 and served in that position for 24 years, through the 1997 season. In 34 seasons as head coach, Jims teams compiled a record of 380 wins and 206 losses, a .648 winning percentage. His teams won five Southwest Conference championships and his 1976 team placed second in the State Tournament. Jim was also the Marshall American Legion coach for 15 years, 1965 through 1979, and won 242 games against just 77 losses. Jim received the Dick Siebert Award in 1997 and the Jim Dimick Retired Coach Award in 2008. Jim was also inducted into the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He retired from coaching in 1997 and from education in 1999 after 42 years of teaching, 41 of them at Marshall Schools. Jim was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Fred Roufs (2019) - Fred moved to Marshall in 1976 and immediately became involved with amateur baseball by joining the Marshall Baseball Association which oversaw the citys two amateur teams, the As and Giants. Improvements made to American Legion Field during his tenure included a new grandstand, dugout reconstruction, a scoreboard that supported digital graphics, the concession stand, and a press box. The press box is where Fred could be found on any given summer evening lending his voice as the public address announcer during VFW, American Legion, and amateur baseball games. Fred was intimately involved in bringing the 1987 Minnesota State American Legion Baseball Tournament and the 1989 Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament to Marshall. He served as the chairperson on the Marshall Parks, Recreation, and Community Education Advisory Board during his time in the community and coached Marshalls American Legion baseball team with Mike Gort in the mid- and late-1980s. He is currently serving in his 25th year as Vice President of the Minnesota Baseball Association, the states steward of amateur baseball.
James "Jimmy" Verdeck (2015) - Community volunteer who maintained American Legion Field in its earliest days, helping to make the park one of the finest in the state. Whether shagging balls for the baseball teams, working the concession stand, or laying sod to cover the old track that ran through Legion Field's outfield, Jimmy was always there and vital in making Marshall baseball what it is today.
Steve Verkinderen (2017) - If a baseball game was being played in Marshall over the past 40 years, chances are Steve was somehow involved. Starting as a player in the early 1980's, his Marshall baseball career included stops with Marshall High School, Legion, VFW, Marshall Giants and finally Marshall A's. He was a key member of many state tournament teams. Steve also spent two seasons coaching VFW and Legion ball, and currently spends many summer nights umpiring the game that he loves.
Harry Weilage (2019) - Harry was instrumental in the transformation of American Legion Field into the beautiful park it is today. When he started working for City of Marshall in 1980, the park had an outfield snow fence, a cinder track running through the field, and the lights going out during games. The opportunity to transform Legion Field into a benchmark for facility improvements proved to be one of Harrys signature projects and highlighted his community development capabilities. Together with the baseball community, Harry realized his vision for Legion Field through improvements that included an irrigation system, improved lighting, state-of-the-art scoreboards, new sound system, transitioning to a baseball-only facility, grandstand improvements, and the iconic Boston Ivy of the outfield fence. American Legion Field has received state and national honors for its commitment to the way the game was meant to be played and has hosted multiple district, state, and regional tournaments since its reimagination. Harry continues to serve as a board member for Marshall Baseball Association as he has for the past four decades.
Darrel Wiener (2016) - Darrel served the Marshall As in nearly every capacity during his four decades with the organization. He helped start the Marshall Baseball Association in 1972 and served as As manager on two separate occasions. He was an outstanding player on numerous state tournament teams and was six-time 7-75 League All-Star honoree. He has served as president of the Marshall Baseball Association and was co-chair of the 1989 Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament hosted by Marshall. He was also an all-conference player at Southwest Minnesota State and was inducted into the SMSU Athletics Hall of Honor in 2007.
Pauline Wiener (2016) - Pauline was one of the most dedicated and reliable community members in the history of Marshall Baseball at all levels. She helped keep the Marshall As concession stand in tip-top shape and handled all the behind the scenes effort in running a concession stand. She made sure the volunteers knew what they were doing, grilling burgers, brats, and hotdogs, making popcorn and snow cones, serving brews and pop, selling treats to the kids and giving them money for returned foul balls, and every once in awhile, you could hear her voice call out over the crowd to cheer on her Marshall As, Marshall Legion, or VFW team. She ran a tight ship and this concession stand was her baby so-to-speak and she poured everything into it to make it the place fans come to today.

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