Home of the MIESVILLE MUDHENS...  "Outdoor Baseball at its Finest"

Hall Of Fame

Mitch Hartung played from 1968 to 1974.  Hartung played second base most of his career.  He played in six state tournaments as a Mudhen and was chosen to the “all State Tournament Team” in Springfield in 1968 and in St. Cloud in 1970.  A grand slam homer in 1968 against Northfield and a home run in 1970 against Red Wing were instrumental in winning CVL playoff championships for the Mudhens.  After leaving the Mudhens in 1974, Hartung became a high school teacher in Colorado, retiring in 2004.  During his teaching career he was also head varsity baseball coach for 31 years, a varsity football coach for 17 years, and head varsity softball coach for 14 years.  As coach, his teams won two state championships.
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Jerry Otto was Mudhen from 1975-1986.  He mostly pitched but also played the outfield, second base, and shortstop.  He once pitched 56 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run.  Other pitching accomplishments were striking out 21 batters in 8 innings, a record of 21 wins and 3 losses in 1978, one no-hitter, more than 10 state tournament appearances and a member of the All State Tournament Team in 1978.  Since his playing career, Jerry has coached little leave, worked on Jack Ruhr Field, volunteered at state tournament games and helped with fund raisers for high school football.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Schaffer’s career spanned fro, 1959-1963.  He played his entire career as the Mudhen’s first baseman.  Schaffer’s most memorable baseball events were winning the 1961 Region V championship and being a member of the team that was runner-up at the 1961 State Tournament in Springfield, MN.  After his baseball career, Schaffer shared his baseball expertise with young people  and his own children by helping with local 4-H softball teams.  He was a member of the Hastings District 200 school board for 14 years and was the chairperson for 11 years.  He was also a member of the Minnesota State School Boards Association, the Minnesota State High School League, the Association of Metro School Districts, the Farmer’s Union Marketing Production Association as well as a member of the Regina memorial Hospital Recruitment Committee.

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Tom Schnell played from 1976 to 1994.  Schnell played mainly as an outfielder but played all nine positions and was manager during his Mudhen career.  He was on three State Championship teams, was elected to an “All-Tournament Team” and played in three Cannon Valley League all star games.  Schell helped build the current grand stand at Jack Ruhr field, coached youth baseball for 5 years, has been a member of the High School Baseball Boosters for 7 years and has been a State Tournament volunteer worker.


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Dan Marso has a 15year career with the Mudhens spanning the years 1987 to 2001.  He played shortstop, third base and pitched.  In that time frame he participated in many state tournaments.  Marso was on three state championship teams, two runner up and a couple of third place State Tournament Teams while playing for Miesville.  Marso is the illustrator of the book and animations series “Rocky the Mudhen” that is totally based on his 15 years as a Mudhen.  The book promotes the values and lessons in baseball and the animations are played in three major league stadiums – two of which are the stadiums of the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Bill Frederick was a Mudhen from 1988 to 2001.   He was mainly a pitcher but also played the outfield and first base.  He participated in numerous State Tournament Championship Teams.  Frederick was voted MVP of the 1992 and 1995 State Tournaments won by the Mudhens.  He has remained active in baseball since his “Mudhen days” by coaching and volunteering with Lakeville Baseball Association.

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Mike Hartung played 16 years for the Mudhen’s from 1969 to 1985.  His primary position was shortstop but occasionally played other infield positions;   Mike participated in six state tournaments, was a member of the state championship team of 1978, and was selected to the “All Tournament Team” that year as well.

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Cy Wiederholt  played from 1936 to 1941 in a pasture that was located behind the current Wiederholt’s Supper Club.  In late 1941 he left for the service and upon his return in 1946 he played until the early 1950’s.  Cy was a catcher for most of his career but on occasion played first base.  In the early 1960’s, Cy organized a group of people to work on getting Miesville a new ballpark.  Twenty-six individuals purchased one share of stock for $100.00 to fund the ballpark that exists today.

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Ben Whipple was a very versatile ball player.  The principal position he played was a pitcher, also was a first baseman and outfielder.  Ben was a good hitter and defensive ball player.  He was very competitive and well liked by teammates and opponents.  He had a big heart for baseball.

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Jay Johnson played from, 1978 to 2002.  Johnson pitched and caught during his early career and played second base and first base later in his career.  Johnson played on four Mudhen state championship teams and was elected to the “All State Tournament Team in 1989 and 1992 and was MVP of the 1989 tournament.  He contributed many hours working on the field and on various projects at the ball park making Jack Ruhr Field one of the most unique ball parks in the area.  Johnson is currently V.P. of Baseball for the Highland Little League in St. Paul that has 30 teams with 350 kids participating.

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Kirk Pederson had a 10 year career with the Mudhens spanning the years 1966 to 1976.  He played all infield positions, all outfield positions and was an outstanding pitcher.  He was a player/manager for the Mudhens from 1973 through 1976 and led the team to two State Tournament appearances.  He had outstanding physical talents.  He could hit for average, could hit with power, had outstanding foot speed and had a tremendous throwing arm.  He was a leader and was highly regarded not only by his own teammates but by all the other players in the league as well.

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Dewey Tauer was a Mudhen from 1967 to 1972.  He was a shortstop with a great arm and led the team in hitting three out of the six years that he played.  He participated in five state tournaments and was manager/player from 1070 through 1972.  Tauer was an impact player and rallied his teammates on to many victories.  He had a successful career from 1973-1982 as manager/player for the Red Wing Aces and was instrumental in the Ace’s winning the 1974 Minnesota State Championship.  He was recognized as Red Wing’s “Outstanding Young Citizen” in 1976, was the Red Wing United Way board chairperson for the 1978-1979 term and was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.

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Dan Carey played from 1966-67 and 1974 to 1982 and was a hard throwing left handed pitcher, a first baseman and managed during his Mudhen career.  Carey was a member of the New York Mets farm system in the late 1960’s and rejoined the Mudhens in 1974.  Dan was the MVP of the 1978 Minnesota Class “B” State Tournament that was won by the Mudhens.  Dan has done volunteer work through the American Heart Association as speaker and multiple committee member.  Dan also volunteers professional training in the health/fitness field.

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Tom Ditty was a Mudhen from 1974-1981.  He was multi-talented and played in the outfield, played first and third, pitched and was drafted one year by the Red Wing Aces as a catcher.  Ditty played in eleven state tournaments and four state championship games.  He was elected to five All-Tournament teams during his baseball career and 1992 was inducted into the St. Cloud State Athletic Hall of Fame for Baseball and Basketball.  Tom has served six years on the City of Hastings Planning Commission, served on the building committee and parish council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and has been a member of the Hastings Country Club Board of Directors.


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Jack Ruhr has been the President of the Mudhens for over 46 years.  He was an original stockholder in 1960, when the current ballpark was built, and has served as player/manager.  Jack recruited many players over the years and helped form the nucleus of many championship teams.   Jack has been a father figure to many Mudhen players and a central figure in the
Cannon Valley League.  Ruhr was honored approximately 15 years a go by having the Miesville Ball Park re-named “Jack Ruhr Field”.

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Jack Akin played from 1980 to 1988.  Akin played first base his entire career and led the team in home runs each year that he played.  He hit over 100 home runs, never had a batting average below 400 and had over 350 RBI’s during his nine year career.  He helped lead the Hens to two state tournament appearances during his playing days and appeared in every All Star game held by the Canon Valley League from 1980 to 1988.  After moving from Minnesota to Evergreen Co., he volunteered as a hitting instructor at the local high school.

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Jim Kruse has been an active and valued Mudhen board member for as many years as anyone can remember.  He has been instrumental in at least 13 major projects at Jack Ruhr field.  “If a project needed to be done, Jim would figure it out and make sure that it got done right.”  Some
of the many projects spearheaded over the years by Jim have been: field lighting system, Treasure Island scoreboard, concession stand, player’s clubhouse and press box, just to name a few.   “If they have an MVP award for behind the scenes work, Jim would get it.”  Without people like Jim Kruse, the Mudhen organization would not be where it is today—one of the finest baseball facilities in the area.

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Matt Werner’s Mudhen career spanned from 1989 to 2003.  Werner played mostly as a catcher but also played infield and outfield.  He played on the 1989, 1992, and 1995 Mudhen State Championship teams.  He also played on the 1991 and 1993 teams when the Mudhens were State runners up and on the 1998 team that placed 3rd in that year’s State tournament.  He spent endless hours working at Jack Ruhr field with various construction projects such as building the concession stand and dugouts, lighting, tree removal, grandstand and scoreboard work.  Werner has coached youth baseball and for the past five years has coached his son and daughter’s youth hockey teams

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Donald Gerlach was so young when he joined the Mudhens that he had to ride a motorized scooter to practice.  Fleet of foot with a powerful swing, Gerlach helped the Mudhens win many titles and playoff games in his eighteen-year career.  Making great strides defensively as a catcher, outfielder and pitcher, Gerlach also maintained an impressive .350 batting average.  Surprisingly, his skill level in 1969, the year he left the Mudhens, was the same when compared to the prime of his career.  Breaking open a tied thirteen-inning game against Rosemount with a homerun, Gerlach ended the winning streak of Miesville’s arch rival.  He was also the spark on the 1968 team that played for the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Championship and lost to Dassel-Cokato in the final game.

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Donald Schauer, a skinny fifteen-year old farm boy, started playing for Miesville in 1950.  Patrolling shortstop and second base with sure hands, Schauer played a major role in Miesville’s 1955 and 1959 Championships.  A true .300 plus long ball hitter, Scharer could make a losing game a lot more exciting or end a close game with one swing of the bat.  Through his baseball talent and Miesville community service, Schauer has given back to the team that now plays ball on the land his parents used  to farm. 

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Jerry Weber was a catcher, and outfield from 1948 to 1962.  In 1954 at the age of 21 he became manager.  His philosophy was to develop the young local talent.  In 1955 his Miesville team won the Dakota County League Championship.  Under his managerial guidance, Miesville won the Cannon Valley League playoffs in 1960, the Minnesota Amateur Class B Baseball Championship in 1961, and qualified for the State Tournament again in 1962.   He served on the Miesville Mudhen Board of Directors from 1960 to 1975.  In the year 2000 he thought that Miesville’s rich 80 year history had produced numerous retired Mudhens who might want to get together now and then to reminisce and help promote Miesville Baseball.  That idea developed into an organization called the Miesville Dugout Club which thrives today.

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Joe Hammerschmidt, a native of New Trier, MN, played for the Mudhens from 1973 through 1998.  He played every position over his 25 year career but 95%of the time as a catcher.  He was a member of the State Tournament Championship teams of 1978, 1989, 1992, 1995, and drafted as a catcher for state tournament play by Red Wing in 1973 and by Dundas in 1997.  In addition to playing, he spent countless hours preparing the field and cutting grass for Mudhen, Babe Ruth, and Little League games from 1980 through 2000.  He also served on the Miesville Mudhen Board of Directors and was in charge of the concession stand from 1994 through 2000.

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John Conzemius played for Mudhens from 1950-1953 and then again from 1957-1970.  The four year absence from Mudhen ball was due to his military obligation; however, he played baseball for the U.S. Fifth Army in Camp Zama, Japan during that time.  During his 16 year career he pitched in over 150 games as a starting or relief pitch and was the Mudhen manager for years as well.  He and his team won numerous Cannon Valley League Pennants, League  Play off Championships and births to the State Baseball Tournament.  He was President of the Cannon Valley League for two years and also served on the Minnesota Baseball Board.

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Harold (Bud) Kummer, now eighty two years old and a recent inductee in to the Miesville Baseball Hall of Fame, has not seen all of the baseball history in the historic town of Miesville, but he has seen and been a part of most of it.

In the depth of the Depression, the 1936, Wiederholt’s Grocery allowed the newly formed Miesville baseball team to use ten acres of their loand, at the rear of the store for a baseball field.

Kummer convinced his dad, Art Kummer, the Douglas Township board chairman to allow him to use the Township grader to blade the pasture sod off the proposed parks’s infield.  His friend and fellow ball player, fifteen year old Sylvestor Wiederholt, helped him pick up and remove the detached sod from the park.  Discarded telephone poles and an insufficient amount of chicken wire made up the backstop.  Before each game either Kummer or Wiederholt would hook up their car to a drag and work the infield into shape.  Persuasive discussions with farmer Leo Fox obtained his service gratis to cut and maintain the grass in the outfield.  If Fox was busy baling or had a more immediate chore, the grass in the outfield tended to get a little long for a game.  Ground rules provided an automatic double for any long balls hit into the abutting grain or corn field.  After the games were over, searching parties seldom found the balls because they feared trampling trhe farmer’s crop.  The new ballpark had no public seating, relying instead on the creativeness of the fams to sit in their cars or to bring their own seating.  Much of the teams expenses were paid by donations secured by Kummer, Wiederholt, and others passing the hat through the crowd.

Miesville changed ball fields in the late 1940’s when the St. Josephs Catholic Church of Miesville offered a better field layout and made available their land next to the church.  Bleachers were constructed for the fans, although passing the hat through the crowd was still the acceptable way for obtaining donations to pay team expenses.  The new field had a row of pine trees in the outfield that told the tale of whether a ball was a double or a homerun.  Kummer and some of his fellow ball players retained their second job, maintaining the field before each game.

Kummer, only fifteen years old, when he started his baseball pilgrimage by playing shortstop in his first season for the Mudhens.  Later, he switched to playing third base.  He was a consistent 400 hitter from the start, displayed a rifle arm and an unusual ability to steal bases which elevated him to the status of a perennial all star selection.  Miesville’s teams through the 1930’s had five excellent pitchers of almost equal ability.  The fortunate thing for Miesville, a town of less than one hundred people in the 1930s, was that all of the pitchers were willing and were good enough to play different  positions.  Bud played through the 1951 season, then managed Miesville for two more years, retiring in 1953 for a total of twenty seven years of Miesville baseball.  But is the last remaining survivor of the 1930’s teams.

Kummer named the Hampton baseball team as Miesville’s arch rival.  The Doffing brothers, Larry and Harold were some of the finest players that he played against.  Add Harry Nicolai and his brothers, Ray and John, that combination made Hampton a tough and consistently difficult team to beat.  Other players who played hard nosed against Miesville were Rosemount’s two very talented players, pitcher Ken Strese and catcher Marvin Ratzlaff whom on their more agreeable days were willing to physically challenge Miesville’s players and on occasion, a selected number of their fans.

Kummer attributes Miesville’s baseball success to it’s local players, mostly farm bred, who loved the game, were willing to do whatever was necessary to play each Sunday and the ever present strong local fan support.  He thinks about Miesville with a population of one hundred, plus or minus with citizenry from additional abutting farms who played competitively with cities like Rosemount, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Farmington, Inver Grove, etc.   He views the magnificent baseball stadium that Miesville has today and finds it hard to believe that it all started in back of Wiederholt’s Grocery sixty six years ago.

 

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Bruce BatesPlayed with the Mudhens from 1988-2001
Was a contributor on the 1989, 1992, and 1995 state championship teams and two second     place teams
Was selected to the All State Tournament Team 2 times
Coached team from 1995-2001 
Played on the 1995 team that went 40-7
Played outfield and third base
Helped on numerous field improvements
Currently coaching youth baseball in Forest Lake



Dave Carey, Played for the Mudhens from1974-1980. He was a pitcher and first baseman. He was feared by opposing hitters as a pitcher. In the 1976 playoffs he struck out 16 batters. Then in 1978 he pitched a complete game against Hampton that clinched a birth in the state tournament for the Mudhens. He was a good hitter too and his career average was .325. He appeared in 3 state tournaments.



Harry Davis, played from 1990 to 2003. Davis played centerfield for most of his career. Davis was a talented runner, with a strong throwing arm, and could throw for both average and power. During his career he played in several State tournaments and was named to two "All State Tournament Teams."



Mark Johnson
, pitched and played the outfield for the Mudhens from 1974 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 1998. He managed from 2002 to 2005 and was a member of the Mudhen Board of Directors from 1995 to 2007. During his career he was on eight State Tournament teams winning championships in 1978 and 1995 and was named to the All State Tournament team in 1979.



Bob Werner, is a "non-player" inductee who played a key role in building the Mudhen stadium that we all enjoy today. Bob was instrumental in lighting the park, installing the scoreboard, building the pressbox, installing the bleachers and many other chores that needed to be done over the years.



Jim "Rocky" Pohl, played from 1962 to 1965 in center field. He was a talented runner, with a rifle throwing arm that kept all base runners in check and hit for a high average. He helped Miesville beat a very good Jordan, MN. team two out of three games to gain entrance into the 1962 state tournament. He contributed to the Hastings community by being a volunteer fireman for 20 years has a soon who was also a standout Mudhen and shares the same nickname - Pat "Rochy" Pohl.



Bob Caneff, played second base and shortstop from 1949-1955. He play with other Hall of fame members like: Bennie Whipple, Cy Wiederholt, Don Schauer, Don Gerlach, John Conzemius, and Jerry Weber. Not only did he contribute as a player, but over the years he has been an active member St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Habitat for Humanity, Project Share, worked the St. Paul Classic Bike Ride for 22 years, and has organized National Anthem Singers at Jack Ruhr Field for 13 years or 234 home games.



Roger and Mary Kimmes both played huge roles in Miesville baseball resulting in the success of the organization that we see today. Roger was a member of the Mudhen Board of Directors from 1978-2001 and Mary was a board member from 1985-2001. During their tenure they were both involved in the lighting of Jack Ruhr field and the electronic scoreboard that helped Jack Ruhr Field receive the honor of "Best Amateur Baseball Field in Minnesota." Not only were they members of the board, but they were in charge of the concession stand, including working in the concession stand and doing all of the necessary tasks involved with concession stand operations from 1982-2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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