Hastings Baseball Hall of Fame opensA new chapter of the history of Hastings baseball was written Friday, June 4, with the opening of the brand new Hastings Baseball Hall of Fame and the induction of Dan Carey, Gordon Grossman (accepted by his wife, Barb), Don Groth, Mike Louden and Bob Schommer.
A new chapter of the history of Hastings baseball was written Friday, June 4, with the opening of the brand new Hastings Baseball Hall of Fame and the induction of Dan Carey, Gordon Grossman (accepted by his wife, Barb), Don Groth, Mike Louden and Bob Schommer.
The induction was held prior to the first pitch of the Hastings Hawks vs. Lyon's Pub Warriors game.
"It was a long time coming," commented Hall of Fame board member Wayne Erickson. "There have been numerous conversations over the past five or six years among individuals representing just about every facet of baseball in Hastings about establishing a Hall of Fame … Finally, the discussions went beyond chat and were put into action."
Erickson, along with other Hall of Fame board members Doug Laumeyer, Brian Schommer, Jeff Hedlund, Chad Richardson and Nick Tuckner agreed on two things: The newly established Hall of Fame should be representative of all levels of baseball in Hastings and should recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond the norm for Hastings baseball, both on and off the field.
The group developed criteria and a nomination process that would be used at least for the inaugural class of inductees. Nominations were accepted beginning in early April, and by the end of May, there were approximately 10 individuals who had been nominated.
"We hoped for a bit larger group of nominations but hopefully, the word will spread, and the next class will have many more nominees,” Brian Schommer explained. “Any individual who was not elected in this round will automatically be on the next ballot."
The Hall of Fame location is in the Champions Room at the Hastings Green Mill. When general manager Tim O'Brien was contacted by the Hall representatives to be involved with the new endeavor, he was happy to oblige. The venue seemed to be a perfect fit as there is already recognition of several other athletic highlights illustrated in the room.
There are several articles, advertisements and other information regarding the history of Hastings baseball, which dates back to the Civil War days. There are also photographs of the old ball park, which was located near the current Pioneer Park and United Methodist Church.
The Hall of Fame will continue to collect Hastings baseball memorabilia and if you have any that you would like to donate, the board members welcome your call.
After the induction, more than 100 people in attendance were treated to an excellent baseball game. After that, the Green Mill provided free appetizers in the Champions Room, where players and attendees could get a first hand look at some of the artifacts going up in the hall.
"It is such an honor to be among this first class of first-class individuals," Groth commented.
“You don't do what you do for recognition like this," Bob Schommer said. "But what an honor it is to receive it ... it really is a great feeling."