05/29/2012 8:21 PM
May 29, 2012
For Immediate Release:
Black, Minnis, Head 2012 St. Joseph Baseball Hall of Fame Class
Two individuals and an entire team will be inducted into St. Joseph’s Baseball Hall of Fame this year.
Longtime Missouri Western baseball coach, Doug Minnis, and Linden Black, a catalyst in bringing summer baseball back to St. Joseph, will be joined by the 1975 Missouri Western team. That Minnis-coached team won the NAIA district championships and competed in the NAIA World Series at Phil Welch Stadium.
The induction ceremony will be Saturday, June 16, when the Mustangs host the Missouri Western Alumni Baseball Team.
Minnis, who launched Missouri Western’s baseball program in 1969, won 684 games during his 30-year career there. He retired after the 1999 season, and remains involved as a volunteer at Western and in the community.
Prior to coming to Missouri Western, Minnis coached at Waverly High School (Waverly, Kan.) and at Bishop Ward High School (Kansas City, Kan.). He is a member of seven halls of fame: Stafford High School (Stafford, Kan.) and Emporia State University (Emporia, Kan.) from which he graduated; Bishop Ward; Missouri Western; National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics; American Baseball Coaches Association, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Minnis and his wife, Marjorie, reside in St. Joseph.
Black, whose days at what is now Welch Stadium go back to shining shoes for the St. Joseph Cardinals, selling soft drinks, and pulling weeds, was the catalyst in organizing the MINK League in the fall of 1995. He served as president of the St. Joseph Saints for three years, board chairman for seven years as the city earned recognition as the premier organization in the league.
Elected commissioner/treasurer of the MINK League, Black ruled on disputes and infractions, visited cities wanting to gain entry to the league and advised them about the “Saints model” of achieving success and working with city officials. He served in those capacities for 11 years. Black and his wife, Beverly, now reside in Tyler, Texas.
The 1975 team defeated Missouri Southern and Evangel to win the district play-off, then beat Buena Vista (Storm Lake, Iowa) and Winona State (Winona, Minn.) to advance to the NAIA World Series. The squad played the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas twice each, splitting with each of the schools.
Members of the 1975 team were pitchers Paul Kolomic, Kent Clark, Gary Snider, Nick Finn, Mike Clark, Ron Jones and Stan Diskin; catchers Blake DeMaria and Steve VanHorn; infielders Todd Walters, Bill Mangini, Blake Schreck, David Sego and Bob Vecchione; outfielders Mark Clark, David Cain, David Limbaugh and Tim Skorija.
This is the second class for the St. Joseph Baseball Hall of Fame. Last year’s inductees were Dave Brown, manager of the Boys Baseball team that won the world championship in 1972; Julius Hochman, who launched and ran the Boys Baseball program here for many years, and Jim Hamlin, one of the original organizers of the college-age summer program in St. Joseph. Mr. Hochman and Mr. Hamlin were honored posthumously.
The Hall of Fame here was organized by Dan Gerson, president and chief executive officer of the St. Joseph Mustangs, and Rick Muntean, chief operating officer. The goal is to give recognition to individuals and teams who have made major contributions to baseball at all levels in St. Joseph.