2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

Posted on Jul 28, 2011

The Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame will induct six new members — Duane Gaulke, Terry Gieser, Don Goracke, John Hanowski, Ken Kuck and Wendell Stuewe — on Sept. 17, 2011.

For more information, visit http://www.mnamateurbaseballhof.com/.

Duane Gualke was born in Chamberlain, S.D., and grew up on the family farm where he learned to love baseball. He played junior league and American Legion ball. He enlisted in the Army in 1958 and, while a Fort Lewis, Washington, he played with the post team. When he returned to South Dakota, he played in Plankinto, White Lake and Gann Valley, S.D. In 1967 he moved to Minnesota and started playing for the Savage Pacers; he then moved to Jordan and played for the Jordan Brewers and also managed the team all the while he helped with tee ball and Little League. In 1979, he still hungered to play competitive baseball. He organized the Minnesota Senior Men’s Baseball Association which is now in its 32nd year of operation under his direction. He has managed a played for the Jordan Alers for the past 32 years during which time he has also been involved in helping to improve baseball fields with lighting systems, scoreboards, dugouts, and helped with field maintenance.
As a kid playing ball was a part of Terry Geiser‘s everyday life. He played baseball whenever he could between his farm chores. He played baseball and graduated from Wadena High School. At the same time, Geiser played amateur baseball for the Bluffton Braves. He is currently in his 39th season as a Brave; the last 15 years as the manager. His passion for baseball is shown in the ball park that he helped to get for Bluffton with a grass infield and in his care of the field; he waters and lines the field before games; he helps with fundraising and was the leader in getting a new grand stand built and also a new concession stand. Terry has volunteered to help coach Little League, Babe Ruth, Legion and High School. Terry is an active member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church and a volunteer leader of the Heinola Hustlers 4-H Club.
Don Goracke has been involved with baseball for more than six decades as a player, coach, manager, teacher and mentor to baseball players in the Morris community. He has been a part of tee ball, Little League, Babe Ruth, VFW, Legion, High School, college baseball programs and organizations, and baseball camps. Goracke played amateur baseball from the late 1940’s through the late 1970’s. He has also played with the Morris Legends senior men’s baseball team. In the community Don is a member of the Lions Club – he received their highest award for service. He has served on the Morris Park Board, sports boosters and community education board that oversees baseball facilities. He is an active member of the Assumption Catholic Church where he serves on various committees and boards.
John Hanowski is a 1976 graduate of Little Falls High School, where he played football and baseball and played in both the Shriners All State football game and the Lions All State baseball game. Hanowski attended Saint John’s University where he played on the 1976 NCAA Division III National Championship football team and earned three varsity baseball letters. John played amateur baseball for the Flensburg Falcons of the Victory League; he also managed the Falcons to numerous state tournament appearances. Hanowski has been tireless in his development of youth baseball. He helped to start the Junior Victory League, and the Little Falls Baseball travel teams. John is both the Flyers High School baseball coach and the VFW coach. In addition to coaching John has spent countless hours working on the fields where he has helped build batting cages, cut sod, mended fences, mowed grass, fixed backstops, and leveled. John is an active member of Our Lady of Lourds Catholic Church.
Ken Kuck played high school baseball for Holy Trinity High School (now New Ulm Cathedral) and the New Ulm Legion teams. He developed his skills as a young boy on the farm throwing balls off the buildings. He was an outstanding catcher for and later managed the Searls amateur baseball team. He also coached the Searles Little League team. When his playing and managing days were over, Ken took up umpiring. He umpired amateur and high school baseball for more than twenty years. He was very active in the Searls Baseball Association as a member of the board of directors and president. He has been a member of the fund raising group to enhance the ballpark with the purchase and installation of lights for the ballpark. Besides his board duties Ken ran many of the fund raisers and helped with field maintenance. He is a current trustee of St. John’s Catholic Church and a past member of the New Ulm Catholic School board.
Wendell Stuewe graduated from Central High School in Norwood-Young America, Minn. in 1960. Stuewe played amateur baseball for the Hamburg Hawks from 1958-1971. He served as treasurer for the team from 1973-2010. For the State Amateur tournaments hosted by Hamburg in 1983,1988,1998 and 2007, he was the facility supervisor. Wendell has spent untold hours and set high standards for the baseball field. He guided the team through many major projects. He designed and facilitated the building of the new grandstand which was completed in 1995. If fact, he did a lot of work on the grandstand himself. In 1982, Wendell re-started the Hamburg Little League Baseball program. He has coached Little League, Babe Ruth and Legion teams. Wendell has been a member of the Hamburg Fire Department, the Hamburg Commercial Club and the Central High School Booster Club.

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