Five men inducted into Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted on Sept. 21, 2015 by CJ Siewert

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Five men who have spent countless hours to the growth and promotion of Minnesota amateur baseball were inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday. The 2015 induction class includes Paul Froncak of Lastrup, Terry Fredrickson of Elko, Robert “Birdie” Geislinger of Watkins, Lambert “Butch” Hennes of Sobieski and Pat Schneider of St. Joseph.

Bios courtesy of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame 

Paul Froncak – Lastrup

Paul has been a part of baseball as a batboy, player, manager, coach, Region 8 commissioner, treasurer of the Victory League, and current play-by-play announcer on KLTF radio for the broadcasts of the Victory League games. Paul has broadcast games for over thirty years.  Paul helped start the Lastrup Lakers team in 1998 and served as team manager from 2003 to 2011.  Paul served on the Pierz Legion Park Board from its inception in 1996. The Park Board helps to ensure that fields will be available for area high school students to use.  Paul is involved in the community and service organizations.  He is a part of United Way, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters.  Paul served as Veterans Service Officer for 28 years; he worked to make their return to civilian life as easy as possible and to say thank you.

Terry Fredrickson – Elko

Terry has been the bedrock of Elko baseball since 1976.  He was a player manager for ten years and in 2015 he has managed for forty years with over 900 wins.  His teams have gone to the state tournaments fourteen times winning the state championship in 2008.  Terry has been on the board of directors for twenty-five years.  He has been responsible for fundraising, field improvements, field maintenance and promoting baseball in Elko.  As a member of the Elko board, Terry helped bring lights to the field, new batting cages, landscaping, retaining walls, foul poles, bull pens and in recent years a new grandstand.  Because of this transformation, Lakeville High School, American Legion, Dakota Country Technical College and many other amateur teams play on the field which is aptly named Fredrickson Field

Robert “Birdie” Geislinger – Watkins

Birdie has been an integral part of the baseball community in Eden Valley and Watkins.  He has at various times been a player, coach, manager, groundskeeper, fundraiser, league official and organizer. He was a player for the Watkins Clippers from 1964-1974 and then a player for the Eden Valley Hawks from 1975-1987.  In 1988 he became the manager and continues in 2015 to manage the Hawks.  The baseball field has seen many improvements under Birdie’s guidance.  There is the “Hawk Shed” an indoor batting practice and pitching facility used by teams at all levels and many towns since the mid-1990s.  He has been a fundraiser and an officer in the Central Valley League. At various times Birdie has been a Babe Ruth coach, an American Legion baseball coach and for thirty years an assistant high school coach at Eden Valley-Watkins.

Lambert “Butch” Hennes – Sobieski

Butch began his fifty plus years with Sobieski baseball in 1963 when a group of men began building a baseball park.  Butch is an original member of the Sobieski Skis and played until 1983.  Butch played in six state tournaments and was known as a power hitter. In 2014 Sobieski won the Class C State Championship when Butch’s son Aaron caught the fly ball for the final out.  For the past 52 years Butch has served as a coach of the Sobieski Little Six baseball program.  He has been a board member and is a regular in the concession stand.  Butch still mows the baseball field.  He has donated his time to the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and St. Stanislaus Church.  Butch served our country in the United States Navy.  He continues to assist veterans in the community by taking them hunting and hunting and helping with tasks at their homes.

Pat Schneider – St. Joseph

Pat played high school baseball at St. Cloud Cathedral and amateur baseball in St. Joe from the 1960s into the 1990s. From the 1980s to the present time of 2015, Pat has coached and managed the St. Joe Saints. Pat was one of the founders of American Legion baseball in St. Joseph in the 1990s. He has been the director of the Saints Baseball Camp for ages six to 14 for the past 25 years. Pat provides the leadership and organizational skills to keep baseball thriving in St. Joe. The beautiful baseball field in St. Jow is Schneider Field. Pat was instrumental in field improvements such as: new grandstand, underground sprinkling system, renovation of the infield, a new concession stand, new bathrooms, and new dugouts. Pat has been a board member of the Great Sioux League and the Sauk Valley League. Pat is also a high school baseball umpire. 

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