Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame to add 5 new members Saturday

Dale Decker — Maple Lake

Dale played his first organized baseball for Howard Lake’s legion team as an eighth grader. He played his high school baseball for Howard Lake-Waverly earning all-conference honors all four years, graduating in 1975.  

Dale went on to play at the University of Minnesota-Morris from 1976-79 and was an NSIC all-conference selection his sophomore, junior and senior years. 

Dale’s 24-year amateur baseball career with the Maple Lake Lakers began in 1975. By 1977, Maple Lake had built a state tournament team and became dominant in the Wright Star League for many years. 

Dale played first base and third base, but was primarily a pitcher. As a hard-throwing right-hander, Dale compiled a 58-9 career regular season record with a 2.69 ERA. As a hitter, Dale had a .376 career batting average, with 65 home runs and 350 RBIs.

Dale participated in 18 state amateur tournaments as a player, 14 with Maple Lake and four as a draftee.  

After his playing career, Dale managed the Lakers from 2008-2010 and led them to a third-place finish in the Class B State Amateur Tournament in 2008. Dale also co-chaired state amateur tournaments hosted by Maple Lake in 2013 and 2019.

Dale is a member of the Maple Lake Lion’s Club, is an usher at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, is a substitute teacher at Maple Lake Schools, officiates youth football and basketball, and umpires games for Maple Lake’s legion, VFW, high school and youth teams.  

Dale taught for 35 years at Howard Lake-Waverly High School and was athletic director for 24 years. He also coached varsity football, basketball and baseball at various times and coached youth baseball teams in Maple Lake for six years. Dale was elected to the North Star League Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Hall of Fame in 2018.

Throughout the years, Dale was supported by his wife, Vicki, and their four children: Brandi, Cody, Riley and Brooke. Baseball is still a big part of their lives, with son Riley playing and managing the Lakers, while Dale sells tickets, works concessions and orders supplies for the Laker concession stand.

Luther Dorr — Princeton

Luther’s love of baseball began at age seven while listening to the 1949 World Series on the radio at home in Tracy, Minnesota. After his family moved to rural Princeton a few years later, he began hanging around the town team at nearby Santiago. At age 13, he played his first organized baseball for Santiago. That was the beginning of a 48-year career in amateur baseball where Luther played in six different decades. 

Luther played high school baseball at Bethany Lutheran High School in Mankato while playing legion ball in Princeton. He played one year at Bethany Lutheran College where he was their top pitcher and hit seven home runs. Luther then enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1964, he was sent to Camp McCoy in Wisconsin and played town team baseball with nearby Sparta while continuing to play for Santiago, making trips home on the weekend to pitch. He once pitched a complete game for Santiago on a Sunday afternoon and then threw in relief that night for Sparta on his return trip to Camp McCoy.  

In 1970, after 14 seasons with Santiago, Luther joined the Princeton Panthers and played another 34 seasons, retiring at age 60 in 2003. At one point during his career, Princeton went to eight straight state amateur tournaments, finishing second in 2000. He was also drafted as a pitcher four times.  

Known as a power pitcher, Luther struck out many hitters throughout his career, while also amassing great numbers as a hitter. He was featured in the Star Tribune as the Pitcher of the Week on three occasions. Luther was fortunate to play with his son for 21 years and they homered in the same inning twice, once when Luther was 50.  

After being discharged from the Army in 1965, Luther began his career as a writer and later editor of the Princeton newspaper, covering sports in the area for the last 54 years. He also participated in radio broadcasts of the high school and legion teams in Princeton.  

Luther is currently the District 10 Legion Baseball Commissioner.  He has also been active with the East Central Minnesota Editorial Board, United Fund, Jaycees, Our Saviors Lutheran Church Board and served two years as Commander of American Legion Post 216. Luther also manages the finances for the local baseball field and legion program.

Luther is the father of Brian and Tanya and has five grandchildren.

James J. Kubes, Jr. — Lonsdale

Jim’s love for baseball began at age five, shagging fly balls during his dad’s amateur team practices in Lonsdale. At age seven, Jim played his first youth game with 12- and 13-year-olds and by 16 was playing on the Lonsdale amateur team.

Jim was a dominant pitcher for his high school and legion baseball teams in New Prague. He threw a combined three no-hitters in 1961, helping bring his high school team the conference championship and leading his legion team to the state tournament. 

After graduating high school, Jim had the option to sign with the Dodgers, Tigers or Twins. After choosing the Twins, he played with two of their farm teams, even pitching to Tony Oliva in a spring training game in 1962. An arm injury halted his major league dreams after only five games and he returned home to Lonsdale.

Jim played for Lonsdale from 1959 to 1979, where he was primarily a pitcher and catcher. He made a name for himself on the mound, compiling an astounding record of 110 wins and 15 losses. Jim hit over 180 home runs in his career and won nine DRS League batting titles. 

He was player-manager from 1970 to 1979, helping bring Lonsdale consecutive third-place finishes at the state tournament in 1978 and 1979.  In all, he participated in ten state amateur tournaments, including one as a draftee.  In honor of Jim’s stellar career, his jersey (No. 8) was retired on May 20, 2018. 

In 1981, Jim helped organize a Legion team in Lonsdale and managed that team for seven years.

Jim started a concrete business in 1975 and employed many in the community. He donated time, money and concrete material for the construction of the concession stand, bathrooms and dugouts at the Lonsdale baseball park in addition to doing many of the little things that are often overlooked. 

Jim is a US Navy veteran and served on the Lonsdale Fire Department for 22 years, 15 years as a pump operator and twelve years as an EMT. Jim also served on the Immaculate Conception Church board in Lonsdale and was festival chairman for many years.

Jim married Marlene Lambrecht in 1963 and they were blessed with three children, Jacqueline (Brett), James (Lori), and Steven (Sheila). After losing Marlene to cancer, Jim married Judy Pesta in 1996 and welcomed her daughter Jackie (Jon) into the family. Jim has seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

LeRoy Kuhl — Hutchinson

Lee’s love and passion for the game of baseball began as a young boy playing with his four brothers in Reading, Minnesota. His first organized baseball started with the YMCA programs in Worthington at age nine in 1966.

Lee played VFW baseball for Worthington, leading his team to a second-place finish in the 1972 state tournament. He played shortstop at Worthington High School from 1972-75, being named all-conference his junior and senior years. During his senior year, he helped lead the team to conference and district championships. At the end of that year, he was selected to play in the first-ever Lion’s All-Star game at Metropolitan Stadium. He also played legion baseball for three years and was a four-year starting infielder at South Dakota State University, where he had a career batting average of .299.

Lee played his first amateur ball for Worthington from 1975-1979, with two state tournament appearances, hitting over .300 each season, with one year’s batting average being a phenomenal .476.

After moving to Hutchinson in 1980, Lee played with Brownton from 1981-1985. Known as a prolific, run-producing hitter, he caught for the first time as a draftee for Arlington’s two state title teams in 1984 and 1985. 

When Hutchinson formed a team in 1985, Lee joined them the next year and played there until his career ended in 1995. Over Lee’s 20-year amateur playing career, he was a feared and respected middle of the order left-handed hitter.

Since retiring as a player, he has coached various ninth grade, VFW and legion teams, as well as the Hutchinson amateur team.

In the early 1990s, Lee was elected president of a new organization that was instrumental in bringing together different groups of people to expand the number of baseball fields in Hutchinson to allow more kids to play and improve their game.

In addition to his playing and coaching, Lee has also been a member of the Hutchinson Baseball Association and currently serves as treasurer. He can still be found spraying weeds at the ballpark, painting sheds, changing game time signs, working in the concession stand, fundraising or whatever needs to be done to benefit Hutchinson’s baseball programs.  

Lee’s wife, Linda, has been a huge support to him throughout his time in baseball. Together they raised four children, Brian (Jesca), Nikki (Josh), Rodney (Amy), and Kevin (Trish), and have six grandchildren. 

Darrell Vosejpka — Lonsdale

Darrell’s love for baseball began at a young age, playing with his four younger brothers and neighborhood friends on the farm outside Lonsdale. He played youth baseball in Montgomery and when he was 12 years old, he won the state pitch, hit, and throw competition, which qualified him for nationals in Detroit. 

At 14, Darrell began his amateur baseball career with Lonsdale as a right fielder. 

During his high school career at Montgomery-Lonsdale, Darrell was a three-time all-conference selection as a pitcher/third baseman and played legion ball for Montgomery. After graduating in 1976, Darrell was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the seventh round. That summer, Darrell played 62 games in Sarasota, Florida as a first baseman and designated hitter. 

Darrell returned to Lonsdale after his year in the minors and played amateur ball in Lonsdale for 26 years. He was known as both a power pitcher and power hitter throughout his career and made 21 state tournament appearances, four as a draftee.  

In 1992, Darrell also played one season for Dundas and helped them advance to the Class B State Tournament.  

As much as Darrell made his mark as a player, perhaps he made just as big a mark through coaching. Darrell has coached the Lonsdale-New Market-Veseli (LNMV) Catholic School baseball team, multiple teams within the Lonsdale Little League Program, the DRS Town & Country League and managed the Lonsdale Aces for 11 years. Darrell continues as an assistant coach for the Aces, where he can be found coaching third base. In 2012, Lonsdale retired his No. 17.

Darrell has been an active participant on the Lonsdale Baseball Board since 1992. Over the years, he was instrumental in building a new grandstand, obtaining new lights and a new scoreboard in addition to other field renovations. Darrell has also done his share of field maintenance over the years and teams with his wife, Sharon, who manages the concession stand.

Off the field, Darrell is a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lonsdale.  There he serves as an usher, has served on the parish council and is a current member of the cemetery board. In past years, Darrell was active in the local food distribution center and served on the LNMV Catholic School Sports Association, raising money for a new gymnasium/senior citizen center where he and Sharon also spent many hours painting, sodding and doing other maintenance work.

Sharon has been at Darrell’s side throughout his baseball career and together they have raised three children, Derek (Kristi) Vosejpka, Brad (Megan) Vosejpka, and Julie (Phil) Tisdel, and have 10 grandchildren.

Check out additional content below: