Pair of Hall of Famers pass away

Posted on July 24, 2013 by CJ Siewert 

The Minnesota amateur baseball community lost a pair of Hall of Famers recently. Mel Cook, a 1987 inductee from Comfrey, and Jack Ruhr, a 2000 inductee from Miesville, both passed away this summer. 

Mel Cook

Melvin “Mel” Cook, age 82, of rural Comfrey, died on June 28, at his home. Mel was born on September 13, 1930, in Mulligan Township, the son of George and Barbara (Nowak) Cook. He farmed on the home farm his entire life. He was a skilled carpenter and built most of the buildings on the farm site. Mel married Marie A. Windschitl on April 16, 1956, at Japanese Martyrs Church in Leavenworth.

He was an active member of the Japanese Martyrs Church where he served on numerous boards. He was a member of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame inducted in 1987. He also was a member of the Board of Directors for Stark Farmers Mutual Insurance and an agent for 42 years, active member of Leavenworth Baseball Association as a player, coach and board member since 1944.

Mel played Western Minnesota League Baseball for Sleepy Eye from 1950-1958. He enjoyed traveling, sporting events, his kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and morning coffee at Hardee’s.

Jack Ruhr (text courtesy of

The Miesville Mudhens family, and so many others, lost a dear friend on July 20. Our condolences and prayers for Jack Ruhr’s family and friends and a big prayer for you Jack. Miesville baseball is what it is because of Jack and his friends. You will always be in our hearts in and off the field.

Ruhr was the President of the Mudhens for over 46 years. He was an original stockholder in 1960, when the current ballpark was built, and has served as player/manager. Jack recruited many players over the years and helped form the nucleus of many championship teams. Jack has been a father figure to many Mudhen players and a central figure in the Cannon Valley League. Ruhr was honored approximately 15 years a go by having the Miesville Ball Park re-named “Jack Ruhr Field”.

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