Dan Plein Column: 5 to be enshrined in local baseball hallOn Saturday, the Red Wing Baseball Hall of Fame will be inducting the newest class. The induction banquet will be held at the Red Wing American Legion Club with the festivities beginning at 5 p.m.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
On Saturday, the Red Wing Baseball Hall of Fame will be inducting the newest class. The induction banquet will be held at the Red Wing American Legion Club with the festivities beginning at 5 p.m.
I would like to share my memories of this year's inductees.
Ron Gernentz was a longtime grounds crew chief for the Aces and Scarlets. He was also very active as a member of the Red Wing Amateur Baseball Association board of directors.
I remember many early phone calls from him on a Sunday morning, ensuring me that the Aces indeed would be able to play their scheduled game at the Ath as he and his crew were already making the needed preparations.
Also, no one has ever led the "Give me an A-C-E-S" cheer like he did.
When I was getting involved in Red Wing baseball many years ago, I recall hearing stories of a great player back from the era of town team baseball here in Red Wing.
Horst Radtke's name always would come up, especially with Radke hitting one of the longest home runs ever witnessed at the Red Wing Athletic Field. The accounts of that home run have it reaching the street that runs behind left field.
Radtke also was a great athlete at Winona State University, starring in both baseball and football. He continues to follow the Aces and is in attendance at most every home game.
Wade Shelstad was a player for the Aces and I had the pleasure of managing him for many years. He was a great teammate and one great ball player.
Shelstad grew up in Goodhue and played many years of baseball here in Red Wing. He was a member of the Aces' 1993 state championship team and was voted the MVP of that year's state tournament.
I remember many games when he was the best player on the field - be it at the plate, on the mound, on defense at first base or in the outfield. Shelstad was a furious competitor between the lines; he always brought an winning attitude to the yard.
When I was growing up as a baseball rat around the Ath, I remember watching Bob Turnbull play for the Wingers, Legion and Aces teams. I was astonished at how hard he could throw the baseball.
Seeing him play the game really established in my mind how I would envision a pitcher, with the ability to blow away any hitter but intelligent enough to know how to pitch.
Also, how could a young baseball hopeful not be in awe of a Red Wing kid who had just played in the College World Series as a member of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Ed Winkels has been involved in many areas of the local baseball scene.
He was a long tenured member of the Red Wing Amateur Baseball board of directors and served as treasurer for many years. Also, Winkels could be seen at almost every Aces or Scarlets game, working in the concession stand.
Not only was he involved locally, but Winkels also served as a section commissioner on the state level and was the longtime secretary-treasurer of the Classic Cannon Valley League. He was honored to be chosen as a co-chairman for the 1991 state tournament that Red Wing hosted with Cannon Falls.
Stop down to celebrate and honor the Class of 2010. They would appreciate it, and it's a great opportunity to talk baseball.
You never know what you may find out about these guys and what may be happening on the Red Wing baseball scene.