Greater St. Louis Amateur Baseball HOF To Honor 2019 Class

Did you know there is a St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame and the primary display for the organization is located on the main concourse at Busch Stadium? Check it out if you are down there on Opening Day. On April 18, 2019, eighteen new players will be inducted at a special event to be held at the Sheraton Chalet Hotel, Westport.

Thirteen players, four coaches and one umpire are among the 2019 class of inductees.

Amateur baseball hof logoBob Ramsey, Voice of the Saint Louis University Billikens will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the 2019 induction ceremony. During the ceremony, in addition to the inductions above, the Greater St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame will present other awards including Jack Buck Award (Mike Claiborne), Bob Burnes Award, (Al Nipper), Bob Broeg Award (Michael D. Russell.)

The Class of 2019 includes the following: PLAYERS

KEVIN AUSTIN (68) – Star outfielder for Harris-Stowe College in the late ‘70s, who was top ten in the nation NAIA stolen bases in ‘76. He was a nine-time Tandy League All-Star and three-time team MVP. He coached the Normandy HS baseball team for nine seasons.

ROGER BANZE (1947-2012) – Former Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand, an outstanding pitcher who was drafted in the 25th round out of high school (Francis Howell) in ‘65 and played five seasons in the Pittsburgh organization. He played for the C&H Travelers in St. Charles for five seasons. He is also a member of the St. Charles County Sports Hall of Fame.

STEVE BIEDERMAN (68) – Star infielder at University of Missouri-Rolla in the late 60’s and early ‘70s. He was an honorable mention All-American in ‘72 and All-MIAA twice. He’s a member of the UM-Rolla Athletics Hall of Fame and played five years in the St. Louis County League for Ray Rixman Dodge.

KIT CROOKS (40) – Standout pitcher in the Mon-Clair League for the St. Louis Spikes, he’s a six-time league allstar. He’s won the Mon-Clair League Cy Young Award and named Mon-Clair League Playoff MVP. He was a three-time all-star in the EMBA for the St. Louis Rockies. He’s pitched championship games in the Mon-Clair, EMBA, CYC, GABL and MSBL. He’s the youngest ever STL ABHOF inductee.

STEVE GARROW (59) – Standout pitcher for Southeast Missouri State University in the late ‘70s. Staff Ace for six years with O’Fallon and St. Paul (EMBA). Pitched for the undefeated 1980 Metro Collegiate League Champion C&H Travelers. Pitched St. Paul to the Little World Series in ‘82.

LARRY HARRIS (60) – Former Minnesota Twins farmhand and standout hurler for Jefferson Junior College and Pan American University, he was staff ace for the St. Louis Browns (‘79 Metro Collegiate League Champs) and the Sotolar Pointers of the CYC Major League with career 38-8 record. He was CYC Major Pitcher of the Year ‘84.

LARRY LALUMONDIERE (72) – Starred for Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX (NAIA) in the mid-‘60s. He played every game at SRSU as an infielder for four years and only committed four errors. A prolific base stealer with power who led SRSU in HR’s and RBI’s for two of his four seasons. He starred on the infield for LP Sales in the St. Louis County League for five seasons.

DAN MURPHY (60) – Standout player for Meramec CC and University of Nevada-Las Vegas played six years in the Texas Rangers organization including three at AAA. He won the South Atlantic League triple crown and MVP in ‘81. He was a four-time all-star in four different minor leagues. He’s a member of the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame.

BEN RUFKAHR (56) – Former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand signed as a free agent out of high school. He played two years with the C&H Travelers in the Metro Collegiate League (named to the All-Star team in ’82) and 16 years with C&H and O’Fallon in the EMBA. He won multiple EMBA championships and was selected to the EMBA All-Star team six times.

JOHN SCHILLING (64) – Standout First Baseman for ’74 NJCAA National Champs Meramec JC and standout player at University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Named to the All-West Coast Athletic Conference team in ’75. Standout player for E.G. Hydraulics and Fenton Vets in the St. Louis County League, named an All-Star in ’76.

MARK STEINER (67) – Versatile infielder and pitcher for Saint Louis University in the early ‘70s. Named team tri-captain in ‘73. Standout player for American National and SLU in the St. Louis County League and Kutis in the Heine-Meine League.

RANDY TIEFENTHALER (59) – Outstanding pitcher for East Central College and Missouri Baptist College in the late ‘70s. Top of the rotation hurler for the undefeated 1980 Metro Collegiate League Champion C&H Travelers. Dominant pitcher in the EMBA for Old Monroe for nine seasons, including an EMBA no-hitter in ’79.

THOM TUSINSKI (66) – Star Centerfielder for the University of MO – St. Louis from ‘70-‘73. Selected as MVP of Regional Finals (D-II) and All-Tourney Team in ‘73. Played five years as starting centerfielder for Giesler-Jorgen of the St. Louis County League.

MANAGER/COACHES

KIRK CHAMPION (61) – Director of Instruction for Player Development for the Chicago White Sox, an accomplished pitching coach with extensive amateur, Olympic, college and professional experience. He served as pitching coach for Southwest MO State, Rend Lake College and SIU-Carbondale as well as Team USA and Baseball World Cup Teams. He’s been a pitching instructor in 13 different countries.

TIM FUNKHOUSER (46) – Head Coach at Edwardsville HS since ‘99, he’s won over 600 HS games including 12 regional titles, seven sectional titles and five state final appearances. He was named to the IL HS Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 and was IL Baseball Coach of the Year in 2017.

NORM OCHSNER (83) – Former Head Coach at Assumption HS and St. Dominic HS with 295 wins as a head coach. His teams won nine district titles, eight sectional titles and two appearances in the state final four. He was elected to the St. Charles County Hall of Fame and the field at St. Dominic HS bears his name.

TOM PILE (73) – Former head coach at Edwardsville HS (‘81-‘98) with over 500 HS wins including two state championships. His 1998 team was ranked #1 in the country by Collegiate Baseball News. He was named IL HS Baseball Coach of the Year three times, STL Area Coach of the Year six times and National Coach of the Year.

UMPIRE

STEVE DUNAHUE (58) – Accomplished veteran umpire for 39 years on multiple levels including: NJCAA (Junior College), NAIA, NCAA D-III, NCAA D-II and non-conference D-I games featuring teams from MVC, Big 12, SEC and ACC. Served as Crew Chief three times in D-II championship series. Works professional independent league baseball in the Frontier League (19 years) including three championship series and three All-Star Game assignments.

The Greater STL Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Legacy Award was created to honor and recognize those organizations, teams or individuals who have inspired generations of players, coaches, umpires and fans at all levels to enjoy, support and perpetuate the game of baseball. This year’s honoree is Martin Mathews – Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club.

RisingStarLogo_color.pngThe Rising Star Award presented to the most outstanding high school baseball player in the St. Louis area. Six finalists for the award are: Noah Jacobsen – Potosi HS Jimmy Obertop – Westminster Christian Academy Kolten Poorman – North County HS Jeremy Schork – Rockwood Summit HS Cole Schroeder – CBC HS Shane Wilhelm – Columbia (IL) HS

The Greater St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 1974 to recognize the outstanding amateur baseball players, managers/coaches, umpires and contributors in the greater St. Louis area. Since its inception, the Greater STL Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame has inducted just over 800 members.

The primary display for the organization is located on the main concourse at Busch Stadium. Satellite displays are located at Mathews-Dickey Boys Club in St. Louis and the St. Louis Baseball and Slow Pitch Academy in south St. Louis County.

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