Congrats to the 2016 Rock River Hall of Fame inductees shown below. They were honored at this year's Old Timers Banquet on Saturday, October 22nd at the Lions Hall in Clyman.
2016 Hall of Fame Inductees
Teddy Miller - Kewaskum
Travis Steger - Neosho
Tony Cole - Brownsville
Jim Wittrock - Hustisford, Mayville, Waupun, Clyman
Ken "Patz" Lerch - Brownsville
Rock Diamond Award Winner
Phil Nehls - Hustisford, Clyman, Rubicon
Hall of Fame Bios
Teddy Miller – 73, is retired and lives in Kewaskum. Teddy has been the scorekeeper for the Kewaskum A’s for 53 years. He even played right field 5 times in a pinch. His greatest Rock River League achievement was in 2013 when Kewaskum won the Grand Championship. His memorable incident was being part of a 21 inning game against Hustisford. Teddy’s top players are Jim Ziegler, Doug Gonring and Terry Koth, all of Kewaskum.
Travis Steger – 44, lives in Lomira and is a shipping supervisor. Travis played for Rubicon from 1989-90 and for Neosho from 1992-2013. He was a member of six All Star teams. Travis had a three homer game against Hartford hit two walk off homers (one on Fan Appreciation Day against Juneau and one in a SWABA Tournament game), had 10 RBI’s in one game and 9 in another, but the dates are blurs. Humorous incident – One season we had a “Burr Day” with all of Jeff Burrow’s friends in attendance. I told Burr to tell his friends I was going to hit a home run and then did on a 3-0 count. Travis’s top opponents were Tim Fitzsimmons of Clyman and Jason Feucht of Rubicon.
Tony Cole - 48 is part owner and President of Cole Oil & Propane in Lomira. Tony played mostly Shortstop and 2nd base for Brownsville for 15 years. Tony’s top achievement was being named Northern Division MVP in 1989. That year he won the batting title, hitting .489 and struck out only once. He played in 11 All Star games, starting at either shortstop or second base and lead off in most of those games. Tony felt fortunate to be versatile enough to play all of the infield position, pitcher, catcher and even right field a few times. He tried to always battle and had multiple 1 or 2 strikeout seasons. Tony feels honored to be nominated for the Hall of Fame and really enjoyed competing against a lot of good players. For his humorous incident, Tony chose a game against Rubicon. He was playing 2nd base and a young player was stealing. Tony covered the base and the ball was way overthrown. Tony jumped up and smacked his glove and held his glove on the player His teammates screamed at him to go as the centerfielder let the ball go between his legs. Rubicon thought it was bush league but he thought no big deal. They were obviously not happy when they beaned my brother mistaking him for me. Tony thought all of this was funny but Tom did not. We hashed out all of our problems over $1 beers for their Fan Appreciation Day. Tony’s top opponents were Dave Geldnich – Slinger, Shawn Berg – Rubicon and Dale Nehls – Hustisford.
Jim Wittrock - 52, is a forklift operator at Menards Distribution Center and lives in Iron Ridge. Jim was a pitcher, catcher and infielder for Mayville from 1982-1987, Waupun in 1988, Mayville in 1989 and Hustisford from 1991-2001, Clyman in 2002 and Hustisford from 2003 to the present. Jim made two RRL Grand Championship appearances, won the SWABA Championship and was MVP in 1994 and was a 4 time All Star for three of the 4 teams he played for. His humorous incident occurred before a ball game in Pardeeville. The Husty team was warming up before infield practice with Tim Norton as the manager. He had a little trouble with umpire Carl Schwarze the game before. Well, actually he called Carl brutal and kicked dirt on his shoes before Carl asked Tim nicely to leave the game. To be honest, it wasn’t that nice. Most people have had run-ins with Carl, so it was forgotten pretty quickly we thought. Carl walked over to the dugout before the game, walked up to “Nort” and tells him if he ever calls him brutal again, he will rip off his head and !@$#%&!@ down his neck! Then Carl slowly walked back to home plate for the ground rules. Jim’s top opponents were Lee Kaul – Rubicon, Jason Wesemann – Clyman and Chris Morgan – Oakfield.
Phil Nehls - 64, lives in Hustisford and is a semi-retired assistant manager at Cenex. Phil is a past president of the RRL Old-timers. Phil played mostly outfield and first base for Clyman (1968), Hustisford (1969-1981) and Rubicon (1982-1983). He played on three Grand Championship teams, played in numerous All Star Games, and made several All Tournament teams. Phil hit a 2 run homer off Don Held at Lebanon in the Held vs. Alt matchup. He hit 3 homers in a game at Clyman (the wind was blowing a little???) and homered in his first at bat for Carl Heimerl at Rubicon. Humorous incidents – While playing first base for Carl Heimerl, Carl went to chase kids away from the scoreboard. I watched him and missed a pickoff throw. As an umpire, I called a ball on Chuck Braunschweig on a perfect pitch. I figured if he didn’t swing, it must have been a ball. In a game at Hustisford, a fight broke out in the stands. Kirk Kaul was pitching and looked up in the stands only to get hit by the return throw from catcher Tom Fitzsimmons. Phil’s top opponents were Don Held and Jim Hoppe of Lebanon, Jim Pirkel of Watertown and Dan Hinzmann of Johnson Creek.