History of Belle Plaine Tiger Baseball
Orgainized baseball began in Belle Plaine in 1885 and the tradition continues today at Tiger Park. The Tigers have five inductees in the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame: Fred Keup Sr. (1966), Joe Hahn (1982), Omy Hahn (1984), Gene O'Brien (1994), and Gerry "Mize" Meyer (1997).
The Tigers won the Class 'C' championship in 1994 behind MVP Barry Wohler and were runners-up in 1948, 1952, 1991 and 2013. Other trips to the state tournament for "BP" came in 1930, 1992 (3rd), 1993, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010-2015 and 2018. Belle Plaine has hosted/co-hosted the state tournament in 1966, 1981, 1992, 2004 and 2014.
1994 Class 'C' State Champions
BACK ROW, L-R: Jeff Bruder, Troy Otto, Ross Malin, Jeff Miller, Barry Wohler, Kevin Studnicka, Brad Muehlenhardt, Trace Selly, Chris Hart, Jeff Hillstrom, Mgr. Brent Meyer.
FRONT ROW, L-R: Dave Harms, Jim Buesgens, Jeff Gansen, Jason Ladd, Brett Kruschke, Paul Fogarty, Kirby McDonald, Victoria draftee Tony Vogel, Victoria draftee Jeff Bjerke.
2013 Class 'C' State Champion Runner-Up
BACK ROW, L-R: Nate Hartmann, Zach Horning, Dylan Nyberg, Tyler Hartman, Mgr. Mike Schultz, Ross VanHauen, Jake Scherer, Pat Schultz, Miah Fogarty, Zac Dahlke, Jake Fiedler.
FRONT ROW, L-R: Shawn Larson, Dan Huber, Brad Lawson, Josh Terrio, Matt Schultz, Ryan Diers, Sam Korth, Travis Latzke, Trevor Latzke, Derek Dahlke.
NOT PICTURED: Johnny Egan, Andy Lehman, Mike Wagner, Connor Stoltz, Rob Wagener.
1991 Class 'C' State Champion Runner-Up
BACK ROW, L-R: Trace Selly, John Bergs, Jeff Johnson, Brad Muehlenhardt, Pete Fogarty, Mike "Zip" Zellmann, Jeff Miller, Dave "Greek" Wagner, Kevin Studnicka, Jay Soule, Jeff Bruder, Terry Kahle, Mgr. Brent Meyer.
FRONT ROW, L-R: Jim Buesgens, Brett Kruschke, Jeff Fahey, Eric Johnson, batboy Michael Hanson, Paul Fogarty, Jeff Gansen, Greg Hillstrom, Barry Wohler.
1952 Class 'A' State Champion Runner-Up
1952 Belle Plaine State Tournament team, which lost to Cannon Falls 5-4 in the Class A championship game. Back row: Bob “Minnow Meyer, George Bodmer, Paul Keup, Norb Schmitt, Jim Pollard (Jordan draftee), Jack O’Brien, Lloyd Schultz, Fred Keup, Jr., Gene O’Brien, manager. Front row: Pete Johnson, Fred Schultz, Jerry Miller, Baldy Hartkoff (Jordan draftee), Jim Geske (New Prague draftee), Rollie Seltz. Bat Boys: Paul Johnson, Greg Engfer. Pollard was a four-time NBA all-star for the Minneapolis Lakers and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. (Photo courtesy of Tom Melchior.)
1948 Class 'A' State Champion Runner-Up
(Photo courtesy of Tom Melchior.)
If you have any old (or new) Tiger photos, please contact Brett Kruschke at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will scan them onto the site, and return to you promptly. Thanks!!