CLARINDA A’s INDUCT FIVE NEW MEMBERS INTO HALL OF FAME
Clarinda’s Hall of Fame, it is unique as we honor not only the ball players, but also those who have had a hand in keeping baseball alive & well in this community for so many years.
Elaine Farwell is the first woman to be inducted for a few years. Her job as director of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote Clarinda and in doing this she is a tireless worker on all fronts. For the A’s particularly she is so important as she always includes the program in so many of the outgoing mailings, personal appearances and this past year had done a special basket of A’s items for the Western Iowa Tourism meeting. Mrs. E says she is invaluable to her, as she keeps her on her toes about getting information to her during the year.
Craig Larscheid is an outfielder, one of many who came to the A’s from Tarkio College where he helped Coach Rick Eberly win the school’s first & last Heart of America Conference championship. While here in 1989 and 1990, he found not only a competitive team to which he contributed both offensively and defensively, but he is one of several former players who found their wife here. During the 1989 season he hit .296 and had 31 stolen bases – the next year he hit .299 with 17 stolen bases. Following his marriage in 1993 he was a YMCA youth sports director before moving to the Minneapolis area to a career in Information Technology. In 2001 he created the Clarinda A’s website & continues to maintain it. He & his wife Michelle have three children.
Alan Mahaffey came to the A’s in 1993 from Three Rivers Community College where his coach Stacey Burkey is a former A’s pitcher. Mahaffeyy spent two summers on the mound for the team. In his first year he was3 – 1 with an ERA of 4.24, the following season he was 8-1 with an ERA of 4.29 – he upped his strikeouts from 3 to 56 that year. He also attended one year at the University of Arkansas before he signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1995 where he spent six years in their minor league system, advancing to the Triple-A level. He also spent a season of in independent ball with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2002. Currently he lives in Springfield, MO with his family where he is Division Manager for Carnahan White Fence Co. & still keeps his hand in baseball working with the Midwest Nationals Baseball Academy since 2003. Attending the banquet were his family, including his parents & brother Brian who also pitched for the A’s.
Bob Steinkamp’s induction is a bit unusual – he has been an opponent for many years and a very competitive opponent during that time, but through the years he had been bringing his team to Clarinda a definite bond was forged, not only with the team management & coaching staff, but also the community – for several years he has helped collect items for our silent auction and during the banquets you could see him in the crowd selling raffle tickets. Although he is no longer managing the Beatrice Bruins, he is still active in the MINK League, serving as the commissioner and he continues to scout for the Seattle Mariners.
Gordon Kokenge and his young family moved to Clarinda in the early 70’s and they were to make a large impact on our community. He came as a teacher/coach who was the first girl’s track and basketball coach & also coached the high school baseball team. His wife led the LPN program and IWCC. In 1976 he joined the coaching staff of the A’s and his son Chad was a batboy for the team. Since his retirement from education, he continues to farm and has been active in state and local politics. Since becoming the mayor of Clarinda he has continued work with the A’s program to keep Municipal Stadium updated for both the A’s and the High School, and ensuring that the softball, Little League fields and recreational areas are also ready for the summer. He deserves many thanks for all he does for our city.