The 43rd Annual Hall of Fame Banquet was held February 3, 2018. Mayor Gordon Kokenge served as MC for the program. Jr. A’s traveling teams were recognized with the coaches giving a recap of their seasons and High School coach Rod Eberly introduced his players and spoke about their season. A’s manager Ryan Eberly gave an overview of the 2017 season and the expectations for the upcoming 64th summer schedule. Kevin Jenks GM and Tournament Director of the National Baseball Congress in Wichita, KS spoke of the affiliation they have had with the A’s and how much he loves coming for the banquet and seeing those involved with the program each year.
New inductees to the Hall of Fame were Audrey Bond and Evelyn Hayes, two women who in the 60’s set up a make shift concession stand under the bleachers which was large barrels with wooden planks for the counter. It was their efforts that inaugurated and made possible the first building donated by the city for a real concession stand in a structure they moved from another part of the City Park and the eventual building of the current stand that now includes a club house and locker room. Small seeds that grow are the key to any project and part of our lives. Their husbands Ralph and Mernie who were active with the youth programs and their sons Terry and Jerry, who accepted for them, played for the local junior college and the A’s are also members of the Hall. Bryan Seymour one of several University of Missouri players on the 1995 team was an outfielder who led the team in hitting with a .440 batting average and 2nd in RBI with 52 and was joined by Ryan Fry and Jeremy Jackson for one of the best defensive outfields the A’s have had and led to a fine season of 52-12. Following graduation with a degree in finance, he had several jobs including five years as a police officer in Overland Park, KS, since 2009 he has been a sales manager and consultant with Home Advisor, living in Lenexa, KS with wife Jennifer, son Adam and twin daughters Brooke and Savanna.
KMA Radio which covers SW Iowa, SE Nebraska and NW Missouri was on hand to present a special award. In August they had announced that the first ever Legacy Award which was to honor individuals and groups that have had a lasting impact on KMAland athletics was to be given to the Eberly Family for the work they have done with the A’s program and they were on hand to make that presentation to Mrs. Eberly and five of the six Eberly children, Rick, Ryan and Rod Eberly, Jill Sunderman and Joy Cox with Julie Brummett unable to be there.
There were many wonderful items for both the live auction conducted by Austin Ascherl and the silent auctions with the bidding going very well.
Thanks go out to all those who attended and especially to Ozzie and Von for continuing their support of the program. Tentative date for the 2018 banquet is set for November 17.
Clarinda’s Baseball Hall of Fame grew out of some gatherings at the Clarinda Country Club for the A’s Board of Directors, coaches and manager as well as college coaches, scouts and alumnus. The first couple were strictly stag events, with it opening up to the wives later.
Clarinda’s Hall of Fame is unique and for those of you not familiar with the program, it is not just ball players who are recognized – it also includes those who have contributed to Clarinda baseball in other ways as well – serving on the board or auxiliary, coaching youth teams, opening their homes to the “boys of summer”, those who have been exemplary in their financial support, the media and yes, even umpires.
The first actual inductions were made in 1974 in an event held at the First Christian Church and was a wild game feed with the auxiliary doing the cooking for a group numbering almost 200. Since it has grown in scope and size with former A’s players who have made it to the Major Leagues coming to sign autographs and participate in a question/answer session to close the evenings activities which include both a silent and live auction of memorabilia, recognition of the High School and youth teams and induction of new members each year.
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