West Central Area Baseball Hall of Fame

The Kandiyohi County Historical Society partnered with the Willmar Stingers to begin a West Central Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. We inducted 7 players into the 2014 inaugural class. We are seeking nominations for the 2017 class. The West Central Baseball Hall of Fame covers a 45-mile radius of Willmar which includes communities such as Glenwood, Montevideo, Redwood Falls and Dassel-Cokato.

Nomination Form

In order to be considered for the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame, nominees must fall within the 45-mile radius of Willmar and be featured in one of the following categories:

  1. Professional
    Player or manager who resided in West Central Minnesota and went on to success in high levels of professional baseball as a player, coach, or manager.
  2. Amateur
    An amateur player, coach, or manager who was successful as a player in youth, high school, and/or adult amateur baseball.
  3. Community Involvement
    A longtime resident of West Central Minnesota who has achieved great success as a supporter of baseball and has made significant contributions to baseball.

The Historical Society will begin accepting nominations immediately to be reviewed by the selection committee. If you wish to submit a nomination, a form has been created to submit potential candidates to the Historical Society. The form and 45 mile radius map can be can be obtained by contacting Jill Wohnoutka at the Historical Society at 320-235-1881 or kandhist@msn.com. The 2017 inductions to the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame will be held on to-be determined date in January or February in conjunction with the Stingers Winter Barbeque event.

Nominations must be submitted to the Historical Society by Friday, October 14, 2016 in order to be considered for the 2017 class. All nominations must include a nomination form.

The West Central Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame announces the Class of 2015 Inductees

The Kandiyohi County Historical Society is proud to announce the Class of 2015 inductees into the West Central Minnesota Hall of Fame. 

The West Central Minnesota Hall of Fame Class of 2015 induction will be held in conjunction with the Stingers Winter BBQ on January 16, 2015.  More details on the BBQ/Induction will be coming in the next couple weeks. For more information, call Jill Wohnoutka at (320) 235-1881

This year's inductees include:

Willard Reigstad (1919-2001) Born in Arctander Township, MN and lifetime resident of Kandiyohi County.  Reigstad played for New London High School where he graduated in 1939.  Reigstad played and managed the Norway Lake Lakers for many years.  The ballpark in Sunburg is named in his honor, Reigstad Field.  Reigstad also played for Belgrade and Clara City.  In the early 1940’s, Reigstad played for the St. Cloud Rox.  In 1971, Reigstad was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.   

Norman “Red” Jones (Litchfield) Born in Raymond, MN and got his start playing pee wee and midget games.  From 1954-1957, Jones played for the Raymond High School and the American Legion.  He played for the Raymond Rockets for 14 years, 1956-1969.  After moving to Litchfield, Jones managed the Litchfield Blues 1977-1978.  Jones coached the Litchfield’s Babe Ruth team for 10 years.  Jones organized Litchfield’s Cal Ripken youth baseball program.  He is a founding member of the Litchfield Baseball Association and was instrumental in the construction of the Optimist Park.  In 2013, Jones was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
William “Porky” Wegner, Jr.  (1896-1970) born in Raymond, MN.  He managed the Raymond Legion Baseball team for 20 plus years.  Wegner was manager when the first Raymond team went to the State Amateur Tournament in 1937.  Wegner managed the Raymond Legion team in the State Tournament in 1951.  Wegner was selected as a Minnesota Sport Champion in 1958 for the Minnesota State Centennial.  Wegner served on the Region Amateur Baseball Commission and as an officer in the Corn Belt League. 
2014 Hall of Fame Class
Mike Kingery 
(Grove City)
played professional baseball for 17 years with the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's, Colorado Rockies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He played VFW and American Legion baseball in Atwater and Willmar.
Howie Schultz 
(1922-2009)
played five seasons with the Willmar Rails starting in 1950. Prior to coming to play in Willmar, Schultz played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati Reds.
Barry Wohler 
(Orono)
a Bird Island native played baseball for Bird Island-Lake Lillian high school. He played Legion ball for six years starting when he was in 7th grade. He played at the University of Minnesota and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played Triple A baseball.
Sylvester “Blix” Donnelly
(1914-1976)
a right-handed pitcher and lifelong resident of Olivia, MN. He had an 18 year professional career between 1935-1952. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Braves.
Art Grangaard
(1915-2004)
was instrumental in building up the baseball interest in Willmar area in the 1950’s. Awarded MVP of the Willmar Rails when they won the 1952 Class AA state tournament. He was both manager and third baseman.
Joe Martinson
(1923-2007)
started work at KWLM in 1947 where he covered many area high school, Legion and Willmar Rails baseball games with his memorable play-by-play. He was an assistant coach and manager of the Willmar American Legion baseball team.
Rueben “Rube” Nathe
(Litchfield)

started playing baseball in his youth in New Munich, MN. He has been managing the Litchfield Blues since 1982. Coached the Local American Legion team for 29 years. Served as District and Minnesota State Vice Chairman for 36 years.