|
|
|
St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Schmidtke’s career celebrated

  • Schmidtke is no stranger to the MN All-Star Series with highlights including coaching the Outstate Team to a 3-0 record in 1980 and watching all three of his sons compete at the classic.
    • email print
  • St. James baseball coaching legend, Howard Schmidtke, kicked off a big week on Thursday, June 20. A few days prior to riding in style as one of the Railroad Days Grand Marshalls, Schmidtke attended the All-Star Series banquet at Hazeltine Golf Course in Chaska and enjoyed special recognition in addition to meeting another baseball legend.
    Schmidtke is no stranger to the MN All-Star Series with highlights including coaching the Outstate Team to a 3-0 record in 1980 and watching all three of his sons compete at the classic.
    It quickly became clear at the banquet that Schmidtke’s name had not been lost over the years as many old friends shared greetings. Taking his seat in the banquet hall, Schmidtke started a conversation with the man seated to his left only to find out  they had met before. Dan Simmons was the 3rd baseman for Stewartville in 1979 when Schmidtke’s crew executed several suicide squeeze plays enroute to a 6-run inning and eventual State Championship. It would be the only loss of the year for Stewartville and Simmons, now the head coach for his alma mater, was able to share a laugh with the man that made him miserable three decades ago. Simmons son was a 1st baseman for the South All-Stars along with Sam Carlson from St. James who made the team as a pitcher.
    Schmidtke surprised the St. James graduate by stopping by the hotel on the way to the banquet to deliver some dress shoes that Carlson needed for the event. A regular at local baseball games, the younger Saint has enjoyed learning from the coach who brought several SJHS teams to State.
    In the early part of the event Schmidtke was recognized amidst the largest crowd to ever attend an All-Star Series banquet. Dick Jankowsky, the voice of the Golden Gophers was the emcee and cited all of Schmidtke’s baseball accomplishments along with being a WWII veteran and happily married for 69 years. A large round of applause followed. A special surprise for Schmidtke came when he enjoyed a visit by 2013 banquet speaker, MLB Hall of Famer and former All-Star participant – Paul Molitor. Molitor ranks #8 all-time on the list for hits leaders in Major League Baseball and collected hit number 3,000 with the MN Twins. Molitor came to his table and thanked Schmidtke for making the trip up to Chaska and congratulated him on all of his accomplishments.
      • calendar