A Step Back In Time: Scandia honors local Fastpitch Hall of Famer Wayne Erickson

Written by Bob on January 24th, 2017

SOFTBALL CHAMPS – Scandia, Minn. defeated River Falls, Wisc. 8-6, in nine innings Sunday night, July 24, 1967, at Eau Claire’s Carson Park to win the first Open Softball Tournament. Members of the championship team were front row, left to right: Choc Junker, Tom Thompson, Barney Barnholdt, Jim Lindberg, Wayne Erickson and Joe Junker. Back row, George Lindgren, Dean Carlson, Dennis Lofboom, Greg Benson, Phil Anderson, Manager Don Seguin, and Dan Jacobson. Staff Photo / Eau Claire Leader

SCANDIA, Minn. – For the thousands of batters who faced Wayne Erickson, it was most-often a frustrating and fruitless endeavor. But his teammates? They loved him. After all Erickson was a huge factor in helping Scandia win four state men’s fastpitch championships.

And for Erickson’s great exploits for Scandia fastpitch, the city renamed its softball field (simply called “Scandia lighted ball field”) to Wayne Erickson Memorial Ball Park, in 2011.

Erickson is the only Minnesota Sports Federation Softball Hall of Fame (1984) member to come from Scandia.

In his youth, Erickson played baseball, but at age 16 he began pitching fastpitch for Scandia, and continued throwing for his hometown team for the next twenty years.


Those attending the dedication remembered Wayne for his perfection of the art of pitching that helped take the Scandia team to four ASA Class A state championships in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1968.

“I’m one of four ball players from Scandia that got to play with and against Wayne Erickson in his prime,” Doniver Ahlm said. “Before playing with Wayne I played against him. I had the opportunity to strike out against every type of pitch he threw.”

Scandia had its first ball team in 1946 and, in those days, according to Scandia Mayor Randall Simonson, the teams were so popular a game could bring in 500 to 1000 people for 25 cents a head.

“Someone would drive around the streets a with a loud speaker yelling ‘ball game tonight’ just to bring in the fans,” Simonson said. “The teams and their players are what brought so many people to the games. The personalities and talents of the players are what drew people out of their homes to each game.”


In his lifetime, Erickson had 59 no hitters, 12 perfect games and 18 strikeouts in one game. Wayne also pitched 56 innings in two days and was the state tournament MVP in 1963.

When not playing ball, Erickson participated in various area civic organizations and, according to Jim Lindberg, was an all-around swell guy.

“He did more than play ball,” Lindberg said. “He was a wonderful guy to be around.”

Erickson passed away from Wagners Disease in 1992.

“Wayne and his fellow teammates were an inspiration to the people of this community and most important, the children,” Simonson said. “For decades because of the legacy that was left, children grew up in Scandia and the surrounding communities having the same passion and love for the game as those players of the past.”

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