Minnesota Fastpitch Softball Stars Entering Hall of Fame

Written by Bob on September 19th, 2018

SOUTH. ST. PAUL, Minn. – I’m very pleased to learn that three of the finest fastballers the state has ever produced are being inducted into the Minnesota Sports Federation Softball Hall of Fame that includes 19 slowpitch and fastpitch stars in this outstanding class of 2018.

As an 18-year-old the first really good team I pitched against was Loesch’s Bar of Hastings that was loaded with great fastpitch players, and none were better than pitcher WALT NELSON, and catcher, pitcher, infielder and outfielder TOM NIEDERKORN, who went on to star with famed Whitaker Buick of St. Paul.

Photo caption: Walt Nelson is pictured second from left, and Tom Niederkorn is first player far right. Courtesy Photo / Steve Nelson

Nelson and Niederkorn helped two Hastings’ ball clubs, including Loesch’s Bar, win two state ASA Class A state championships (and an overall title after beating the AA champion) as well as a runner-up, along with club tournament titles in Minnesota and neighboring states.

Also being inducted is JACK NORMAN of Lake Crystal, who I played with on the Lake Crystal Blues in 1974-’75. After his playing days, Norman became an outstanding manager, umpire and administrator.

Though Nelson has passed away, Congratulations to his family, friends and former teammates who share this honor on behalf of him. And congratulations to Tom and Jack for this well-deserved tribute in recognition of your outstanding fastpitch careers!

*** Visit Minnesota Sports Federation on Facebook.***

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Steve Nelson says:

    Bob, Thank you for the article’s regarding Loeschs softball team and especially about my dad Walt Nelson. His recent induction into the Minnesota Hall of Fame is directly related to your involvement and articles written on his behalf! Our family is indebted to your work


    Steve Nelso

  2. Bob says:

    Steve, thank your for your kind words. I was happy to help and am pleased that your dad and Tom – two of the state’s greatest fastpitch players – are finally getting what they so richly deserve: induction into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame!

  3. Bob Nelson says:


    Thank you and the Hall of Fame for recognizing my father, Walt Nelson, Tom, and their respective teammates with this honor. The article and photo are priceless.

    I wish my father could be present to celebrate this accomplishment with his family, friends, teammates, and the other induces. As my brother so eloquently stated we as a family are indebted to you and all those responsible for bringing recognition to my dad’s contributions to the game he so enjoyed playing!

    I will be attending the ceremony and look forward to having the opportunity to meet and thank you personally for your support and efforts in this endeavor.

    With warmest regards,

    Bob Nelson

  4. Bob says:

    Bob, thank you for your kind words. I was fortunate to pitch against your dad at the old ball field in Hampton next to the Black Stallion bar & restaurant as a 17-year-old, and first hand got to appreciate what a talented pitcher he was. I am happy to be of help in getting your dad into the Hall of Fame. But as a family, your contribution is what made it possible. My only regret is that your dad is not here to partake in his richly deserved honor. He was one of the best! Enjoy the ceremony, and please take pictures to share. I’d love to post them on my blog.

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