Wayne Erickson

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

Tuesday, 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.

FOUR TIMES CHAMPS

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.”

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Scandia, Minnesota: Small Town Once a Fastpitch Hotbed

Monday, June 30th, 2014

(originally written in 2002)

SCANDIA, Minn. – For Richard Quigley long summer days and nights at the ballpark were nothing unusual for him and his friends. In Scandia, Minnesota fastpitch softball was popular, the thing to do for young boys. If you didn’t play fastpitch in this small town of less than 100 people, you were left with little else to fill your time.

Rabid fans squeezed in and around the ball yard for the Tuesday and Thursday night league games. Play was intense. Every pitch, hit or error critical. Every game important.

Win the league and go to the state tournament. Lose and suffer through a long, cold winter rehashing the could have and should have beens.

“Scandia was a small town, 67 people when we moved there in 1966,” said Richard Quigley. “We grew up at the ball park. When we would get together for ball, it was always fastpitch. Every kid in town wanted to make the (men’s) team.”

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