NEW ULM - Five new members were inducted into the New Ulm Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday at the Kaiserhoff.
Current New Ulm Brewers player Chris Peters, along with former player Tony Hanten of Kaiserhoff and Joey Keckeisen of the Brewers along with non-players Ted Marti and Dick Mueller were honored before a large crowd.
Peters, who is still an active player for the Brewers and is in his 16th season, said that being selected is a nice honor.
"I have really enjoyed the playing time here and at Johnson Park," said Peters, who was introduced as a Hall of Fame nominee at the banquet by his son Andrew. "I grew up with New Ulm Park and Rec baseball and have gone through the program."
One of Peters' many memories happened in 2000 when the Brewers captured third place in the Class "C" Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament under manager Bob Weber.
Peters started his baseball career as a catcher and has stayed mainly at that position his entire career.
"I have been catching since I was 10 or 11 years old - I just kind of fell into that spot," he said.
Peters, who will turn 36 in December, said that catching has recently started to take its toll on him.
"The last couple of years it has been catching up to me but I still enjoy the game and want to keep playing it," Peters said.
Hanten said that he has played with and against a lot of great ballplayers in his career.
"We went to the state tournament with the Kaiserhoff in 10 of the 11 years that I played. Probably the best memories for me was the camaraderie we had."
Hanten also saw success with the New Ulm Legion baseball team back in 1989 when New Ulm hosted the State American Legion Baseball Tournament and finished second.
"We had a bunch of big players with myself, Mark Grossmann, Andy Hammerschmidt," he said. "We were a bunch of linebackers playing baseball. We did go to Regionals in Illinois with that team."
Hanten said that he was "surprised" when he received a letter informing him of his selection.
"It was not something that I expected," he said. "I have always tried to play with a team attitude. I was kind of uncomfortable about my selection but I am certainly honored."
Hanten joins his late grandfather, Otis Loose, in the Hall of Fame.
"It is nice to be joining him - I wish that he could be here but maybe there are windows in heaven," Hanten said.
Keckeisen becomes the fourth member of his family to be inducted into the New Ulm Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
"This is a great honor," he said. "When I got the letter it brought back a lot of baseball memories to me. In New Ulm, it is a big honor to be in the Hall of Fame."
One of the non-players. Dick Mueller, said that when he received his letter informing him of his selection, "you could have knocked me over with a feather. Twenty-five years ago if someone had told me this would happen to me, I would have told them there is about as much chance of that happening as four outs in a half-inning," Mueller said.
Mueller has had his hand in a lot of baseball. His involvement in Legion baseball led to his involvement in the amateur program.
"I wanted to keep the lines of communication open between the two programs," he said.
Ted Marti has had a long tradition of involvement in baseball in New Ulm with Schells' Brewery.
"I am not a baseball player," he said. "I think that this award is not me but it is for (father) Warren Marti, my grandfather Al and the Brewery in general. We are very proud about that. We have certainly enjoyed being a part of New Ulm baseball. We have been involved since 1939."
Marti's boys Franz. Jace and Kyle all played baseball with Jace still playing for Kaiserhoff.
Marti did relate one baseball story. He said that when he was growing up, there were several kid's teams sponsored by Schells Brewery and Hauenstein Brewery.
"I was so bad that they put me on the Hauenstein team," he said.
But Marti was a great athlete at New Ulm High School, especially as a gymnast. He went on to be a part of the University of Michigan gymnastics team.
In 1968, Marti missed being on the United States Olympic Gymnastics team by just a few points.