NEW ULM - Carl "Red" Wyczawski said simply that his induction into the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday night in St. Cloud was "awesome."
"It is a great honor," Wyczawski said. "Seven other people from New Ulm have made this Hall of Fame. I was very appreciative of the honor and for the support that I had and all of the letters of support that I had. Herb Schaper did an outstanding job in getting my nomination in and did a lot of work."
Schaper, who spearheaded the nomination, said that he had received over 60 letters of support for Wyczawski for the Hall of Fame.
The 2012 Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame inductees (from left) Bob Karn (St. Cloud), Don Giesen (Union Hill), Denis “Soup” Campbell (Winsted), Carl “Red” Wyczawski (New Ulm) and Herb Koch (Loretto) at their induction ceremony in St. Cloud on Saturday. Missing from the photo is Jim Peck (Excelsior).
"That is the most letters of support that I have run across in all of the years that I have been involved," Schaper said. "I was involved in the nominations of New Ulmites Stan Wilfahrt, Al Mueller, Hank Nicklasson and 'Count' Tauscheck. They all were selected to the Hall of Fame."
Schaper said that Wyczawski is a true "people person."
"He just met so many people and came across the lives of so many people in baseball and in the community," Schaper said. "He received a lot of supporting letters."
Schaper said that Wyczawski was always able to get the job done in baseball, mentioning that "He was a good delegator and served as an ambassador of baseball here in New Ulm."
Anyone who has met Wyczawski for the first time is no longer a stranger.
"It is uncanny his memory that he has for names, people, events and dates," added Schaper.
One of the dates that stands out for not only Wyczawski was 1958, when he chaired the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament here in New Ulm.
It turned out to be one of, if not the most, successful state amateur baseball tournaments in history.
It was also the first meeting between Wyczawski and Schaper, who then was the Sports Editor of The Journal.
"He asked me to work with him in 1958 on the tournament," remembers Schaper. "That was one of the joys that I had, because Red had the ability to get people involved and work well together."
Wyczawski said that he has spent 70 years in baseball, beginning when he was eight years old.
"I fell in love with the game," he said.
His baseball playing career ended the same day it started.
"We were playing the Aberdeen Pheasants in the Class C League back in 1948," he recalled. "I was with the Superior Blues - that was the only game that I had ever started. They had a pitcher named Jim Post and he had struck out 11 batters, including myself - twice - and he had a perfect game for 4 1/3 innings."
"In the top of the fifth it started to rain and it rained five inches and it was postponed," he added. "So the only game that I ever had in pro baseball was wiped out."
But 64 years after that rain-out, Wyczawski stood on a different stage - this time in St. Cloud - to receive his well-deserved honor.
And instead of strangers watching him play, he was surrounded by friends from New Ulm and, more importantly, members of his family.
"That was very special to have my family there," Wyczawski said. "I was happy that they were there."
Wyczawski joins other New Ulmites Frank "Count" Tauscheck (1963), Hank Nicklasson (1964), Roy Gebhard (1975), Vic Sondag (1990), Stan Wilfahrt (2006), Al Mueller (2007) and Ken Kuck (2011) in the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
The "Magnificent Seven" of New Ulm is now the "Great Eight."