Dean Minder wore many hats, but gravitated the most to baseball.
A long-time Daily Republic sports writer and baseball ambassador, Minder died in March 2018. Minder was 90. He was recognized during the opening ceremonies of the 87th annual South Dakota state amateur baseball tournament on Wednesday at Cadwell Park.
During the presentation, Minder’s family stood on home plate as his list of accomplishments were read off by tourney P.A. announcer Joe Van Goor.
“That was amazing,” said Tammy Davis, Minder’s daughter. “It was just absolutely amazing. Like they said, he’s been a baseball guy ever since he’s been a kid. He was baseball.”
He was also so much more. He was a teacher, served in World War II and Korean War, officiated basketball and track, announced games at the Corn Palace, was a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church and spent 37 years as a Daily Republic sports writer.
“It was just awesome to be here to hear them talk about dad,” Davis added. “(Van Goor) really touched on all the high points. It was baseball and sports writing and teaching and family.”
But baseball was his thing. He received the Ralph Macy Amateur Baseball Man of the Year in 2009. He was inducted into the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and the South Dakota Umpires Hall of Fame in 1994. Minder served as Mitchell Baseball Association Secretary for many years. The press box at Cadwell Park was dedicated to him in 1999 after 30 years of dedicated service.
“He just always loved baseball, ever since he was a little kid,” Davis said. “He was always involved. If he wasn’t listening to it on the radio, he was watching it on TV.”
As for the state amateur baseball tournament, Davis said the event was special to him.
“It’s kind of sad knowing,” said Davis, before stopping herself. “Well, he’s here and my mom (Helen) is rolling her eyes going ‘Oh, he’s at the baseball tournament again.’ ”