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Area standouts represented in SD amateur baseball HOF class

Five former greats will be inducted into the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame this fall, it was announced Friday. The new inductees -- Strandburg native Galen Swenson, White Lake native Kevin Nowotny, former Salem teammates Keith Sabers...

Five former greats will be inducted into the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame this fall, it was announced Friday.

The new inductees - Strandburg native Galen Swenson, White Lake native Kevin Nowotny, former Salem teammates Keith Sabers and Everett Bradshaw and Larry Anderson of Freeman - will be honored on Saturday, Aug. 13 during semifinal day at the 2016 South Dakota State Amateur Baseball Tournament at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

The hall of fame banquet will be hosted by the Freeman Baseball Association on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Freeman. More details and ticket information on the banquet will be announced later.

Here's more on the inductees:

Galen Swenson, Clear Lake:

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Swenson was one of the premier pitchers in the Eastern Dakota League from 1974 through 1989. His fastball-slider combination led his team and the teams that drafted him to many regular-season and state-tournament victories.

In 1977, Swenson blanked Scotland and earned a save the next day to push Clear Lake into the semifinals of the state tournament.

One of his career highlights was a 22-strikeout performance in an EDL game.

Swenson played one year in Revillo and the rest of his career with Clear Lake, where he also served as the team's manager. He also umpired in the EDL for nearly 20 years after he retired.

The Strandburg native pitched collegiately at Northern State University in Aberdeen from 1973-77 and held the school's career victories record with 23.

Swenson also enjoyed success as a high school basketball coach, leading Castlewood girls to the 1981 state Class B championship and Castlewood's boys to state Class B titles in 1999 and 2001.

Kevin Nowotny, formerly of White Lake:

Nowotny played 32 years of amateur baseball (1974-2006) in South Dakota and competed in the 30 state tournaments, earning all-tourney honors a handful of times.

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The White Lake native played 11 years in White Lake, one year with Mitchell Moonlight Bar, one year with Plankinton F&M Bank and closed out his career with a 19-year stint with Dimock. He played for the first White Lake team to play in the state tournament in 1980 and was a player-manager for the 1984 team that advanced to the state quarterfinals.

Nowotny batted above .400 for at least 20 years with White Lake and Dimock and smacked about 125 home runs in his career. He enjoyed several hot streaks, going 30-for-32 during a seven-game stretch one summer and followed that up with a 29-for-31 stretch the next summer.

He was a four-time All-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference selection and a 1979 NAIA All-American in college at Black Hills State University, where he batted .406 in his career and smacked a school-record 18 homers in one season.

Nowotny has enjoyed great success as a high school baseball, football and basketball coach at Adrian, Minn. He has compiled a career record of 300 wins and 187 losses in 23 years as the head baseball coach at the school.

Everett Bradshaw, formerly of Salem:

Known as "Ev," Bradshaw has played 50 years of organized baseball that included a very successful stint as an amateur baseball player in Salem in the 1960s. A centerfielder, he was one of the best players on Salem teams that captured state championships in 1964 and 1965.

Bradshaw was noted as a great leadoff hitter and bunter, high-percentage hitter, base stealer and defensive standout. He was also known as an outstanding team leader who worked hard and displayed great sportsmanship at all times both on and off the field.

Bradshaw retired at age 43 and after a 15-year hiatus, began playing for the South Dakota Rushmores in the Men's Senior Baseball World Series in Arizona in 1998. He has represented South Dakota in Arizona for many years. Ev, who now resides in Sloan (Iowa), also enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and coach.

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Keith Sabers, Salem:

Sabers was another of the key players, along with Bradshaw, on Salem's state championship teams in 1964 and 1965. He also helped lead Aberdeen to the 1970 state title.

In 1964, Sabers batted .450 as a 21-year-old for the state champions. In 1965, he led Salem with 17 homers after spending the spring batting .417 with the Huron College team in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference. Sabers played 17 years of amateur baseball, 14 with Salem and three with Aberdeen, and earned all-tournament honors as a third baseman for Aberdeen in 1970.

He batted in the No. 3 hole for the Salem teams and also was a strong defender at third base.

After his retirement, Sabers also supported Salem Baseball and helped raise money to improvements made at the town's field from 1982-85.

Larry Anderson, Freeman:

Anderson's baseball career began in 1948 and his love and support of the game continues to this day. Many of those years have been spent in Freeman, where he began playing for the town team in 1955. He spent 24 years playing with Freeman's amateur team and also served 25 years as the team's manager.

Anderson batted over .300 during his career and also pitched, winning more games than he lost. At age 38, he pitched three games in 10 days and won all three. Under his leadership, a number of Freeman teams qualified for the state tournament, losing a 12-inning quarterfinal game in 1992 and a 16-inning game in 1995.

Off the field, he has served on the Freeman Athletic Association for many years and helped with numerous improvements to the town's ballpark. Anderson also helped start the South Dakota Baseball Coaches Association and has spent the past decade as the SDABA commissioner for the South Central League.

Related Topics: WHITE LAKESALEMFREEMAN
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