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Sundall named Man of the Year

EDITOR'S NOTE: Faces at the State Amateur Baseball Tournament is a regular series, profiling one contributor, worker, player, manager or fan a day during the duration of the Class B state tournament.

Herb Sundall, a Kennebec native, poses for a photo at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament on Wednesday at Cadwell Park. Sundall was named the 2016 SDABA Man of the Year. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Herb Sundall, a Kennebec native, poses for a photo at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament on Wednesday at Cadwell Park. Sundall was named the 2016 SDABA Man of the Year. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Faces at the State Amateur Baseball Tournament is a regular series, profiling one contributor, worker, player, manager or fan a day during the duration of the Class B state tournament.

Herb Sundall's amateur baseball journey began as a 12-year-old right fielder for Kennebec.

"Very interesting story about the first time that I played," Sundall said Wednesday. "I was 12 years old. They only had eight guys. So they stuck me in right field."

Sundall later stepped up to the plate and faced Vivian's David Meyers, who Sundall said was, "the best pitcher in the league."

"He saw this little guy come up to the plate and so he just lobbed it in and I hit it in the gap for a double," Sundall said. "I never saw the ball the rest of the day."

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Sundall, now 68, has seen plenty of amateur baseball games ever since. Sundall is currently serving in his 14th year as secretary-treasurer of the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association. He played 18 years of amateur baseball for Kennebec and Kennebec-Presho. He also managed the Kennebec Red Sox and the Kennebec-Chamberlain Cannons.

This year, Sundall has been selected as the 2016 Amateur Baseball Man of the Year recipient. The award is given to a person who has given himself for the betterment of amateur baseball in South Dakota.

"It was a great compliment, a great honor and I am humbled," Sundall said.

Sundall, who is an attorney, was also inducted into the state amateur hall of fame in 2009.

Sundall and Bob Altenburg, of Pickstown, were also instrumental in developing Friends of Amateur Baseball. The group has sponsored the baseballs used at the 2016 state amateur tournament. Fans are allowed to keep foul balls or may return the baseball to the concession stand for $1.

The baseballs are customized and have South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association stamped on them. SDABA President Dale Weber's signature is also on the baseballs.

"I think it is one of the better ideas we have had in amateur baseball the last few years," Sundall said. "It allows people to honor either friends or loved ones or whatever and allows kid primarily to keep balls at the state tournament, similar to what they would have at a major league game. I think it has been a real success."

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