Wisconsin State League Adds Five to Hall of Fame

November 7, 2009

The Wisconsin State Baseball League will add five players to its Hall of Fame on Saturday January 23, at the league's Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner.

Wisconsin State League

SHEBOYGAN – The Wisconsin State Baseball League will add five players to its Hall of Fame on Saturday night, Jan. 23, at the league’s Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner.

Elected as the third class to the WSL Hall are Troy Cota, Dan Miller, Phil Plamann, Tim Richardson and Chuck Zeichert.

Cota, Miller and Plamann played most of their careers with the Green Bay Blue Ribbons although Cota also played briefly with Oshkosh Giants, Miller with Oshkosh and the Sheboygan A’s, and Plamann with the Appleton Merchants. Richardson played his entire career with the Lombard Orioles while Zeichert was one of the founders of the league in 1970 and a longtime manager of the A’s.

Miller, an infielder, played in the league 12 years (1985-1999), one each with Oshkosh and Sheboygan and 10 with Green Bay. He finished with a .364 career batting average and .571 career slugging percentage in 305 games. Despite the fact that he has been out of the league for 10 years, he still ranks in the top career top five lists in plate appearances, at bats, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, doubles, triples, home runs and total bases. He leads all State League players who have 1,200 plate appearances or more with his .364 average and is one of only four players to accumulate 400 hits.

Miller was a 6-time first team all-league selection and two-time second team pick. He was the league’s co-Most Valuable player in 1991 and 1993 and played on four championship teams with the Ribbons. He hit over.400 four times.

Cota played 15 years in the league (1981-1995, 1998), posting a 57-20 record with a 2.93 earned run average. He struck out 492 in 481 innings pitched, ranking fifth all time in both categories. The older Cota got, the better he got. From 1992-1995, his 11th through 14th years in the league, he went 27-4 with a 2.10 earned run average.

Cota was pitcher of the year in 1982, 1986 and 1995 and helped Green Bay to six championships. On two occasions he led the league in innings pitched, ERA and winning percentage and three times led the league in strikeouts and wins. He was named to the all-league team twice.

Plamann, an outfielder, played 13 seasons (1976-1988), the first five with Appleton and final eight with Green Bay, He hit .341 in 302 games and hit over .400 three times. His best season was in 1979 when he led the league in hitting with a .434 average. He ranks in the all-time top ten in plate appearances, at bats, runs, hits, runs batted in, base on balls, doubles and total bases. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1976 and played with championship teams in 1981 and 1985.

Following a long professional career, Richardson played six years in the league and emerged as one of the league’s best pure hitters. He hit .376 over those six years including two .400 seasons. He struck out only 13 times in 498 at bats. Richardson played on four championship Lombard teams. He was a first team all-league pick twice and a second team pick once.

Zeichert was one of a handful of people credited with founding the League in 1970. He was also one of the founders of the Sheboygan A’s, which is the only charter member of the league still competing. He managed the A’s in the league from 1970 to 1983 and was named manager of the year in 1981. He currently serves on the League’s Board of Directors and has since 1995. Zeichert was the first inductee into the Sheboygan A’s Hall of Fame.

This year’s five inductees bring to 20 the number enshrined by the League. They join last year’s inductees Mark Miller and Terry Young of the Blue Ribbons, Rich Capparelli and Jeff Vukovich of the Orioles and Steve Rothenbach of the Giants.

Charter members of the Hall inducted two years ago are Jim Coulter, Dan Davis and Tom Klawitter of the Janesville Aces; Greg Howell and Dennis Run of Green Bay; Greg Iavarone of Lombard; and Gene Mand, Denny Moyer, Lee Wetenkamp and Randy Wilke of Sheboygan.

The Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner, which will be held at the Heritage House at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls is open to the public. Cost is $25. Persons interested in attending should send their check to Wisconsin State League, P. O. Box 32, Sheboygan, WI 53082-0032 so that it is received by no later than Jan. 16.

The Wisconsin State League is one of the premier semi-professional/amateur baseball leagues in the mid-west. In operation since 1970, the Wisconsin State League is a highly competitive league that features many of the midwest's top current and former collegiate athletes, as well as many former professional baseball players. Keep up to date on everything happening in the Wisconsin State League by following the league online on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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