WSL Commissioner, Giants GM Tony Gerharz Elected to WBCA Hall of Fame
February 17, 2016
Wisconsin State League Commissioner Tony Gerharz, who also serves as the President and General Manager of the Oshkosh Giants, has been elected to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.
Since 1983, Oshkosh’s Tony Gerharz has been attending the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s annual clinic, an event that is capped off with their Hall of Fame induction the next day – a weekend that is typically held the second weekend in February.
During that time, Gerharz was able to meet and see a lot of great coaches from Wisconsin get inducted into the hall of fame. Now 33 years later, Gerharz will be attending the event once again, but this time he’ll be the one inducted.
Gerharz has had a huge effect in the Oshkosh baseball community for the last 30 years, and for his efforts, he was recently named one of five coaches that will be joining the WBCA Hall of Fame this season. He is the fourth coach from Oshkosh to make the HOF along with Harlan Quandt, Russ Tiedemann and Tom Lechnir.
The weekend kicks off today with the clinic followed by the luncheon tomorrow at the Marriott West hotel in Middleton.
“It’s a big honor, the WBCA Hall of Fame is a pretty big deal and I’m very humbled to be included in that group,” Gerharz said. “I’ve been going to the WBCA clinics and awards weekend since 1983 when I was in college so I’ve seen many outstanding coaches in baseball and people that have gotten awards so it’s nice to be able to join a big group like that.”
Along with Gerharz’s induction, his longtime assistant coach – Scott Morrison – will also be getting the Assistant Coach of the Year award. Morrison has been Gerharz’s assistant for the last 25 years.
Gerharz has served as the varsity head coach for the Oshkosh West baseball for the last 28 years and has won over 300 games. In that time he led the Wildcats to two state tournament appearances – in 1996 and 1998 – and won two conference championships in 1997 and 2001.
He has also been the president and general manager of the Oshkosh Giants – a team that plays in the Wisconsin State League. He has been the commissioner of that league for over two decades and is a member of the league’s hall of fame as well.
Gerharz has also been an active participant and leader in Oshkosh’s Snitz and Pepp Club, which promotes baseball at all levels city wide for over the last 30 years. For the past 10 years, he has been the chairman of the All-Star Classic (an all-star game that features the state’s best seniors), which is held annually in Oshkosh.
Baseball has been in Gerharz’s blood since he was young. He played as long as he could and when he couldn’t any more, the decision to coach came easy.
“Since I was a young kid, I was actually asked as a 14 year old from my former little league coach in Neenah if I wanted to help coach with his team and I liked that and had my own little league team when I was in high school while I was playing in the summer,” Gerharz said. “My dream was always to play Major League Baseball but I was fortunate to play high school and semi pro ball but I knew my ability wasn’t there to keep moving up. But I enjoyed the game and had some good mentors, coaches that coached me that I enjoyed.”
Gerharz said without his support from his family, this achievement wouldn’t be possible.
“To get an award or hall of fame thing a lot of the time it’s because of longevity and I understand that,” Gerharz said. “Without my wonderful wife Gale and my three daughters that were supportive, and my parents who are now deceased but they were also supportive of me and my upbringing, it led me to teaching and coaching and hard work ethic. To have a loving and understanding wife like mine is important.”
Gerharz will be joined into the HOF with Sun Prairie’s Garry Bahe, Eau Claire Memorial’s Cy Berg, Homestead’s Ernie Millard and Jefferson’s Bob Zweifel.
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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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