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John Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1884
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1950s
Hometown: Lucan
John "the Grandfather of Milroy Baseball" was the driving force throughout the years. John never played for Milroy in baseball but played baseball and softball in Lucan for many years. John was born 1885 and was greatly influenced by his parents, Pat and Maggie Dolan. John was part of seven brothers including Francis, William, James, Leo, Mark "shanty", and Walter. John's most important contribution to Milroy Baseball was to help organize the team and make sure we had good players. JOhn would work with the current managers to ensure that he had key players form the area. He took many trips to find new players and rally enjoyed the drives. John was also very instrumental in supporting the leagues that Milroy played in. He was active as the President of the Milroy board for many years and seldom missed a league meeting. One particular meeting was everntful for Bob Zwach. Bob recalls, "I remember John very well, and on one occasion John wanted to drive to the meeting. We were driving pretty fast and came to a tight corner. John couldn't make the turn real well and proceeded to spin the car around 3 or 4 times." Bob remembers John saying, "Let's just keep that between me and you." After that episode, John was not allowed to drive Bob.

John was also noted by his fundraising skills. He was famous for the Milroy "Souvenir Scorecard" that highlighted the players and mentioned many local sponsors. This was a treat for John to drive to each business and ask for money. John enjoyed the time he spent with the sponsors and really appreciated the support. Sponsors were from all the towns including Lucan, Tracy, Walnut Grove, Lamberton, Marshall, Vesta, Wabasso, and Redwood Falls. He was remember to be very kind and had a great supply of pop. In the early years, he had mostly grape, orange, and root beer, but in the later years it was Mountain Dew. He ws the only person in town to have the Pepsi man stop at his place on a weekly route. Many people enjoyed having a pop at his place and listening to John's same stories over and over. We never got tired of the stories and we will never forget what John Dolan did for Milroy Baseball. John Died in 1988 at the age of 98. One of his last requests was to be buried behind home plate "so he could see if the umpire was calling the pitches correctly." The won out and John was buried in the Milroy Cemetery.

Bob Zwach, Sr.
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1920
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1950s
Hometown: Milroy
Bob played for the Yankees in 1944 through 1964 with exception of 1956. This was the year his father died and he took a year off. Bob, known as "Rapid Robert" was a fast-talking, highly motivated manager for the Yankees and also played centerfield. Bob was also the reason Milroy baseball re-organized after World War II. in 1944, Bob made the point to travel to Hansenville and purchase baseballs and bats. In those days, baseball was struggling, Bob remembers, "They (Wanda) laughed us out of the place. I was catching and I had an old mitt that wouldn't stick. I couldn't hold it with my two hands. Leiter and Bordy, oh they made fun of Milroy. Spike made an error at shortstop and they told him to lower his apron. They beat the hell out of us." Bob has many good memories of Milroy Baseball. One highlight for Bob was of course the 1954 State Championship. This was special. Bob recalls many great games throughout the season and still has a wide range of Yankee memorabilia today. One of the special traditions that Bob started was the "Pre-Game Chats." This was a time for Bob to talk to the boys and "Get them charged up." Rich Kramer recalls many a chat, "It was fun...Bob would give us a speech about why we should win, who the team was, and what was important for today's game. He would talk about the signs and would really fire you up." Some other highlights in Bob's memory was the "new diamond," the start of the 1955 season and enjoying the fishing trips with the players. Bob continues, "We had great fun, we had manyh fishing trips and I would always bring the balls and bats. We were always finding ways to play baseball."

Bob's other highlight was when he was inducted into the Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame. "This was a special event," Bob recalls, "It was an experience I will never forget." Bob's contribution to Milroy Baseball was very important and his tradition of the "Pre-Game Chat" will live on in Milroy history.

Joe Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1920
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1950s
Hometown: Lucan
Joe was one of the older Dolan boys of John Dolan. Joe played a lot of baseball prior to Milroy in Lucan and Seaforth. He also played softball during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Joe returned from his service in World War II in 1947 and took charge of the team. The prior years, Shorty Royer and "Specs" Kramer were the managers but when Joe came back, it was Joe's team. Joe played from 1947 through the season of 1955. He manage the first two years and retired after "Joe Dolan Day" in 1955. Joe played infield and led the team as one of the best hitters. Bob Zwach remembers, "Joe was probably the best athlete of the John Dolan family. He could run like the wind, made good plays in the field, and always hit well." Rich Kramer recalls, "Joe was one of those hitters that was always clutch...when you needed a big play or a big hit, it was Joe."

Joe's highlight in his baseball career was 1954, when he hit .667 in the state tournament and helped the Yankees win the title. Joe was special to his boys because he always tried to play with them and carry on his family's tradition. When he was in his mid 50s, he would still make an effort to play with his younger sons. Joe instilled his tradition by his stories and his actions.

Joe was very involved in the field move in 1955. He was very proud to be part of this change. The land was purchased from Carl Rolland in 1954 by 75 families and the new field was under way. Joe remembered laying the sod for the outfield and it took a lot of effort and support. The community and the families were a big part of Joe's memories.

Mark "Spike" Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1950s
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1975
Hometown: Lucan
Spike was another of the John Dolan heritage. Spike played for Milroy in 1944 and was fortunate to be on the first teams of Milroy. Spike recalls going to Hansenville with Bob Zwach Sr. and really enjoyed the opportunity. "He (Bob Zwach) called me up, I was sixteen years old. He said, 'I'm getting a baseball team started in Milroy and I'd like to have you come along, we're going to Hansenville'." Spike had no idea where Hansenville was, but he said, "Sure, I'll go along." Baseball in the early years for Spike was special. It was special time for a number of reasons. First, Spike was thrilled to play on the All-Dolan infield. In the late 1940s, Brothers Jack was first, Louie at second, Joe at third, and Spike was at shortstop. Playing with his brothers was special. Another special moment for Spike was the 1954 State Championship. Playing under the feisty Bob Zwach, and winning the championship whn Class B played Class A. "That was the first team and the last team to win that title," recalls Spike, "After a few years, that was discontinued." As it was told, the game against Benson was special. The crowd was approximately 4000 people watching at in Madison, MN and Milroy won on a late suicide squeeze by Todd Mettler. Spike enjoyed this game more because he was the only player to get multiple hits in this game for the Yankees.

Spike's career with Milroy extended from 1944 to 1965 with the exception of 1951. This was the year Jack Dolan, Rich Kramer, and and Spike decided to play elsewhere.

Spike and Rich journeyed to Marshall to be paid which probably didn't sit well with Zwach and John Dolan. Spike recalls, "We were getting $300+ at Marshall and that was good money...Then there was some controversy in Marshall as they had drafted some players from Ohio State college to take our spot. I remember the Marshall board was split as to keep us or release us...In the end we were released and played for Lamberton for the remaining part of the season." Spike returned in 1952 when Bob Zwach started managing. Spike even managed in 1956 and again in 1965 before he retired. Spike had many good experiences playing for Milroy. "The rivalaries with Wanda, watching the fans bet on games and having the support of the community...That was special!" The Milroy community really made it special for Spike, who recalls, "We had great spirit here in Milroy, the fans were great. Baseball was main talk in Milroy...Just about everyon Saturday groups of people would talk about the upcoming game and really support the team."

Spike retired in 1965, but maintains a special part of Milroy Baseball. Spike bought his father's home near the ball diamond to make sure that his sons and grandsons would up the tradition.

Rich Kramer
Bat: Left
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1932
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1950s
Hometown: Lucan
Rich Kramer was special Milroy Yankee. Rich started his career with the Milroy clubs in the year 1947. Rich actually recalls playing a few game in 1946 but 1947 was his first real year. Rich was also a military veteran that who served in World War II. Like Joe Dolan, Rich started his extensive career after the war. Rich palyed from 1947 through 1965, with only one year away being 1951 when Spike and he journeyed to Marshall. Rich rejoined the Yankees in 1952 and remained for 14 more years. Rich Kramer has fond memories of baseball in Milroy. The home runs, the victories, and the '54 state championship were nice, but for Rich it was playing with the guys. "I really enjoyed playing for Milroy...The Dolan family really made me feel special...I still remember playing in 1954 and Bob Zwach as manager." Rich recalls, "We were in a restaurant in St. Cloud and were having some food in between breakfast and lunch....Just before the game. The clerk asked what we wanted, and someone said, 'We all need malt shakes, but make them 'EXTRA HEAVY'; we have a game to play today. From that day forward, everything had to be EXTRA HEAVY." It was a saying that continued for many years thereafter."

Rich was primarily an outfielder and mostly played right or left field. Rich enjoyed playing at the old ballpark because right field was approximately 290 feet. Rich was known for his home runs and smashing doubles. Rich was also known for being very forgetful. It has been said that Bob Zwach would bring extra uniforms, spikes, or gloves to make sure that Rich was ready for the game. Rich was very relaxed player but when he came to the plate he was ready. Spike tells the story of turning around during a game to catch Rich standing out in right field eating a sandwich. "It was the funniest thing I ever saw," remembers Spike. But when I asked Rich about hthis, he recalls that, "It was a hot day and the incident happened during a doubleheader with Fulda...There was little time in between games and Chuck Rohlik was gracious enough to bring me some food. I wasn't going to turn down a good sandwich." One other memory that Rich enjoys was the story of old Doc Henry the umpire and Slim Dunner. Doc Henry was the head of the umpire association and a former Pro football player. Doc Henry made it a point to take charge and one day at the old park, he decided to flex is power and kicked Slim Dunner out of the Milroy dugout. Slim was not a player but was socializing with the players. A little later, Slim reappeared with the complete catcher's gear on and prance around on all fours to mock Doc Henry. He then proceeded to pick pebbles and throw them gently at old Doc Henry. Doc was not appreciative but the crowd sure enjoyed the unusual antics before that game. Rich has many fond memories of Milroy and finished his career in 1065. He now resides in Lucan.

Reed Lovsness
Bat: Left
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1922
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 1950s
Hometown: Cottonwood
Reed was special player because he helped propel the Milroy team to their first and only championship. John Dolan Sr. and Bob Zwach Sr. made a special trip to Cottonwood to lure the lanky right-hander to play. Reed had just arrived back from the Pittsburgh Pirates farm club and was looking to play. Reed played for the Yankees from 19953-1955. Reed led the Yankees in 1954 with 17 victories and had a very strong arm. When asked about how good Reed was, Bob Zwach indicated, "Reed was a hellava pitcher and maybe our best ever..but he couldn't hit." In the 50s, there was no DH rule and the pitcher had to hit. Reed actually batted left and threw right, but in reality wasn't a bad hitter. in 1954, he led the team in hitting with a .444 average in league play. In talking to Joe Dolan, he said, "When Reed would pitch you would here a lot of thuds in the catchers mitt...He threw hard and was fun to play behind." Some of Reed's memories include the great people of Milroy. "I was well received in Milroy, people would write letters to me saying they were glad I was there and how great I pitched...The fans really took me in. I enjoyed playing for Milroy." Reed later played for a number of other teamsin the area and will always be remembered.

Reed retired from town team baseball in the late 1950s and now resides on a farm near Cottonwood.

Don Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1930
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown: Lucan
Don played from 1948 to 1973 and was known for his great infield play. He played first base for the Yankees during most of his career and was arguably the best all-around first baseman in Milroy history. Some will debate if his brother Jack was better and people may say that Jack had better footwork, but Donnie was exceptional. Don led many of his teams in hitting, fielding, and home runs. He was a pull hitter that, once his wrists were through, it was all over...crushed over the fence.

Dan Dolan recalls the 1973 state tourney game which Donnie hit two home runs against St. Peter to keep Milroy in the game. Dan remembers, "The team was trailing most of the game and it was Donnie that kept us in it. It was Donnie's last game as a Yankee and he towered two home runs to deep left field...He must have jumped three feet rounding first base as his second home run cleared the fence." Donnie also managed many years for the Yankees from 1966 - 1967 and again in 1969-1973 with Ken Dolan. As Pat Dolan recalls, "Donnie was a great teacher...Very good with the players and really made an impact on all of us. Donnie would always say, 'no one intentionally makes an error, lets pick it up and keep our heads high." Donnie was truly a great player and manager for the Yankees and was overdue for this award. Thanks for your time spent with Milroy baseball. Donnie retired in 1973 after his last tournament appearance and currently resides in Prescott, WI.

Ken Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1946
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown: Lucan
Ken Dolan started his Milroy baseball career in the summer of 1962. Ken was a sophomore at Milroy Public School, and he recalls the first invite to be on the team. As Ken remembers, Bob Zwach came to the school in the early spring and said, "Kenny, you're a good ball player and we need good young players." Ken was ecstatic and remembers taht day fondly. Kenny had watched his father, Joe, and many of his uncles play throughout the years and finally he had a chance to share in the fun. For Ken, Milroy Baseball meant playing with great guys and enjoying friendships. Some of the memories include the post game or post season parties at his place. One particular party was especially memorable when Kenny and some of the players drove a vechile acress the bean field to check on Pat. At that time, Pat and Ken lived very close and sometimes the bean field was closer than the gravel road. Ken played from 1062 to approximately 1980 with a small break in 1966-67 because he served during the Vietnam War. Actually in 1966, Ken returned late in the yearto join the team for the regional and state play. Kenny recalls being picked up at the airport just prior to the games.

Ken recalls the best team in his as the 1965 Milroy Yankees. Ken was just out of high school and was the regular center fielder. Ken started and played most of his career in centerfield. This was also the year that marked the first year Bob Zwach was not the Yankee Skipper. Ken recalls, "Bob Zwach told Donnie Dolan and Spike Dolan not to expect a state tourney berth." The team was filled with a great bunch of guys. Rich Kramer, Spike were on their last seasons and the Milroy team had a strong will to win. One memory that ken shared was the victory over Rogers. The was tied and Ken was playing hurt. Prior to this game he rolled a tractor on the farm and cracked his ribs. Ken still played andl ed off the last inning with a double. Cousin Denny Dolan proceeded to smash another double and Ken was waved home for the win. Ken slid home safe, Milroy won the game, but the entire team jumped on injured Ken. The excitement of the game was great, but he still appreciated Don pulling the players off the pile.

Ken later managed the Yankees in 1971 through 1973 with his uncle Don Dolan and until 1979 when later retired. One season that went unnoticed ws the year 1968. This was the year Milroy baseball died. Lack of players and no real support made it difficult to field a team. Ken came back from the service and with the help of Don, they scraped up a team in 1969. Ken relied on his brothers and cousins to field this team but also needed players like Dave Labat and Duane "Chopper" Geske. Ken was known as one of the best Joe Dolan boys in history. Ken had blazing speed and stole many a base. In fact, in the spring of 1965 he was recruited by Dick Siebert to try out for the elite "Twins College League." At age 17, Ken beat out many college stars to make the team. Unfortunately, this was also the same summer that his father Joe promised Ken to work as a farm hand for his uncle Lloyd Welu. Joe later apologized for not letting him go. Overall, Ken has many fond memories of Milroy Baseball and feels privileged to play for the Yankees with his brothers, cousins, uncles, and friends.

Ken currently lives near Lucan and farms.

Pat Dolan
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1953
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown: Lucan
Pat started playing town team baseball in the summer of 1968 but joined the Milroy team in 1969. Pat, a long time batboy since 1963, couldn't play in 1968 for Milroy because there was no team. It wasn't until Ken and Donnie Dolan re-organized the team in 1969 that Pat received his chance to play Milroy Baseball. Pat played from 1969 to 1990 and managed from 1979 through the 1988 season. Pat was an exceptional shortstop. Pat remembers many great teams and enjoys many fond memories of Milroy Baseball. When asked what memories are the most important, he hesitates, "For me, that is a tough question and difficult for me to respond." Pat remembers the times, his Grandpa John Dolan would drive over and pick Pat up to chalk the field. "Every Sunday before the home game, Grandpa would pick me up some three hours before the game, we would chalk the field and drag the infield with his car." Another memory, was Pat driving Grandpa to collect money for the "Souvenir Scorecard" to help support the team. "It was always fun to see the businesses in Marshall, Tracy, and Milroy give Grandpa a hard time," Pat recalls, "They would heckle Grandpa John saying 'Last year's team didn't do so well and maybe they shouldn't support them.' Grandpa John always had an answer and the business usually had a check ready even before the would come."

Pat also remembers the lean times in the 70s. "Support for the team was down, players and people lacked interest but somehow the team managed." Many factors affected the 70s and it wasn't until the early 1980s that things turned around.

"1982 was a special year for us. We had good teams in the late 70s but could never make it through the Marshalls or the Tracy teams." Then 1982 changed the landscape. This was Pat's finest years as a player as the community of Milroy watched Pat post a batting average of .462 and played flawlessly in the field. It was also the first year in 9 that the Yankees made it to state. "Making it to state was a big deal." Pat recalls. In 1982 we had a good mix of youth in Neil Dolan, Steve Kramer, Denny Schommer, Pat Schommer, and good vererans like Jeff Fixsen, Larry Dolan, and Mike Franta. later, Pat participated in 7 state tournaments and enjoyed every one.

Pat has made a strong commitment and should be recognized. Not only has Pat played and managed for the Yankees but he also devotes a lot of his time to helping the Legion program and helped start the Park N Rec program. Pat remains a vital part of the success of the Milroy Yankees and is still a board member. Pat resides on the Century Farm near Lucan.

Jeff Fixsen
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1963
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown: Wabasso
Jeff started with the Yankees in 1976 and played through the season of 1992. Jeff was in high school at Wabasso when Ken Dolan made the trip to ask him to play. Jeff was the ace of the Milroy team for many years in the 70s and throughout the 1980s. Pat Dolan recalls, "Jeff was a great competitor, and always fun to play behind." Jeff relied on a good fastball to set batters up and close them out with a good curve and later in his career a nasty splitter. Neil Dolan remembers Jeff in key games, "One game in 1992, Jeff was in his last season, it was key playoff game against New Ulm and we needed a big effort from Jeff...I was managing and was thrown out for arguing a call. Jeff picked everyone up and helped beat New Ulm 3-2."

When Jeff started with Milroy, he was a pitcher first and sometimes played outfield. Jeff was not a hitter. Jeff worked over the years, and by the early 1980s became one of the key hitters for the Yankees. Playing with Jeff was enjoyable...He had a very low- key wit about himself and always had some type of interesting comment on the bench. One game that was particularly fun was a hot June day in Canby. Canby had a smaller and Jeff was not known for his long home runs, but htis day was different. Jeff came to the plate during a close game with 1 or 2 guys on and unloaded a shot to left against Stuart Rhea. The ball was the left field line and actually landed over the fence but foul by 2 feet. A Canby fan caught the ball in foul territory. The umpire, Diersdorf, was a little up in his age and his 1/2 inch thick glasses weren't focused. He yelled "Home run!", the fans went crazy and Jeff just smiled his wicked grin as he touched them all. Milroy won the game.

Jeff has many good memories of Milroy Baseball including the practices on Wednesday and Friday nights. One particular evening, the team decided to go to the Oasis for couple of beers and relax after practice. Jeff recalls the evening, "It was tradition to go to the pool hall or the Oasis for couple of pitchers..It was a good time talking baseball. On this particular everning, Donnie Schmidt was to get home to be with Jean his new wife. The time had passed and Donnie knew he was in trouble. Minutes later, we heard a car screeching to a hault. Then we heard Jean, "Donnie get your butt out here at once." Jean yelled so loud that it bellowed through Milroy and Donnie made a quick exit.

Jeff enjoyed playing for the Yankees and he will be remembered as one of the best players in our history. Jeff was a player with a number of nicknames including "Bass" and "Ernie" and made playing for Milroy fun. Jeff is the winningst pitcher in MIlroy history with over 100 victories. Jeff retired after the 1992 season and now resides in Wabasso.

Pat Schommer
Bat: Both
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1962
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown: Marshall
Pat started his Milroy career in 1979 as a junior in high school. Pat lived in Marshall buts always hoped to play Milroy Yankee Baseball. Milroy had many of his cousins playing and he just felt more comfortable playing there. Pat's career started in 1979 and continued through 1993. Pat was always devoted to the team and drove from St. Paul for 5 years and Hutchinson for his final 3 years just to play Milroy Baseball. pat was also noted as hitting home run on his very last at bat as a Yankee. Pat started with the Yankees as a back up catcher and actually played his first few years in the outfield. Al "Turtle" Nelson and Larry Dolan were the primary catchers and Pat had to take his turn. Pat recalls his first full season as the regular catcher. He remembers, "It was the 1982 season and a special one since we went to the state tourney in St. Cloud/Cold Spring. That year was fun because it was a start of a core of great players that lasted throughout the 1980s." For Pat, the highlight of Milroy baseball was similar to other Hall of Fame Inductees. He enjoyed the players and the friendship that was built over the years. "We had a great bunch of guys, like playing with Steve Kramer, Dan Dohmeier, the Coquyt brothers just to name a few." One special part of each season was the trip to Brookings. Pat recalls, "Going to Brookings was always fun...The team would rent hotel rooms and enjoy the game and anticipate the evening events at the 'Lucky Lady.'" Pat was also known for many prank phone calls at 3 or 4 in the morning, especially to Pat and Lori Dolan. The Brookings trip was always around their anniversary and Pat Schommer would never forget to give them a special phone call with his blessing.

Pat was a "special" player for Milroy. Pat was arguably the best all-around catcher of Milroy Baseball. Bob Zwach remembers Bob O'Brien in 1956, but Pat was a player that could hit .330+, have 6-8 home runs, and lead the team in stolen bases. And yet, Pat was most noted for his great defense and ability to call a great game. Pat was also the "ambassador" on tht team and helped "welcome" each new player. Many players didn't know how to take Pat's antics, but after a few games understood his sense of humor. Pat retired in 1993 from Milroy but later played in Hutchinson for a few more years. Pat resides with his family in Hutchinson today.

Lee Brandt
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1938
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown:
Lee is another player that made a special impact on Milroy Baseball. Lee started with the Yankees in 1954 as a 15 year old kid and followed the team as they won the championship.

Lee played until the early 1960s and really enjoyed playing at Milroy. Lee recalls, "When we were out of high school we started playing town team baseball with the Dolans, Rich Kramer, and the others with Bob Zwach as manager. They were a very positive influence on us young players. You could strike out three times in succession and have 2 errors, but htey always had encouraging words for you...About the closest thing to swearing was when Spike would say 'Son of a gun.'" Lee played on many good teams and helped the Yankees in the later 1950s as a catcher. Lee played baseball for the Minnesota Gophers and was noted as a line drive hitter. Lee also helped manage the Milroy Legion in the early 1960s for two years and gave back to the community. Lee is currently living in New Ulm.

John Kagel
Bat: Right
Throw: Right
Birthdate: 1962
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown:
John Kagel is one of two special "Honorary" Hall of Famers for the Milroy team. This designation of a "Honorary" memeber is someone who influenced or committed great time to Milroy Baseball. John played for Milroy in the late 1940s as a catcher and managed in 1951. John owned "Kagel's Store" for many years in Milroy and was a steady fan. John was remembered as always walking down for many games and most practices. He was always checking out the new players to make sure they would be a good fit. John would sit right near the fence in front of the concession stand and really enjoyed "riding the umpires" for fun. John was always smiling and a joy to see at the ball diamond.

Leroy Ahlness
Wrote: Right
Birthdate:
Inducted in Hall of Fame: 2002
Hometown:
Leroy was never a player for Milroy but still very special. Leroy was committed as a scorekeeper and trusted announcer for many, many Milroy teams. He would keep score of each game and make sure the hits and errors where inputted properly. This is an unfulfilling task for most players but for Leroy it was a chance to be part of the team. Leroy was definitely a big part of the teams and will always be remembered. Leroy is now deceased.