She was a favorite of mine, but she let me know that she didn’t like me to write about sports, so I better tell her that this column is going to be about sports.
Her daughter, Anna Sue Herzberger-Button was visiting in Beardstown recently from her home in Alaska and enjoyed meeting with friends. Our daughter was out of the state and regretted missing that get-together.
First sports story----Beardstown is in the news this week as the Beardstown Little League will be hosting the state tournament. Thanks go to the many volunteers who have, along with the Park District, continued to improve the Bill Cowen Little League ball park until it is one of the best in the state.
The baseball association will have a breakfast banquet at the Round House this coming Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Pat Perry, a former Major League pitcher will be the guest speaker. Perry played in Beardstown when he was a Little Leaguer, playing on Taylorville’s All Star team.
Robert “Bert” Carter was the President of the Beardstown Park District in 1987 when The Beardstown Schewe Community Center was dedicated. He and Sue, who live in Springfield now, have gone to watch their grandson play a lot of baseball during the last few years. He is Andrew Frankenreider, son of former Beardstown residents, Scott and Missy Carter Frankenreider. Scott was active in Beardstown sports, being one of the high school’s all time best golfers, before playing four years on Bradley’s golf team.
Their son, Andrew, a 6 ft. 120 lb., righthanded pitcher, just finished his senior year at Dunlap High School in Peoria. He was one of the most impressive pitchers at the FBR Top Prospect Showcase in June. He was throwing 86-88 mph fast balls along with his 75 mph curve ball and had a good change up. Playing this summer with the Central Illinois Outlaws he had an 8-3 record, a 2.62 ERA, made four saves, striking out 82 batters in 67 innings. The Northern Illinois University baseball team announced last week that Frankenreider is one of four right hand pitchers who signed to play for Northern next year.
Larry Niemeyer, BHS Class of 1955, is the next local who is tops in his profession. Niemeyer, 74, piled up a career record of 2,089-429 in 52 seasons of coaching softball. In June, Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa honored their legendary retired coach by naming the ball field after him with a large sign, LARRY NIEMEYER FIELD, printed on the front of the large scoreboard. In his last season, his team had a 36-6 record including a 25-1 record in Missouri Valley Conference action.
He led his team to 19 Iowa State Tournaments, taking home the championship trophy four times, in 1970, 1983, 1997 and 1998. He was named the National Softball Coach of the year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2009, is a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame, and Iowa’s Girls Coaching Hall of Fame. He had retired from teaching and coaching, after missing a few games in his last year with heart issues. He says he is in good health and returned to coaching at Waterloo West High School. West went 13-28 his first season. They want a winner - Niemeyer can take care of that.
Correction: In the previous column I said that former Park Board member Dick Offerdahl worked at CIPS. Another senior moment, he worked at Oscar Meyer.