Bill Nelson selected for MN Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame

Bill Nelson (current manager of the Dundas Dukes) has been selected for the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be on Saturday September 15 at the St. Cloud Civic Center.  Social hour is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 and the induction of Nelson, Mike Gagnon, Al Mueller, and Bob Van Hee to immediately follow. 

A history of the first area inductee inside...Nelson began his amateur career in 1971 at Hayward, MN and then played two years for Dick’s Place in Columbia Heights.  In 1975 he joined the Dundas Dukes and the rest, as they say, is history.   While at Dundas he has played on two State Amateur Class “B” champions in 1982 and 1988.  He became the manager in 1989 and managed the Dukes until 1999 which coincided with their back to back State Amateur Championships in ‘98 and ’99.  He then retired, only to return to managing in 2005 after Don Freeman stepped down as manager after the 2004 season.

The Dukes finished second in 1975, ’80, ’81, and ’96 while Nelson was with them.  In 1983 and ’84 Nelson played with the Burnsville Bobcats for two years finishing second in the state in ’84. 

When he returned to Dundas in 1985 Nelson was key in starting the yearly program that the team produces.  He also led movements to renovate every area of Memorial Park.  Lights were installed.  A new concession stand was built along with dugouts, grandstand, scoreboard, sprinkling system, and a new public address system. 

With all of the improvements, Dundas was awarded the 2003 State Tournament.  Nelson served as Tournament Director of that tourney in which the Dukes finished second.  He has also been the Tournament Director of the MIAC Tournament from 2000 to the present.  From 1984 to ’86 he was a Director of the Minnesota Baseball Association.  He wrote and published the MN Amateur Baseball News from 1986 through ’88, a newspaper that dealt exclusively with amateur baseball in MN. 

In 1979 he was responsible for establishing the present day invitational tournament.  Before that there were no tournaments during the season.  Dundas held the inaugural tournament and 2008 will be the 30th year of the Dundas Invitational. 

Bill, a native of Clark’s Grove, played for Albert Lea High School (helping the Tigers earn second place in the state in 1969), and was a pitcher for Augsburg College (All-Conference and All-District 13 in 1973 and ’74).  His Auggies won the MIAC in 1973 and he was inducted to the Augsburg Hall of Fame in 1996. 

In October of 2006 Nelson received the “Mike Downes” Award from the Minnesota Baseball Association in recognition of “Outstanding Service to Minnesota Amateur Baseball.” 

If you'd like to attend the ceremonies and/or buy tickets, see the PDF file attached to this story...

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Nelson - HOF directions and tickets.pdf14.91 KB