For 10 seasons, Dave Kober hit behind legendary Gene Mand in the Sheboygan A’s line-up and was a prolific run producer. The Wisconsin State League Hall of Fame Committee recognized the powerful Sheboygan native’s contribution and elected him to the League’s Hall of Fame.
Kober and four others will be inducted at the annual State League Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner on Saturday night January 28 at Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center. Joining him will be Jerry Frisque (who played from 1972-1979) and Dan Zeratsky 1988-1991, 1994-1995 of the Green Bay Blue Ribbons, Steve Colaizzi (1992-2009) of the Addison Braves and Greg O’Brien (1973-79 1991-92) of Madison Avenue Bar.
Kober led the league in hits, runs batted in twice, triples, home runs twice, total bases three times and slugging percentage twice. He ranks in the top 10 in triples and home runs and his .328 average places him 13th among players with 700 or more plate appearances.
His numbers for his 10 years in the league (1976-85) include 39 doubles, 11 triples and 32 home runs for a .552 slugging percentage. His best year was 1981 when he hit .417 with seven home runs and 27 runs batted in. He caught, played third-base and outfield.
“It’s unbelievable, I am honored . . . I really appreciate it,” Kober said. “Those were the best years of my life and my teammates – Geno, Wets, Mouse, Bert, Tommy Martin, all those guys … they were my best friends. I sometimes wonder where I would be without those years and those guys.”
Frisque and Zeratsky become the 12th and 13th members of manager Denny Ruh’s powerhouse ball clubs to make the Hall of Fame.
Frisque, a southpaw, compiled a 1.83 earned run average in posting an 18-7 career record. His ERA ranks second among pitchers with 200 or more innings pitched. He led the league in earned run average in 1972, 1.27; and in 1975, 1.39. He was a key member of Green Bay’s championship clubs in 1973, ‘74, ‘76 and ‘77. He surrendered just 175 hits in 225 innings.
Zeratsky led the Ribbons to titles in 1994 and ’95. He hit .359 over his six year career, an average that ranks 11th among players in the league with 500 or more plate appearances. He led the league in hitting in 1990 with a .459 average. The Ribbons first baseman had a slugging percentage of more than over .500 in every season but one.
Colaizzi played 18 seasons with the Braves, was the rock in skipper Larry Kurkowski’s line-up from 1992 through 2002, and finished his career with a .288 average in 232 games. He was named to the all-league team in 1995. Also solid defensively at third base, Colaizzi hit over .300 eight times, his best year being 1998 when he hit .386.
O’Brien, an outfielder-first baseman, finished his 9-season career with a .318 average, helping Madison to divisional titles in 1973, ’74 and ’75 and a league championship in 1978. His best year was 1976 when he hit .382 and drove in 21 runs. He followed that hitting .370 in 1977 and .381 in 1978. He’s on the State League chart defensively as well with a .380 career fielding average. In addition, he managed and held the club together in the franchise’s final years.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.comments powered by Disqus