2019 HDL Banquet Recap
The 2019 HDL Player Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet was held Saturday night, November 23rd, at the Central BBQ Party Room.
Approximately 50 players, players spouses or partners, and invited guests took advantage of free BBQ meal and free drinks. The program was slow getting started as many attendees were late arriving, around 7:00 PM, just in time to get into the Buffet line. The estimated 100 attendees never materialized, for a variety of reasons. Based on our initial estimates of people who indicated they would be attending, the HDL ordered excess food. (In the future we will be more conservative with our food commitment budget estimates)
This was the first time the HDL has scheduled the annual banquet downtown at Central BBQ. With the low attendance, there was plenty of room for those who attended. The Central BBQ Staff did an outstanding job of attending to our group’s event.
While the Audio-Visual accommodations were less than ideal, we were able to work with what was available. The main deficiency was a proper sound connection to the overhead projector. This prevented the prepared Slideshow sound track from being audible. Larry Rutledge played a couple of prior year slideshow videos, as well as a new video that recapped the 2019 Season.
In an attempt to add some music to the slideshow finale, Rutledge played John Foggerty’s song, “Centerfield”, over a Tailgate Sound Box that helped achieve an adequate replication. In the end, it all worked out thanks to the patience and understanding of the audience.
HDL 40th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Two candidates were approved by the Hall of Fame Committee for this year’s 40th induction ceremony.
The first Inductee was Outfielder Johnny Houghton who played in the HDL from about 2002 to 2016. Johnny’s career batting average of .334 and almost 1000 Plate Appearances, as well as his infatuation with the HDL Baseball format, were valid reasons to justify his induction into the Hall of Fame. Johnny was deeply appreciative of the honor of joining the HDL Hall of Fame.
The second candidate to be inducted was Team Manager and HDL Sponsor/Player, Don Hinkle. Don started his career in the HDL about the same time as Johnny Houghton. As a player, Don compiled almost 700 Plate Appearances with a career batting average of .231. During the last 10-12 years of his career he has set an example by offering to manage any HDL team that needed him. This unselfish service to the HDL is not reflected in his Stats because he actually participated as a Manager for an additional 200 games where he made sure his roster of players were treated fairly.
2019 HDL Player Awards
Bo McMinn, Jake Hatchett and Travis Hill conducted the introduction and presentation of trophies to 2019 players who were selected or earned a variety of award categories.
Trophies were presented to the following:
Charlie Hustle Award: David Calhoun (No photo)
Royals MVP: Tyler Dunn
Sponsor Awards (Gold): MBAA (Andy Cook)
Sponsor Awards (Silver): JH Auto (Jake Hatchett)
Special recognition went to Beth Hatchett for creating the Baseball theme table decorations that were donated. They really added to the purpose of the evening.
Also, the HDL Officers were pleasantly surprised when 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee, Jodie Wolfe, attended the 2019 Banquet for his first time “ever” to attend the HDL banquet.
All players were reminded to check the HDL Blog for off-season updates and announcements. There are some significant changes in progress at Tobey park that will make Tobey Baseball experience much different in 2020. When extra help is needed, the Blog and Facebook will solicit your assistance.
The Banquet was concluded and, hopefully, everyone made it home safely.