In my story in today’s paper about Sauk Rapids’ Anthony Bemboom I posted a list of known Sauk Rapids High School grads who played minor league baseball. Bemboom is a catcher for the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League. It’s a Class A team in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farm system.
I listed four I could dig out of the www.Baseball-Reference.com website: Rip Repulski, Bob Hegman, Jeremiah Piepkorn and Bemboom.
There are at least two more, former Sauk Rapids teacher Doug Moilanen points out, Dick Henkemeyer and Dave Plfepsen.
Henkemeyer was a dumb omission. I know him well. He’s an assistant coach at St. John’s University and played amateur ball in the area during the 1980s and ’90s. He was a star for the Sartell Muskies and Sauk Rapids Cyclones.
He was a left-handed pitcher in the Twins’ organization from 1981-82. He had a cumulative 6-10 won-lost record for Elizabethton and Wisconsin Rapids, with a 5.57 ERA. He pitched in 36 games, made 24 starts and had three complete games. He threw 164.2 innings, allowing 159 hits and 102 earned runs. He struck out 112 and walked 127. He was signed out of Brainerd Community College, which these days goes by the name Central Lakes College.
His son, of course, is Andy Henkemeyer, the senior outfielder for the University of Minnesota who has had a couple of excellent seasons for the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Andy Henkemeyer has a chance to play some pro baseball, too, I’m guessing.
Pflepsen was before my time, though he was inducted into the first Sauk Rapids High School Hall of Fame last fall. He played for the Gophers and spent three seasons in the New York Yankees organization from 1960-62, playing in Fargo-Moorhead, Modesto, Calif., Greensboro, N.C., and Augusta, Ga. His highest level of ball was Class A.
His minor league career included 219 games, 797 at-bats, 87 runs, 223 hits, 40 doubles, 9 triples, 5 home runs and 80 RBI. He stole six bases and batted .280 with a .326 on-base percentage and a .371 slugging percentage. He was an infielder.
The Yankees’ system was loaded in the those days as the end of New York’s most-dominant era from the 1918 to 1964 included numerous future hall-of-famers.
Pflepsen played with a number of future major leaguers, including Curt Blefary, Horace Clarke, Mel Stottlemyre, Roger Repoz, Frank Fernandez and Roy White, among others who surfaced just as the great Yankee era was ending and before George Steinbrenner bought the team in the 1970s and returned it to prominence.
There, I’ve set the record straight. I’m feeling better. Thanks for the assist, Mr. Molainen. The next time I write about Sauk Rapids’ sports history, I’m calling you.