Western Nebraska baseball legend to be inducted in state baseball Hall of Fame
One of the panhandle's most accomplished baseball players will be inducted into the Nebraska baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Beatrice.
83-year-old Dale Hendrickson will be just the fifth member of the state's baseball hall of fame with connections to the panhandle, according to a release from Chadron State College.
In fact, Hendrickson has connections to several panhandle communities. Before he was a standout baseball and basketball player at Chadron State, Hendrickson was a pitcher on Gering's American Legion championship-winning team in 1953.
The next summer he pitched from the Chadron Elks town team. Hendrickson also was offered and signed a contract with the Milwaukee Braves at a tryout camp in Rushville that same summer.
In 1955, Hendrickson compiled a 24-8 record, including three playoff victories for the Braves' farm team in Lawton, OK. He then had an 11-2 record for another Braves' farm team in Evansville, IL the next season.
Hendrickson played seven years of professional baseball. Although he never played in the majors, he still struck out players like Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra in Spring Training in 1957.
He graduated from Chadron State in 1960, but not before scoring 860 career points from the Eagles basketball team.
After college, Hendrickson taught and coached at Morrill for nine years. He then spent 27 years, including 24 as Activities Director in Kimball before retiring in 1996.
The baseball field in Kimball is named in his honor.
Hendrickson will be one of seven inductees in this year's class.