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Doug Gonring to be inducted into Land O’ Lakes Baseball Hall of Fame | By Craig Larsen

June 22, 2021 – Kewaskum, Wi – Doug Gonring of Kewaskum will be a part of the class of 2021 to the Land O’ Lakes Hall of Fame, in the league’s 100th season.

Gonring played 11 seasons in Land O’ Lakes Baseball League. He was part of 8 seasons with West Bend Lithia and 3 seasons with the Kewaskum A’s before the A’s moved to the Rock River League.  Gonring was the Rookie of the Year in 1978, and won 6 batting titles, as well as 2 home run hitting titles.

Gonring
Doug Gonring

Gonring will be inducted along with Bill Balk, Dave Hellestad, Bart Nowicki, Mike O’Hagan (Hartford) and Jack Schiestle.

The class of 2021 will be inducted with the class of 2020, after the 2020 ceremony was postponed due to COVID 19.  That class includes Tony Chapman, Scott Doffek, Derek Kozlowski, Tim Rappis, Tom Schmacher, and Kevin Stapleton.
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Gonring will be honored prior to the Land O’ Lakes Championship game Saturday, August 21, 2021 and the official banquet will be held Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at the Waukesha Elks Lodge.

“Few people transcended the game of baseball in West Bend then Doug Gonring.  While his coaching career at West Bend East and Kewaskum are more recently thought of in the younger generations, Doug is arguably one of the best ball players ever to grace Carl M. Kuss Field.  His legacy in West Bend/Kewaskum/Washington County will be felt for generations to come.  I couldn’t be more excited that Doug is finally getting his just due, in this very special season for Land O’ Lakes.” – Craig Larsen, Executive Director of Land O’ Lakes Baseball.

 

On June 23, 2011,  Doug was inducted by the West Bend Baseball Association (WBAA) and
added to the Wall of Fame during the Diamond of Honor ceremony at Regner Park.

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Gonring celebrated his 400th win during a home game in July 2016 while coaching Kewaskum.

Below is a story from the Washington County Insider archives about Gonring prior to his induction into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Dec. 2, 2016 – Kewaskum, WI – Long-time baseball coach Doug Gonring has been selected to enter the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“Doug was an easy choice for the committee because the success he has had at different levels and different schools,” said Joe Waite, publications director for the WBCA.  “He is well known and respected as a great teacher of the game, which is evidenced by the success he has had year in and year out.  He is truly deserving and speaking for all of us on the committee, the WBCA is honored to induct him into our Hall of Fame.”

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Gonring has racked up a stellar career in baseball.

He played college ball at Florida Atlantic University and is part of that school’s Baseball Hall of Fame.

He coached nine seasons at West Bend East from 1994 – 2003 and led the Suns to State baseball titles in 1999 and 2002.

Gonring developed players who advanced to the major leagues including former Suns pitcher Jason Wiedmeyer (San Diego Padres) and Mike Mueller (Atlanta Braves) pitched professionally after college and third baseman Ryan Rohlinger played for the San Francisco Giants.

Gonring also coached from 2008 – 2016 at Kewaskum High School.

In July 2016 he notched his 400th win as a coach when the Kewaskum  Indians downed Southeastern Wisconsin Home School Association, 11-3.

Gonring spent several seasons as a catcher in the Houston Astro and Toronto Blue Jay’s organizations prior to professional baseball retirement in 1988. Gonring said it was 1986 when he had a run in with Yogi Berra during spring training.  By that time, Gonring had earned the nickname “Little Yogi.”

“‘Where is this Little Yogi,’” said Gonring doing a gruff Berra impersonation. “I stood up and raised my hand and he looked at me and said, ‘You’re too damn big to be a Little Yogi’ and he turned and walked out. I knew he liked me from then on.”

Amy Schmoldt, Bell Bank

During a conversation Friday afternoon Gonring said he was honored by the selection. “I really thought this just went to older people,” he joked.

Gonring celebrated his 54th birthday last Sunday. “I guess I’m old now and I’ll be in that book,” he said.

In an effort to put 22 years of coaching and a lifetime of baseball into perspective, Gonring said he did it for the players. “I never played a game for myself,” he said. “They endured some hard times with me and I know I’m tough at times but I learned that through Gary Perkins and Steve Traylor and Kenny Bolek.

“The parents and the kids have bought into my program and it’s been a better career for me coaching than it has as a player,” he said.

Washington Co Fair

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