March 6, 2019 – West Bend, WI – On Saturday, March 8 the West Bend Baseball Association will hold its 8th annual Dinner and Benefit.
One of the people to be inducted into the WBBA Wall of Fame will be Tom Meisenheimer.
Tom has had a love for the game of baseball that never stopped. A portion of Tom’s story is posted below.
Tom grew up on the South Side of Milwaukee within walking distance of Milwaukee County Stadium. His dad was a great athlete in football, bowling and played softball on the fields that existed on land that eventually would be where County Stadium would be built.
Tom played baseball starting when he was a kid in grade school. When the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, Tom was overjoyed. He was in 8th grade at the time and now says that he can still name the starting line-up of the first game played in Milwaukee against the St. Louis Cardinals in April of 1953. He watched many games from “The Hill” at the VA Hospital which is south of what used to be the County Stadium location. At that time the VA had set up a bleacher area on the hill which allowed patients and visitors to view the game (it was still a long way away from the field).
While Tom was in high school he and Jerry Repenshek (now Father Jerry) served as water boys for the Los Angeles Rams when they came to the St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee to practice before their games with the Green Bay Packers in 1954 and 1955. The Rams arrived in Wisconsin a week before their game because the seminary field was private and they could practice without any interruption.
Tom also played pick-up baseball every day will growing up in Milwaukee with his brother Jerry and the neighborhood kids. While he was in high school he pitched and played left field for the St. Francis Minor Seminary. He also lettered in track and football. He continued Softball in college at St. Francis Major Seminary. He went from the minors to the majors (so to speak). After years of study at the St. Francis Seminary, Tom was ordained a Catholic priest in 1966. He served as a chaplain and parish priest for 4 years. During his priesthood he wrote a book which was published in 1968 titled “Formed by the Word” and wrote a column for Hi-Time, a national youth magazine. He continued to play softball in Brookfield during his priesthood days. He left the priesthood in 1970.
Tom moved to West Bend in 1970 and became the first Program Director for the Kettle Moraine YMCA. He immediately joined the Amity Softball team and played on the field North of Carl Kuss Field and from there he could see the high school games going on at Carl Kuss. This began his involvement in baseball and softball in West Bend that lasted for over 40 years. Although Tom did not play baseball during all that time, he contributed to the success of baseball in West Bend in many other ways.
Tom Meisenheimer will be inducted Saturday along with Doug Hall and Vic Seefeldt.