Editor’s note: The Menominee High School Athletic Hall of Fame will induct 10 new members at a ceremony on May 2 at Riverside Golf Club. Each Tuesday, the EagleHerald will feature one inductee. Tickets for the ceremony and banquet are on sale at the Menominee High School Main Office and Athletic Office. Cost is $25 per ticket. For further information, contact John Wills at 906-863-6887.

MENOMINEE — Playing in the Little League World Series is a dream for every young baseball player growing up, and the next inductee in to the Menominee High School Athletic Hall of Fame and his team came within one game of heading to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, thanks in major part to his efforts on the mound.

Dan Wesoloski was a highly effective Little League pitcher before he grew up and became a force at offensive tackle and middle linebacker for legendary coach Ken Hofer’s first ever Maroons football team and at a ceremony at Riverside Golf Club on May 2, he will take his rightful place in the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

As a 10 year old, Wesoloski was responsible for 91 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched while hitting a video-game-like .580 at the plate. He, along with Dave Gokey, provided a solid 1-2 punch on the pitching mound and nearly carried the team to the LLWS in 1961.

“That was a magical run those kids went on that really captivated both Menominee and Marinette,” Menominee historian Larry Ebsch said. “Little League was relatively new in the area at that time, and that was just a tremendous team.”

Since travelling to Williamsport was not free and just in case the team made it, business in both cities put out collection trays to try and raise enough money so the kids could make the trip.

“It’s amazing how nothing brings cities together like youth sports,” Ebsch said. “It was the same way for all of the high school teams that went to the state championships, everyone wants to see the local kids be successful and it was really a great thing.”

After Little League, Wesoloski continued his baseball career as a pitcher and infielder in Babe Ruth and was selected to play on the 1964 All-Star team that advanced to the Michigan State Championship Series and also played several years of Wishigan League baseball.

As a high schooler playing football, he was a starter on offense and defense for three years and earned All-Conference honors his junior and senior year.

His senior season Menominee had an undefeated record and had a showdown with Marinette, but Wesoloski suffered an injury before the game and the Marines crushed Menominee 32-0 with Wesoloski on the sidelines.

“Dan was a great player,” Hofer said. “He was the first dominant linebacker I had in my first year as coach. He definitely could have been a Division 2 or Division 3 football player in college if that’s what he chose to do.”

Instead of choosing to further his athletic career, Wesoloski enlisted in the Army.

“He truly was an outstanding athlete, a good guy and a family man,” Ebsch said. “I’m happy that he’s taking his place in the Hall of Fame, because if anyone deserves it, Dan is one of them.”