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Legion announces 2015 Hall of Fame

Legion announces 2015 Hall of Fame

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Player Zane Smith, volunteers Bob and Pat Sparks and the 1989 Midget Post 163 baseball team are the 2015 inductees into the North Platte Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.

The inductees will be honored during a scrimmage and alumni game at Bill Wood Field beginning at 4:30 p.m. on May 1.

Smith pitched 142 2/3 innings in 1978 and 1979 for the First Nationals, racking up 14 wins in 1979, tied for eighth-most in club istory.

Smith went on to pitch for Atlanta, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Boston in 13 seasons in the majors. He finished his major league career 100-115 with a 3.74 ERA. In 1987, Smith posted a 15-10 record with a 4.09 ERA with the Atlanta Braves, leading the league in games started with 36. He pitched in three postseasons in 1990 and 1991 with Pittsburgh and in 1995 with Boston.

The 1989 Midgets, under the direction of Rick Logan, were state champions — one of three in the history of the Midget/Junior program in North Platte.

Bob and Pat Sparks volunteered for the First Nationals program from the mid-70s through the mid-1990s. Bob was an announcer for the team for more than 10 years, according to former manager and Hall of Famer Mick Hayes.

Pat ran the concession stand beginning in the 1970s and volunteered on a number of other projects with the legion baseball program.

The scrimmage is at 4:30 p.m. on May 1 followed by an alumni game at 6:30 p.m. The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in between innings. There is no charge to attend the game. It will be followed up on Saturday by the annual golf tournament at 12:30 p.m. at Lake Maloney Golf Course.

This is the third class in the North Platte Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.

The inaugural class in 2013 was coaches George Lebedz and Chuck Francis, manager Lynn Stockall, radio broadcaster and statistician Chuck Schwartz and players Bill Hayes and Shawn Fleck.

Organizer Jack Raetz, board president Mick Hayes, player Steve Gilligan and the 1994 Midget team were inducted in 2014.

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