Area Notebook: Stingers are looking for a new GM

·2 min read

Sep. 21—WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers have announced that Nick McCallum is leaving the Northwoods League team as general manager.

McCallum has worked with the Stingers since their inception in 2009 and their first season in 2010.

He was assistant general manager from 2010-12 and then became the GM>

"Unfortunately, we knew there was going to be a day that Nick would move on from the organization," Stingers co-owner Ryan Voz said in a statement. "His loyalty to the team has been tremendous and (we) wish him the best."

The team is working on finding a replacement for McCallum, a St. John's University graduate.

"I will forever be grateful to Ryan and (co-owner) Marc (Jerzak) for giving me my first opportunity in sports and being a part of something really special with the Stingers in Willmar," McCallum said in a statement.

HOF honors 3 inductees

Don Betzen, Allen "Ole" Hovey and Earl J. "Smitty" Smith were honored at a banquet last week as 2021 inductees into the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame.

Betzen played for Granite Falls from 1960-72. He was a pitcher who had 50 shutouts and six no-hitters in his career, helping the Kilowatts to seven state tournaments.

Hovey, who passed away in 2012, was born in Litchfield and grew up in Atwater. He played amateur baseball for Lake Lillian and Atwater from 1947-60 and coached Atwater summer recreation baseball, Atwater American Legion baseball and at Atwater/Grove City High School.

Smith, who died in 1996, was born in Kerkhoven and graduated from Morris Ag School. A World War II veteran in the Navy, Smith returned to Willmar and was an umpire at the high school, amateur and church league level for 32 years. He was a member of the Willmar Baseball Boosters and the Southwest Minnesota Umpires Association.

er recreation baseball, Atwater Legion baseball and Atwater/Grove City High School.

Smith (1917-1996) was born in Kerkhoven and graduated from Morris Ag School. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Smith returned to Willmar and began a 32-year career as an umpire for high school, town team and church league games. He was a member of the Willmar Baseball Boosters and the Southwest Minnesota Umpires Association.

Legion sponsors softball

For the first time, the Minnesota American Legion will offer fast-pitch girls softball in 2022.

Minnesota, which has the largest participation of American Legion baseball teams in the country, has never sponsored softball, but will allow registration for it after Jan. 1, 2022.

The decision was made at an Aug. 7 meeting in Royalton and announced last week.

North Carolina's legions started sponsoring softball in 2018. It had 11 teams that year and now has more than 50, according to a press release. Several more states were expected to start in 2020, but were delayed by the pandemic.