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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Berns, Gillan enter Miner diamond hall

Thursday, October 4, 2012

(Photo)
The Linton-Stockton Baseball Hall of Fame and Alumni Game took place on Sept. 29 at FOP Field in Linton. Honored were the 2012 class of inductees former coach Bart Berns and former player and coach Kenny Gillan. Above, Gillan (right) and Berns pose with their Hall of Fame plaques. (Shad Cox). [Order this photo]
The Linton-Stockton Baseball Hall of Fame recently inducted two more members -- including the founder -- prior to an alumni softball game in September.

Inducted for the 2012 class were former coach Bart Berns and former player and coach for Linton-Stockton, Kenny Gillan.

Berns who helped found the Hall in 2004, guided the Miner baseball team from 1991 until the end of the 2010 season.

Those years included seven years with 20 or more wins and they produced one academic all-state player, three Indiana South All-Stars and three players named to the Class 2A first team all-state ranks.

"I am very proud of all the young men that played for me," the Wisconsin transplant coach said. "I was very blessed to have had an opportunity to coach at Linton and have a 20 year career."

During his tenure Berns posted a 321-188 (.630) won-loss record. It also included three sectional championships (1993, 2001, 2010), five Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference crowns (1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008) and six Tri-River Conference titles (1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006).

During his time at the helm of the Miners Berns was named District Coach of the Year by the Indiana Baseball Coaches Association three consecutive seasons (1998-2000).

Berns was named TRC coach of the year consecutive years twice. His first two were in 2000-01 and again from 2005-07.

Berns was also the overseer of several improvements to the Miners' home Roy Herndon Field.

Some of those improvements included an indoor workout facility, several upgrades to the ballpark itself which were rewarded by Linton-Stockton being named the host of the last three IHSAA Class 2A regionals and the last four sectionals.

Joining Berns in the class of 2012 is Kenny Gillan.

Gillan began his high school baseball career in the spring of 1966. He was a freshman at the time and played mostly in the outfield.

Coach Paul "Tom" Oliphant liked him in left field as he had the speed to go deep and make the over-the-shoulder catch or charge the line drive and make running catch.

The following year Gillan was moved to the infield by Oliphant where he anchored the infield from shortstop.

His change of position helped the Miners to very respectable 13-3 mark. It was also the inaugural IHSAA state baseball tournament and the Miners claimed their first sectional title.

With wins over Worthington, Shakamak and Bloomfield, the Miners advanced to the regional at Forest Park where they were defeated 3-1 by Terre Haute Gerstmeyer.

In Gillan's junior season, he not only continued in the role of shortstop but went to the mound as well.

Dr. David Haag was the Linton-Stockton first baseman that season and according to Haag, he drew the ire of Gillan.

Gillan was in the midst of a perfect game when Haag dropped a pop up in the sixth. That led to Haag getting what he termed as "the evil eye" from Gillan every time he saw him hold a runner on first base.

Gillan's senior year ended up being a rebuilding season for the Miner program as they suffered through a dismal 4-9 season.

Gillan was elected the team's most valuable player according to the school yearbook. He led the team in hitting and pitching.

During his high school athletic career Gillan lettered four years in baseball, three in basketball and two in football.

Over the years he has earned three college degrees, one from Manchester, one from DePauw and one from Indiana.

He continued his love of the game by coaching at the Babe Ruth level for a few years and was the coach at Linton-Stockton for five seasons.

For six years, he was also the scorekeeper, ran the scoreboard and the PA announcing for the squad.



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