Inaugural class of baseball Hall of Fame

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sports Editor's Note: The following is just a portion of information provided to the Daily Citizen/ Evening World on each inductee for Linton's Baseball class of 2004

Roy Herndon - Linton's Mr. Baseball, Roy Herndon, died 17 years ago on September 17, 1987. He is remembered as giving much to the game of baseball. Mr. Herndon was a great supporter of local community baseball programs. From Little League to Babe Ruth, from Babe Ruth to High School, from High School to American Legion ball, Roy was always willing to provide help to the young ball players who were trying to improve their game.

There was to doubt that Roy Herndon received great enjoyment in helping a player.

Mr. Herndon spent 13 years as a professional baseball player spanning from his start in 1934 at Mt. Airy and ending with the Indianapolis Indians in 1946.

Mr. Herndon was instrumental in starting Little League baseball in Linton. He helped form the league locally in 1956, and coached the G.E. club from 1957 through 1967, and won the league championship each season.

Mr. Herndon graduated from Indiana State Teacher's College, now known as Indiana State University, in 1936. While there he participated in baseball, football, basketball, and track.

Paul L. Oliphant - Paul is better known as "Tom", or even better known as "Old Tom". Tom graduated from Bloomfield in 1938 and then from Oakland City College. He went on to teach and coach three years at Solsberry, and eight years at Worthington, before starting to work at Linton in 1964.

At Linton, Mr. Oliphant won three basketball sectional titles and in 1967, he won Linton's first baseball sectional. Mr. Oliphant was also the assistant coach on the Greene County Babe Ruth team that won the state.

When asked to recall some of his many outstanding players, Mr. Oliphant said he remembered Eddie Inman as one of his good pitchers and Kenny Gillan as one of his good hitters. He also said that there was one thing about high school baseball that did aggravate him. He did not think it was fait that he had to coach several years to win his first baseball sectional, while his son Tom won in his first year at Worthington.

Mr. Oliphant has been a teacher, coach, and leader of the community for many years. He is now a member of the inaugural Linton Baseball Hall of Fame class.

Dick Fields - A lifelong baseball fan, Dick Fields had a great desire to teach and coach the game.

After moving to Linton in 1961, his involvement with the Little League programs spanned countless summers.

Many of the summers his own children were involved, but mostly he enjoyed teaching anyone who wanted to learn the game.

In 1981, he helped revive the Linton Babe Ruth program, from those who wanted to continue to play beyond Little League.

Once the Babe Ruth program had begun to thrive, he then concentrated on reviving the County-wide American Legion program, a team he managed for six season and winning the county's first sectional championship. He also served as the team's general manager until 1999.

His purpose was to provide opportunities for local players to continue to play baseball and to gain the recognition necessary to help them pursue future careers in baseball.

Coach Fields held great love and support for Linton baseball and was always ready and willing to help the program in any way he could until his death in March 2000.

Mr. Tom Wall - Tom has been a very loyal and faithful fan of the Linton Miner baseball team.

Tom has one son (Jack) and two grandsons (Tommy and Levi) that have all played for the Miners.

Tom had helped give Roy Herndon Field the facelift it has needed. He has been and continued to be instrumental in a lot of the field improvements that are seen today and in the future.

The Miners can be very proud of the Roy Herndon Baseball Field because of loyal supporters of the baseball program like Mr. Tom Wall.

1967 Sectional Championship Team - In 1967, Indiana high school baseball teams held a state-wide tourney for the first time.

the Linton Miners defeated Worthington, Shakamak, and Bloomfield for the first sectional title.

The Miners finished with a 13-3 record.

The 1967 batting title was given to Bob Earle, a junior letterman. The players voted Ed Inman the Most Valuable Players.

The team consisted of the following players and coaches: Ed Inman, Tom Bowersock, Ronald Henwood, Kenny Gillan, Mike Rose, Sam Davis, John Myers, Jack Wall, Joe Edwards, Jim Gregory, Dave Haag, Dave Hensley, Bob Earle, Tom Laughlin, Coach Paul Oliphant, and coach Dexter "Lefty" Laughlin.

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