ASHLAND Ky. – Six more members of the Ashland “Dynasty Era” Tomcats of 1965 to 1969 and eight other players and coaches who spanned four decades of baseball in Central Park will be part of the fourth annual Ashland CP-1 Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony on Aug. 18.
The 14-member class, the biggest in the CP-1 HOF’s short history, will be inducted at 1 p.m. in Central Park. It brings the total to 50 enshrined with a goal of reaching 100 by 2023.
Don Lentz, Fred Leibee, John Sieweke, Dave Staten, Larry Stevens and Mike Tackett were members of state championship teams during the stretch when the Tomcats won three titles in a row from 1966-68.
Two of the best defensive players in Tomcat history, center fielder H.F. Dixon (1958- 1960) and shortstop Ernie Daniels (1963-64), are among the inductees.
“It’s very humbling to even be considered, that was satisfaction enough, but to be chosen is more than I ever hoped for,” Dixon said.
Dixon represents part of a trio of 1950s players to be selected this time including pitcher Larry Castle and catcher David Patton. All three played on Ashland’s 1958 regional championship team and were products of the Pony League and Midget League in the park growing up.
Dixon played on Ashland’s first Babe Ruth All-Star team in 1958 and led the league in hitting that year with a .491 average. But defense was his forte.
“I got my greatest joy when somebody tested my arm by trying to go from first to third on a single to center,” he said.
Castle was the ace of a good pitching staff and played at shortstop and third base depending on who was pitching. Patton’s career batting averaged hovered over .450 in three years as a starter.
Daniels was a shortstop, clutch hitter and tremendous leader for the Tomcats during his playing days.
Players from the late 1970s era are Greg Swift and Donnie Allen while Ashland Post 76 American Legion co-managers Rick Reeves and the late Frank Wagner, who coached together for nearly 20 years, are also among the 2018 class.
“Just like our previous classes, there are some heavyweight players in this one,” said CP-1 Baseball HOF Chairman Mark Maynard. “We’ve got several players who were members of state championship high school teams with the Tomcats and played on state championship Little League teams in Ashland. It’s a massive amount of talent. I’d take these guys in their primes and take on anybody. We have a little bit of everything, including great coaching and some of the best defensive players and clutch hitters in CP-1 history.”
Previous CP-1 Hall of Fame classes:
2017 (13): J.D. Browne, Bo Carter, Joe Conley, Tim Huff, Mike Smith, Steve Hemlepp, John Mullins, Kevin Gothard, Mike Gothard, Dale Griffith, Nard Pergrem, Jim Speaks, John Thomas.
2016 (11): Bob Lynch, Steve Rolen, “Big” Ed Hughes, Wayne Workman, Bill Workman, Chuck Dickison, Juan Thomas, Ellis Childers, Clyde Chinn, Marvin Hall, Dan Smith.
2015 (12): Brandon Webb, Don Gullett, Bill Lynch, Drew Hall, Charlie Reliford, Jody Hamilton, Dykes Potter, Squire Potter, Bob Simpson, Reecie Banks, Jim Host, Gene Bennett.