Gitzel in Baseball Hall of Fame

Glennis Scott welcomes Armin Gitzel into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

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Carman’s Armin Gitzel was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame at their 23rd induction dinner, June 1.
Described as an outstanding pitcher, outfielder, infielder, hitter and base runner, he was a key force on the Miami team that won six consecutive provincial championships from 1952 to 1957. He played in the South Central Border League with the Carman Cardinals through 1961 and then with Graysville’s league championship teams of 1962 and 1963. In the final game of a 1957 championship with Carman against Plum Coulee, he struck out 15 batters and smashed a long home run.
He was prominent in tournaments around rural communities.
Gitzel was introduced by Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Director Glennis Scott, who had also pitched opposite him in the 50’s and 60’s.
“I have the utmost respect for him,” he said. “Armin was quite in demand for teams around this area, to have him in tournaments. He could do it all.”
Scott said he admired what Gitzel brought to the diamond.
“First of all, he could pitch all bloody day, several days in a row,” he said. “He’s a dangerous hitter. I mean this as a compliment… he’s probably the best bad ball hitter I’ve ever seen.”
Scott said on two occasions, once in Carman and once in Miami he was on the mound when Gitzel ended up stealing every single base, including home.
Gitzel spent most of his speech thanking those that mattered to him, including his daughter Rhonda and the directors for getting him into the hall of fame.
“It’s an honour to be inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said.
He also thanked former coaches, and family, including a grandson that came all the way from New York to support him.
But he saved his last thanks for someone who’d been at his side for many years.
“I want to thank my wife of 58 years (on June 4), for milking the cows so I could go and play ball,” he said.
Gitzel was one of nine individuals, one family and four teams inducted into the hall this year.

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