Position: Media

Tim Peterson

Class of 2017

Media

Chippewa Herald 1978-86, 96; Leader-Telegram 1986-94

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Arriving on the Chippewa Valley sports scene in the late 1970s, journalistic and statistical wizard Tim Peterson began covering the CRBL in 1978.  In short order, Mr. Peterson quickly recognized that the Chippewa River Baseball League’s documented history and decades- long existence separated it from the common ambiguity of amateur baseball leagues.

When he debuted his “CRBL League Leaders” column in July of 1980, Tim permanently altered nearly every facet of the CRBL from that day forward.  For the first time in league history, player stats, names, and performances were now being regularly viewed and assessed by thousands of people through the public forum of a newspaper – the Chippewa-Herald.

Through that pursuit of clarifying the documentation of CRBL statistics, Peterson made his most impactful contribution when implemented a standardized template for the “abbreviated” box scores to be used by CRBL team managers reporting to the local papers.  Instituted in June of 1984, the “leading hitters” and “winning/losing pitchers” box score format exponentially improved the consistency and accuracy by which game stats and results would be recorded.

Mr. Peterson’s arrival at the Leader-Telegram in 1986 brought extended coverage of the CRBL back to Eau Claire’s paper after nearly a 20 year absence.  Tim’s comprehensive and sincere reporting on the CRBL reintroduced the league to the city of Eau Claire and coincided with the Eau Claire Pioneers’ inaugural season of play in 1986.  Not since the Twin City Sports in 1968 had the city of “clear waters” fielded a CRBL squad.

Justly stated, the CRBL’s cooperative relationship with local media as well as the strength and traditions of the All-CRBL awards, the CRBL Record Book, the CRBL All-Star Game MVP award, and the CRBL Championship Game MVP award can all be attributed to the professional methods and expectations that Mr. Peterson instituted in the late 1970s.

It is just and righteous that Tim Peterson be inducted in to the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame.  Plainly stated, the CRBL Hall of Fame would not exist if not for the visionary and influential methods employed by Tim nearly forty years before his induction.  Thank you Mr. Peterson!!!

Mike “Scoop” Lucas

Class of 2016

Media

Chippewa Herald-Telegram 1967-77; Cadott Sentinel 1978

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             A sports writer and sports editor for the Chippewa Herald-Telegram from 1967 to 1977 as well as the Cadott Sentinel in 1978, Mike Lucas is the first member of the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame to be elected solely for contributions as a member of the media.

During his first year at the Chippewa-Herald Telegram in 1967, Mike unveiled what would become a frequently running feature known as the “A.M. Report”.  Within the lines of that column, readers of the Chippewa Herald-Telegram were given their first behind the scenes look in to the teams of the Chippewa Valley League, the forerunner to the CRBL.  The dugout vantage point offered by Lucas supplied insightful details on team happenings, opinions of players and managers, as well as league organizational decisions and rules.

“Scoop” also should be credited with being the first sports reporter in the area to consistently provide readers with illustrated photos of team rosters, game action, and individual players. Moreover, Lucas had a knack for capturing poignant post-game shots of the elated and celebratory winners side by side with the vanquished and emotionally crushed losing squad.

Through his “A.M. Report”, Lucas also compiled and presented league statistics for both team and individual accomplishments.  Hitting, pitching, and even defensive stats were offered in a professional and engaging manner.  In doing so, Mike unknowingly laid the foundation for the statistical records, structure, and accountability that have become synonymous with the historically rich existence of the CRBL.

Decades after his last newspaper story was printed, Mike’s ideas and professional approach to reporting on amateur baseball can still vividly be seen and felt in how the CRBL operates today.

Also known as “A.M. Lucas”, Mike’s induction in to the CRBL Hall of Fame rightfully honors the pioneering coverage of one of the most influential figures in league history.  Thank you Scoop!!!

Ron Buckli

Class of 2015

Outfielder & Media

CRBL: Leif’s Conoco Oilers 1952-53; Chippewa Falls Triangle Sports 1959-60

ECCBL: Eau Claire Tommy Millers 1960-63; Strum Merchants 1964

Media: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram 1956 through induction

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Ron Buckli’s long and illustrious career as both an all-around athlete and acclaimed sports journalist indisputably define him as one of the most respected and accomplished individuals in the storied existence of the Chippewa River Baseball League.

Buckli’s first full season in the Chippewa Valley League came in 1953 with the Leif’s Conoco Oilers out of Eau Claire.  In 13 league games, Ron hit .339 (19 for 56) and tied for the league lead in doubles with 6.

The left-handed hitting outfielder’s athleticism and hitting prowess landed him a pro contract with the St. Louis Browns in 1954.  Assigned to the Class D (Single A) affiliate in Wytheville, VA, Ron played in 31 games for the Statesmen, hitting .252 (29 for 115) with 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs in what would prove to be his lone season of professional baseball.

After playing for area baseball teams from 1955 to 1958, “Buck” returned to the CVL in 1959 with the Chippewa Falls Triangle Sports.  In only 9 league games, Buckli efficiently slammed a league leading 3 triples to go along with 4 doubles and 2 home runs while hitting .385 (15 for 31).

In 1960, Ron excelled in both the CVL for the Sports and for the Eau Claire Tommy Millers in the first year Eau Claire Classic Baseball League.  In the CVL, Buckli led the way in at-bats with 59 while rapping 20 hits for a .339 average.  For the Millers of the ECCBL, the Eau Claire native paced the four-team circuit with 25 hits and 3 home runs while tying for the lead in RBI’s with 18 all while hitting a robust .379 in 66 at-bats.  Rightfully, Buckli was a unanimous All-ECCBL pick as an outfielder for the ECCBL champion Millers.

In 1961, Ron was simply outstanding for the Tommy Millers.  Playing exclusively in the ECCBL, the slugging lefty hit .414 (30 for 68) in 18 games while leading the league in hits with 30, doubles with 10, home runs with 5, RBI’s with 27, and runs scored with 23 all on his way to a second unanimous All-ECCBL award.  Accordingly, Buckli and the Millers pounded their way to a second ECCBL title in a row as well as another spot in the WBA tourney.  Going 5 and 1 in the double elimination tournament format, the Eau Claire squad decisively captured the WBA title, beating Pepin 9 to 3 in the championship game at New Richmond.  In the 6 tournament games, Ron went 8 for 25 (.320 average) with 5 home runs, 12 RBI’s, and 6 runs scored.  In the title tilt, Ron slammed 2 home runs and drove in 3 runs to clinch his selection as the MVP of the 1961 WBA Finals.

Winning their third straight ECCBL title in 1962, Buckli and the Millers made it to the WBA championship game again before losing 6-5 in a rematch with Pepin at Cushing.

After hitting 2 homeruns in 1962, Ron hit 2 more for the Millers in 1963 as they won their fourth straight ECCBL title and qualified once again for the WBA tourney in what was their last season of existence.

Buckli’s final year of amateur baseball in the Chippewa Valley came in 1964 for the Strum Merchants of the ECCBL. In a part-time role, the outfielder hit .385 (5 for 13) with 6 runs scored in 4 games.

At the completion of the ECCBL’s six-season existence (1960-65), Ron finished second in doubles (16), homeruns (9), RBI’s (63), runs scored (61), total bases (131), slugging percentage (.541), and third in hits (82).

Of course, Ron Bucki’s contributions to the local sports scene go well beyond any field of competition.  Since July of 1956, he has reported on area sports with sincerity, fairness, enthusiasm, respect, and humility for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.  Renowned and revered as a top notch sports journalist, Ron also has had a major impact on Special Olympics in the Chippewa Valley through his immensely popular Buckshot Run event.  Additionally, he has played a pivotal role in the regional promotion, development, and success of the international sport of ski jumping.

With his induction, the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame is able to permanently welcome a selfless sportsman, dynamite baseball player, and true gentlemen in Mr. Ron Buckli.