By STEVE KRAH
A very small town in the northwest quadrant of Indiana has produced to big league baseball players.
Within months of one another in 1887, Fred “Cy” Williams and Otis “Doc” Crandall were born in Wadena, Ind.
According to Cappy Gagnon’s Society for American Baseball Research BioProject profile of Williams, Wadena had but 75 people in 1890. Wikipedia says the 2009 population was 20.
Wadena in Benton County can now claim Williams as a member of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. He is part of the induction class of 2019. The veterans committee selected Williams and Ronald J. McClain with Pat O’Neil going in as a coach, Bob Schellinger as contributor and Scott Rolen as a player.
Williams played the first half of his career during the Deadball Era and still put up power numbers.
Donning the uniforms of the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies from 1912-30, the lefty slugger hit .292 with 251 home runs, 1,005 runs batted in, 1,024 runs scored, 115 stolen bases. He led the National League in home runs four times, on-base percentage twice (not that they talked about that back then) and slugging percentage one time.
Williams died in 1974.
O’Neil, a graduate of LaPorte (Ind.) High School in 1975 and Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1980, is now head coach at Danville (Ind.) Community High School.
His career coaching mark of 364-124 includes a state championship (2005) and two state runners-up finishes (2003 and 2004) at Brownsburg (Ind.) High School. His Bulldogs also won five Hoosier Crossroads Conference titles, three sectionals, three regionals and three semistates.
O’Neil has coached 12 first-team all-staters, nine all-stars, two Mr. Baseballs (Lance Lynn and Tucker Barnhart) and sent more than 50 players to college baseball.
Pat’s brother, Chip O’Neil, is already in the IHSBCA Hall of Fame. Both played for legendary coach Ken Schreiber.
Schellinger, a graduate of South Bend St. Joseph’s High School and Illinois Benedictine College, coached with Schreiber at LaPorte. He served stints as head coach and assistant at South Central (Union Mills) High School.
He has been a licensed IHSAA umpire for 46 years with 17 sectional assignments, 11 regionals, five semistates, four State Finals and three IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series.
A four-time IHSBCA Umpire of the Year, Schlleinger was honored at IHSAA Official of the Year in baseball at the 2017 State Finals.
Rolen, who is now the director of player development at Indiana University, is a 1993 Jasper (Ind.) High School graduate. There, he was Mr. Baseball and a runner-up for Mr. Basketball.
A two-time first-team all-stater and IHSBCA All-Star, Rolen went on to play in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1997 and wound up hitting .281 with 316 homers, 1,287 RBIs and 1,211 runs scored in 17 seasons. He also won eight Gold Gloves as a third baseman.
Hall of Famers will be honored during the IHSBCA awards banquet during the annual state clinic Jan. 17-19 at Sheraton at Keystone at the Crossing in Indianapolis.
Scott Rolen, a Jasper (Ind.) High School graduate, is part of the 2019 class of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Bob Schellinger, a South Bend (Ind.) St. Joseph’s High School graduate, coach for 26 years and umpire for 46, is part of the 2019 class of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Pat O’Neil, a LaPorte (Ind.) High School graduate who guided Brownsburg to a state title and two runner-up finishes, is part of the 2019 class of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Cy Williams, born in tiny Wadena, Ind., is part of the 2019 class of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
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