Sheboygan A's | Denny Moyer

End of an Era: Memories Abound as Moyer Leaves GM Post

Posted: October 18, 2022

It’s the end of an era as longtime A’s General Manager Denny Moyer has stepped down as the GM of the Sheboygan A’s. Moyer has been the only GM in the club’s long and storied history.

The following was written by Moyer.


The meeting was at Roosevelt Park’s fieldhouse, I remember that. It was a long time ago – 1968, ‘69, maybe 1970. After tearing a number of coupons off 12-oz. bottles of Kingsbury, Ron Herr, Dick Larsen and I agreed to be the first slate of officers of the newly-formed Sheboygan Athletic Club. Herr as President, Larsen as Vice President, and me as General Manager (loosely defined as “everything else”). The players in attendance, after tearing a number of coupons off 12-oz. bottles of Kingsbury, cast a unanimous ballot for that slate.

The club has had many officers since then, but only one general manager.

This year that changed. I have decided not to continue in that capacity – and for two basic reasons.

The first is that the aging process has negatively affected my ability to handle the job. It takes me hours to complete tasks that I used to bat out in minutes. What formerly was fun became a struggle for me. Still, because of my silly outdated concepts of things like commitment, loyalty, perseverance, and fidelity, I would have continued in the position except for reason two. And that is that the club is blessed with some extremely talented and dedicated people who are more than capable of doing the job. In short, it is time to get out of the way.

And I do so with a great deal of pride in the accomplishments of the club during my involvement. I certainly cannot take sole credit for the development of the Sheboygan A’s as one of the most highly regarded semi-pro baseball programs in the Midwest, but I will take credit for convincing the club members that they should think big, they should believe that the program is important to young athletes, that it is important to a segment of the community that has developed into a loyal fan base, and that it is important to the city itself. The A’s players have become good ambassadors for the city and their efforts on the field have created a feeling of pride among city baseball fans – not to mention the team’s value as an attraction in the city’s tourism roles. Believe it or not, there are people around the state whose only connection to the city is the Sheboygan A’s.

Through the 2022 season, the Sheboygan A’s have played 2,923 games and they have won 1,721 of them. A winning percentage of .590.  They have a .513 winning percentage in the rugged Wisconsin State Baseball League with a 732-695 record. The team has had 19 straight winning seasons and three losing seasons in the last 42 years. The community should take pride in that and support the club’s efforts.

Denny Moyer and his wife Donna pose for a picture after receiving a plaque in recognition of all their had work with the Sheboygan A’s.

While the A’s have been a very competitive team, it is not the winning that I have stressed through the years, but rather the playing of the game, honoring the game, and respecting teammates, opponents, umpires, and fans. And with just a few exceptions over these past 50 years, A’s players have bought into it. I truly believe that my preaching on respect, team first, total effort, and staying the course when things are rough has made an impact. Once A’s players and now doctors, veterinarians, superintendents of schools, school principals, teachers, engineers, firefighters, business owners, bankers, clergymen, conference commissioners, small business owners, and high school, college, and even professional coaches have heard my pre-season sermon and have bought into it. Of that, I am proud.

Everyday memories gush back to me. Memories of games, of seasons, of incidents that only can happen in baseball. My most cherished memories?

#1 – 1991 Al Albert dumping a pitcher of beer on my head at Lake Church Inn in Belgium where a bus full of fans met a bus full of players who had just won the A’s first-ever Wisconsin State League championship in Rockford, IL.

#2 – (circa 1980-81) Marching in the July 4 parade with a bunch of young ball players behind a banner that read: We Want High School Baseball.

#3 – (circa 1973-74) Charlie Kometer and Dave Kober high up on wobbly ladders at Legion Park repairing the chicken wire meant to keep foul balls from bombarding neighbors’ houses.

#4 – (1981) Mayor Richard Suscha and Joe Hauser leading a packed house in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and Steve Kohls recording the park’s first home run on opening day at Wildwood Park.

#5 – (1997) Andy Friess hitting a 3-run home run to cap a 5-run inning and give the A’s a 23-22 marathon win over Janesville.

#6 – The friends I made, hustling individuals to buy tickets and selling program ads to corner taverns, small retailers as well as large manufacturers. Those people made it all possible. I was a lousy salesman and hated to ask for money, but they were kind and gracious.

#7 – Charlie Zeichert being Charlie Zeichert.

#8 – (1968) Rick Reiss and I knocking each other out when we collided in the outfield in an early afternoon game and Reiss coming back to pitch and win the late afternoon game against Cedarburg to give us the Land o’ Lakes Northern Division championship.

#9 – Ron Herr.

#10 – (1964) The spring Saturday that Jim Splitgerber spent selling “I Support the A’s” window stickers to businesses. Del Ohlschmidt assigned us to Indiana Ave. In those days between 8th and 25th streets, there were a lot of businesses that specialized in selling beer. It was a long walk for Splitty and me.

Those are only 10. There are hundreds of memories from striking out (again) against Bobby Laack and Al Vey and Lon Galli too watching my players strike out against Jay Toubl, Tom Klawitter, and Steve Kostichka. There’s all the fund-raising we did from bringing the Lake Geneva Playboy Bunnies to Legion Park to bringing pro wrestling and Bob Hope to the Armory.

Moyer with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

And then there are the outstanding players – Gene Mand, Lee Wetenkamp, Randy Wilke Dave Gehr, Michael Casper, Tom Eckhardt, Harry Steldt – to list a few; and the managers from Carl Beringer, Chuck Zeichert, and Del Ohlschmidt in the beginning to Derek Loomans and Tim Moyer most recently, who take the slings and arrows when things don’t go well. And don’t forget the thrill of the championship seasons (1968: Lakes Northern Division, Carl Beringer; 1991 and ’97, Wisconsin State League, Dave Moyer; 2000, State League, Craig Kloes; 2014, Langsdorf, Tyler Martin, and 2022, Northeastern Wisconsin League, Tim Moyer.)

Sheboygan A’s baseball has been my thing since 1963. It is time to turn it over. There were always good people around selling popcorn and tickets and working on the field. I left them alone and let them run their areas. They all worked hard, but decision-making and problem-solving was always left to me. The buck stopped with me.

That changed when Scott Stangel was elected President.  He wasn’t a President who just ran the club meetings, he took a lot of responsibility upon himself and let me work with the team. And then some very capable, very dedicated, and very hard-working people came aboard. Scott and those good people now in place will get the job done. It is time for me to leave. The Sheboygan A’s are in good hands.

My family has been most understanding through all of this. Without that understanding, I fear the A’s might have been in serious trouble long ago. My wife has been the bingo chairperson for years, she was the concessions chair for years, has served as the keeper of the scrapbook and most importantly she understood the importance of me being with my team. One night I was in the press box getting things lined up for the game and it hit me just how much I was being supported.  My daughter, Debbie, was warming up in the next room, preparing to sing the National Anthem. I looked out onto the infield and there was my son, Tim at third base taking infield practice. My son, Dave, was the manager and he was hitting infield practice. And my wife and my mother-in-law were both in the concessions stand.  Now that’s support.

The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 43 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.