- Sheboygan, WI
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Don Diener, who threw beer kegs around during the day and baseballs at night will become the 24th member of the Sheboygan A’s Hall of Fame. The club’s Hall of Fame Committee elected the right-handed pitcher at its fall meeting.
Diener was a reliable and dedicated member of the club in its early years, playing from 1967 through 1975.
Stingy with hits, allowing only 289 in 330 innings pitched, he compiled a 23-15 record with a 3.46 earned run average. His best years were 1969 (4-2, 2.81 earned run average with 56 strikeouts in 57 innings) and 1970 (8-2, 2.71).
In addition to his primary duty as a starting pitcher, Diener also played outfield. He hit .353 in 18 games helping the 1971 team reach the quarterfinals of the NBC State Tournament and hit .400 in 17 games in 1972.
“When you take into account how draining his day job was – driving that beer truck and hauling half-barrels up and down stairs – Donny gave us some great performances. I still remember some super outings he had at Two Rivers and at Wausau,” general manager Denny Moyer said.
“The big thing is that in addition to being a real contributor, he was one guy you could always count on. If Chuck (Zeichert, A’s manager in those years) had to go someplace with nine guys, Diener was always one of them. Plus he had that hearty laugh. He always kept us loose, I’ll certainly say that,” Moyer said.
“I’m surprised. I had no thoughts of ever being considered, but I’m happy and honored,” Diener said. “I’m grateful to the committee for selecting me. It really is an honor to be included with the great players in the Hall of Fame. I never thought I would be there, but I’m sure happy about it.”
Diener resides in Sheboygan with his wife Kim. He is the publisher of Savings Plus magazine.