- Sheboygan, WI
- University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
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Randy Wilke, the holder of seven club records, who hit over .300 in 13 of his 16 full seasons, will be the next member of the Sheboygan A’s Hall of Fame.
The A’s Hall of Fame committee unanimously voted to elect Wilke in his first year of eligibility. Dave Gehr, Lee Wetenkamp, Gene Mand, Tom Eckhardt, Jason Bartelt and Michael Casper were the only other A’s Hall of Famers elected in their first year of eligibility.
He was a 2-time A’s MVP and a 2-time WSL MVP. And he was an all-State League team selection 10 times.
Wilke holds seven Sheboygan A’s records and eight Wisconsin State League records, and, most importantly, he is the only player to play on all three A’s Wisconsin State League championship teams: 1991, 1997 and 2000.
In addition, he managed the club for two seasons, 2004 and 2005 posting a 64-55 record.
Wilke’s best year was in 1997 when he led the club to a 39-14 record and the WSL title hitting .365 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and a club record-tying 73 runs batted in in 53 games. He lived to drive in runs and knocked in 697 in his career, second only to A’s legend Gend Mand.
He led the club in hitting in 2002, .353, and 2003, .330.
After recovering from a serious injury as a youth, Wilke battled back onto the field and came up with the A’s following the 1987 Legion season. In his 1988 rookie season he hit .302 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 33 games.
The next year he hit .279. That would be his worst year. After that, he hit over .300 in 12 seasons. The two years that he didn’t hit .300, he came in at .294 and .299.
He led the club in runs batted in nine times and in home runs seven times. It should also be noted that he spend two of his prime seasons playing in Milwaukee when he lived and worked there.
Following all-conference honors at Sheboygan North High School, Wilke played at Indian Hills Junior College, Eastern Kentucky University and UW-Milwaukee where he also served as a graduate assistant coach.
Dave Moyer, who managed Wilke from 1991-98 said: “The A’s have won three WSL championships and he batted fourth on all three teams. That pretty well speaks for itself, except to say there are your typical high school wonder boys that everyone projects to be the next phenom. Randy wasn’t one of them. He worked for everything he got and turned himself into a player. There might not be anybody I’ve ever managed who wanted to play as badly as Randy. He truly earned this distinction.”
“I am honored to be selected,” Wilke said. “I attribute a lot of my off-the-field success to the organization that helped me grow as a person. Not everybody gets these opportunities and I am very grateful.”
Wilke now resides in Princeton, WI, with his wife Patti, daughter Taylor and son Remington. His induction ceremony will take place on a still to be determined date during the A’s season next summer.