A former player, a former manager, and a former public-address announcer will be inducted into the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame next month.
Reggie Sanders, Tom Lawless and Dale Brodt will receive the honor during the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ 20th Annual Hot Stove Banquet on January 27.
Sanders was named the 1990 Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year after batting .285 with 17 HR, 63 RBI and 40 SB in 127 games with the Cedar Rapids Reds. He went on to play 1,777 games over 17 years in the major leagues, cumulatively batting .267 with 305 HR, 983 RBI and 304 SB.
After playing parts of eight seasons in the major leagues, Lawless managed 10 minor-league seasons and was interim manager of the Houston Astros for 24 games in 2014. His MiLB managerial career included five years in the Midwest League, including three seasons for Cedar Rapids (1994-96). His 1994 team was the last Kernels squad to win the Midwest League championship title. He later managed the Peoria Chiefs in 2000 (when Albert Pujols played for the team) and the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2001.
Brodt worked in broadcasting for three decades, including 20 years in Cedar Rapids, and was a longtime public-address announcer for the city’s Midwest League team. He was the PA announcer for more than 1,700 minor-league games.
In addition to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the Hot Stove Banquet will include a Twins roundtable discussion featuring Minnesota’s top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios, and Kernels manager Jake Mauer.
Berrios pitched for the Kernels in 2013, going 7-7 with a 3.99 ERA, 100 strikeouts and 40 walks in 103.2 innings (19 starts). The 21-year-old right-hander split the 2015 season between Double-A and Triple-A, cumulatively going 14-5 with a 2.87 ERA, 175 strikeouts and 38 walks in 166.1 innings (27 starts).
The Twins recently announced that Mauer will return in 2016 for a fourth season as manager of the Kernels. (Read my post about that here.) The Kernels returned to the Midwest League Championship Series this year for the first time since 1994, but fell one win shy of the title when they lost Game 5 of the best-of-five series to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
The Kernels will host the 2016 Midwest League All-Star Game, which you can read about here.