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Pitch & Hit Current News


Club member Frank Eccles dies

Frank Eccles, a longtime Pitch & Hit Club member, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 15, 2011 in his Crown Point, Ind. home.

Frank was best known as "Coach". He loved baseball and coached many in the Sullivan/Turnball League in Clarendon Hills and Harvey, Thornton High School, Calumet College and many in between. Frank had more than 800 career wins. He took the 1974 Thornton High School baseball team to the Illinois High School Association final four.

He retired from teaching in 1993, after 31 1/2 years. He was very active in the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBCA) and received the "Les Miller" Man of the Year Award in 1984 and 1994, the President's Award in 1997 and was inducted into the IHSBCA Hall of Fame in 1991.

He is survived by his wife, Lynda Eccles, two sons, a daughter, two stepsons and six grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:00pm at Fagen-Miller Funeral Home, 8580 Wicker Ave. in St. John, IN with cremation to follow.


Pitch & Hit Club Postcard

Pitch & Hit Club President John Dittrich (right) with Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield at Wrigley Field. Winfield was a speaker at "Chicago Ideas Week".


Hemond Honored in Cooperstown

Roland HemondCongratulations to Roland Hemond, the Pitch & Hit Club's Honorary Chairman of the Board, on being awarded the Buck O'Neil LIfetime Achivement Award this weekend in Cooperstown.

Asked about where the award ranked among his career accomplishments, Hemond told, "I would have to place [Saturday's award ceremony] No. 1, because I got to know Buck O'Neill and what he meant to baseball," Hemond said.

"He was one of the great ambassadors of our game and his history and the person that he was, and then for me to be the recipient."

The Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors at the most often, once every three years.

The award is given in honor of an individual who enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, broadened the game's appeal, and whose integrity was comparable to O'Neil's.


Long-time Pitch & Hit Club member and local baseball legend Len DiForte, State Representative Patty Bellock,and club president, Pete Caliendo at Rep. Bellock's office.

Pitch & Hit Club president Pete Caliendo and long-time member Len DiForte visit Hoosier Bat Company owned and operated by long-time member and sponsor, Dave Cook.

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