by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Otsego’s Dale Kolles, a slow-pitch slugger for 40 years, has been named to the Minnesota USSSA Softball Hall of Fame.
An outfielder who still plays on three teams at age 55, Kolles was notified a couple weeks ago that he’ll be inducted at a banquet on Feb 10 at Crown Plaza in Brooklyn Park.
“I almost had to go home from work, the day they called me,” said Kolles, referring to how thrilled he was to be chosen. “It’s a heckuva honor. Pretty cool.”
Kolles, a lifelong Otsego resident, has played on four national age-group champion teams since 1998. The most powerful team he played for was Viking Coke of Elk River that won state Class B in 1988 and placed fifth at nationals. In 2004 he was named MVP at three separate state age-group tournaments.
“Dale was one of the best combinations of power and speed, and good glove and a good teammate, that you could ever see,” commented Dave Wiskiewski, who was player-manager of the Viking Coke team.
Kolles, a maintenance supervisor at Cargill, his employer for 30 years, plays for Kevitt Excavating in the Crystal league, for Tootsie’s in Monticello, and for Coors Lite in Albertville.
“I still play six games a week,” he said. “I just love to play softball.”