Five former standouts are members of the 2021 induction class into the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
The honorees – brothers Chuck and David Hughes of Sioux Falls, Bob Pidde of Freeman, Mark Acheson of Chester and Al Karel of Salem – will be inducted during a banquet that is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6 in Freeman.
More details on the banquet will be released in the coming months.
The South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Lake Norden.
The right fielder and first baseman played collegiately for four years at the University of South Dakota and earned All-North Central Conference honors in 1978 and 1979.
Hughes played 29 years of amateur baseball with the Riverside, Sioux Nation, Shop-N-Cart, Sioux Falls Bud Champs, Renner Macy’s, Renner Old Milwaukee and Renner Newcastle teams.
The .340 career hitter played in more than 20 state tournaments, highlighted by a state Class A championship with Sioux Falls Shop-N-Cart in 1989, a state Class B championship with the Renner Macy’s in 1991 and a state Class A runner-up finish with Shop-N-Cart in 1981.
The centerfielder played four years of college baseball with Augustana College, earning All-North Central Conference honors in 1982 and setting the league’s stolen-base record with 16 steals in 1982. He was later inducted in the Augustana Hall of Fame.
Hughes’ 18-year amateur baseball career including stints with the Sioux Nation and Shop-N-Cart teams in Sioux Falls and the Renner Old Milwaukee and Renner Newcastle teams.
He played in more than 14 state tournaments and was a member of Shop-N-Cart teams that won a state Class A championship in 1989 and finished second in Class A in 1981.
The speedster batted above .375 during his career and stole more than 300 bases during his career. In 1983, he was successful on 34 of 35 stolen-base attempts – a mark that is tied for the seventh-best, single-season stolen base percentage in state history.
Acheson played more than 20 years of amateur baseball in South Dakota, almost all of them for Colton where he enjoyed success both as a pitcher and a first and third baseman.
At the plate, he twice had five hits in a game and drove in eight runs in a game against Lake Preston in 1986. Acheson enjoyed a four-game streak in 1984 in which he went 13-for-15 with 16 runs batted in – part of a season in which he batted .406 with 41 RBIs in 29 games. He also hit .353 in 1986 with 10 doubles, eight homers and 50 RBIs in 34 games.
His accomplishments on the mound were even more numerous and included helping pitch Salem to the 1982 state championship by beating the Renner Monarchs 4-3 in the semifinals and getting the final four outs in relief later in the day in the team’s 13-10 championship win over Harrisburg.
Acheson developed a reputation as a big-game pitcher. He also tossed a seven-inning no-hitter – facing the minimum 21 batters – in a win over Humboldt in 1984; struck out 18 batters in an 11-inning win over Harrisburg in 1986 and fanned eight batters in a row against Canova in 1983. In 1989, he went 9-1 with three shutouts including a 3-0 state-tourney win over Winner.
During his 22-year career, Acheson played in 20 state tournaments – seven with Colton and and 13 as a pickup player. As a pickup player, he not only played for the 1982 state champions from Salem but also for state championship teams from Madison in 1992 and Dell Rapids PBR in 1998.
Karel’s amateur baseball career in South Dakota spanned more than 20 years and included 15 state tournaments and three all-tournament selections. He spent one season with Spencer-Alexandria and the rest of his career with the Salem Cubs.
One of his first amateur baseball highlights came in 1969 when as a 17-year-old Legion pickup player, he clubbed a homer in the playoffs for Salem. He then played collegiate baseball at Dakota State in Madison.
Karel served as a player/co-manager of Salem teams from 1977-79 – playing in the state tourney in 1997 – and also played in the 1981 state tourney as a pickup player for a Harrisburg (from Spencer-Alexandria) team that reached the semifinals.
After not fielding a team in 1981, Salem came out of nowhere to win the 1982 state championship. Karel batted .420 as a second baseman and cleanup hitter that season and then batted .318 on the way to earning all-tourney honors.
He also earned all-tourney honors on Salem’s state runner-up teams in 1987 – batting .375 overall and .368 in the state tourney – and in 1988 – batting .310 overall and .421 in the state tourney.
Karel received the Mark Mehlhaf Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1988. He retired after the 1989 season and had his number retired by the Salem amateur team in the summer of 1990.
Pidde may be best remembered for leading Freeman High School to a 27-0 record and the state Class B high school boys basketball championship in 1975, but also enjoyed plenty of success on the baseball diamond.
He played both sports at South Dakota State University and also will be inducted in the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame this year.
Pidde spent most of his 30-year amateur baseball career (from the mid-1970s through the mid-2000s) as catcher for Freeman, but also played three years in Woonsocket. He played in the state tourney every year, mostly with Freeman, but also three times as a pickup player.
Pidde compiled a career batting average above .375 and slammed more than 200 homers. He clubbed 25 homers in one season, including four in one game.