Class of 2011
Jim Falls Fallsmen 1927,30; Eagleton Eagletons 1928-29; Jim Falls Cardinals 1931; Anson Ansonites 1932; Jim Falls Old Abes 1937-38; Jim Falls 1939-41; Jim Falls Legion 1947-50; Holcombe Old Abes 1951-52; Jim Falls Dairymen 1953
Jim Falls Fallsmen 1930; Jim Falls Old Abes 1937-38; Jim Falls 1939-41; Jim Falls Legion 1948-50
Nearly 60 years after his last game, Ben Pitsch is remembered as a patriarch of one of the most recognizable family names in CRBL history. On the playing the field, he carved out an admirable and devoted playing career over 18 seasons of league competition.
Playing the bulk of his career in what should be viewed as the “dead ball” era of the CRBL, Benny was a consistent and reliable performer from both the batter’s box and the mound.
Averaging over 1 hit a contest during his 234 game career, Pitsch hung up his spikes as the league’s all-time leader in games played, at-bats, hits, singles, doubles, RBI’s, runs scored, walks, and total bases. In 17 of his 18 league seasons, Ben collected 10 or more hits, with his career peak of 18 knocks coming in 1951. Batted over .300 twice, doing so in 1938 at .340 (17 for 50) and 1947 at .304 (17 for 57). Consistently used as a pitcher during the 1930’s, Pitsch tied for the Chippewa Valley League lead with 1 save in 1936.
During his nine seasons as a player/manager for four different Jim Falls teams, Mr. Pitsch led his squads to three winning records and two .500 finishes.
Playing in a time period when amateur leagues and teams were much more commonplace in the Chippewa Valley, Ben was also a standout for Jim Falls teams in the Cloverbelt, Yellow River, and Eastern County leagues during the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Even with this cross-section of amateur baseball experiences, Pitsch’s name can still be found on the CRBL’s all-time lists. Upon induction, Pitsch is 21st all-time in at-bats and singles, tied for 29th in walks, tied for 30th in games played, and tied for 34th in hits.
Participated in the 1953 All-Star game, one of only four seasons in which the league exhibition was held during Pitsch’s career.