Class of 2015
Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks 1985-92
If ever there was a template for a lead-off hitter in amateur baseball, Dan Pearson would have fulfilled the requirements. A quick and slashing left-handed hitter, Pearson was a menace for both catchers and pitchers alike during his eight seasons of competition for the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks in the Chippewa River Baseball League.
Never hitting below .333 in any of his seasons, Dan was a frequently deployed weapon by the ‘Jacks, evident in that he led the CRBL in at-bats on three occasions – 1986 (81), 1988 (63), and 1990 (67). His highest mark as a hitter came in 1988 when he hit .429 (27 for 63) and also set career highs in home runs (3) and RBI’s (17) for a wild-card Chippewa Falls squad that went 12 and 4. After dispensing of the Northern Division champion Jim Falls Sturgeons in a playoff game, Pearson and the Lumberjacks beat the Lafayette Indians 13 to 10 for the CRBL title before chopping their way to a WBA Final 8 appearance in Hayward.
Pearson had the second .400+ campaign of his career in 1989 when he K’d just once in batting .413 (26 for 63). His personal best 25 runs scored that season helped jettison the Chippewa Falls squad to an 11 and 5 league record and their first appearance in the WBA title game, where they lost 13 to 7 to the Menomonie Eagles in Abbotsford. Within the Final 8, the fleet-footed outfielder was named the most valuable defensive player, becoming the first CRBL player to win the defensive stalwart trophy.
A line-drive hitter, Pearson’s season best mark of 3 long balls came in both 1988 and 1992. Interestingly, Dan’s 1992 total was reached in one game vs. the Jim Falls Sturgeons. In the June 7th contest, the lefty laced 3 solo shots in the ‘Jacks 6 to 4 victory in the 1st game of a doubleheader at Cardinal Field.
As the igniter of an explosive Lumberjack offense, Dan efficiently piled up the offensive numbers during his eight-year CRBL run. In six consecutive seasons (1986 to 1991) he had 20 or more hits, eclipsing the exclusive 30 hit barrier in 1986 with 31 knocks in 81 at-bats for a .383 average. Fulfilling his responsibility from the top of the order, Pearson earned 10 or more walks in seven seasons with a high of 16 in 1989. Reaching home plate at a frequent clip, he scored 20 or more runs four times with a high of 25 in 1989.
Utilizing his speed and quickness, Dan swiped 10 or more bases in five seasons with a personal best of 16 in 1989. Despite hitting primarily out of the lead-off spot, Pearson still managed to drive in 10 or more runs in six seasons with his personal best of 17 RBI’s coming in 1988.
Pearson’s outstanding play was a major factor in the early success of the Lumberjack’s existence. During his time on the Woodcutters, the ‘Jacks won three North Division championships (1985, 1987, 1990), four CRBL crowns (1985, 1987, 1988, 1990), qualified for the WBA seven seasons in a row (1985 to 1991), and played in two WBA Final 8’s (1988 and 1989). In those four CRBL championship games, Dan stayed true to form, going 8 for 21 (.381) with 5 runs, 4 RBI’s, and 2 stolen bases.
The respect bestowed on the Lumberjacks outfielder was evident in that Dan played in five CRBL All-Star games (1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991), was named All-CRBL in five seasons (1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990), and recognized as Honorable Mention All-CRBL in one season (1991).
Upon induction, Pearson’s offensive potency is on display in his all-time rankings, where he can be found in 9th place for batting average, tied for 10th in stolen bases, and alone in 31st for slugging percentage.