Class of 2016
Field & Facilities Manager
Osseo Merchants 1999 through induction
Formed in 1999, the Osseo Merchants enjoy the privilege of playing at one of the nicest amateur baseball parks and facilities in the state of Wisconsin. Talk to any Merchant player and Merchant supporter about their top-notch field, and credit will quickly and unabashedly be given to Mr. Jon Soiney, Field and Facilities Manager for the Osseo Merchants baseball organization. In honor of his tireless efforts and incredible work, the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame proudly recognizes Mr. Soiney as a worthy member of its exclusive Hall of Fame.
An accomplished athlete in his formative years, Jon played high school and amateur baseball in Lanesboro, MN. After garnering attention from professional Independent League teams out of the St. Paul, MN area, Soiney moved to Eau Claire in 1967 to pursue a job at Presto Industries. Still the competitor, Jon began a fastpitch softball career that would last over 20 years. In progressing to Masters Division softball, Mr. Soiney played 10 years at that level, enjoying an immense amount of success as his teams won 9 state titles and one national championship.
Never far away from baseball, Jon was instrumental in the formation of the Osseo Merchants amateur team. When the Merchants made their CRBL debut in 1999, it ended almost a 40-year absence of men’s amateur baseball teams from the town of Osseo.
Serving as an assistant manager for six years (1999-2005), Jon stepped forward to be part of a small group of individuals who purchased the land where beautiful Merchant Park would eventually be built.
In a historically significant date for both Osseo and the CRBL, the first game at the newly built field was played on April 21st, 2001. That summer, Jon took over as head groundskeeper and became the backbone for developing and maintaining a playing surface that is considered to be second to none.
To say the least, Mr. Soiney has taken the craft of field care to a level of expertise rarely – if ever – seen in the world of amateur baseball. Attending numerous seminars and conferring with professional baseball groundskeepers to hone his skills, Jon has traveled with the Milwaukee Brewers head groundskeeper Michael Boettcher, putting on seminars for area groups interested in improving their fields and playing surfaces.
Each season, from April through September, Mr. Soiney uses his knowledge and energy at Merchant Park, working more than 40 hours a week entirely on a volunteer basis. In a lasting testament of respect and appreciation for his contributions, the Merchants renamed their playing field “Jon Soiney Field” in 2015.
While players and managers receive many of the accolades and attention from their on the field accomplishments, it is the selfless efforts of people such as Jon Soiney that enable amateur baseball to flourish in small communities. Thank you Mr. Soiney for everything you have contributed, and enjoy your deserved place as a Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Famer.