Class of 2014
Augusta Athletics 1989-96; Osseo Merchants 1999-2004; Whitehall Wolves 2005, 07
Kurt “Plugger” Stellpflug was an extremely tough and highly respected competitor during his 16 seasons of play in the CRBL. The dominance and humility that he exhibited throughout his outstanding amateur baseball career makes Stellpflug an overwhelming selection to the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame.
A big right-hander with a rocking, high kicking delivery, Plug’s hard fastball and knee buckling curve were let loose from a deceptive three-quarter release point. Collectively, these components became synonymous with his lengthy success from the mound. Averaging over nine strikeouts per nine innings, Kurt led the CRBL in K’s four seasons (60 in 1993, 59 in 1996, 81 in 2002, and 73 in 2003). In total, the right-handed ace led or tied for the CRBL lead 15 times in six different pitching categories. In addition to his strikeout belts, Stellpflug led the CRBL once in innings pitched (73 in 2002), twice in ERA (1.36 in 2002 and 0.56 in 2004), twice in wins (8 in 1993 and 7 in 2002), twice in saves (1 in 1995 and 3 in 1996), and four times in shutouts (1 in 1991, 1 in 1993, 2 in 1995, 1 in 2001).
Shining among these league leading totals was Stellpflug’s historical 2002 season. Pitching for the Osseo Merchants at the age of 40, Kurt became the sixth pitcher in CRBL history to win the CRBL’s Triple Crown of pitching. His 7 wins, 81 punch-outs, and 1.36 ERA were all pace setting marks, as was his 73 innings pitched.
Plugger’s game altering abilities from the mound often overshadowed the prowess he possessed from the right-handed side of the plate. In his 11 seasons as a full-time player, Kurt hit over .300 five times (1990, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003), over .400 four times (1992, 1993, 1999, 2000), and a lofty .525 (31 for 59) in 1994. His 31 safeties in 1994 tied for the CRBL lead in that category. In the same season, Kurt also became one of 13 hitters to garner 6 hits in a game, doing so vs. the Hallie Eagles in a 13 to 9 Augusta win. Offensively, Kurt’s other league leading offensive total came later in 2003 when he banged 10 doubles for Osseo.
A member of the Augusta Athletics from 1989 through 1996, the classy Stellpflug’s presence on the young franchise helped jump start amateur baseball in an area where it had been dormant for over 30 years. After a two-year sabbatical from the CRBL in 1997 and 1998, Kurt returned with the fledgling Merchants of Osseo, playing from 1999 to 2004 before finishing as a part-timer with another new franchise, the Whitehall Wolves in 2005 and again in 2007.
A game changing winner wherever he played, Plug was part of four division winners, three CRBL champions, 12 WBA qualifiers, six WBA Final 8 teams, and one WBA champion with the Augusta Athletics in 1994. His individual contributions were clearly recognized in his eight All-CRBL awards (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002), two Honorable Mention All-CRBL awards (1999 and 2003), and Most Valuable Pitcher Award of the 1994 WBA Finals.
Upon induction, Kurt’s highest all-time ranking can be found in pitching wins where he is 6th. Other top marks from the slab include winning percentage (12th), innings pitched (12th), strikeouts (13th), ERA (17th), saves (tied for 15th), shutouts (tied for 13th), and K/9 IP (19th).
As a hitter, Stellplug is highly ranked in batting average (17th), slugging percentage (22nd), homeruns (tied for 35th), runs scored (36th), doubles (tied for 38th), total bases (39th), RBI’s (tied for 39th), hits (tied for 40th), and singles (tied for 42nd).