Class of 2020
Cadott Red Sox 1986, Tilden Tigers 1988-2014
A strong-armed, ultra-competitive catcher, Rick Baier was a defensive and offensive game changer, synonymous with the highly successful Tilden Tiger teams of the 1990s and 2000s.
After playing briefly with the Cadott Red Sox in 1986, Rick became a full-time CRBL player with Tilden in 1988, immediately giving the Tigers a visible stalwart at the pivotal backstop position. Renowned for his defensive skills behind the plate, Rick had a memorably strong arm and quick release. A catcher’s catcher, he was also adept at working with pitchers, calling a game, blocking balls in the dirt, securing twisting pop-ups, and fearlessly protecting home plate.
Offensively, the right-handed swinging Baier possessed a short, wrist powered swing that enabled him to be a tough, highly productive hitter from the heart of the Tigers’ relentless line-up. On the road to piling up 366 career hits, Rick led the CRBL in at-bats once (79 in 2000) and tied for the league lead in doubles twice (7 in 1998 and 11 in 2000). He eclipsed the .300 mark in nine seasons, twice going over .400 at .414 (29 for 70) in 1992 and .454 (30 for 66) in 1999. In knocking out 20 or more hits in seven campaigns, he had a high of 30 hits in 1999. On the path to 240 career RBI’s, Baier drove in 20 or more runs in three seasons, with a personal high of 24 RBI’s in 1996.
Rick’s defensive and offensive prowess contributed mightily to the roaring heights that he and the Tigers reached over his 27 seasons donning the maroon and yellow. Accumulatively, Rick helped propel 17 North Division winners, six CRBL champions, 23 WBA tournament teams, 10 Final 8 squads, and two WBA champs (1995 and 2004).
A participant in five CRBL All-Star games (1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004), Baier was named All-CRBL at catcher twice (1997 and 1998) and Honorable Mention All-CRBL at receiver three times (1992, 1996, 1999).
Upon induction, the durable catcher’s highest offensive rankings can be found in total bases (12th), RBI’s (13th), home runs (tied for 13th), at-bats (tied for 14th), doubles (tied for 14th), games played (15th), hits (tied for 17th), singles (18th), runs scored (18th), walks (31st) and slugging percentage (49th).