Class of 2017
Chippewa Herald 1978-86, 96; Leader-Telegram 1986-94
Arriving on the Chippewa Valley sports scene in the late 1970s, journalistic and statistical wizard Tim Peterson began covering the CRBL in 1978. In short order, Mr. Peterson quickly recognized that the Chippewa River Baseball League’s documented history and decades- long existence separated it from the common ambiguity of amateur baseball leagues.
When he debuted his “CRBL League Leaders” column in July of 1980, Tim permanently altered nearly every facet of the CRBL from that day forward. For the first time in league history, player stats, names, and performances were now being regularly viewed and assessed by thousands of people through the public forum of a newspaper – the Chippewa-Herald.
Through that pursuit of clarifying the documentation of CRBL statistics, Peterson made his most impactful contribution when implemented a standardized template for the “abbreviated” box scores to be used by CRBL team managers reporting to the local papers. Instituted in June of 1984, the “leading hitters” and “winning/losing pitchers” box score format exponentially improved the consistency and accuracy by which game stats and results would be recorded.
Mr. Peterson’s arrival at the Leader-Telegram in 1986 brought extended coverage of the CRBL back to Eau Claire’s paper after nearly a 20 year absence. Tim’s comprehensive and sincere reporting on the CRBL reintroduced the league to the city of Eau Claire and coincided with the Eau Claire Pioneers’ inaugural season of play in 1986. Not since the Twin City Sports in 1968 had the city of “clear waters” fielded a CRBL squad.
Justly stated, the CRBL’s cooperative relationship with local media as well as the strength and traditions of the All-CRBL awards, the CRBL Record Book, the CRBL All-Star Game MVP award, and the CRBL Championship Game MVP award can all be attributed to the professional methods and expectations that Mr. Peterson instituted in the late 1970s.
It is just and righteous that Tim Peterson be inducted in to the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame. Plainly stated, the CRBL Hall of Fame would not exist if not for the visionary and influential methods employed by Tim nearly forty years before his induction. Thank you Mr. Peterson!!!