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Hall of Fame inductee Muench has passion for hockey, baseball

It's an unexpected honour. Richard Muench of Muenster is one of the six individuals and one team in the community being inducted into the Humboldt Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. "I'm happy about it," said Muench of the honour.
Richard Muench

It's an unexpected honour.
Richard Muench of Muenster is one of the six individuals and one team in the community being inducted into the Humboldt Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
"I'm happy about it," said Muench of the honour. "You don't expect something like this when you are doing it."
Muench was born on July 27, 1928 in Muenster, the second of nine children born to Phillip and Elizabeth Muench.
Growing up, Muench was heavily involved in many sports at the local and provincial level as an athlete, coach, builder and official, said David Muench in Muench's nomination letter.
He was involved in baseball since he was a child. In the 1930-40s, there was no ballpark in Muenster, so Muench was forced to bike three to four miles into the country to play in the pasture, using dried cow chips as bases.
"When he and his friends stayed in town, they would play catch across Main Street and played baseball on the CNR station grounds with Hwy. 5 serving as left field," said David.
In 1952, the current Muenster Jubilee ballpark was built on a public reserve.
"With this new baseball diamond, Muench and the other local baseball players were able to continue playing the game they loved so much," said David. "It was on this diamond and other area diamonds that Muench recalls many memorable games that included his brothers Phil, Benno and Ron."
Muench was known in the area for his strong pitching arm and unorthodox overhand drop ball. This made him a popular pick in tournaments during the 1950s and 1960s for many local teams - including Marysburg, Humboldt and the Annaheim Junior team in 1948.
When he wasn't playing in Muenster, Muench spent time playing with Marysburg.
"I played with Marysburg ball in the 1950s and was inducted with the team in the Humboldt Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998," said Muench.
"After a short time away from active participation as a player in the 1970s, he was instrumental in forming the Humboldt and District Twilight Baseball Team, the Humboldt Fireballs, in 1976," said David.
"He played with this team in the Twilight Maxi Tournament for 12 consecutive years, winning the A-side championship in 1980 and 1982."
Not only did Muench play baseball, he was also a coach. He was still playing ball when he began coaching in 1958.
"At this time, he was instrumental in the formation of the Humboldt and District Little League, coaching the league championship team in 1959," said David.
In 1960, he helped form a Senior baseball team, consisting of players from the Leo Weber 1952 midget baseball team, his little league championship team and some senior players.
"(He) went on to coach and play with this team until 1970," said David. "This team was the beginning of the Muenster Red Sox organization."
He was also instrumental in the formation of the North Central Baseball League in early 1960s and served as the vice president of the league in its early years.
Throughout his time in baseball, Muench dedicated countless hours to coaching minor baseball and was instrumental in the formation of the Carlton Trail Youth Baseball League in the Muenster, Humboldt, Watrous and Lanigan region in the mid-1980s, coached the Muenster Midget Bisons and served as Umpire-in Chief for the League, assisted at week-long Sask Baseball Assoc. baseball camps held at St. Peter's College from 1971-1974 and helped organize a Ladies Fastball Clinic in early 1960s with Saskatoon World Championship ladies' fastball team.
Muench did not only coach and play baseball. He was also interested in the official side of the game and began umpiring in the early 1950s.
"(He) spent many hours behind the plate in tournaments and provincial playoffs throughout the Humboldt district in addition to organizing annual district umpire clinics for the further development of umpires in the area," said David.
He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the sport of baseball as a player, builder and umpire.
Even though he was very involved in baseball, that didn't stop him from having a passion for hockey as well.
"Throughout the 1950-1970s, Muench became one of the most highly sought-after and respected hockey referees in the province, earning an A rating with the SAHA Referee's Division in Senior A, Junior A, Intermediate and Senior hockey and officiating all divisions of bantam, midget, juvenile, junior A and B, intermediate and Senior hockey, including numerous Humboldt Indians and Humboldt Broncos games," said David.
He officiated in several leagues surrounding the Humboldt area, often refereeing double headers in one of the leagues.
"Muench was always very busy during the hockey season, often travelling to location such as Yorkton, Prince Albert, Nipawin and Tisdale to referee league games and Provincial playoffs," said David.
After acting as an official in hockey, he decided to contribute to the game in a different way. In 1960-70s became involved in coaching hockey and volunteered services to officiate minor hockey games.
With his dedication to hockey and officiating, he was a mentor and inspiration to many young officials, including his son Kevin, who has taken these endeavours to the next level," said David.
"Kevin was inducted into the Humboldt and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and is now the Supervisor of Officials with the International Ice Hockey federation and director of officiating for the Western Hockey League."
He was also involved in the establishment of the Humboldt and District Hockey League in 1950s, serving as referee-in-chief and secretary-treasurer.
In addition to being involved in hockey and baseball, Muench also enjoyed curling and was a member of the Knights of Columbus provincial championship curling team in 1963 and provincial state team in 1997.
Muench said he couldn't have contributed so much to these sports without the support of his wife, Sandy, and children.
He never expected to be honoured for his contributions in hockey and baseball.
"It's something I never did to get credit - I did it for our society here," said Muench.

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