1962 Centralia High School Baseball
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
1992 Team Award Winner
Kessler, Harry Duncan, Van Bell,
Bill Taylor, Danny Kelly, Bob Davis,
John Abrams, Larry Black
Back Row: Coach Jerry Wilson,
Mgr. Dennis Edwards, Neil Cohen,
Grover Cleveland, Bill White, Andy
Stifel, Dennis Jones, Dwight
Telford, Jim Manns, Wayne McCoy,
Mike Cook, Richard Zgol, Paul
Morgan, Jim Brannon, Tom Crenshaw,
Mgr. Eddie Pflueger Not
pictured: Don Duncan
only one experienced player returning and a
team that had an average height of about
5’7, coach Jerry Wilson was not expecting
the season that turned out to be Centralia
High School’s first state tourney
appearance in baseball.
“Mouseketeers”, as the diminutive team
was fondly referred to, proved they could
play with anyone as the season moved along.
Most of the players had played together
since childhood, resulting in a very
close-knit team. They sang the Mickey Mouse
theme song on the bus ride to games as
inspiration. They played together very well
and overall make very few errors and had 6
players bat over 300 for the season.
As playoff time rolled around the team was
stunned with the news that one of their best
players, ace short stop Bill White, had lost
a toe in a lawn mower accident. Dan Kessler
was moved from left field to fill in at
short stop and did an outstanding job having
not played the position before. Don Duncan
who had just completed his track season with
a State championship in the pole vault was
added to the team to fill the foster.
The “Mouseketeers” kept their surprise
alive through the District and Regional and
the downed powerful Carbondale 7-2 in the
Sectional championship behind the grand slam
home run of Bill Taylor. The orphan dream
season came to a close with a 0-3 loss to
Taylorville in the quarterfinals (Elite
Eight) of the State playoffs.
Ron Johnson was the leading pitcher with a
1.69 ERA in 85
innings, 86 strikeouts, and an
8-3 record. Ron Black won eight games while
losing just one.
Bill Taylor led the team with 33 RBI's and 25 hits, including 5 doubles and 3
triples. Dan Kessler also had 25 hits
and Neil Cohen and Bill White each had 5
doubles as well. John Abrams was the leading
batter with a .383 average.
Abrams later lost his life in Vietnam and
the annual batting award at CHS is now named
in his memory.
Coach Wilson gained
his 100th career win during the
season as the team tied a school record with
20 wins while losing only seven games