DABC adds five to hall of fame


JIM MERZ: Dayton's honorary selection; Spent 34 years calling 'em as he sees them, mostly in DABC's AA; Also umpired college ball and area summer leagues and Major League spring training games.

JEFF REBOULET: Alter H.S. and LSU graduate; played for five MLB teams, mostly as a second baseman.

DAVE SIMONTON: Springfield resident, 59, star second baseman on '75 National Champion Springboro Rico Pabst club that finished 51-7; Also starred at Austin Peay Sate University, was team capt. sr. year.

SAM WOOD: Lives in Greenville; Speedy outfielder in DABC for 15 seasons; Played with champion Springfield Giants and was MVP of '02 NABF World Series; hit 20 HRs in '02.

DAN YOUNG: Catcher calls Beavercreek home; Was MVP of NABF World Series in '88 as his team (Jolt Cola), won Series; Played college ball at Wright State; Also played for Dayton Flames.

Through 12 seasons of Major Baseball League, Jeff Reboulet never lost his humility.

The Alter High School graduate says he’s “very proud” to be among the 2012 inductees in the Dayton Amateur Baseball Commission Hall of Fame - and you can bet the feeling is mutual.

Greg Marshall, longtime chairman of the DABC Hall fete, is just as proud to have a distinguished entry and in fact said: “Jeff’s induction opens a new category we have with the criteria for eligibility being at least one season in the DABC’s Class AA ball before moving up to the Majors.”

Reboulet, a resident of Sugar Creek Twp. and also a graduate of Louisiana State University, is among five new inductees who were honored this past Saturday at the Celebrations Banquet Center on Stop Eight Rd. in Butler Twp.

Others enshrined were second baseman Dave Simonton, outfielder Sam Wood, catcher Dan Young, and honorary selection, Jim Merz, a veteran umpire.

“It was the DABC that groomed me for my Major Leagues career … it’s a great organization,” Reboulet commented.

The 46-year-old Reboulet wore five different uniforms in the Majors, making him somewhat of a modern day Suitcase Simpson, a well-traveled player in the late 40’s who was last seen wearing Cleveland Indians garb. Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1986, he was also with the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers and finally the Pittsburg Pirates.

A primary second baseman, he was used as a utility infielder and enjoyed his best season in ‘95 when he hit .296 for the Twins.

He said he played every position in the Bigs, except catching. “Yes, I even had a very brief fling at pitching when I was once sent in to relieve a well-worn bullpen.”

“But I would have to say my highlight seasons were with the most memorable stints were with the Twins when we defeated Seattle in the American League Playoffs in ‘95, before being stopped by the Indians,” said Reboulet.

His biggest moment in the Majors? That’s easy.

“I’d have to say it was hitting a homer off one of baseball’s hardest throwers, Randy Johnson, in a playoff game in Seattle,” the right-handed hitting Reboulet recalled. “I also played three seasons with one of baseball’s most respected managers, Davey Johnson, in Baltimore.”

Johnson, who was let go by the controversial Reds owner Marge Schott after winning two division titles, was still in the limelight this past season when he brought the downtrodden Washington Nationals back to respectability and into the AL playoffs at the age of 70.

“He’s strictly a player’s manager who, oddly enough, didn’t always get along with the front office,” Reboulet remarked. “But he was easily one of the best managers I played for.”

Reboulet wrapped up his career with the Dodgers and finally the Pirates in 2000.

The 46-year-old father of three boys, he said two of them are shortstops and one is a pitcher.

The hurling hopeful is Jason, a freshman at a junior college in South Carolina, and the others attempting to step into dad’s coveted shoes as infielders are Zack, an Alter senior, and Lucas, an eighth-grader at St. Charles School.

The biggest fan at their games is of course mom, the former Jana Henry.