Maschka honored for work with softball

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MANKATO — The 25th Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held October 25 at the alltel center, Mankato.

The inductees included Joe Jennison, Anne Marie Green, Dennis L. Maschka (posthumously),  Karen Nelson, Jo Jorgenson, Jeanne Ghostley, Linda Nelson, Ken Joyce, Ed Hammer, Scott Christensen, Sandy Allen, LeRoy Jolstad, Ralph Leistikow, Vern Schoolmeester, Jeff Barnes and George Fadell.

Maschka, the long-time Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department director, died last summer. He was nominated by the Austin Softball Association and  Austin Umpires Association. 

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As PRF director and District I softball commissioner Maschka earned the respect of softball players, coaches,  fans and umpires throughout District I, according to his nomination.

“He’s known by all for his “integrity, fairness, and compassion,” not only in softball but also in the community of Austin,” the nomination read. “That was clearly demonstrated on June 27 when over 1,500 friends and family attended his funeral fittingly held at the Austin Riverside Arena which he managed.”

In 1981 the Austin National Tournament Committee hosted its first National Tournament: The Women’s Major Slow-Pitch tournament. 

In the following years Maschka continued to serve as the point person on the committee which hosted 16 other national tournaments. 

 The number of state tournaments hosted during Maschka’s tenure is literally too numerous to list, according to Perry Coonce, director of the Minnesota Sports Federation.  

“Denny and the Austin Park and Recreation Department have been tremendous supporters of amateur sports enthusiasts from all corners o the state,” Coonce said. “You couldn’t find a better person to work with.”

“He was a great role model and real pro’s, pro,” Coonce added. 

 MSF Softball Hall of Famers Dave Tollefson and Don Stilwell said Maschka was instrumental in aiding and supporting the Austin Umpires Association throughout the years.

His record of support for all amateur sports is “unsurpassed” in this state, they stated. 

Maschka’s devoted service to his community and state wasn’t limited to softball and other amateur sports.

 He served on many committees and service organizations. At the state level he was involved in the MSF, MRPA, SMRPA and MI-AMA.

He also was involved with Austin Youth Football, Austin Youth Basketball and refereed in the Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa High School Football Leagues. 

 Maschka’s widow, Linda, accepted the MSF Softball Hall of Fame award for her late-husband.