Dennis Pope graduated from Lincoln High School in 1968 and was a member of the high school baseball team. He participated in all phases of American Legion Baseball.
Dennis drowned in Pawnee Lake on July 14, 1968. At that time, his family was approached by the American Legion and coaches, suggesting that this memorial award be established. A fund was also established to provide for the annual presentation.
Each season, the Dennis Pope Memorial Sportsmanship Award is given to a senior American Legion Baseball player who has demonstrated true sportsmanship during that season--and upholds the creed of the American Legion Baseball program.
Selected as the recipient of the 2018 Dennis Pope Memorial Sportsmanship
Award was Bobby Mercier. Mercier graduated from Lincoln High School and
played one year for the Junior Legion team sponsored by Surface Sealers and
three years for the Senior Legion team sponsored by Sampson Construction. He
was coached by Daniel Beckmann.
In Coach Beckmann’s nomination of Bobby for this award, he indicated that
“Bobby Mercier was consistently not only one of our top hitters and pitchers,
but was our top leader on the team. Bobby’s determination and consistency was remarkable.”
Coach Beckmann also wrote that “Bobby’s leadership throughout his time at Lincoln High and with Sampson Construction has left an imprint of his legacy that will be felt by the players who looked up to him. He set the expectation for what a player should do in the weight room, how they should act in the class
room, how they should compete on the field, and how they should represent the
program in the community.”
Presentation of the 2018 Dennis Pope Memorial Sportsmanship Award was
made by Jon Sterns and Coach Beckmann at the annual Post 3 American Legion Baseball Volunteers’ appreciation dinner held at Valentino’s on September 26th.
Bobby accepted the award with his parents --- John and Peggy Mercier ---- at his side.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL – Lincoln, NE
Baseball got off to a very rainy start but the fields dried up and it was “batter up – let’s play ball.” It was touch and go getting all the games played but they were completed just in time for the post-season tournaments.
The weather was hot and sticky for most of the Class A Area 5 tourneys in Lincoln (Juniors’ at Den Hartog and Seniors’ at Sherman) and rain postponed an entire day of games but otherwise, everything went smoothly. Pinnacle Bank (LSW) defeated Anderson Ford (LNS) to claim the Seniors’ title and advance to the National Division State Tournament in Kearney. By finishing runner-up, Anderson Ford advanced to the American Division tournament played at Omaha Creighton Prep’s field. Both teams won their first two (2) games to advance to their respective winner’s bracket finals but were eventually eliminated. Nonetheless it was a successful season for both.
On To College (LSW) won the A5 Junior tourney by rallying to beat Vermeer High Plains (LSE) twice on the last day. On To College advanced to the Class A Junior State Tournament and Vermeer did as well as the host since Post #3 hosted the Class A State Junior Tournament at Sherman Field. On To College reached the finals before succumbing to Big Fred’s representing Millard North High School.
Post #3 would like to recognize and thank all those for the countless hours they put in at Sherman and Hartog fields to allow games to be played. Please excuse us if we missed anyone but thanks.
Those assisting with the press boxes, ticket booths and general duties included:
Sid Fix Lynn Wild Dennis Dinger Rick McLaughlin
Steve Bartos Rick Stromer Jon Sterns Mike Babcock
Kevin James Tom Rine Mike Sterns Jim Clouston
Dan Beckmann Montana Jones Gary Kuebler Mimi Kuebler
Jake Kuebler Todd Zart Brian Bates Jerry Cummings
Nick Myers Gerry Wolf Pam Alm-Umphenour.
The Sherman Field grounds crew included:
Tom Hertzel Jon Maxwell Lyle Nelson Tanner Lewis Dan Lowe Dave McMahon
Den Hartog’s grounds crew included Dan Dworak and Jim Sandman while Travis Nilsen was in charge of the grounds crew at Densmore Park where other Legion games were played.
Sharon Brooks organized volunteers as once again the Optimist Club of Lincoln operated the concession stand at Sherman Field. Mimi Kuebler and her staff oversaw concessions for Lincoln Public Schools at Den Hartog Field. Lincoln Parks & Rec oversees the concessions at Densmore.
Post #3 is looking forward to next year --- and here’s hoping its budget will allow it to host another season of American Legion Baseball in Lincoln.
If anyone wants to come out and volunteer, they are certainly invited and more than welcome. Just contact Post #3 before next summer. Support can also be shown by attending games. Regular season ticket prices for the recently completed season were $6 for adults, $4 for students and those under 5 years old are always admitted free. Veterans are also admitted at no charge.
Remember, these boys are the future of America! The American Legion and its members strive to support baseball – it falls under Americanism --- one of the Four Pillars of the American Legion.
Thanks again for a great season and hope to see you next year!
Contributed by Pam Alm-Umphenour, Treasurer
Post #3 Boys Athletic Committee