Former Mon-Clair Baseball League president and San Diego Padres scout Van Smith, who died May 24 at age 67, will be inducted into the league's Hall of Fame on Nov. 17 at the Millstadt VFW.
Also scheduled for induction are former players Brett Crawford and Mark Ludwig and former player, coach and manager J.R. Potthast, of Highland.
Tickets are $15 per person for the banquet, which begins at 5:30 p.m. For tickets, call Syl "Tuffy" Mueth at 476-9179 before Nov. 6.
Smith, who lived in Belleville, was the Mon-Clair League president from 1977-86. He coached baseball at McKendree College (1970-88) and Belleville Area College (1990), and was a professional scout for the Padres from 1991 to 2012.
In 2001, Smith was named the Padres' Scout of the Year and later was named to the Midwestern Scouts Association Hall of Fame.
Also a member of the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame and a three-time NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year, Smith was a left-handed pitcher for the University of Houston team that finished second to Arizona State at the 1967 College World Series.
Crawford, an outfielder-first baseman, played one season for Millstadt and completed a 15-year career with Valmeyer in 1992. He led the league with batting averages of .566 with seven home runs in 2000 and .565 with 10 home runs in 2003 on the way to a .375 career batting average.
A member of Columbia High's 1987 Class A state baseball championship team, Crawford was a 10-time Mon-Clair All-Star. In 2003, he led Valmeyer to its Mid-Summer Classic championship and earned Most Valuable Player honors by going 9-for-13 with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Crawford, who played for Rend Lake College and Eastern Illinois University, contributed to league playoff titles in 2002 and 2003.
Ludwig, a first baseman-pitcher, contributed to 10 Monroe Division titles, nine playoff crowns, and two Valmeyer titles during a 13-year career at Waterloo.
He had a .349 career batting average and was a six-time All-Star. In 1984, he posted a .437 batting average and .525 on-base percentage to earn the Buds' MVP. He also had a 14-1 record as a starter and reliever.
An attorney for the Carson & Coil law firm of Jefferson City, Mo., Ludwig earned an undergraduate degree in economics in 1978 at Bradley University in Peoria, where as a senior walk-on he hit .305.
Potthast, who played baseball at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1968-70) after graduating from St. Paul High in Highland, is the first person to gain Hall of Fame honors in both the Clinton County and Mon-Clair leagues.
After managing Highland-Pierron in the M-C from 1970-90, he led the same franchise for seven years in the Clinton County League.
Also a longtime baseball instructor and associate scout for Philadelphia, Detroit, and the New York Yankees, he was inducted into the Clinton County League Hall of Fame in 2009.
The founder and director of the Metro East Night League from 1978-95, Potthast led Highland-Pierron to playoff runner-up finishes in the M-C League in 1980 and 1983.
Among the Mon-Clair League awards are: batting champions, Monroe Division, Marshall Vallandingham, second baseman, Millstadt (.554), and St. Clair Division, Brandyn Snider, outfielder, Edwardsville (.400); pitching champions, Monroe, Josh Hoguet, Millstadt (7-0, 0.44 ERA), and Rob Blumberg, Fairview Heights (6-3, 1.88 ERA); Rookies of the Year, Monroe Division, Brad Dillenberger, shortstop, Waterloo (.341), and St. Clair Division, Justin Henning, outfielder-first baseman, St. Louis Spikes (.548), and Manager of the Year, Ed Emge, Fairview Heights.
Most Valuable Player honors were shared by pitcher-shortstop Blumberg and Spikes' pitcher Kit Crooks in the postseason playoffs.
Other MVPs went to Millstadt outfielder Luke Matecki in the Valmeyer Tournament and outfielder Ben Thoma in an 8-3 All-Star Game victory over the Clinton County League.
Fairview Heights and Millstadt were the divisional champions, with Fairview Heights defeating the St. Louis Spikes in the playoffs.