Hall of Fame former St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and former Cardinals pitcher Danny Cox are among the guest attractions for Saturday’s 15th annual Belleville Hilgards Post 58 American Legion Baseball dinner and silent auction.
The event, being held at Scottish Rite Bodies facility at 1549 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville, begins with a 5 p.m. cash bar. A catered dinner will be served at 6:15 p.m. with the main program at 7:30.
The newest Hilgards Hall of Fame inductees are Fred Dintelman (1969-71), Barry Frazier (1975-76) and Ted Harvey (1960-61).
Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 15-under), with current players admitted free. Call 233-1416 for tickets or for more information about the event.
Herzog has been one of the Hilgards’ biggest boosters over the years and their home field, Whitey Hezog Field, bears his name. Local sports columnist and author Greg Marecek will conduct a question and answer session with Cox about his experiences playing with the Cardinals under Herzog.
The dinner is the major fundraiser for the Hilgards. Proceeds go to helping support and maintain Whitey Herzog Field, which serves as the home for the Belleville Senior Legion and Junior Legion teams as well as Althoff High School and the Belleville Rockies of the Mon-Clair League.
Marecek is the event’s emcee and will be available to sign his latest book, “The Cardinals of Cooperstown: Second Edition.”
Other awards that have been added this year are the John Schmidt Good Guy Award, (exceptional assistance in helping the Hilgards’ Legion program) and the Junior Legion Player of the Year award.
Other awards include the Bob Groom Heritage Award, the Al “Boots” Budde Pitcher of the Year Award for Senior Legion, Hilgard Player of the Year Award and the Barney Elser Award.
The Belleville Hilgards began playing American Legion baseball in Belleville in 1938 and have compiled a record of 1,552 wins and 611 losses for a .714 winning percentage. The Hilgards also have won seven state championships with the last one in 2008.