The late Hank Dornstauder of Vibank will take his place in the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in a week.
Dornstauder was born in 1926, one of 13 children born to Christof and Caroline Dornstauder. His baseball career started on their farm. The farmyard was huge and featured a make-shift ball diamond in the centre.
Soon he was playing for the Vibank baseball teams, but Dornstauder’s formal baseball career began when he enrolled in Notre Dame College in 1946. In his first year he played with the Hounds senior team, that also played in many tournaments. Dornstauder’s name appeared on the official roster of the Notre Dame Hounds in 1948, playing in the Southern League. He was an infield, outfield and catcher with the Hounds. It was during this time that Dornstauder developed and refined the innate skills he brought to the game under great mentors like Germann, Brown, Cy Huck, Carr/Dombowsky, Beattie and Kines.
On the Notre Dame roster from 1948 to ’50, he took time to get his bachelor of education degree in Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Following his time at university, he returned and was back on the Hounds’ roster from 1953 to ’55. In 1955, the last year of the big baseball tournaments in Indian Head, Dornstauder suited up with the Hounds.
In the eyes of his brother Frank and his friends, these players were idolized as their heroes.
Dornstauder began his teaching career in 1950/51, in Bienfait where he remained until 1964. He remained involved in a variety of sports including baseball, periodically playing in the Southern League with Notre Dame.
In 1953, he became the player-coach of the Estevan Maple Leafs. In 1956 that team won the Southern Saskatchewan League Championship.
In1964, Dornstauder moved to Maidstone.
While he was competitive on the field, off the field, Dornstauder was essentially a shy and generous man who shunned honours and the limelight.
Dornstauder died Sept. 3, 2007.