The 2023 American Association Hall of Fame Inductees have been announced. Their honor will become official on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in a luncheon ceremony at Ballpark Commons in Franklin, Wisconsin.
This year, the impressive list of minor league baseball greats includes 4 honorees. We will feature them here in alphabetical order.
The 2023 American Association Hall of Fame Class
The members are: Reggie Abercrombie. Ed Nottle. Doug Simunic. Mike Veeck.
The 2023 American Association Hall of Fame class includes the first player inducted by the American Association of Professional Baseball (AAPB). Reggie Abercrombie enjoyed an extraordinary 20-year career in professional baseball. He played 10 seasons in the American Association. His highlights were the winning two league championships with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2016 and 2017. He also played with the Sioux Falls Canaries (a team owned by Mike Veeck twice).
Reggie Abercrombie holds a number of important all-time records in the AAPB. His 781 games is the most played. He is the all-time hit leader with 936. The league home run king with 146. Abercrombie also has the most runs batted in (606) and runs scored (563).
Ed Nottle is a guy who also had a long and successful professional baseball career in both the U.S. and Canada. As a player, he spent a decade in the Chicago White Sox farm system. He then had a long career as a manager.
Being a 2023 American Association Hall of Fame Inductee isn’t his only major award. Baseball America named its minor league manager of the year in 1983.
Later in his 10 American Association seasons in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Ed Nottle won 418 games as the manager of the Canaries. He also led an ownership group which took control of the ballclub in 1998.
Nottle also managed independent baseball teams in Brockton, Massachusetts. Duluth, Minnesota, and Ottawa, Ontario.
Doug Simunic is the winningest manager in independent professional baseball history.
Doug Simunic is a 2023 American Association Hall of Fame Inductee because of his 25-year managerial run. His career in independent ball included the American Association as well as the Northern League.
The first ballclub he ran was Minnesota’s Rochester Aces in 1993. Simunic then moved to Canada the next year to become the skipper of the Winnipeg Goldeyes for the 1994-95 seasons. He won a league championship there as well as being named the league manager of the year.
In 1996, Doug Simunic began his great run as the manager of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. It was a position he held until 2017. He led the club to five league championships and took home five more Manager of the Year awards. Doug Simunic retired with 1,346 regular season wins.
Mike Veeck helped launch independent league professional baseball
Mike Veeck isn’t just a 2023 American Association Hall of Fame inductee. He is a founding member of the Northern League, the first independent league in the U.S. In 1993, Mike was one of the original owners of the St. Paul Saints which sold after 30 years. The team’s highly unlikely popularity opened the door for independent league baseball to spread across the United States.
For more than 30 years, Mike Veeck led the flagship ballclub, with his “Fun Is Good” philosophy in both the Northern League and the American Association for Professional Baseball. He was an owner of multiple minor league baseball franchises as a partner of The Goldklang Group.
Earlier this season, Mike Veeck and his longtime partners sold the St. Paul Saints to Diamond Baseball Holdings.