Late Coach Ploof honored before state legion baseball tourney

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The Rapid City baseball community — and really the state of South Dakota — lost a baseball icon earlier this year with the passing of former Rapid City Post 22 Coach Dave Ploof.

But, before the Hardhats took the field for their 2017 South Dakota American Legion State Class 'A' Senior Baseball Tournament Wednesday, the late Coach Ploof and his wife Patty were honored by several organizations.

First, longtime Post 22 Radio Announcer Tom Rudebusch read a declaration from Gov. Dennis Daugaard declaring July 26, 2017, as Dave Ploof Day in South Dakota. Ploof's wife Patty was on the field for the ceremony and received a framed copy of the declaration.

Mrs. Ploof then received a plaque for her and Dave's service to the American Legion Baseball Association. And to cement his legacy at Fitzgerald Stadium, the team then lifted the cover off a new outfield wall graphic, where Ploof's No. 34 jersey is now retired.

Ploof coached the Hardhats for nearly half a century, from 1964 through 2011, leading the team to 33 state championships, eight American Legion World Series appearances and the 1993 national title. His 2,483 wins are the most by any coach in American Legion Baseball history.

Ploof died at the end of May in his Rapid City home. He was 80.

READ MORE: Longtime Post 22 coach Dave Ploof dies

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