Few might remember Stu Locklin's playing days in the major leagues. After all, he played in just 25 games with the Cleveland Indians in 1955 and 1956, amassing all of four hits in the process.
However, as the first player to make it to the major leagues from Appleton, Wis., his high school honored the former player in a ceremony Nov. 26.
I've written in the past about professional athletes coming from small towns and how sometimes they are forgotten, or their stories are never told in the first place. Appleton West high school wanted to make sure that didn't happen to Locklin. The school plans to honor all of the athlete who went on to play professionally in all sports.
Locklin received a framed Cleveland Indians jersey in the ceremony, and it will hang in the athletic wing of the high school. Locklin was a three-sport athlete at the University of Wisconsin, including baseball, and his ascent to the majors was blocked for three years while serving in the Korean War.
Including time in the minors, Locklin played professionally for 11 years, amassing a career average of .288. And while he made it to the big stage, according to the Post-Crescent, he is probably remembered more as a guidance counselor and a camp director for the park and recreation department in Appleton.
I thought this was a nice tribute to a man who helped many kids through the years and has plenty of stories to tell from his time in professional sports.
I was in touch with a gentleman last week who called to tell me about a small town that produced five professional athletes – I'll have that story posted soon.