Larry Carlson, a native of Beatrice, is expected to be inducted into the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Carlson was a complete athlete, but his best sport was baseball. He was a dominant pitcher, and in Midget Legion Baseball he had a year in which he was 15-0 while striking out 153 batters in 96 innings. He had an ERA of 0.82 and his team finished 27-0.
After an equally dominant career in the Legion, he moved to the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he played for the legendary Virgil Yelkin – a Husker starter in football, basketball and baseball in the 1930s.
Carlson was nicknamed “The Firearm” and was the top relief pitcher for UNO. He performed before radar guns were used, but those he played with have testified to his real arm and nasty break-up pitch.
In 1969, Carlson had the lowest ERA in the Rocky Mountain League at 1.38. He played Semi-Pro ball for Filley in the State Tournament held in Wilber and for Lexington in the NIL.
In addition to his great baseball accomplishments, he defied Gayle Sayers long jump records with a 22-foot jump. He also broke Bob Hohn’s high school rushing record and was an All States first team back. He was also a three-year-old basketball rookie.
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Carlson said he was delighted to receive this phone call indicating he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“It was quite unexpected,” Carlson said. “I really didn’t get any warning and one day I got a call from Bob Steinkamp telling me I was going to be in the Hall of Fame. It was pretty exciting.”
Carlson is very excited that his two daughters are coming from St. Louis for the Sunday banquet.
“It means a lot to me because I don’t have a lot of family anymore,” Carlson said. “My 27 year old wife passed away a year and a half ago, so having my daughters come to share this moment with me will be really special.”
Carlson will be one of many inductees to HOF on Sunday. Others include Alliance player Stan “Stretch” Martin; Lincoln director Jim Thompson; Tekamah player Don Thomas; Battle Creek referee Bob Hughs; and Omaha player Larry Klein.
There will also be two Distinguished Service Inductees, including Larry and Shirley Bornschlegl and Richard Mueller, all of whom have played major roles in the development of the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame.
The banquet is scheduled for Sunday at the Country Cookin ‘Restaurant and Event Center in Beatrice, home to the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame. Social time begins at 3:30 p.m. and the meal begins at 5:00 p.m.
There will also be a live, silent auction with many great sports memorabilia up for auction.
Tickets are still available for the banquet. They are $ 30 for adults and $ 15 for students. For tickets, call Bob Steinkamp at 402-239-8000.