This morning I had the honor of meeting up with Post 22 alumn Mark Ekeland.
Mark played for Rapid City from 1967-1970 and was willing to share a piece of Post 22 history, the scrapbook his mom and grandmother kept for him.
Mark walked into the room with an old scrapbook and a box. Inside the box was a collection of hats from his baseball days, including Black Hills Little League, Pony’s, all 4 years at Post 22, and Augustana. After that were hats from his coaching days at South Dakota State.
I immediately opened up his scrapbook and was amazed at it’s contents. The first thing that came out was an original line up card from a game in 1969. Looking down the card and reading the names made me realize I couldn’t wait to see what else was inside the book. Mark told the story of playing in a game at SDSU and changing in the locker room next to the umpires. One of the umpires asked if he was Mark Ekeland and when he replied yes, he simply said, “I have something for you.” and handed him the line up card. He couldn’t explain why he kept it or why he held on but wanted to pass it along.
With each turn of the page, another story was told.
- Mark talked about riding in the Impala with Coach Ploof behind the “bus” which was actually the limo rented from the Rapid City airport because there wasn’t enough room in the limo.
- He described getting his uniforms for the first time and Coach showing all the boys how to put it on. The stripes on the socks had to show so you had to know how to roll the pants the correct way.
- He talked about how the bus broke down on the way to regionals one year and the team was supposed to be there for a banquet by a specific time. Coach Ploof sent Mark and a couple of the older boys on to hitch hike to get to the banquet. They arrived in the travel clothes they had on while all the other attendees had dress coats on and he had to get up and talk about Post 22.
- How his son played baseball for Brookings and after a game against Post 22, Coach ploof sought out his son to tell him “good game” and that he was a better player than his dad.
So many memories shared to help the history of Post 22 live on. I appreciate the time Mark shared with me and allowing me to take photos of his scrapbook. I look forward to Mark coming back to Rapid City this summer to visit and catch a game or two.The photos that I got are shared here.