Inducted February 19, 1994
Dennis Strickland was a two-year standout for the SMS baseball Bears and played for what were two of the top teams in the first quarter century of the program’s history. A native St. Louisan, Strickland came to SMS in 1969 after two seasons in junior college. He was a regular on the SMS infield for the next two seasons as the Bears of Coach Bill Rowe won MIAA championships and advanced into NCAA Division II tournament play both years. Strickland batted .304 on the Bears’ 27-10 team in 1969 as the Bears breezed to the league title, captured the Midwest Regional, and went on to finish second in the Division II World Series at Springfield’s Meador Park. Strickland had four homers and drove in 29 runs with six doubles and two triples. The following season, SMS put together a 23-13 record as Strickland, a Bears’ co-captain had one of the top batting marks among the regulars on the team with a .327 plate average. He hit two homers and drove in 20 runs and was elected to share the team’s Most Valuable Player award. SMS repeated its league title and again captured the regional crown as Strickland was named to the all-region and Division II All-American second team honors. The Bears finished third in the 1970 Division II World Series.