Inducted February 15, 2003
Mark Mennemeier gave the baseball Bears a healthy dose of long ball and run production during his junior and senior seasons as the SMS third baseman after joining the Bears following two years in junior college. A native of O’Fallon, Mo., Mennemeier had as memorable a Bears’ playing debut as any SMS athlete in any sport. The Bears of coach Bill Rowe opened their 1977 season at Meador Park in a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan University, the defending NCAA Division I national runner-up from the previous year’s College World Series in Omaha. Mennemeier crashed a two-run, eighth-inning homer to beat the Hurons 3-1 in the first game, and then had a pair of two-run homers, the second one another extra-inning game-winner, for a 5-3 win and an improbable SMS twinbill sweep. Mennemeier that year led the league in several offensive categories and set a host of SMS and MIAA records as he slammed 15 homers, drove home 46 runs and batted .396. He was up among NCAA Division II leaders in homers, RBIs, batting and slugging. He was named the Bears’ MVP, was an all-MIAA and all-district first team choice and was an NCAA Division II all-America second team selection. The Bears finished third in the MIAA and reached NCAA regional tournament play for the first time in seven years. As a senior, Mennemeier repeated his all-MIAA honors, was an all-district second team selection, served as an SMS co-captain and was on the all-tournament team as SMS swept to an NCAA regional title to earn a berth in the Division II World Series in Springfield, Ill.