Missouri Sports Hall of Fame to honor Bolen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Plaza Tire Capahas manager Jess Bolen will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in January. (Laura Simon)

Jess Bolen is humbled by and grateful for his latest honor.

It was announced Monday that the longtime Plaza Tire Capahas manager has been selected for induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Bolen will be enshrined as part of the 2011 class Jan. 30 in Springfield, Mo.

"Oh gosh, it really is humbling. I don't think people understand how humbling it is," Bolen said. "For one thing, you feel like you don't deserve it. I know I feel that way.

"But it's an unbelievable honor. This hall of fame takes in people from all the top professional sports."

Bolen completed his 44th season as manager of one of the nation's oldest amateur baseball teams this year. He has led the Capahas to a 1,384-372 record and 29 consecutive National Baseball Congress World Series berths.

"I don't need any honors or special awards. I've always got out of the game as much as I put in it," Bolen said. "But it is a prestigious honor. It is overwhelming.

"Any time you get an honor like this, you had to have a lot of great help and support, a lot of great athletes. My wife Mary has had as much to do with this as I have."

Bolen, already a member of the NBC Hall of Fame, said this honor dwarfs that.

"The NBC is a national hall of fame. I feel very lucky to be in that one, but it's really basically what you've done out there [at the NBC World Series]," Bolen said. "But the Missouri Hall of Fame, this is the best honor I think I've ever had in my life. I don't know how it would be any better."

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted its first member in 1951, features the state's legendary sports figures. That includes numerous people also enshrined in major professional sports halls of fame.

"You look at some of the names in there," Bolen said. "It's a pretty unbelievable group."

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