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Dave Gassman



Every summer for almost 50 years Gassman played baseball, nearly all of it in his hometown of Canova. For most of those years he did not just play, but dominated in spectacular fashion.

In a 40-year amateur baseball career, the 6-2 1/2, 190-pound right-hander won more games (376) and struck out more batters (5,591) than anyone in state history. The two-time state-tourney MVP holds state-tourney records for career wins (41) and strikeouts in a nine-inning game (24 against Chamberlain in 1978, 13 of which were in a row). And 24 strikeouts isn't even his best. He had 25 in a district tourney game against Tabor in 1974. The 1967 Canova High and 1971 Dakota State grad pitched in 35 state tourneys and was selected to the all-tourney team 14 times. Nine times his team reached the state finals (eight with Canova, one with Scotland), winning three. He started the 1999 state championship game at age 50.

In the inaugural Men's Senior Baseball World Series in 1988 in Phoenix, Gassman won three games, including the championship game, in the over-30 division. In 1992 and '93, he pitched South Dakota to the over-40 title.

At Dakota State, he was a three-time all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference and NAIA District 12 player. As a Legion pitcher in 1967, he allowed one earned run in 90 innings.

Gassman has coached baseball at all levels, from Little League through amateur, for about 35 years. His teams have played in the state finals 15 times, winning seven. Besides baseball, he has coached basketball, football and track in grade through high school levels for 22 years, mainly in Scotland, Philip, Canova and Howard.

He is a member of the Dakota State, SDIC and South Dakota amateur baseball halls of fame. He was named one of South Dakota's 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century by Sports Illustrated.


























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