The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Dave Ploof - Inducted 2006

With Ploof as its coach for 47 years, Rapid City Post 22 was one of the most successful American Legion baseball programs in the country.

The Austin, Minn., native and Mankato State grad coached the Hardhats from 1965-2011, compiling a 2,483-808 record, making him the winningest coach in the history of  Legion baseball. Under Ploof, Post 22  won 34 state titles and advanced to the Legion World Series eight times. In 1993, Post 22 went 70-5 and won the national title – the only South Dakota team ever to do so. From 1970-87, Post 22 won 18 state titles in a row – a national record. He never had a losing season.

Ploof, who once had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals, was named national coach of the year by the U.S. Baseball Federation in 1982. That same year Post 22 received the Commissioner’s Award for the finest Legion baseball program in the nation.

Hundreds of his players went on to play collegiately. About 25 signed pro contracts, and three – Dave Collins, Kelvin Torve and Mark Ellis – played in the big leagues.

He was the wrestling coach at Rapid City Central from 1969-93 and led the Cobblers to state titles in 1977, '78 and '84. He was named state amateur baseball coach of the year from the U.S. Baseball Federation in 1987 and 1993. He was selected as a coach for the USA Junior Olympic team in 1985. He is a member of the Austin High and Rapid City halls of fame. In high school, Ploof was an all-state second baseman. He also played basketball and football. At Mankato State, he played four years. He also played semi-pro ball in Minnesota and Arizona.

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