June 12, 2014
The University of Minnesota “M” Club, one of the nation’s oldest varsity letterwinner organizations, today announced the latest class of inductees into the club’s Hall of Fame. Kari Blank, a Gopher softball player from 1988-92, was announced as one of the 13 newest members.
The “M” Club Hall of Fame ceremony will take place in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium October 9 at 6 p.m.
“Everyone who earns a coveted ‘M’ as a varsity letterwinner at Minnesota has accomplished something exceptional,” said George Adzick, director of the “M” Club. “Those who are being inducted into the ‘M’ Club Hall of Fame this year are joining an extraordinary group, those whose achievements surpassed exceptional and became an integral part of the history of Gopher Athletics.”
With the addition of this year’s class, the “M” Club Hall of Fame now has 319 members representing student-athletes from 27 different varsity sports, as well as coaches and administrators.
Blank, a 1995 inductee of the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame, became the school’s third All-American in 1991 when she earned Co-Big Ten Player of the Year honors. She became the first player in school history to be named to three All-Big Ten teams, receiving a second-team nod in 1989 and first-team accolades in 1991 and 1992.
She was named the team’s most valuable player in 1989 and 1991.
With Blank leading the charge, the 1991 Gophers earned their third Big Ten regular-season title and reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, posting a team-record 48 wins. Blank drove in Minnesota’s first-ever run in the national tournament, a tally that stood as the game-winning run against Texas A&M, giving the school its first victory in the event.
That season, Blank hit .335 and set a Gopher single-season record with 43 runs batted in.
Joining Blank in this year’s class will be Laura Halldorson (women’s hockey head coach), Quincy Lewis (men’s basketball), Pat Micheletti (men’s hockey), Tanya Schuh (women’s swimming), Bernie Zeruhn (men’s swimming), Bill Light (football), Keita Cline (men’s track and field), George Tuck (men’s basketball), Frank McCormick (baseball head coach and former Director of Athletics), Bob Hanning (men’s gymnastics), Jim Hill (men’s swimming), and Ken Haycraft (football).
Seven other softball players are currently in the “M” Club Hall of Fame: Judy Knight (1978-81), Barbara Drake Lindgren (1984-87), Denise Erstad Falls (1974-78), Gretchen Larson (1980-83), Shelly Medernach (1976-79), Rachel Nelson Olson (1993-97), and Mary Owen (1976-79).
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