First Vermillion native in SD Baseball Hall of Fame

First Vermillion native in SD Baseball Hall of Fame
Family, friends and fans filled the banquet room at the VFW in Sioux Falls on Sept. 29 to induct four new members to the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame. Kirk (Sorney) Sorensen is the only Vermillion native to be elected to this prestigious group. In a humorous, but heartfelt speech Sorensen said that baseball has gotten him through some tough times in his life.

Sorney started playing amateur baseball for the Vermillion Red Sox as a pickup player from the Legion in 1970 after his last year of high school. He played mostly catcher then moved to first base after an elbow injury. He was a powerful hitter and has a hitting record of 6 hits in one game (1976). He was a player manager in the 70's and 80's and is currently the manager for the Red Sox. With over 35 years as a player/manager his team has been able to reach State Tournament playing level 22 of those years. Sorney has held the positions of Vice President of the Lewis and Clark League and Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer of the State Line League. He has had the honor of being named District Manager of the Year in 1993, 1996, 2003, 2004 and 2006. The Red Sox has 18 League, 12 "B" District, and one "A" Region championship titles. They were the State "B" runner-up in 1992 and 1996. Sorney has over 530 wins as a Manager (163 losses). In 1994 he was inducted as an honorary member of the Umpire's Hall of Fame. He has been a South Dakota State Baseball Commissioner since 1988.

Sorney's inclusion in the Hall of Fame was not be based solely on his playing career, but on his "Love of the Game" and his hard work keeping baseball alive in the State Line League – South Dakota and nearby areas of Iowa and Nebraska. He works diligently throughout the year developing new teams and keeping teams going in small towns. He is a very active Commissioner attending league games whenever he can. One of Sorney's goals has been to see as many young men play ball as he can. For this reason he founded a second Vermillion team in 2001 (Grey Sox). He figures that about 40 local young men have been able to play amateur ball in Vermillion that would not otherwise have gotten a chance.


After 32 years, the summer of 2003 finally culminated in Sorney reaching his goal – winning the South Dakota State "B" Amateur Baseball title. The team repeated as champions in 2004 which resulted in a rule change that placed them with the "A" teams. After adjusting to wood bats and the new level of play Sorney led the Red Sox to the 2006 "A" championship in their first ever appearance in the tournament.

Sorney has done more for amateur baseball than anyone in the Southeast part of South Dakota and he is extremely honored to be inducted into the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame.

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