Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame
Richard Letts Community Service Award
Carl Wagner - 2016
When you hear the name Carl Wagner in
Lansing, MI, anyone who has played
baseball will know what this man has done
for youth baseball.  Carl has spent more
than fifty years of his life coaching baseball
and giving kids the opportunity of a
lifetime...to experience the best of what
Lansing area has to offer.  Carl served his
country fighting in World War II and was
employed by the City of Lansing working
for the Fire Department.  The countless
hours he spent on the ball field teaching
kids how to play the great game of baseball
is something that could never be repaid.  
Carl donated his time to these kids, never
asking for anything in return.  Year after
year he would be at the ball diamond,
teaching a new group of eager boys the
game of baseball.  I don't think anyone in
the history of youth baseball has ever won
as many games as Carl's teams have, or as
may trophies, certainly too many to count.

When I moved to Lansing, I was in the 5th
grade.  I was introduced to Carl Wagner,
and through that relationship I was able to
cultivate my dream of playing professional
baseball and learn the game from a person
I consider my second dad.  I can safely say
that my relationship with Carl was the
essential reason that becoming a
professional baseball player was possible.  I
know Carl, and his incredible selfless
attitude is the reason he is so liked by so
many people and would never get out in
front of anything to promote himself.  I am
indebted to Carl and his tireless efforts to
promote the game and give of his time to
kids to pursue their dreams of becoming
the best player they could be.  He taught
me to be a professional before I ever
became a professional ballplayer.  Those of
us who got a chance to play for Carl were
positively affected for the rest of our lives.

Written by:  John Smoltz, Jr.,
                National Baseball Hall of Fame