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Monday, December 22, 2008

Harley Oyloe (Inducted 1986)

Harley Oyloe Biography from the Hall of Fame Sports Banquet, April 28, 1986.
 
      Mention baseball in Fergus Falls and the name Harley Oyloe comes to mind right away. He is best known for pitching the Fergus Red Sox to the state title in 1950 and for coaching the American Legion baseball team to the state title in 1960.
      Oyloe pitched Fergus Falls to a 3-0 win over Austin for the state Class AA title at St. Cloud in 1950. Two years later, in 1952, he was drafted onto the Willmar Class AA team that also won a state title.
      Over 3,000 Fergus Falls baseball fans traveled to St. Cloud in 1950 to watch the Red Sox win the state title. Fellow hall of Famer Duane Baglien was a centerfielder for Oyloe on the championship team along with current Fergus Falls resident Roland Harlow, a right fielder.
      A native of Moorhead, Oyloe had signed a baseball contract with the St. Paul Saints in 1940 and played one year in minor league baseball with the Grand Forks Chiefs in the Northern League.
      He used his baseball experise to teach youths as the Fergus Falls American Legion baseball coach for several years. In 1960 the Legion team won the hearts of local residents by winning the state title. Fellow Hall of Famer Barry Johnson was Oyloe's star pitcher.
      Oyloe coached Fergus American Legion baseball for nine years with three of those teams competing in the state tournament, including the 1960 state title squad.
      With the Red Sox Oyloe played alongside other star players in addition to Baglien and Harlow. Among them: pitchers John Kelly and Fred Kroog, outfielder John DeWitt, catcher Joe Colasinski, and infielders Don Blasius, Jim McNulty, Hal Younghans, and Eddie Piacentini.
      "Harley was the main person responsible for the organization of the team," says Baglien. "He was the person who made the contacts to get the players-and without good players there would have been no Fergus Falls Red Sox baseball team."
      Oyloe ran a photo studio in Fergus Falls for many years and was later chief photographer for the Daily Journal. He and his wife, Carma, have a son, Mark.
     
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