If Frank Ryan is late for Monday's annual Omaha Old-Timer's Baseball Hall of Fame dinner, he'll have a good excuse. He'll be coaching his Millard West baseball team in the District A-1 final that the Wildcats are hosting.
Ryan will be hoping to add to his more than 1,700 wins in a 32-year coaching career and another berth in the state tournament. He asked Jack Payne, long-time emcee of Monday's dinner, to put him at the end of the program.
Either way, Ryan will be introduced as one of seven inductees into the Old-Timer's hall. Monday's event begins with a 5:30 p.m. social gathering, followed by dinner at 7 at Cascio's Steakhouse, 6120 S. 10th St. Reservations, at $29, can be made by calling Bob Sweet at 402-390-9097.
Other inductees are Jim Swanson, Tony Pane, Bob Murray, Frank Stanek, John Sousa and Murray Backhaus.
Ryan was a standout pitcher at Omaha Creighton Prep and Omaha Ryan. Following a four-year career at Kearney State College that ended in 1978, he played semi-pro baseball for two years in Colorado Springs, Colo.
After a brief professional stint in the Kansas City Royals organization, Ryan began his high school and American Legion coaching career. He spent eight successful years at Millard South, then moved to Millard West in 1996 as coach of both the high school and Legion teams.
His Millard West summer teams won three state titles and earned a national Legion World Series berth. In the past 11 years, 78 ex-Wildcats have played college baseball, and over Ryan's career, 14 former players became head coaches.