Post 6 adds six to its hall of fame

Nov. 19—CHEYENNE — Steve Soltesz and Shane Taylor both felt good about what they accomplished during their baseball careers with Cheyenne American Legion Post 6.

Both men put up strong statistics and helped the varsity squad then known at the Eagles pile up wins. Taylor even helped Cheyenne win the Wyoming Class AA state championship and finish second at the Northwest Regional in 1991.

Despite those facts, neither considered themselves worthy of spots in the Post 6 baseball hall of fame. The selection committee had other thoughts.

Both men were part of a six-man hall of fame class honored Friday evening. They were joined by Lamont Oliver, Danny Orr, Mike Zegunis and John Wimmer. Only Soltesz and Taylor were able to attend the ceremony in person.

"When I played, I never felt like I had the best arm, I wasn't the fastest guy, and I didn't hit for power," Soltesz said. "I didn't do anything that wowed you. I just tried to compete and help the team out the best I could.

"That approach led to the success I had, but I never saw myself in a 'hall of fame' light, by any means."

Soltesz was introduced by his longtime friend and former teammate, Rob Jarosh, who said Soltesz earned the nickname "Slappy," because he had a knack for finding ways to notch hits. As a senior, Soltesz batted .417 during the regular season, but notched 12 hits during the state tournament to push his season average to .430. Soltesz also led Cheyenne in RBI that summer.

Taylor was a three-year letterman. As a senior, he batted .364 with six home runs. He eventually played at Regis University in Denver.

Taylor already was part of the Post 6 hall of fame as a member of the 1991 team. That group made an unlikely run to a state championship, and an even less likely trip to the Northwest Regional title game. They were the first Wyoming team to finish as regional runners-up. Cheyenne has finished second at the Northwest Regional three other times, including this past summer.

"We got to the regional tournament with a 31-31 record," Taylor said. "At the welcome banquet, they were calling out the teams' records, and most of the other teams were 50-8 and things like that. They announced the Wyoming state champion Cheyenne Eagles, 31-31, and the other teams looked at us and kind of laughed.

"We took that to heart, went out there, played great baseball and won our first three games before losing our next two. We had a great group of guys that when you challenged us, we played some good ball."

Both Taylor and Soltesz relished their time on the field, but most remember the time they spent with their teammates away from the diamond.

"We made so many good memories," Soltesz said. "When I think about my time playing for Post 6, I think about all of the lifelong friends I made. We could talk for days whenever we run into each other now.

"It's kind of like a brotherhood, and this honor really ties a bow on that. It shows me that I contributed and made a difference."

Oliver was MVP of the 1991 state tournament, going 16-for-31 in that tournament to help Cheyenne win its first state title since 1978. He hit more than 20 home runs during his career and played both baseball and football at Midland Lutheran in Fremont, Nebraska.

Orr pitched for Post 6 for three seasons before suiting up for Glendale (Arizona) Community College. He is the first Cheyenne native to be chosen in the Major League draft. Orr spent time in the Oakland Athletics organization before returning to Cheyenne to coach.

Zegunis was Cheyenne's leading hitter in 1987, batting .403 during the regular season and launching three homers during the state tournament. He added a .398 average and 14 doubles in 1988. Zegunis won a junior-college football championship at Glendale Community College before transferring to Fort Hayes State in Hays, Kansas.

Wimmer — the lone inductee Post 6 couldn't track down — is considered one of the program's top defensive shortstops. He also was a prolific hitter, batting .402 with 19 doubles, six triples and five homers in 1988.

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.