Grand Haven Baseball Teams of 1960 and 1961

Solid pitching, a strong mental game, and aggressive hitting and base running were trademarks of the Grand Haven baseball squads of the early 1960s.  

These traits, combined with stellar coaching; a disciplined, fiercely competitive group of ballplayers; and a little luck allowed these Buccaneer squads to win a state record of 56 games in a row. 

Nobody realized state history was getting started when Grand Haven beat archrival Muskegon 6-2 back on April 19, 1960. The Bucs followed that with 20 more victories to close out the 1960 season at 24-1.  

Led by Coach Steve Sluka, himself a 1993 Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame inductee, and key players like first baseman Larry Kieft, shortstop John Sluka, catcher Bob Kent and pitchers Doug VanderWall and Roger Wheeler, the Buccaneers pieced together a perfect 31-0 campaign in 1961.  
The Buccaneers opened the 1962 season with four more wins to break the state record for consecutive victories, which was previously held by Muskegon High School. Ironically, it was Grand Haven that ended the Big Red’s streak at 55 straight wins in 1945. Other players who made big contributions to “The Streak” were Mike Secory, George Peck, Jack Braak, Gary Holtzclaw and Dave Osbeck. 

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Team Members: Jerry Alger, Ed Brown Jr., Terry Carlson, Robert Bosserdet, Bill Drent, Tom DeWitt, Nick Fant, Mike Fortino, Tim Fuller, Chuck Haugen, Victor Geisler, Terry Hill, Larry Prelesnik, Jul Scheffers, David Suchecki, Ron Tipsword, Bob Van Bemmelen, John Van Dyke, Bill Van Horssen, Terry VanderVeen, Paul Fortino, Floyd Whelpley, Steve Brown, Bob Edlund, Larry Christianson, Bob Kent, John Sluka, Doug VanderWall, Roger Wheeler, Mike Secory, George Peck, Jack Braak, Gary Holtzclaw, Dave Osbeck and Coach Steve Sluka.

The 1960 Grand Haven baseball team started the streak going 24-1.