The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Huber are pictured sharing a romantic moment at the ballpark.

The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Huber are pictured sharing a romantic moment at the ballpark.

by Dan Ruud

Tim Huber has frequented Tiger Park over the years, both as a youth and an adult. During his years at Belle Plaine High School, he played countless baseball and football games at the facility, as well as many games as a teen and adult as a member of the Belle Plaine town baseball team. He also conducts his annual youth baseball camps at Tiger Park.

This Saturday, Huber, 35, plans to add another chapter to his Tiger Park memoirs – his wedding.

Huber, who is head coach of the baseball team at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., is marrying Paula Hartman of Jordan, who taught a number of years at St. John the Baptist Catholic School there, where she is also a 1989 alumni. She graduated from Jordan High School in 1995.

In a recent St. John the Baptist newsletter, it states that one of Hartman’s favorite things to do is “hang out with friends at a baseball game – either town ball, college or professional.”

“Actually, one of Ms. Hartman’s personal goals is to travel to all the professional baseball stadiums. This is a good goal to have as she recently got engaged to Tim Huber, who is the head baseball coach for Augustana College,” continued the article.

Huber and Hartman have been friends since they were teenagers. They are both graduates of Minnesota State University-Mankato. Huber received his degree in sports management with a coaching minor. Hartman earned degrees in family life, child development and early childhood.

Why tie the knot at Tiger Park?

“The short story is that we were not allowed to get married in a Catholic church, so this was always Paula’s second option,” Huber said. “She really wanted to get married at her church (St. Johns in Jordan), but because the Catholic Church denied my request for an annulment, that wasn’t an option.”

Huber and Hartman have been engaged for about 18 months.

Huber has lived in Sioux Falls since becoming head baseball coach at Augustana, where he is beginning his fifth year and has a coaching record of 123-90, a significant improvement from where the program was before he got there. Prior to Augustana, Huber was head coach at Dakota Technical College for four years. His overall college coaching record is 221-161-1.

Huber, a 1996 graduate of BPHS, had a pretty remarkable baseball playing career, both at BPHS and MSU. He won numerous individual honors and was a standout at both high school and college throughout his playing days. He has also played numerous seasons for the Belle Plaine town Tigers and has been selected to play in multiple all-star games.

When asked what his favorite memories are of Tiger Park, Huber recalled one day as a freshman at BPHS when he went 7-of-8 at the plate, including a couple of home runs against Le Center. Another game he remembers caught the attention of MSU assistant coaches who were scouting a game his senior year. He hit a ball that one-hopped the fence at the 436 mark.

“I have some good football memories of playing at Tiger Park, too – some big hits on opposing players and catching a halfback pass to win a playoff game in overtime against Watertown-Mayer my sophomore year,” Huber said.

Huber’s other favorite Tiger Park memories were “anytime Jeff ‘Hot Dog’ Miller would get an extra-base hit. Seeing the competitive joy and excitement on Dog’s face was always great to see. That is what the game of baseball is all about,” Huber said.

Could the wedding possibly top any of the above?

“I think without a doubt this (wedding) will be my fondest memory of Tiger Park,” Huber said.

Saturday’s exchange of vows will take place at the home plate area. Rev. Jeff Bruder, a former teammate of Huber’s on the Tiger town team, will officiate the ceremony. The best man is another former teammate of Huber’s, Shane Hofmann. The maid/matron of honors will be Christine Danielson and Brenda Otteson, the bride’s sisters.

Huber said there will be a “very large” tent in right field for the reception and dance that will follow the 3 p.m. ceremony. Some 375 to 400 guests are expected to attend.

Although it will have to wait a few months, the couple’s honeymoon will also have a strong baseball tie.

“I’m taking my baseball team to Hawaii this February and Paula will be coming with. We plan to stay a few extra days after the team leaves,” Huber said.