The Shoreland League will enshrine two more members in its Hall of Fame this weekend. Jim Doden of the Kewaunee Chiefs and Kevin Konkol of the Denmark Devilbears and Branch Blaze were selected in February as the newest members of the three-year-old Hall. Jim will be honored on Sunday, June 30, when the Chiefs host the Branch Blaze for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. On Friday, June 28, Denmark will hold its annual Devilfest including a Hall of Fame celebration for Kevin. The Casco A’s will be in town with first pitch at 6:30 p.m.
Jim Doden began playing with the Kewaunee Chiefs in 1963 while still in high school. Faced with a lack of leadership and a dwindling roster after the 1964 season, Jim stepped up to recruit players and keep the team together. He served as both general manager and field manager from 1965 to 1975. The Chiefs played in both the Cherry League and Shoreland League and claimed Shoreland League championships in 1972 and 1973 under Doden’s watch. He ended his playing days after the 1977 season.
With his playing days behind him, Jim pursued sports officiating. He had the privilege of working the WIAA state tournament five times each for football, basketball, and baseball. He also officiated the same three sports at the NCAA Division III level, highlighted by umpiring the DIII baseball world series in 1996. In 2017, after 50 years, Jim officiated his last season.
Jim has been the commissioner of the Fox Valley Association for the past 20 years, scheduling all high school athletic events for the conference and assigning officials. He is also the Umpire Coordinator for two college conferences, the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, assigning umpires for all games in each conference.
Noticing the lack of an adult baseball team in the Denmark area, Kevin Konkol was determined to put together a team to play on the newly built high school baseball field. In 1998, Kevin and some local players played a scrimmage against the powerhouse Kewaunee Chiefs. After winning the game 7-5, the team set out to raise the funds needed to play a full season. In 1999, Denmark joined the Shoreland League under Kevin’s leadership.
Kevin began his career in the Shoreland League in 1985, playing for the Branch Blaze until 1993. After forming the Denmark Devilbears, he served as player/manager for six seasons and returned to the team for the 2014-2016 seasons. Konkol was a part of two Shoreland League Championship winning teams, one with Branch in 1992 and another in 2016 with Denmark.
Kevin played youth baseball in Maribel and has since returned to coach youth teams. In between stints playing in the Shoreland League, he played fastpitch for various teams and spent a few seasons playing in the Men’s Senior League, including aTriple Crown winning season at age 40. At the age of 48, he ended his final season in the Shoreland League with a .400 batting average.