Former Wolves manager, player inducted into CRBL Hall of Fame

One of the people most responsible for the creation and success of the Whitehall Wolves was inducted into the Chippewa River Baseball League Hall of Fame on July 3.

Paul Pehler was an original member of the Wolves, joining the squad on a part-time basis in 2005. Just two seasons later, Pehler took over as the manager of the team and as a full-time player.

In his first year, Pehler hit .362 with 13 RBIs and a league-best 13 stolen bases in 18 league games. The next year, he batted .379 and led the league with seven doubles and 10 stolen bases.

Team success began in 2010 when the Wolves went 12-6, their first winning season. In 2011, they improved to 14-6, winning the South Division title. They fell to Tilden in the CRBL Championship game that year, but that was just the start for the young Wolves squad.  

Whitehall went 19-3 in 2012 while Pehler batted .350 with 14 RBIs as the Wolves cruised to the South Division title then topped Chippewa Falls 6-0 to win the league title.

Pehler’s role as a manger included more than setting lineups. He was crucial in recruiting players, some of whom still play for the Wolves.

Pehler stepped away from managerial duties in 2013, but played that year, driving in 12 runs in 17 games as the Wolves went 19-3 and won the league title again.

The Arcadia High School graduate retired from CRBL play with a .317 career batting average in 144 games. He was a four-time all-star, playing in the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 games.

As a manager he had a winning percentage of .535 as a manger, including a 45-15 mark over his last three seasons. He was named CRBL Manger of the Year in 2010 and 2011, just the second to win the award in consecutive seasons.

Pehler is the first player who played the majority of his career with the Wolves to be inducted into the CRBL Hall of Fame. The only other player in the Hall of Fame who wore a Wolves uniform is Kurt Stellpflug, though several of the players Pehler recruited to Whitehall are likely to join him in the near future.

Hall of Fame members are chosen based a vote from a group of electors, which is made up of people who have been associated with the CRBL for 10 or more years. Pehler was elected in February and inducted July 3 as part of the CRBL’s All-Star Game proceedings.

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