Sports opened quite a few doors for Wayne Kissler, who played for Hastings Senior High School during the mid-1960s, earning all-state honors on the gridiron as a linebacker and offensive guard. A starter on the varsity basketball team as well, he is perhaps best remembered locally for his play behind the plate in American Legion baseball games at Duncan Field.
“I loved both football and baseball, but probably the edge goes to baseball,” said Kissler, 67. “I played the catcher position. In catching, you get to kind of survey the whole field and really be involved in just about everything, from pitching to positioning and everything that goes on.”
Playing for legendary area coach Earl Applebee, Kissler thrived as a legion player. Applebee, who also coached football and basketball at Hastings, knew how to evoke a winning attitude in his players.