|Organization:||Minnesota American Legion|
You cannot talk about the history of the Post 259, Excelsior Legion Baseball Team and program without Jim Peck, its former coach and current General Manager. Jim retired from actively coaching the team at the end of the 2003 season, but has continued on as the Business Manager and resident expert on all things from arranging games to fund raising.
With over 54 years in Minnetonka (over 40 in Legion) baseball, Jim has been recognized in Minnesota, but also nationally. Jim has worked to build the Excelsior Legion Baseball program into one of the finest, most successful American Legion Baseball systems around.
After coaching Babe Ruth baseball in Minnetonka for 10 years, Jim moved to the American Legion program with the vision to build an enduring program. Peck won two state championships in Legion ball and over 200 players that Peck coached wound up playing college baseball over the years.
Peck has spent his entire volunteer life coaching American Legion teams – he has also worked with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, college baseball, and USA Baseball in the Tournament of the Stars. He was the first coach to win the "11 Who Care Award" from KARE 11. He helped to form the Dick Siebert Fall Baseball League for high school players and the Gopher Classic tournament. Peck was also instrumental in raising funds for the Veteran's Field in Minnetonka.
Peck, whose No. 39 was retired by Post 259, was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, and is a member of the Minnesota American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame and the Minnetonka Baseball-Softball Hall of Fame. In 2015, Peck was honored as Itasca Community College's Outstanding Alumni.