Eierman’s Honored With MO Sports Hall Of Fame Diamond 9 Award

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
At the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame baseball and softball luncheon last Thursday and as part of the 2020 Hall of Fame induction class, Warsaw’s Johnny & Kelli (Wenberg) Eierman were both recognized with the Diamond 9 Award.  They are the first-ever married couple to be presented the award. 
The Diamond 9 Award, presented by B.J.’s Trophy Shop, was established to recognize individuals who exhibited outstanding talent or made significant contributions at the high school, collegiate, amateur or professional levels of baseball or softball. 
Eierman is a 2011 graduate of Warsaw High School and continues to give back to the game at his alma mater as the school’s baseball coach, now in his third season with the Wildcats.  In his amateur days, he was a three-time All-State selection in baseball and two-time All-State selection in football.  He initially signed a letter of intent with coach Paul Mainieri and the tradition-rich LSU Tigers, but instead joined the Tampa Bay Rays after being their 3rd round pick in the June 2011 MLB first year player draft. Eierman played nearly three full years in the minors before being released on March 25, 2014.  In his minor league career, he played in 96 games with 320 at-bats.  He had 75 hits, including 19 doubles, 6 triples and 5 home runs. Eierman collected 25 RBI’s, scored 36 runs and stole 7 bases while hitting for an average of .234. 
“It was a great day and an awesome experience,” Eierman said.  “The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame does a great job with their program and I appreciate the award.” 
Mrs. (Wenberg) Eierman pitched Warsaw High School to a state championship in 2010, striking out 14 in the championship game against Palmyra.  In fact, she struck out 27 of the 42 outs in the Final Four in a season in which she had 18 shutouts.  Eierman earned 1st team All-State and was named the conference Player of the Year.  Additionally, she was a 4-time All-Conference, All-District and All-Region selection.  Eierman struck out 20 in a 2009 game against School of the Osage and in 2010, batted .595 and stole 42 bases.  She then went on to play four seasons at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, where she was the 2013 American Midwest Conference Freshman of the Year and a 1st team All-AMC selection.  Eierman still holds the record for earned run average at Park University with a 1.09 ERA set in 2014.  That came a year after her 1.67 ERA rose to sixth on the single-season list.  She is now an assistant softball coach for the Warsaw Lady Cats.
“When they contacted Johnny and I about recognizing us with this award, I was totally shocked,” said Mrs. Eierman.  “It didn’t surprise me that he was being recognized because he was an extremely talented player and is an awesome coach.”
She added, “It just blows me away that I’m getting to celebrate the things that my teammates and I did 10 years ago!  I know I wouldn’t have received this award without a single one of them and my parents and coaches along the way.”
This year’s Diamond 9 honorees include: Heather Anderson (Missouri State University), Johnny Eierman (Warsaw HS/Tampa Bay Rays), Kelli (Wenberg) Eierman (Warsaw HS/Park University), Bill Fischer (Springfield Cardinals), Dallas Hord (Ozark HS/Missouri State University/Miami Marlins), Robert Murders (Southwest Baptist University), Justin Skinner (Hillcrest HS/Drury University), Ryan Vincent (Hollister HS/University of Missouri, Southwest Baptist University/Ozark Mountain Ducks), Taylor White (East Prairie HS/Central Methodist University), and Alex Wise (Neosho HS/NE Oklahoma A&M University/University of Oklahoma).
Inductees in the 2020 MSHOF class include: Mansfield High School baseball program, Howard Quigley (baseball coach; Billings HS, Aurora HS & Republic HS), Alan Benes (St. Louis Cardinals) and Andy Benes (St. Louis Cardinals).