Pfannenstiel joined the other members of the Hays High Plains Chapter Barbershop
Harmony Society in singing the national anthem before the game.
“We travel around, doing things like this, national anthems, Memorial Day services, that
type of thing, all over the area,” said Pfannenstiel, an officer for The First State Bank in Ness
City. “We practice every week, sing about once every six weeks.”
Pfannenstiel played first base for the Larks in 1973 and 1974, leading the club in batting
both summers. After growing up in Ransom, Pfannenstiel went to college at Fort Hays State,
where he played baseball. He played second base as a sophomore and first base his junior and
Larks manager Frank Leo was a senior for the Tigers when Pfannenstiel and longtime
Larks pitching coach Keith Harper were freshmen. In college, Harper played left field for the
Tigers. After graduating from Fort Hays State, Leo became an assistant coach under Earl Hobbs
during Pfannenstiel’s next three seasons. The Tigers went to the College World Series in St.
Joseph, Mo., during Pfannenstiel’s junior season.
“The time with the team was special, Frank and all the guys,” Pfannenstiel said of his
playing days, both in college and with the Larks. “We just had good camaraderie and had some
After Pfannenstiel graduated from Fort Hays State he worked for a time as an air traffic
controller and also as a state trooper before becoming a banker. He has lived in Ness City for the
last 35 years.
Pfannenstiel said Hays is a baseball town by way of explaining the Larks’ popularity.
“When I was growing up the Legion team was special,” Pfannenstiel said. “Hays just has
a baseball tradition.”
Pfannenstiel has made it back several times for Old-Timers Night. Once a Lark, always a