NOW sportswriter inducted into hall of fame
Steve Tietz inducted at his alma mater, Falls
Editor's note: We don't often blow our own horns at NOW Newspapers, but I am more than happy to today. Sports reporter Steve Tietz, who precedes me here at Community Newspapers by about 20 years, was inducted into the Menomonee Falls Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 16. As his fans in the story below say, Steve is like a walking encyclopedia of sports, and not just Menomonee Falls sports. He not only covers Falls and Germantown, but also covers five schools in the North Shore, and more recently, two schools in our South newspaper, too.
But Steve is more than just "a sports guy." He is well read. He used to do movie reviews for our papers (and some book reviews, too.) He is polite. He asks forgiveness at least three ways after he sneezes. He has the loudest laugh in the office.
And he is humble - always giving credit, never taking it.
Well, this time, Steve has to accept it. It is well deserved, and his co-workers at NOW are proud of him.
Menomonee Falls - People don't usually talk about Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker's days as a baseball player - unless it's the punchline to a joke.
Rather, it's his decades of work as an announcer that has earned him admiration and recognition across the baseball world, including his induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
So it wouldn't be a stretch to call NOW Newspapers reporter Steve Tietz - one of this year's inductees to the Menomonee Falls Athletic Hall of Fame - the Bob Uecker of Menomonee Falls high school sports.
In the best way possible, of course.
By his own admission - and the testimony of former coaches - Tietz wasn't in danger of winning any Golden Gloves (the boxing or baseball kind) in his playing days, but he has spent the last 30 years doggedly and passionately reporting on high school sports in Menomonee Falls and dozens of other communities in the metro area.
"It's just been a real pleasure knowing the guy," said Dick Woosencraft, former Falls North principal and Tietz's freshman year gym teacher. "He's like a walking encyclopedia of sports knowledge."
Dave Petroff, athletic director at Menomonee Falls High School, agrees - both with the "pleasure to know him" part and the "walking encyclopedia" part.
"He knows sports, he loves sports," said Petroff, who had Tietz as a manager when he was head football coach in 1975. "He's a tremendous resource."
Tietz and five other Falls graduates were recognized during Friday's football game - which Tietz was, of course, there to cover - and friends and family saw his Hall of Fame plaque unveiled in a short ceremony later that night.
When Petroff, Woosencraft and the other members of the Hall of Fame committee - not surprisingly, Tietz has been part of the group since its inception in 2004 - unanimously selected Tietz as one of this year's honorees, he was typically humble.
"He looked at me and said, 'What are you doing?' " Woosencraft said.
But protesting didn't do any good, not with so many supporters in the room.
"He didn't have a say in it," Petroff said. "It seemed like it was long overdue."
Petroff and Woosencraft cited Tietz's professional work ethic and trustworthiness - even back in his days as a student manager and a sports writer for the student newspaper.
"He always does it with an air of class," Woosencraft said. "I'm impressed with him, and as corny as it sounds, I'm proud of him."
Petroff echoed that sentiment.
"We just appreciate him and value him, and we hope he's here for a long, long time," he said.
Alan Hamari is a former NOW reporter.
AT A GLANCE
2011 inductees into the Menomonee Falls Athletic Hall of Fame:
- Menomonee Falls Girl Scout aids in Central America's conservation efforts
- Two suspects apprehended in Menomonee Falls armed robbery (3)
- Wauwatosa's Luther Manor residents share smiles through flower delivery
- Major phase in Menomonee Falls' White Stone Station completed
- Menomonee Falls Police Reports, July 28, 2016
- The Falls Guy, July 28, 2016: A trip down memory lane
- Falls woman dreams of starting her own dessert bus
- Menomonee Falls man pleads guilty to homicide after killing bicyclist
- Wanakia Wildlife gives a bird's-eye view to Menomonee Falls Nature Camp kids
- Taste of Germantown event to raise funds for pavilion