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:
- Cozzini Bros. to move into Falls Commerce Center
- Getting to know Menomonee Falls Little League President Donald Patten
- Work on Pilgrim Road to begin in Menomonee Falls, will be temporary
- Menomonee Falls Police Reports, April 28, 2016
- My Fair Lady takes to the stage in Falls Patio Players production
- Menomonee Falls' A Better Me wellness spa takes unique approach to relaxation
- The Falls Guy, April 21, 2016: Their field of dreams is ready to open
- Menomonee Falls Police Reports, April 21, 2016
- Menomonee Falls High School FBLA team clinches state for the third year in a row
- Custom Data Too Mail to open in Falls Commerce Center in Menomonee Falls