Thursday, June 14, 2012

This just in....

Dwane “Dewey’’ Helbig, the first All-American baseball player at Oregon State, has died at the age of 79.

Helbig played just one season at OSU, but it was a memorable one. He hit .411 in 1952, the second-highest average in school history, and led the Beavers to their first Pacific Coast Conference championship and their first College World Series.

Born in Denver in 1932, Helbig moved to Portland as a child and became a two-sport star at Roosevelt High School and went on to OSU, where he also played football. After a professional baseball career that included two seasons with the Portland Beavers, Helbig was a high school teacher and coach for 30 years before retiring in 1989 and living in Bend. He died Sunday due to complications from a stroke.

Before making his mark in Corvallis, Helbig was All-PIL in football and baseball in 1949-50 and won two state baseball championships with Roosevelt - one after hitting three home runs in the title game.

After playing football for OSU in 1951 under coach Kip Taylor and baseball in 1952 as an outfielder under Ralph Coleman, Helbig signed with the Beavers of the Pacific Coast League and enjoyed a five-year minor league career.

Helbig went back and earned his degree then got a teaching job at Corbett High School and moved to Clackamas High School in 1961.

Helbig is survived by his wife, Donna, and three children, Kari Johnston of Florida and Doug and Mark Helbig of Milwaukie, as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on June 23 at Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud in Oregon City.

- John Hunt

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