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Courtesy photo.

By Allen Wright

According to fans around the state, Chelsea’s 1991 baseball team is the greatest team in Michigan prep sports history.

Earlier this year Mlive had a fan vote and the Bulldogs team came in first with 40,500 votes, almost 37 percent of all votes. And now they are being honored with a locally produced feature film called “Heart for the Game”.

The feature premiere will be a red carpet gala event at the Chelsea High School Auditorium (740 North Freer Road) on Saturday, Aug. 19 from 7-9 p.m. The family friendly event is free and is intended to bring the community together to celebrate the events of athletics, past and present.

Donations will be accepted at the door with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Chelsea Athletic Boosters and will be earmarked for their project to construct new athletic display cases near the gymnasium.

The movie is a Video Farm documentary directed by Robert Coelius and produced by Kerry and Theresa Plank. It is a ’30 for 30’ style full-length feature documenting the 1991 State Championship baseball team. Key participants and witnesses recall the events of a unique and historic baseball team 25 years later. The team overcame adversity on and off the field and won 11 of 33 games when tied or losing in the final at-bat. The team beat the #1, #4, and #2 teams in succession and won the championship game in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.

Appearing in the film are well known Chelsea folks Craig Common, Jeff Daniels, Howdy Holmes, and Mayor Jason Lindauer to name a few.

The Bulldogs a had a knack for making late-game comebacks in that miraculous season. Of the team’s 33 victories in 1991, 13 were in the Bulldogs’ last at-bat, including the Class B state championship game.

Midland Bullock Creek scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead, but Chelsea rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning. It was the team’s 20th-straight win after beginning the season 13-3.

The Bulldogs had several players move on to play at the next level, led by catcher Adam Taylor, who played at the University of New Mexico before playing three years in the minor leagues, reaching the double-A level.

Pitcher Jake Rindle played at Michigan State and Central Michigan, while Rob Clem moved on to play at Hillsdale College. The pitching duo combined to go 22-1 for the Bulldogs in 1991.

“It was such a great group of guys,” Chelsea coach Wayne Welton said. “We had a 25-year anniversary get-together at my house last summer, and we probably could have gone out and played somebody and won in our last at-bat that day, too. It was such a fun group. I love those guys.”

Key Participants in the film are Welton (former Chelsea baseball coach and former athletic Director), Todd Starkey (1988 CHS Graduate and former coach), and 1991 CHS Graduates Kerry Plank, Tucker Steele, Jude Quilter, Jeremy Stephens, Rick Westcott, Rob Clem, and Craig Ferry. Also featured are 1990 Chelsea graduates Adam Taylor (current Chelsea coach), Ben Hurst, Jake Rindle, Rob Jaques, Jason Adams, and 2001 graduate Molly Welton-Boyle.

The documentary trailer can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hjt7QVKMOw

Also for information or to RSVP you can go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/444311302593205?__mref=mbor https://www.facebook.com/1991StateChamps/

There are already more than 300 RSVP’s.

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