Bob Ehrke, whose 0.49 earned run average in 1954 still stands as the lowest season ERA in Jackrabbit history, became the 18th member of the Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame. A Groton native, Ehrke also was a two-time all-North Central Conference basketball player for the Jacks, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding in the 1953 and 1954 seasons.
After graduating from SDSU in 1954, Ehrke signed a professional baseball contract with the Baltimore Orioles and pitched that season for the Aberdeen Pheasants in the Northern League. He spent the next two years in the Army, playing baseball with the Brooke Army Medical Center team in San Antonio, Texas, where he compiled a 27-2 record and led the team to the Fourth Army championship.
After discharge from the Army, he was assigned to Baltimore’s top farm team at San Antonio in the Texas League, where he had a 9-8 record. During the winter of 1957-58, he was drafted by the Spokane team of the Pacific Coast League, a farm team of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most of the 1958 season, he was with the Des Moines team in the Western League, where he was 7-6. But in early 1959, Ehrke was hospitalized with infectious hepatitis bringing his baseball career to an end.
Ehrke moved to Rapid City where he was a pharmacist and owner of Western Hills Pharmacy. He played in several state amateur basketball tournaments and in 1976 was inducted into the South Dakota Amateur Basketball Hall of Fame. He served six years on the board of the S.D. Health Systems Agency, including three as president.