Category: Hall of Fame

USSSA Hall of Fame 2000-Present

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) was founded as the United States Slow-pitch Softball Association in the spring 1968. Over that last weekend of August 1968 the first USSSA World Softball Tournament was played in West Allis Wisconsin. Over the past 40 years USSSA has grown from a couple of thousand slow-pitch softball players to over 3.5 million participants playing 13 primary sports. In fact, USSSA sanctions teams and individuals in 38 sports.

USSSA’s first decade was a turbulent one. USSSA led the charge to allow amateur athletes to play slow-pitch softball in whatever league or association they wished. People playing softball, and now playing many other sports, is what USSSA has always been about and has served as a foundation for its continued growth.

In the eighties USSSA grew by leaps and bounds. USSSA purchased a building in Petersburg, Virginia for its National Headquarters and Hall of Fame Museum. By the end of the decade USSSA membership had surpassed 100,000 teams and USSSA toured the world to promote softball, sportsmanship, and good will.

The nineties were the best and the worst of times for USSSA. The association continued to grow, however softball was decreasing in popularity. The various associations were cannibalizing each other in order to inflate their team registration numbers. In 1998 USSSA suffers a tragic loss when its longtime CEO Edgar “Al” Ramsey III passes away. The Board of Directors, immediately named the Assistant Executive Director, Don DeDonatis, as the new CEO. DeDonatis initiated sweeping changes. The changes included branching out into sports other than softball. By the end of the nineties USSSA had grown to over 1.6 million participants, with 300,000 being non slow-pitch softball.

In March 2003 USSSA moved its national headquarters from Virginia to Osceola County, Florida. This move has benefited USSSA and Osceola County in many positive ways. In 2007 USSSA had over 3.5 million participants and is solely responsible for 58,044 room nights in Central Florida, of which 45,307 room nights are in Osceola County. This means millions of dollars in positive economic impact to the region.

Currently, USSSA nationally governs 13 amateur sports. Slow-pitch softball, baseball, fast-pitch softball, and basketball athletes make up approximately 90% of USSSA’s membership. The remaining 9 sports account for over 350,000 registrations in USSSA, including Tae Kwan Do and Soccer, two sports that USSSA holds events in Osceola County. Over the past ten years USSSA has not failed to increase its year to year membership. In fact, for all but 3 of those 10 years USSSA’s membership has grown by over 10% per year.

USSSA Hall of Fame and Museum
611 Line Drive
Kissimmee, Florida 34744
Website: http://hof.usssa.com/

Below are the members from 1979 – 1999.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2000


Randy Gorrell Jr.

Randy Gorrell Jr.

Randy Gorrell was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. Randy has participated in eleven USSSA Men’s Major World Series as a manager of coach. On five occasions his team would win this event: 1980 with Campbell’s Carpet, 1981 with Howard’s Western Steer, 1988 with Steele’s Sports, and back to back in 1991 and ’92 with Ritch’s Superior. Four times during his USSSA career his team would finish 4th in the World Series, and his ream also finished 3rd in the Men’s Major World Series in 1989. His coaching record with Howard’s Western Steer in 1981 was 160 victories with only 15 losses. Randy has coached twelve players who are members of the USSSA Hall of Fame. Randy was inducted into the Texas USSSA Hall of Fame in 1999.


Sandra Mader

Sandy Mader was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. According to Mr. Al Ramsey, Sandy Mader was best known for her leadoff abilities in the lineup and was one of the most consistent hitters ever to play in the USSSA Women’s Program. Sandy was a member of four USSSA Women’s “A” World Series Champion teams. There times with Cannan’s Illusion and in 1998 with UPI. She was a member of three USSSA Black American Champions with the Aero Battery in 1994, and with Soop’s in 1995 and 1996. She was also part of the Sierra Illusion/TPS team that won the USSSA Mixed World Tournament in 1997. Sandy was selected to the USSSA “A” All World teams on three occasions she was chosen as a member of the All World Team at the USSSA Black American World Tournaments. She was a member of all the World team at the USSSA Mixed World Tournament in 1997. Four times she was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player at the Women’s “A” World Series and was selected as the Most Valuable Player at the USSSA Black American World Tournaments in 1994 and again in 1996. Sandy is a member of the USSSA Team of the Decade for the 1990’s at the third base position.


Ronald Parnell

Ronald Parnell

Ron Parnell was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. For over twenty years he has participated in the highest levels of USSSA competition, playing in the Men’s Major program for such outstanding teams as Capitol Insulation, Steele’s Sports, Superior Apollo, Ritch’s Superior, and Team Easton. Ron was a member of three World Champion teams, in 1988 with Steele’s Sports, and in 1991 and 1992 with Ritch’s Superior. He leads the Men’s Major World Series in most hits, most runs, and most at bats. Seven times between 1985 and 1998 he was selected to the USSSA Men’s Major All World Teams. Ron Parnell was selected as the outstanding defensive player in the 1987 Men’s Major World Series at Waterloo, Iowa. He is also a member of the USSSA Men’s team of the Decade for the 1990’s.


Robert Wayne Rinehardt

Robert Wayne Rinehardt

Wayne Rinehardt was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Best known as a Director and administrator the USSSA in North and South Carolina. Wayne has played, coached, and umpired in the USSSA program. His duties as a leader in this association began in 1972, when he was appointed as an area director by USSSA Hall of Famer Dwight Hall. In 1980 Wayne assumed the Position as the USSSA State Director in South Carolina. Wayne Served as Division Vice President of the Atlantic Coach Division and before his retirement this year, and also served as the Executive Vice President of USSSA. Under his leadership the state of South Carolina has become know for operating some of the best tournaments in the country.


Daniel Smith, Jr.

Daniel Smith, Jr.

Dan Smith was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. Dan Smith, of San Jose, California, cannot tell you how many teams he has sponsored and coached other the years, but the answer is many. In 1991 his team won the USSSA Men’s “AA” World Tournament and went to finish fourth in the Men’s Major World Series. His teams have participated in every Men’s Major World Series since that time. On three occasions in 1996, 1998, and in 1999 his team would finish second in the gem of softball. It all came together at the Disney Wide World of Sports Stadium in September of 2000 when his team Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Worth won the USSSA Men’s Major World Series. In 1999 his team won the USSSA Men’s 50 & Over World Tournament and Dan was selected as the tournament Most Valuable Player. With all the success Mr. Smith has had both on and off the field he says that his biggest thrill in the game of softball was to be able to coach all three of his sons.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2001


Danny Brown

Danny Brown was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Danny Brown was appointed as the USSSA California State Director in 1979. He also served as the Western Region Vice-President from 1979 through 1994. In 1994 he was appointed as the Executive Vice-President of all sports. He has directed many USSSA Tournaments including the Men’s Major World Series in 1989 in Omaha, Nebraska. He also hosted some of the association’s premiere events in California including the 1980 Men’s Major World Series, the USSSA Men’s “A” and “B” World Tournaments and the Women’s “A” World Series. He was presented the coveted USSSA President’s Award in 1984.


 

Ray Demarini

Ray Demarini was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. In the 1980’s Ray Demarini was a 5’6″, 165 pound undersized softball player obsessed with improving his game. In 1988 he was asked by ESPN to do an instructional hitting video. From over 450 videos in it’s group, it took first place at the American Film Festival. The following year he took the proceeds he had received from the video and along with his partner created Demarini Sports. His mission was for Demarini Sports to provide the opportunity for every softball player to own a custom factory bat. In the 1990’s Ray’s first printed advertisement appeared in USA Today. His first customer was Dr. Rodger Clay who called and ordered a custom bat and then asked Ray, “How do you think you can compete against the giant bat companies?” Ray responded “How do you think those cumbersome giant companies can compete with me?” By 1992 the company had created the first high performance multi-walled bat, the Demarini Double Wall, the game of softball was changed forever.


Bill Gatti

Bill Gatti was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Bill played the game of slow pitch for over 20 years and comprised a lifetime batting average of .650 with 980 home runs. He was a member of four consecutive USSSA Men’s Major World Series Champion teams. In 1984 and 1985 with Elite Coating and 1986 and 1987 with Smythe Sox. Three times he was selected to the USSSA Men’s Major All World Teams, 1983, 1986, and again in 1987.


Sue Koziol

Sue Koziol

Sue Koziol was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. She played shortstop for some of the best teams in the USSSA Women’s Program such as Steele’s, Lady Blue, UPI, Diamond Queens, and Kinder Sharks. She was selected to the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ World Series all World Teams on seven occasions. Three times she was chosen as the Tournament Most Valuable Player in the World Series.


Charles Laroche

Charles Laroche was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Charles started his long career with USSSA in 1968 as an umpire and served for many years as the USSSA Florida Umpire-In-Chief. In 1981 he was appointed as the USSSA State Director for Florida. He was promoted to the position of Division Vice-President in 1990. He served on the executive board from 1990 through 1997, serving as the Chairman from 1994-1997. In September of 2001 he was appointed to become the first national Director of USSSA Men’s Program. He has served on and chaired many committees and task forces including the reorganization take force that was architect for the development of the multi-sports organization. Charlie has acted as a tournament director for over 350 USSSA tournaments including the Men’s Major World Series in 1994. In 1996 he received the prestigious USSSA President’s Award.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2002


Robert Boudreaux

Robert Boudreaux was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Robert served as the USSSA State Director for Louisiana for the past twenty years. He also is the Executive Vice President for the Atlantic, Mid West, and the new South Divisions. He served as the USSSA National President from 1998 through 2001. He is one of only three individuals to have been awarded the prestigious President’s Award in both the Director and Executive Categories. Robert served as the USSSA Tournament Director for many state, national and world tournaments including twice for the USSSA Men’s Major World Series in 1990 and again in 1991.


Chuck Maiorana

Chuck Maiorana was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. His outstanding career expands four decades, batting leadoff and playing shortstop most of his career he accumulated a lifetime batting average .620 with over 120 home runs. He has been a member of USSSA champion teams in five classifications, Men’s ‘B’, Men’s ‘A’, Men’s ‘AA’, Men’s 35 & Over, and Men’s 45 & Older. In USSSA tournament play he was selected as the tournament Best Defensive Player twenty two times. He was chosen to 20 All Tournament Teams including the 1984 Men’s Major World Series and the 2001 Men’s 35 & Over World Tournament. Chuck was inducted into the Michigan USSSA Hall of Fame in 1994.


Ed Menosse

Ed Menosse was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager/Coach Category. As a thirty year veteran of the USSSA program he was coached such high profile teams as the Bay Area Merchants, Campbell’s Carpets, and the Dan Smith teams. Three of his teams he would coach to be champions of the USSSA Men’s Major World Series. In 1973 with the Bay Area Merchants, 1980 with Campbell’s Carpets, and 2000 with Dan Smith. During his coaching career he has constructed a record of 2472 wins with only 387 losses.


Pete Narrai

Pete Narrai was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. In his thirty year career with USSSA Pete has officiated in more than 200 state tournaments, 35 national tournaments, and many world tournaments including two USSSA Men’s Major World Series. He has conducted over 100 USSSA umpire clinics. Pete served as the State Umpire-In-Chief for Wisconsin from 1980 through 1985. He served as the Northern Region Umpire-In-Chief from 1985 through 1990 and he also served as a member of the USSSA National Playing Rules Committee from 1982 through 1989. He was selected as the USSSA Central Division Umpire of the Year in 1983 and received the USSSA National Umpire-In-Chief Award in 1986. Pete also served as the USSSA Co-State Director for the state of Wisconsin for ten years from 1988 through 1998.


Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. Brenda made a huge impact on the USSSA Women’s Program in 1977 as a member of the Women’s ‘B’ World Champions, Pabst Blue Ribbon, she did this at the age of 17. She was a member of the World Champions in the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ Program in 1985 with Northside K of C, in 1998 with UPI/Kinder, on two occasions she was chosen as the Most Valuable Player, at the Women’s ‘A’ World Series in 1985 and again in 2001 at the Women’s 35 & Over World Tournament. She was voted as the Player of the Year in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, 86, 92, and 1993. she was awarded the Debeer Sports Women of the Year in 1993. She was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Hall of Fame in 1999.


Jim Swint

Jim Swint

Jim Swint was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the executive category. Jim was appointed as the USSSA State Director of Kansas in 1980, the same year that the Fun Valley Sports Complex opened under his leadership in Hutchinson, Kansas. In 1981 he was promoted to the position of Regional Vice- President for the Central Division and in November of that year received the prestigious USSSA President’s Award. Under the restructure of USSSA in 1984 he was appointed as the Executive Vice President of the Newly Created Mid West Division. He was elevated to the position of Northern Region President in 1988 and in 1997 was appointed as the USSSA Assistant Executive Director. Under his leadership since 1980 the Fun Valley Sports Complex has hosted 75 USSSA National and World Tournaments. In 1991 he was selected to serve as the President of USSSA and he also was the recipient of the E.A. Ramsey/CEO Award in 2001.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2003


Britt Hightower

Britt Hightower

Britt Hightower has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. During his 19 year career he was a strong left fielder with a lifetime batting average of .730 and over 2,500 home runs. In USSSA Men’s Major World Series play he ranks first with most at bats 407, most in runs with 217, and second with most hits with 225. Britt has played on six USSSA Men’s Major Champion Teams, in 1986 and 1987 with Smythe Sox and 1990, 1991, and 1992 with Ritch’s Superior, and 1999 with R&D Easton. On twenty five occasions he has been selected as the tournament most valuable player in N.I.T play. He was chosen to the USSSA Men’s ‘A’ All World Team in 1985. He also was selected to the USSSA Men’s Major World Series All World Teams in 1986, 1990, 1992, and again in 1997.


Beverly Lovett

Beverly Lovett has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. A standout in the USSSA Women’s, Mixed, and Black American Programs Ms. Lovett’s career spans twenty two years with a life time batting average of .600 and over 75 homeruns. He has been a member of four USSSA World Champion teams, in the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ Program in 1990 and 1994 with the Cannan’s Illusions, 1998 with UPI, and 2002 with Kinder Sharks. She was a member of the Sierra Illusions in 1997 when they won the USSSA Mixed World. Four times she was a member of the USSSA Black American Women’s World Tournament Champion Teams in 1994, 95, 96, and 2002. Her individual accomplishments are also very impressive. She was chosen as the tournament Most Valuable Player in many USSSA Women’s National Invitational Tournaments including three times at the Blue Bonnet NIT. Five times she was selected to the Black American All World Teams. She was selected to the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ All World Teams in 1998, 1990, and again in 1994. At the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ World Series in 1990 she was the Home Run Champion and also the Tournament Most Valuable Player.


Bill Mathews

Bill Mathews

Bill Mathews has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Starting his career with USSSA as an umpire in 1972, Bill was very active in that position until 1987. He officiated in the USSSA Industrial World Tournament in 1984. In 1985 he was appointed as the USSSA State Director of Missouri. He has hosted many divisional and national tournaments including the Men’s “D” in 1988, the Men’s “C” in 1991, and the Men’s “B” in Both 1992 and 1993. Bill served as the Assistant Tournament Director for the 1994 USSSA Men’s Major World Series and the following year he was appointed as the tournament director for that event. He received the Central Division Director of the Year award in 1986 and was the recipient of the prestigious USSSA President’s Award at the national convention in 1991.


Jerry Stout was inducted in 2003.

No picture or bio was provided.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2004


Darrell Beeler

Darrell Beeler has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Darrell carries a lifetime batting average of .715 and has hot over 2,000 home runs in his career. He was a member of three teams that won the USSSA Men’s Major World Series. First with Superior-Apollo in 1989 and in both 1991 and 1992 with Ritch’s Superior. On two occasions at the Men’s Major World Series he was selected to the All World Team in 1989, and again in 1991. He ranks seventh in the USSSA Men’s Major World Series play with 172 hits. Darrell became a member of the Oklahoma USSSA Hall of Fame in 2001.


Jackie Hayes

Jackie Hayes

Jackie Hayes has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager/Coach Category. Although a fine player in his own right, Jackie has made his mark on the USSSA program as a manager and coach. The highly competitive teams that he has been affiliated with as a coach and manager have won over 40 USSSA NIT’s and he has been a part of a team that has played in every USSSA Men’s Major World Series since 1988. On two occasions the team that he was coaching with has won the USSSA Men’s Major World Series. In 1997 with Lighthouse/Worth and again in 2000 with Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Worth. While coaching the AJD team they won the Virginia Men’s State Tournament seven straight years from 1984 through 1991. The teams that he has helped coach during his career have won over 1,000 tames in tournament play.


Andrew Joel

Andrew Joel

Andrew Joel has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Andy started his USSSA career as a sponsor and coach of the AJD team in 1985. His AJD team compiled a tournament record of 650 wind and only 250 losses. AJD won the USSSA Virginia Men’s State Tournament seven consecutive years from 1984 through 1991. His team participated in seven USSSA Men’s World Series with their best finish being fifth place in 1990 at Greensboro, North Carolina. Andy stated that one of his favorite moments in the tournament play was when his AJD team defeated the barn storming Juggernaut team, Steele’s, with base hits and defense, not home runs.


Danny Malone

Danny Malone

Danny Malone has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. Danny has been a USSSA umpire since 1979. in that twenty five year career he has umpired in more than 50 state tournaments, 10 divisional and national tournaments, and 3 USSSA World Tournaments. He has officiated in all three of the USSSA World Series, the Men’s Major World Series, the Women’s ‘A’ World Series, and the mixed ‘A’ World Series. He has served twice on the USSSA National Playing Rules Committee, from 1991 through 1994 and again from 1996 through 1998. He has acted as the Division Umpire-In-Chief since 1998 and has conducted national umpire clinics each year since 1981. Danny received the southwest Umpire of the Year Award in 1986 and the Southern Region Umpire Award in 1996 and 1997. At the national convention in 1997 he was presented with the USSSA National Umpire-In-Chief Award. Danny stated that the highlight of his umpire career was the last tournament game he worked at the 2004 USSSA Military World Tournament because his partners were is son, his daughter, and his son-in-law.


Brenda Paulson

Brenda Paulson has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. In 1981 Brenda made history as the first women to be appointed as a USSSA State Director. This all started when she agreed to conduct some USSSA tournaments in her home state of Illinois following her participation in the USSSA Women’s ‘B’ World Tournament in 1975. Under her leadership the USSSA program in Illinois has flourished in 1984 the state of Illinois was in the top ten states in team registrations, twenty years later Illinois is still in the top ten states in both slow pitch and fast pitch team registrations. She has conducted over fifty N.I.T.S. in her career and approximately twenty divisional and national tournaments. Brenda hosted both the USSSA Women’s ‘C’ World and the USSSA Women’s ‘A’ World tournaments in Rockford, Illinois in 1993. She reviewed the prestigious USSSA President’s Award at the National Convention in 1987.


Jacqueline Watkins

Jacqueline Watkins

Jacqueline Watkins has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. For the majority of her career Jackie has played shortstop, third base, and pitcher. Her lifetime batting average in tournament play is .787. She has played in the USSSA Women’s Program with the Bandits, C.C. Raiders, Gann’s Mustangs, Diamond Queens/TPS, the Connecticut Bombers, and the Diamond Queens. Jackie was a member of two USSSA World Champion teams, in 1997 with Sierra/Illusions in the Mixed World Tournament and 1999 at the Women’s 35 & Over World Tournament with Snap, Krackle, Pop. In the Women’s ‘A’ Program she was a member of the Diamond Queens when they finished second in the World Series. She has participated in over 90 USSSA NIT’s and has been selected to All Tournament teams on more than 30 occasions. She has played in every USSSA Women’s ‘A’ World Series since 1993.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2005


Woody Bell

Woody Bell

Woody Bell was inducted into the USSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. When you think of Woody Bell, you immediately think of the great Bell Corp teams of the past two and a half decades. Winning the Men’s Major World Series in Daytona Beach, FL in 1993 was especially sweet, with play beginning at 8:30AM and finishing five games later at 8:15PM as the new World Series Champion. Woody has said that softball is the greatest sport in America today. He most enjoys seeing two evenly matched teams playing. Where defense not offence becomes the deciding factor of the game. He has always insisted that his team members were gentleman on the field. No bad language, no arguing with umpires, never ignoring old fans or the young ones. His dedication to the sport has led him to sponsor as many as four teams in a season and to travel to 142 consecutive tournaments.


Jim Darby

Jim Darby has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1973 he spent several years as a pitching coach there and at St Mary’s College. In December of 1977 he took the position of promotions manager for Easton Sports and was advanced to Vice-President in 1981. The Job of promoting Easton Sports would carrying him across the country many times, and eventually to his first USSSA event, the 1978 Men’s Major World Series in Petersburg, Virginia. He was amazed at the athletic abilities of many of the players, names such as Denny “Uptown” Jones, Mike Cellura, Stan Harvey, and Russell Bradley. Over the year he worked with Todd Joerling, Dan Schuck, and Brett Helmer. He also worked with the men who put these great teams on the field – Woody Bell, Richard Howard, Dan Smith, Steve Stinski, and Larry Quartuccio. Jim considers it a privilege to work with the …. People at USSSA, and organization that never sits still. Through their efforts, thousands of children and adults have the opportunity to participate and compete in a wide rage of sports. In a nutshell, the USSSA “Makes things happen.”


John Hart

John Hart

John Hart was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. John’s 25 years service with the USSSA seems hardly enough time to archive so many accomplishments. He has put on numerous umpire clinics in New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Louisiana. He umpired in the 1986 Men’s Major World Series in Greensboro, NC, and the 1989 Corporate World Tournament in New Haven, CT. He served as an UIC in the 2001 Armed Forces World Tournament in Kettering, MD, and the 2002-2005 Super Series in Orlando, FL. He has officiated over 30 NIT’s, over 60 state, New England, Divisional Tournaments since 1982. Other duties have included: MA State UIC 1986-1998, member National Playing Rules Committee 1992-94 and 1998-present. Northeast Division UIC since 1998. He is an original of the USSSA New England Hall of Fame. Other awards include Northeast Division Spark Plug Award in 1998, National Director of Officials Award in 1999, the Massachusetts Bob Farrell Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001. Contributor to USSSA umpire training videos in 2001-2002. John says softball is a wonderful sport… that offers enjoyment and social interaction. “Being recognized by players and other officials on and off the field for an outstanding job is a great personal award.


Jess Heald

Jess Heald

Jess Heald was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Following a 1957 graduation from the United States Naval Academy and 5 years in the service, his engineering background eventually led him to Worth Inc. where he became in company’s first product development manager. His innovative products include: the first one piece aluminum bat, the fist polyurethane core softball, the first official league safety baseballs and softballs, the first player’s bat/equipment bag, and the first carbon composite bat. In 1985 Jess developed the softball performance standards which are still used today. In 1994 he participated in the development of the first softball bat performance standard which was first adopted by USSSA. In 1990 Hess was elected Chairman of the board of Worth Inc. and in 1993 was inducted into the sporting goods industry hall of game. Throughout his 35 year career at Worth, Hess has been the company liaison to the USSSA. Presently Jess is serving as the Executive Director of Play Ball USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing participation in baseball and softball.


Mary Hoff

Mary Hoff

Mary Hoff was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame In the Female Player Category. Nineteen years playing USSSA ball has seen Mary with Satellite Cement, Lady Comets, Canton Softball Center, Lady Blues, Gino’s, UPI, Santa Monica Yankees, Kinder INS, Diamond Queens and Armstrong Ceiling. With a .545 batting average, 34 career home runs, this excellent pitcher is also a solid line drive hitting with power to all fields. USSSA wins versus losses stand at 302 and 29. She was three times a World Series MVP: in 1991, 1999, and 2003. World Series All-Tournament Team selections were hers in 1983, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993, 1998-2000, and 2003. Although she has been a member of eight Women’s World Series Championship teams (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2003) she has enjoyed most playing with and against all the great female athletes and making life long friendships along the way.


Todd Joerling

Todd Joerling was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Todd’s 20 year USSSA Career has seen him with Steele’s Sports, Bell Corp, Lighthouse/Sunbelt, Bell Sunbelt, Sunbelt/Dan Smith, Team Easton, R&D, Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse, and Resmondo/Smith/Menosse. A base hitting with power, he has hit over 1,100 home runs and has compiled a lifetime batting average of .725. He was selected as MVP at four USSSA Men’s Major NIT’s. He made World Series All-Tournament Teams in 1993, 1994,1997, and 2001. Proudest moment: In the 1993 World Series in Daytona Beach Bell Corp had to beat Williams twice to win the title. In the first game Bell Corps was trailing by 2 runs with 2 outs and 2 runners on base in bottom of the 7th inning. With 2 strikes on him, Todd hit a 3-run home run to win the game and Bell Corp then went on to win the 1993 World Series.


Gary Jones

Denny Jones

Denny “Uptown” Jones has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Denny began playing softball in 1979 in Louisiana. His skills were soon noticed and “big time” softball afforded him the opportunity to play with Campbell’s Carpets, Concord, CA, Jerry’s Caterers, Miami, FL and Capital Insulation, Lost Angeles, CA. His favored position is the outfield, where he was awarded World Series Outstanding Defensive Player awards with Jerrys Caterers in 1983 and Capitol Insulation in 1985. In national tournament play he was selected All Tournament Teams fourteen times. World Series Champion Honors were his in 1980 with Campbell’s Carpets and in 1982 and 1983 with Jerrys Caterers. His proudest moment was winning the 1980 World Series which brought softball recognition to the west coast. Denny always enjoyed traveling, making new friends, competing against great athletes, and having the opportunity to show some of the skills God gave him.


Frank Lateano

Frank Lateano from Windsor Locks, CT has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. A USSSA veteran since 1984, Frank’s introduction to the USSSA World Series came in 1987 when his team Superior Bombat finished in 8th place with a record of 2-2. The next year saw Frank return with the Superior-Spalding again going 2-2 but this time finishing in 6th place. By 1989 Frank had it right and his Superior/ Apollo softball team swept the series in Omaha (5-0) and was named Manager of the Year All World Team. The following year Superior Apollo cam in second to Rich’s-Kirks first. Using that “if you can’t beat them, join ’em,” 1991 saw powerhouse Ritch’s Superior emerge and capture the World Series Championship in Dayton Beach and again in Daytona Beach in 1992. In USSSA World Series play Ritch’s Superior placed 9th in 1993, 3rd in 1994, 6th in 1995, 4th in 1996, and second in 1997. In 1988 TPS merged Ritch’s/Superior with Shen Valley and Frank won the World Series again. In 1999 Frank won the series with the Eason backed R&D team. Overall his high profile teams participated in 13 consecutive World Series. Frank says he is thinking about getting back into softball. We all hope so.


Ronald Neely

Ronald Neely

Ron Neely was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Ron Neely has participated in the USSSA program at every level; Player, Coach, Umpire, Area Director, State Director. It was as a member of the executive committee and then the executive board that he made his mark, serving on the National Softball Committee, National Disbarment Committee, Major Players Committee and all Men’s and Women’s National Program Committees. He was awarded the prestigious USSSA President’s Award in 1988. Texas inducted him into the State USSSA Hall of Fame in 2001. He was USSSA Director of the year in 1982, 1986, 1987, and 1991 in the southwest division. He was presented the first Mel Burtrum Award in 1984. Ron has spent over 25 years of service dedicated to building a team approach to selling USSSA programs and idea. His introduction of hospitality functions sponsored by state organizations on the national level and the development and improvement of national meetings were all part of bringing a business approach to the national meeting. The USSSA has become his extended family with whom he shares a bond of hard work and professionalism.


Tom Turley

Tom Turley has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Tom Turley became involved with USSSA softball in 1979 as an area director, player, team sponsor, and managed the “Turley Brothers Masonry” and “AG Spano” teams that competed in numerous USSSA divisional and national tournaments at the “A” and “B” levels. When his playing career ended he concentrated on developing the Kansas City USSSA Slowpitch Program. In 1990 he was involved with the design and construction of the multi-million dollar, 68 acre “Mid-American Sports Complex” in Shawnee, Kansas, and has managed it for the past 15 years. When USSSA made the decision to become a multi-sport association, Turley was quick to become involved with the development of many new programs. In 2000 Turley was appointed Vice-President of Director Development and at the 2004 convention was appointed to the USSSA Board of Directors, serving on slow-pitch and fastpitch softball, taekwondo, and basketball committees. His awards include: Kansas Director of the Year Award, Central Division Director of the Year Award, Midwest Division Director of the Year Award, Dwight Hall Spark Plug Award, Distinguished Service Award, and the Coveted President’s Award.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2006


Hank Bassett

Hank Bassett from Monticello, KY has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Spending over 20 years in the game of slow pitch softball as a sponsor, manager, and player, his teams boasted a 73.6 winning percentage, winning 1060 games while losing 381 games. He co-sponsored and managed teams that ranked in the top ten best team for almost a decade. His Starpath teams were the first USSSA teams to win berths to play in seven consecutive USSSA World Series (’85-’91). Finishing second in the 1991 USSSA World Series. Hank went to work for the Hillerich & Bradsby Company (a.k.a. “Louisville Slugger” and “TPS”) charged with the responsibility of heading up TPS’s slow pitch promotional program, as well as maintaining relations with the carious governing associations in the game. He was instrumental in helping to institute changes in the games using H&B’s influence and by working with the associations. He began the TPS Power Ratings which provided a method by which the better teams in the country were ranked according to their participation and success at the upper levels of the game. He also instituted and maintained the TPS Player Statistical Awards by which the players who posted the best numbers in Home Runs, Home Run Frequency, and On-Base Percentage were recognized at the end of each season. His enduring wish is that all who run and serve the game of slow pitch softball continually work towards bettering and strengthening the game.


Rusty Bumgardner

Rusty Bumgardner

Rusty Bumgardner from Gastonia, NC has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. At well over 6′ tall, Rusty is an imposing if not intimidating figure when he steps up to the plate. His stats make him even more so: he has Men’s Major World Series Championships with Converters Unlimited/Vernon’s TPS in 1994. Shen Valley/Superior/ Taylor/TPS in 1996, Team TPS in 1998, Long Haul/Taylor Brothers/ Shen Valley/TPS in 2001, Resmondo/Hauge/Taylor/Sunbelt in 2003 and Resmondo/Smith/Menosse in 2005. He is a member of the 2006 Men’s Major All-Disney Team and the Conference USSSA Team for 2006. In World Series Play as of 2006 he accumulated 331 at bats, 184 hits, 180 RBI’s, and 167 runs. He was selected to the series All World Team in 2003, 1999, 1998, 1994, and 1993. His greatest thrill was playing for Shen Valley/Superior/ Taylor Brothers/TPS in the 1996 World. Sunday morning in the losers bracket, playing 5 games in a row beginning at 8 am and concluding at 9 pm, finally defeating Dan Smith for the Championship.


Anna Clements

Anna Clements from Lutz, FL has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. A nineteen tear career in USSSA Softball has sees Anna play with and against some of the best teams in women’s softball. She played for Lady Comets (FL), Women of Steeles (MI), Canton Softball Center (MI), Lady Blue (TX), Rockets (NC), Shooters (FL), and Action Awards (Mixed)(GA). Though she was adept in the outfield as a well a shortstop, she considers left center her main position. Her hitting style varied from long ball to line drive and gap hitting, always using her speed for extra bases. Her biggest thrill was to end her career winning the Women’s World Series with the Shooters and being named the Tournament Most Valuable Player going out on top! “The game of softball is a gateway to many opportunities that otherwise would not be afforded. Softball enriched my life through the long lasting friendships that I have made and the impact that these individuals had on my life. Through softball I gained a competitive edge in life which continues into both my personal and work life.”


Rick Fortuna

Rick Fortuna from Parkville, MO has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Though Rick has coached teams in the USSSA program for over 9 years, and been the state director for baseball in Missouri for the same period, it is at the national level where he has real make his mark. He was appointed the Executive VP of Baseball in 1999 and still holds that position. He has served on the baseball National Committee, Tournament Awards Committee, and the New Sports Committee. In 2000 he received the President’s Award and in 2002 is received in coveted Al Ramsey CEO Award. It would no understatement to say the USSSA Baseball Program would not be what it is today without Rick Fortuna. He has been a strong guiding hand in the founding, development, guidance, and growth of this very important USSSA program. Rick relates that most exciting event in his USSSA career was seeing the first USSSA World Series take place in 1997.


Dwight Gehring

Dwight Gehring from Hutchinson, KS has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. Thirty two years of umpiring, 21 of those years with USSSA, have made Dwight’s life an umpire’s dream come true. His participation in USSSA events has included 53 world tournaments, 12 divisional championships, the 1988 Men’s Major World Series, the 1989 Women’s World Series, UIC for the Women’s “B”,”C”,”D” and Men’s “C” in 2004, Women “B”,”C” and Men’s “B” in 2003, and UIC for 6 Fast Pitch World Series. He served as Kansas area UIC from 1985-2001, Fun Valley UIC from 1985 to present, and state UIC from 2001-2004. He was the Central Division Representative to the National Rules Committee from 1992-1994 in addition to assisting in numerous nation, state, and local umpires clinics. He was named State Umpire of the Year in 1190, 1993, 1998, and 2000. He received the Director of Officials Award in 1999, and was named Divisional Umpire of Year for the Greater Southwest Division in 2000. Among the most memorable umpiring moments Dwight includes: a boys state tournament where a light pole fell onto the field during the game, a tournament with winds gusting over 80 mph, and girls tournament in Joplin, MO where the locals quartered him and 10 other Kansas in a Baptist College Dorm no tobacco, no alcohol and they all had a great time.


Jeff Hall

Jeff Hall from Gastonia, NC has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Jeff’s 18 year USSSA Career playing USSSA Major Softball has seen him don the uniforms of Steeles Hit Man, Sunbelt/Steeles, Bell Corp, Sunbelt/Bell Corp, Dan Smith/Sunbelt, Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Worth, and Specialty Tank. Although comfortable anywhere on the field, his main position was 1st base. He is a member of the 2006 All-Disney Team. Since the year 200 in the Men’s Major World Series at Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL Jeff has a batting average of .626 on 82 hits, 69 runs, 77 RBI’s, 31 home runs, a nd 140 at-bats. Playing for Specialty Tank in 200, he was named to the USSSA All-Conference Team. Though being named MVP over 20 times and being listed over 50 times to All-Tournament Teams, he states is proudest moment came when he was named Most Valuable Player at the 2000 USSSA World Series. Jeff believes “the game has changed for the good because of USSSA. USSSA stepped up to the plate putting a limit to home runs per game,” allowing class “A”- “AA” teams to compete with the major teams. “Good job USSSA.”


Patrick Kehoe

Patrick Kehoe

Patrick Kehoe from Sodus, NY, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. As a sponsor of USSSA men’s, women’s, and youth softball teams since 1969, over 35 years, Patrick has been his teams time numerous NIT and National Championships. Since 1991 his Men’s Major, “A” and “AA” softball teams have played on the major tournament circuits. His Pace Electronics team traditionally ranks in the top 20 Nationally every year. In the past ten Black American World Tournaments, Pace has won 7 and finished second three times, an unprecedented record. With over 1,000 wins to their credit, Patrick’s teams are respected across the country. He was spent over $500,000 supporting just his men’s teams. Patrick’s proudest moment in his softball career occurred in 1992 in Cleveland at the USSSA Class “A” NIT. Pace not only beat Steeles, the #3 ranked team in the country, but then went on to finish off #1 ranked Bell Corp to win the tournament. He attributes a great measure of the success of his men’s team to the fine leadership of his manager Eugene Williams.


Bob Louria

Bob Louria

Bobby Louria from Dearborn, MI has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. His 29 year USSSA career has seen him play with Custom Wall, Lezotle Builders, Academy Realtors, Murphy Chevrolet, Doughbuoys, Seaway Mechanical, Southgate Merchants, Lakeshore House, Clementes Bar, Miller Auto, Southgate Inn, Southwestern, Sunset Technologies, Bunca, Manitowic Ice, and Peoples Choice TV. His lifetime batting average stands at .580 with over 100 home runs. As a pitcher he pitched 8 one hit games compiled a 4000/300 won list record on the field. His most thrilling moments were winning the class “AA” World Tournament in Kalamazoo, MI in 1990 then going to the Men’s Major World Series finishing fourth. Bobby’s greatest talent was not just pitching. When he stepped on the mound, it was “ShowTime.” unnerving players and entertaining the fans brought him a great deal of personal satisfaction. From cone heads to flames erupting from his glove at he start of a pitch, there is one things Bobby was not, and that was predictable.


Tom Mattes

Tom Mattes from Livonia, MI has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. Tom has been an umpire for 45 years, 34 of those years with the USSSA. Officiating at the World Tournament in 1973, 12 men’s major world series, countless national invitational tournaments, 5 women’s world tournaments, 4 men’s class “A”-“AA” tournaments (as Umpire In Chief) only partially describes his involvements in the USSSA Program. He helped run the home run hitting contest and supplied his expertise to the bat checking process at numerous men’s major world series. He has been Umpire-In-Chief for the state of Michigan for 17 years; he has conducted national, divisional, and state umpire national convention for 15 years, and served on the National Rules Committee for 5 terms. “I have always enjoyed umpiring USSSA softball, whether the game level be class “E” to Major. My primary aim was to always give 110%, never being overbearing while performing my duties…every player listed in the 2004 Men’s Major World Series Almanac as most valuable player, hall of fame player, and manager has participated in a game I officiated.


Colleen Needham

Colleen Needham from Cincinnati, OH has been elected to the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. In her 23 years of coaching and managing teams in the USSSA Colleen has accrued quite an enviable record. In USSSA Adult programs, she has won more World and World Series tournaments than any other coach or manager. She began with Famous Recipe (1982-1985), then Express Chili (1988-1997), Northern Cincinnati Sports Medicine (1994-1999), Cincinnati Pride (1998), TY-1-On (2000-present), and Ohio Cardinals (1999-present). Championships: Women’s “A” World 1986, 1987, and 1988 (1st women’s world series) and runner-up in 1982, 1989, 1990, and 1995. Women’s 35 & Over 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Women’s 50 & Over 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, Women’s 55 & Over 2005, Women’s 45 & Over 2005. Her overall won/loss record in USSSA play is 946 wind to 245 losses for .794. Colleen was awarded the Debeer Sportswoman of the Year Award (non-player category) in 1996. She was named the Greater Cincinnati Coach of the Year in 1988, 1989, and 1990. Her most memorable moments include winning her first World Tournament with Express Chili in Petersburg, VA in 1986, winning the fist Women’s World Series in 1988, coming from behind and beating Cannan’s Illusions in 1995, and getting out of the 7th inning bases loaded with no outs situation, to go again and win the Women’s 35&Over Championship in 1998 in Columbia, SC.


Tammy Totland

Tammy Totland

Tammy Totland from Hutchinson, KS has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. Tammy’s first contact with the USSSA was in 1979 as a player. By 1982 she was an area director, and in 1988 she became the Kansas State Director. She has accomplished numerous awards during her career including: 1990 Central Division Director of the Year, 1992 Central Division Distinguished Service Award of Excellence, 2001 Mel Burtrum Award, and 2003 Midwest Division Director of the Year. Through her career with the USSSA Tammy has grown and matured, staying open minded to new idea and eagerly taking on challenged big and small. From Tammy, “The game of softball is a lifetime sport that we can all participate in and enjoy on a competitive or recreational level. Just like the game of softball, USSSA is a lifetime organization (and) we all need to be open minded enough to make changes for the betterment. Being part of the USSSA organization has allowed me to go placed that I never would be able to see 25 years ago. It has enabled me to meet so many great people that have become a big part of my family.”


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2007


Chuck Fischer

Chuck Fischer

First joining the USSSA in 1980 as an area director, he was appointed as the Kentucky State Youth and Women’s Director in 1986. In 1990 he was appointed Co-State Director with Ed Williams and in 1998 took the position on his own with Ed’s retirement. In 1988 Chuck was named the Great Lakes Director of the Year and in 1999 he received the coveted President’s Award. He hosted and directed the following world tournaments; 1984 Girl’s Slowpitch 18U, 1994 Girl’s Slowpitch 12U, 2001 Men’s 45-Over & Women’s 35-Over, 2002 Women’s Classic “C”, 2002 Military, and 2003 Women’s class “A” World Series. Additionally, he has hosted over 50 National Invitational Tournaments, over 40 State Tournaments, and more than 10 National & Regional tournaments. He served as a director at the fist three super series weekends at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Chuck is perhaps best known through the association for his high profile position as the master of ceremonies for the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, a position held from 1994 through 2007. With his calm demeanor and eloquent delivery he effortlessly guided speakers and inductees through various stages of the induction process. Always a true professional. His absence will not go without notice.


Tom Formosa

Tom Formosa from San Jose, CA has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. Tim has managed the Classic Glass team for 20 plus years while participating in the USSSA program. Most of those years were played at the Class “B” level, but 1996, 1999, and 2000 were played in the Men’s Class “A” program. Besides participating in eight to ten USSSA tournaments annually, Tom also sponsored a Men’s Class “B” NIT in Northern California for the past four years. Under his guidance his team won the California state Championship in 1999 and 2003 and Men’s Class “B” National Championship in 1998 and 2004. It was always his goal to insure his teams were ready to play the best competition whether in WA, OR, NV, KS, MN, DE, MI, NJ, and AZ. He regularly enters his teams in Men’s Major NIT’s again so his team is playing against the best competition available. His reputation is that of a great manager with a very touch team. His 194 wins to 113 loses reflects that. Tom’s teams have always represented classic glass and the USSSA to the opposition, to the fans, and to the communities, in the best way possible.


Brett Helmer

Brett Helmer from Cicero, NY, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. No bio was included for Brett Helmer.


Denny Helmig

Denny Helmig

Denny Helmig from Lima, OH, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. His career in slow pitch began in 1970. He then continued his career from 1972 until 1984 with Steele’s. As well as being a player of Steele’s, in 1978 became co-founder of Steele’s Sports. He is one of the few that have been able to play, manage, and sponsor a team that competed in the Elite USSSA World Series. Here are just a few of the great accomplishments and contributions towards the game. Was President of Steele’s Sports from 1980-1991. He then moved to become Vice-President of Star Sports from 1994- 1996. He began his career with Worth Sports in 1997, and became the Northern Regional Sales Manager in 2006. One of his most memorable moments in softball cam in 1978, with the founding’s of Steele’s Sports Company, and the featured article in Sports Illustrated on the Steele’s softball team.


Leslie Kanter

Leslie Kanter

Leslie Kanter from Tampa, Fl has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category. From 1985 through 1999 Leslie played on some of the best teams in the USSSA Class “A” Women’s Program: Steeles Sports, Canton Softball Center, Lady Blue, UPI and The Shooters. In world series play she won championships in 1989 with Canton Softball Center, 1991, 1992, and 1993 with Lady Blue, and in 1995 with UPI, She recorded runner up finished in 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1997. In overall tournament play she has 45 All Tournament Team selection and 21 Best Defensive Player awards. Teammates and Competitors alike all regard her as a top notch player and a fierce competitor.


Mark Linnemann

Mark Linnemann

Mark Linnemann has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Player, Manager, Umpire, Area Director, State Director, Executive Board Member, all these titles belong to Mark Linnemann. He played in the USSSA program from 1973-1977. He was a team manager in 1978 and then some. He umpired from 1981-1990, 2005-6, and an Area Director in Ohio from 1981-82 and in 1999. He was State Director for Ohio from 1983-1999. Through his leadership the greater Cincinnati Slow Pitch Program grew from 77 teams in 1980 to over 4,000 teams, 250 Umpires and 200 tournaments in 1983 to almost 12,000 teams 1,000 umpires and 750 tournaments in the early nineties. As an Executive Mark was Great Lakes Division Vice President from 1988-1998, a member of the Board of Directors from 1999-2006, Great Lakes Division again from 1999-2000, and an Executive Vice-President from 2000-2007. He has served well on various national committees including: Men’s Major, Men’s Class “AA”-“A”, player list. He was presented the coveted USSSA President’s Award in 1985. His level headed input always sought and valued at the executive level.


Doug Roberson

Doug Roberson

Doug Roberson of Royal Palm Beach, FL has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Doug Roberson won his fist Men’s Major World Series in 1988 with Steele’s Silver Bullets and the following year with Superior-Apollo Softball. He followed that up with back to back wins in 1992-1993 with Ritch’s Superior, and again with team TPS in 1998. He was selected to EHT Men’s Major All-World Team in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1996. At the 1986 Men’s Major World Series, playing for Steele’s Sports he received the Mr. Hustle Award. He tied with Craig Elliot for the most home runs (19) at the 1987 World Series. In World Series play he has 311 at bats, 158 hits, 162 RBI’s, 156 runs, and 82 home runs. His most exciting moment came during the 1992 Men’s Major World Series: Sunday morning in the loser’s bracket, playing 5 straight fames, defeating Williams/Worth for the Championship. “My family came out of the field and hugged me. That was the icing on the cake.”


Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor from Boston, MA has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category. No bio was provided for Bill Taylor.


John Usie

John Usie

John Usie from Breaux, LA has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. John played for Murphy Tauzin in the first USSSA tournament held in New Berlin, WI in 1968, but it was as an umpire that John would make his mark on the association. He has spent 42 years umpiring, 39 of those with the USSSA. He has attended national umpire clinics in 1985 at Pelican Park, 1987 in Austin, TX, 1998 in Baton Rough, 1997 & 2001 in Lafayette. He umpires in several state championships every year. In 1984 he was voted Umpire of the Year for the entire state of Louisiana. In 2000 he was inducted into the Louisiana State USSSA Hall of Fame. He umpired in the 1981 Church World Tournament in Pine Bluff, AR, 1985 Men’s Class “A” at Pelican Park, Lafayette, Louisiana, 1985 Men’s Major World Series in Greensboro, North Carolina; and in 1986 he umpired in the Pee Wee World at Pelican Park, the Men’s Class “B” World in Forth Worth, the Men’s Class “C” in Austin, and the Corporate in Baytown, TX. John says his ultimate umpire experience was “calling the dish” for the final game at the 1985 World Series in Greensboro.


Jeff Wallace

Jeff Wallace

Jeff Wallace from St. Cloud, FL has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. Playing for SoJern/TPS, Pace, Steele’s Sports, Team TPS, Long Haul/TPS, and Resmondo and Smith teams Jeff has racked up some very impressive stats. Since the Men’s Major World Series moved to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL in 2000 Jeff has 15 at bats (6th) 112 hits (1st), 57 home runs (1st), 129 RBI’s (1st), and a batting average of .718 (1st). Winning the Men’s Major World Series in 2007 with Resmondo Softball, in 2006 with Resmondo KME, in 2005 with Resmondo/Smith/Menosse, in 2003 with Resmondo/Hague/Taylor/Sunbelt, in 2001 with Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS, and in 1998 with Team TPS, he was selected to Men’s Major World Series All-Tournament Teams in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He has been selected as MVP for 16 NIT’s, the 2003 World Series, and for the 2006 USSSA Conference. His personal most exciting moment in softball cam in the 2003 World Series playing for Resmondo/Hague/Taylor/Sunbelt coming out of the losers bracket and double-dipping Dan Smith.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2008


Lou Calvisi

Lou Calvisi

Lou Calvisi has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. No bio was provided for Lou Calvisi.


Bill Hensley has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category. No bio or picture was provided for Bill Hensley.


Jason Kendrick

Jason Kendrick has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. No bio was provided for Jason Kendrick.


Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Todd Martin has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. No bio was provided for Todd Martin.


Kevin Naegele

Kevin Naegele

Kevin Neagele has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category. Kevin Neagele became involved in softball in the early 1980’s and at age 22 was elected President of the Hobbs Slow Pitch Softball League. Later, he was appointed USSSA Area Director in Hobbs. In 1987 he was appointed State Director and took the state program from just under 200 teams to over 1,500 teams in a few years. He had been the recipient of several divisional awards and in 1992 was awarded the National President’s Award. In 1996 he was presented in the USSSA/Worth Youth Director of the Year Award, and was honored with the Midwest Division Director of the Year Award in 2000. He was inducted that year into the New Mexico Hall of Fame. During his tenure as State Director, he was instrumental in several of the ideas used today that include the expansion of the NIT System, at-large berths and increasing participation in world tournaments. In 2002 hw was appointed Midwest Division Vice-President and in 2004 he was awarded the USSSA Distinguished Service Award, and for the last five years has been in charge of the Disney Super Series where he supervised the operations of the largest world tournament in USSSA history. In 2006 he was promoted to Executive Vice-President of Slow Pitch Operations for the Western United States and now sits on the National USSSA Board of Directors.


Marie Pesch has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Marie Pesch.


Travis Resmondo has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Travis Resmondo.


Rick Weiterman

Rick Weiterman

Rick Weiterman has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Rick Weiterman.


Gene Williams

Gene Williams

Gene Williams has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for Gene Williams.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2009


Don Clatterbough

Don Clatterbough

Don Clatterbough has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Don Clatterbough.


Jay Criscione has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No photo bio was provided for Jay Criscione.


Dale McGregor

Dale McGregor

Dale McGregor has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

No bio was provided for Dale McGregor.


Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for Jeff Miller.


Joey Odom has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Joey Odom.


Andy Purcell

Andy Purcell

Andy Purcell has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Andy Purcell.


John Rector

John Rector

John Rector has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for John Rector.


Meme Thompson

Meme Thompson

Meme Thompson has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No bio was provided for Meme Thompson.


Gerry Turnberg

Gerry Turnberg

Gerry Turnberg has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Gerry Turnberg.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2010


Charles Beckwell

Charles Beckwell

Charles Beckwell has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

No bio was provided for Charles Beckwell.


Greg Blackburn

Greg Blackburn

Greg Blackburn has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for Greg Blackburn.


Craig Ciandella

Craig Ciandella

Craig Ciandella has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Craig Ciandella.


Cleon Deaner

Cleon Deaner

Cleon Deaner has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No bio was provided for Cleon Deaner.


Chuck Drewicz

Chuck Drewicz

Chuck Drewicz has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for Chuck Drewicz.


Hank Garris

Hank Garris

Hank Garris has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Hank Garris.


Howie Krause has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Howie Krause.


Mike McCarron

Mike McCarron

Mike McCarron has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No bio was provided for Mike McCarron.


Johnny McCraw

Johnny McCraw

Johnny McCraw has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Johnny McCraw.


J.C. Phelps

J.C. Phelps

J.C. Phelps has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for J.C. Phelps.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2011


Dal Beggs

Dal Beggs

Dal Beggs has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Dal Beggs.


Lou Blaha

Lou Blaha

Lou Blaha has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No bio was provided for Lou Blaha.


Corky Carter

Corky Carter

Corky Carter has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

No bio was provided for Corky Carter.


Don Cooper

Don Cooper

Don Cooper has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manufacturer Category.

No bio was provided for Don Cooper.


Craig Elliott has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No picture or bio was provided for Craig Elliott.


David Evaul

David Evaul has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No bio was provided for David Evaul.


Sherri France

Sherri France

Sherri France has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Lynnie France won six World Series Championships: 1995 (MVP) with UPI/TPS, 1998 with UPI/Kinder, 2000 (MVP) with ABP/Kinder Sharks, 2003 with Armstrong Lady Rebels, 2006 with Enough Said/Easton, and 2009 with Kinder Shark.

Her greatest memory is winning her first championship in 1995.

Lynnie most enjoyed playing with and against all of the great athletes and making life-long friendships along the way.


Jimmy Powers

Jimmy Powers

Jimmy Powers has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Jimmy Powers.


Larry Quartuccio

Larry Quartuccio

Larry Quartuccio was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category. He has been a part of USSSA for over 34 years starting as a player and then as a manager. He managed for over 30 years teams that have been at the top of their class in the country. After a Class “B” Regional championship in 1994 he continued on to claim two 2nd place Class “A” World Tournament finishes along with three consecutive USSSA Class “A” World Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. While coaching teams of Northwest Pipe, Bud Light, and Jean Shoppe his teams only fell lower then a #2 National Ranking with USSSA one time from 2005 to 2011.


Frank Webb

Frank Webb

Frank Webb has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No bio was provided for Frank Webb.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2012


Rick Brockwell

Rick Brockwell

Rick Brockwell has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No bio was provided for Rick Brockwell.


Larry Bruschett

Larry Bruschett

Larry Bruschett has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No bio was provided for Larry Bruschett.


Mary Crechiolo Papiersky

Mary Crechiolo Papiersky

Mary Crechiolo Papiersky has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Category.

No bio was provided for Mary Crechiolo Papiersky.


Gordon Glennie

Gordon Glennie

Gordon Glennie has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No bio was provided for Gordon Glennie.


Jeff Hague

Jeff Hague

Jeff Hague has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No bio was provided for Jeff Hague.


Billy Messina

Billy Messina

Billy Messina has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Billy Messina.


Mike Shenk

Mike Shenk

Mike Shenk has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Mike Shenk.


Dave Steffen has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Dave Steffen.


Charles Wright has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Charles Wright.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2013


Cecil Alford has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Cecil Alford.


Larry Carter has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Larry Carter.


Tim Cocco has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Tim Cocco.


Bob Holland has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Bob Holland.


Rick Marz has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Rick Marz.


Robert Parish has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Robert Parish.


Duane Posavetz has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Duane Posavetz.


Mary Jane Ranz has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Mary Jane Ranz.


Scott Stiebel has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Scott Striebel.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014


Dirk Androff has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Dirk Androff.


Tony DeDonatis has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Tony DeDonatis.


John Dye has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

No photo or bio was provided for John Dye.


Ken Franzen has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Ken Franzen.


Coy Honecutt has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Coy Honeycutt.


Bobby Hughes has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Bobby Hughes.


Carl Rose has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Carl Rose.


Doug Stark has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Doug Stark.


Tina Tuck has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Tina Tuck.


Chris Walker has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Chris Walker.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015


Jeff Doricott has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Jeff Doricott.


Bert Frederick has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Bert Frederick.


Caitlin Lowe has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Caitlin Lowe.


Wendell Rickard has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Wendell Rickard.


Denny Rose has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Denny Rose.


Lisa Sanchez has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Lisa Sanchez.


Wayne Williamson has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Wayne Williamson.


Roger Wilson has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Roger Wilson.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016


Jerry Backman has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Jerry Backman.


Don DeDonatis, Jr. has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Don DeDonatis, Jr.


B.J. Fulk has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for B.J. Fulk.


Shaun Marcum has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Shaun Marcum.


Cat Osterman has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Cat Osterman.


Butch Parnes

Butch Parnes

Butch Parnes was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. Butch started umping intramural league softball games in 1968 while attending Michigan State University. He attended Detroit College of Law from 1973-1977. In 1975, with the opening of Softball City, he began to umpire many World and National Tournaments and continued to do so later at Liberty Park. At 27 years old, he was the youngest umpire in the Professional Men’s Slow-Pitch League from1977-1982 working the World Series in Detroit, Philadelphia and Maryland. He has traveled around the country umpiring some 40 Women’s and Men World Series and National Tournaments. He also umpires youth fastpitch games. He was named the Umpire of the Year in the Metro Detroit Softball League in 2005 and 2015 and placed into its Hall of Fame in 2021. He received the Great Lakes USSSA Divisional Umpire Award in 1986 and was inducted into the Michigan USSSA Hall of Fame in 1988. He has umpired every female slow pitch player inducted into the National Hall of Fame.


Herb Price has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Herb Price.


Doug Reed has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Doug Reed.


Pat Ryan has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manufacturer Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Pat Ryan.


Billy Lee Yarbrough has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Billy Lee Yarbrough.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017


Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Scott Brown has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Scott Brown.


Arnie Burke

Arnie Burke

Arnie Burke has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Arnie Burke.


Mike Cornell has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manufacturer Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Mike Cornell.


Scott Kirby

Scott Kirby has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Scott Kirby.


Kelly Kretschman has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No photo or bio was provided for Kelly Kretschman.


Scott Nastally

Scott Nastally has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Scott Nastally.


John Riccio has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No photo or bio was provided for John Riccio.


Saul Simpson

Saul Simpson

Saul Simpson has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

No bio was provided for Saul Simpson.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018


Victor Cordova has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Victor Cordova.


Ken Dirks has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Ken Dirks.


John Kiegley has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for John Kiegley.


Doug Morrison has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Doug Morrison.


Natasha Watley has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No bio was provided for Natasha Watley.


Megan Willis has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No bio was provided for Megan Willis.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019


Christan Dowling has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No bio was provided for Christan Dowling.


Brian Rainwater has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Brian Rainwater.


Doug Berfeldt has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Doug Berfeldt.


Hayes LeMay has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Sponsor Category.

No bio was provided for Hayes LeMay.


Eddie Small has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Eddie Small.


Wally Fortuna has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Wally Fortuna.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020


There was no class of 2020 due to COVID-19.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021


Tracy Bougere has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

No bio was provided for Tracy Bougere.


Chic Downing has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Chic Downing.


Gary Godden has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

No bio was provided for Gary Godden.


Frank Griffin has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Director Category.

No bio was provided for Frank Griffin.


Dennis Turner has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manufacturer Category.

No bio was provided for Dennis Turner.


Brian Wegman has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

No bio was provided for Brian Wegman.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2022


Rick Baker – Slow Pitch Category

Kelly Burke – Special Category

Bob Egr – Director Category

Tiffany Daniels – Female Player Category

Bill Dowell – Director Category

Curtis Williams – Slow Pitch Category

USSSA Hall of Fame 1979-1999

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) was founded as the United States Slow-pitch Softball Association in the spring 1968. Over that last weekend of August 1968 the first USSSA World Softball Tournament was played in West Allis Wisconsin. Over the past 40 years USSSA has grown from a couple of thousand slow-pitch softball players to over 3.5 million participants playing 13 primary sports. In fact, USSSA sanctions teams and individuals in 38 sports.

USSSA’s first decade was a turbulent one. USSSA led the charge to allow amateur athletes to play slow-pitch softball in whatever league or association they wished. People playing softball, and now playing many other sports, is what USSSA has always been about and has served as a foundation for its continued growth.

In the eighties USSSA grew by leaps and bounds. USSSA purchased a building in Petersburg, Virginia for its National Headquarters and Hall of Fame Museum. By the end of the decade USSSA membership had surpassed 100,000 teams and USSSA toured the world to promote softball, sportsmanship, and good will.

The nineties were the best and the worst of times for USSSA. The association continued to grow, however softball was decreasing in popularity. The various associations were cannibalizing each other in order to inflate their team registration numbers. In 1998 USSSA suffers a tragic loss when its longtime CEO Edgar “Al” Ramsey III passes away. The Board of Directors, immediately named the Assistant Executive Director, Don DeDonatis, as the new CEO. DeDonatis initiated sweeping changes. The changes included branching out into sports other than softball. By the end of the nineties USSSA had grown to over 1.6 million participants, with 300,000 being non slow-pitch softball.

In March 2003 USSSA moved its national headquarters from Virginia to Osceola County, Florida. This move has benefited USSSA and Osceola County in many positive ways. In 2007 USSSA had over 3.5 million participants and is solely responsible for 58,044 room nights in Central Florida, of which 45,307 room nights are in Osceola County. This means millions of dollars in positive economic impact to the region.

Currently, USSSA nationally governs 13 amateur sports. Slow-pitch softball, baseball, fast-pitch softball, and basketball athletes make up approximately 90% of USSSA’s membership. The remaining 9 sports account for over 350,000 registrations in USSSA, including Tae Kwan Do and Soccer, two sports that USSSA holds events in Osceola County. Over the past ten years USSSA has not failed to increase its year to year membership. In fact, for all but 3 of those 10 years USSSA’s membership has grown by over 10% per year.

USSSA Hall of Fame and Museum
611 Line Drive
Kissimmee, Florida 34744
Website: http://hof.usssa.com/

Below are the members from 1979 – 1999.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1979


Floyd Salter

Floyd Salter, the man credited with writing the USSSA Rule Book, was the fist person inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

A native to Rochester New York, Salter was appointed as USSSA National Umpire-In-Chief in 1970.

Salter established the National Umpires Clinic that is held annually in each division.

He has traveled to numerous states conducting umpires’ clinics and promoting the USSSA Umpire Program. Under Salter’s direction, umpires registration increased from 1,000 to over 10,000.

His continuing efforts have produced many benefits that are enjoyed by umpires serving in their position today.

In 1978, Salter earned the USSSA Executive Board President’s Award, the same year he was elected into the Hall of Fame.

As Umpire-In-Chief, Salter handled the administrative duties for the National Umpires Program, each year he personally supervised the umpires assigned to the World Series.

Salter, serving as Chairman, has been a key member of the National Playing Rules Committee. He has served on the Executive Board of the association for many years.


Jim Snyder

Jim Snyder, who built the strongest softball team in the nation during the mid 70’s and won back-to-back USSSA World Championships, was the first person elected to the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

A native of Novi, Michigan, Snyder’s team captured the USSSA World Series in 1975 at Rochester, New York and again in 1979 at Wyandotte, Michigan.

This string of world titles was broken the following year when they were runner-up in Petersburg, Virginia.

Snyder’s was known as a playing champion and toured the country, proudly displaying the USSSA banner.

Snyder refused to bend to the pressure of professional softball, although he lost many of his top stars to the pro circuit.

Believing amateur softball is the way the game should be played, Snyder fielded a team for more than 25 years out of Detroit.

Snyder’s team always displayed class and Jim Snyder became known as a goodwill ambassador for softball and the USSSA.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1980


Carl Drewicz, who served on the National Umpire’s Clinic Committee, Hall of Fame Committee, and National Playing Rules Committee, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. No picture of Carl was provided.


A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Drewicz was Wisconsin Umpire-In-Chief from 1973-79 and held clinics in the state each year.

His guidance and hard work in the pioneer years of the association played a big part in the success of the umpire’s program.

He attended national umpire clinics in Las Vegas, Nevada; Williamsburg, Virginia; Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida.

Drewicz worked class “A” Men’s World Tournaments in Southgate Michigan; Rochester, New York; Petersburg, Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

He umpired in World Industrial Tournaments in Milwaukee, Louisville and Niagara Falls.

He worked the Class “B” Men’s World in Petersburg, Virginia and Women’s Class “B” in Beloit, Wisconsin.


Duane McCoy

Duane McCoy, who led his women teams to a pair of World Championships and carried them to 10 straight Class “A” World Tournaments, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

A native of Rochester, New York, McCoy’s fighting green and gold won the 1972 Women’s World in Rochester, New York, playing under the Muxworthy’s sponsorship.

His team turned the trick again in 1977, winning in Detroit, Michigan, under the Pace Banner.

They were second at Southgate , Michigan in 1978.

Under McCoy, the Rochester team compiled 629-98 record during a 10 year period and was the most consistent women’s softball team in the nation.

McCoy will always be remembered for his contribution to the Women’s program.

Due to his efforts, hundreds of young women have enjoyed the game of softball as it should be enjoyed.


James Mortl

James Mortl, the Most Valuable Player in the first USSSA Slo-Pitch Softball Association World Series, was the first male player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mortl was a slick fielding second baseman and pressure hitter.

James was known as a singles and doubles hitter who could go all the fields with accuracy.

He was named most valuable player in the 1970 World Series at Las Vegas, Nevada when his Accurate Welding Team of Milwaukee captured the World Championship.

Mortl carried a .66 career batting average and played competitive softball for 16 years.

Along with Accurate Welding, Mortl played for Marasco’s, Transport Oil, Libby’s, Thoma’s and Ashes; all Wisconsin teams.

Mortl played in eight national or world tournaments and was named All-State, All-Tournament, and All World numerous times.


Edgar “Al” Ramsey III

Al Ramsey, who served eight terms as President of the United States Slow-Pitch Softball Association and its first Executive Director, was the first person inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Ramsey’s strong leadership and organizational skills were major factors in the survival and astronomical growth of the USSSA. Ramsey began his career with USSSA as Virginias State Director in 1969.

In 1970, he was appointed Regional Vice-President and assumed the office of National President one year later.

He held the position of National President and Chairman of the Executive Board for eight consecutive years. His outstanding performance in this capacity will always be remembered.

Ramsey was named Executive Director of the Association in 1979.

His love for the game and dedication to the softball association are reflected in his long hours and many miles traveled promoting USSSA.

Ramsey’s insight was instrumental in numerous progressive rule changes and in the development of new programs.

His recruiting efforts, training programs and interest in all aspects of the program have been felt by every state in the association.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1981


Frank Ciaccia

Frank Ciaccia, an original pioneer of the USSSA whose steady influence and wise decisions helped mold the organization was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association in the Executive Category.

A native of Rochester, New York, Ciaccia has given countless hours of work and devotion to assure the success of the USSSA.

Ciaccia attended the organizational meeting to form the USSSA and was named its first National Treasurer in 1968.

He was named Regional Vice-President in 1970 and was elected Eastern Division Executive Vice-President in 1971.

Under his direction, New York was the fist state to register 1,000 teams with the association. He earned the President’s Award in 1976.

In 1979, Ciaccia was elected to serve a two-year term as President of the USSSA.

As Chairman of the National Hall of Fame Fund Raising Committee, Ciaciaa was instrumental in making the Hall of Fame and National Headquarters building a reality.

Ciaccia has stood as a cornerstone in the success of the USSSA.


Virginia Johnson

Jenny Johnson, setting the standard for others to try to follow, was the first person inducted in the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Female player Category.

An outstanding defensive shortstop and pressure hitter, Johnson was named Most Valuable Player as Sweeney’s Chevrolet of Cincinnati captured the Women’s Class “A” World Championship in 1976.

A College Teacher, Coach and Athletic Director as Franklin College in Indiana, Johnson was the premier female player in the early years of USSSA.

Her class on and off the field earned the admiration of fellow players and coaches.

One of the all time greats ever to play in the Women’s Program, Johnson won many Golden Glove Awards in National and World Tournaments.

She proudly has maintained a .500 lifetime batting average.

Named All-World and All-tournament numerous times, Johnson turned her love for the game into enjoyment for others to watch.


Donald McNew

Dean McNew, who overcame childhood blindness to become a standout athlete and veteran umpire, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

A native of West Virginia, McNew established residence in Virginia in 1973 and became Tri-City Area Umpire-In-Chief, a position he held for three years.

In 1997, McNew was appointed Massachusetts State Umpire-In-Chief until 1979 at which time he became the USSSA Massachusetts Sate Director.

In 1980, McNew was appointed USSSA Regional Vice-President in charge of the New England States.

McNew served as a member of the National Playing Rules Committee from 1975-1980.

He has conducted umpire clinics throughout the New England States and on four difference occasions he conducted the USSSA National Umpires Clinic.

McNew umpired in two divisional tournaments and eight world tournaments, including the 1976 Major World Series.

The outstanding official was rated the top Virginia Umpire from 1973-76 and the Top Massachusetts Umpire from 1977-1981.

McNew’s outstanding performance has been instrumental in developing a string and efficient umpires program in New England.

His efforts will be felt for many years to come.


Frank Taccone

Frank Taccone, knows as the “Babe Ruth of Softball,” was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

The outstanding performer was one of the early pioneers in the USSSA program.

Taccone, who earned All-World Honors in 1973 in Detroit, Michigan and in 1974 at Pinole, California was a member of the Mazzola-Castle Team that won the World Series in 1977 at Petersburg, Virginia.

A big man who tipped the scales over 300 pounds, Taccone also played for Roger’s Inn, Al’s Tavern, Pace, Mazzola Insurance, and the DuPont Industrial team.

Taccone complied a .500 plus lifetime batting average and belted over 600 home runs in USSSA play.

His home run totals were cut short due to the short summers and cold weather in Rochester.

Taccone recorded over 200 wins as a pitcher in national play. His tape-measure home runs always kept in the lineup.

When not pitching, he saw action as a catcher or first baseman.


Gregory Vitto

Gary Vitto, a ball of fire on the softball field who earned a reputation for getting the maximum out of his players, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

A native of Warren Michigan, Vitto moved into the spotlight when his Dino’s team of Detroit won the Eastern Division title in 1972.

His team was runner-up in the 1973 World Series and went all the way in 1974, winning the World Series in Pinole, California.

Playing under the Uniroyal sponsorship, Vitto’s teams earned berths to the World Series again in 1975 and 1976.

Vitto’s teams compiled an impressive 73-11 record in national and world tournaments.

Vitto, known for this managerial strategy, during his career gained the respect of everyone and was considered as one of the all time greats ever to manage a club.

Vitto later managed in the professional softball ranks before retiring.


Elby Bushong, Jr.

Elby “Boom-Boom” Bushong, known for his high-step home runs, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A Native of Phenix, Arizona, Bushong was a member of the USSSA Men’s Class “A” World Champion Campbell’s Carpets of Concord, California in 1980.

Bushong played his first World Series in 1974 and was Co-Home Run Leader.

Bushong has played in eight USSSA World Series. He was a member of the K-Club USSSA National 16-inch World Champion in 1977.

Bushong, who has been selected as a member of the Arizona All-State Team none times, was a member of the All-World team twice.

He has been on several division all-tournament teams.

A former professional baseball player and College All-American, Bushong has a .650 career batting average with over 1,500 home runs in USSSA tournaments.

Bushong hits for power and average and always did a good job on defense, his main position was first base; however, during his career, he played every position but shortstop and pitcher.

Everyone who has some contact with Bushong on the field admits he is a true hall of famer.


Jim Davis

Jim Davis, a veteran umpire and Missouri Umpire-In-Chief, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category. Davis attended national umpire clinics in Orlando, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Dan Francisco, California; Freeport, Bahamas, and Nashville, Tennessee.

He traveled throughout the central division conducting umpire’s clinics and promoting the program.

Under his leadership, the number of registered umpires has grown steadily in Missouri and his division.

Davis has officiated in eight national or divisional tournaments. He has served on the National Playing Rules Committee for many years.

He has also served in the capacity of Central Division Umpire-In-Chief.

Davis has always been respected for is articulate viewpoints concerning the playing rules and umpire’s programs.

Such viewpoints have been a great asset to the USSSA.


Gerald Ellis

Jerry Ellis, whose sound financial judgment and inclusive thinking were instrumental in the early success of the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

A native of Colonial Heights, Virginia, Ellis was named as Area Director in Virginia in 1970. He assumed the National Secretary-Treasurer duties that same year.

In 1971, Ellis was appointed to the Executive Board of the association. His strong performance as Executive Board member has been a tremendous asset to the successful operation of the USSSA.

Ellis served as Secretary-Treasurer until 1979 when growth of the association necessitated a division of the positions.

Ellis was then named controller of the USSSA, In 1981, Ellis was also elected to a two-year term as presided of the United States Slow-Pitch Softball Association.

Ellis who served on numerous major committees of the association, many of which he was Chairman, has been one of the strongest committee performers the association has ever had.

Ellis received the President’s Award in 1977 for his outstanding work.


Robert Mueller

Bob Muller, one of the original founders and first President of the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association, was the fist person inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mueller called a meeting in Covington, Kentucky in 1967 to form a new softball association.

Mueller was elected President at the second meeting of the USSSA and held the position from 1967-71.

Mueller led the association through many hard times with little financial support.

During that period, his aggressive personality and unusual characteristics allowed the USSSA to survive and become the association it is today.

As President, Mueller introduced the logo, bearing USSSA NO. 1, that is still used today.

Mueller guided the USSSA through what he called the Rocky Phase 1 period of the association.

Because of his hard work, the USSSA was able to survive against tremendous odds and have the chance to develop into what it is today.


Patricia Schmitt

Patty Schmitt, twice named All-World when her team captured the Women’s Class “A” World Championship, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A native to Rochester, NY, the power-hitting catcher compiled a .510 lifetime batting average with over 80 homeruns.

During her career, Schmitt was one of the most feared batters ever to play in the Women’s Program.

Schmitt played for Muxworthy’s, Pace and Wintonaire, all of Rochester.

Muxworthy’s won the World Title in 1972 and Pace won in 1977.

Schmitt played with the fighting green and gold out for Rochester from 1969-79 and the team was consistent national women’s power.

Along with catching, Schmitt also played outfield and first base and compiled an 18-0 record as a pitcher.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1983


Glenn Eichelberger

Glenn “Ike” Eichelberger, a power hitter with consistency, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association in the Male Player Category.

A native of Rochester, New York, Eichelberger played for the 1977 World Champion Mazzola-Castle in the World Series in Petersburg, Virginia.

With a .610 life-time batting average, Eichelberger played for Al Green Tavern, Pace, Mazzola-Castle, All of Rochester, and Uni-Royal of Detroit, Michigan.

An outfielder, catcher, and pitcher, he played in a dozen national or world tournaments, including the World Series four times, at Petersburg, Virginia; Rochester, New York; Wyandotte, Michigan; and Pinole, California.

Eichelberger was named the USSSA All-World team four different times.

This outstanding player was one of the toughest outs in the game.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1984


Cal Carmen

Colorful Cal Carmen, who played for two USSSA World Championship teams and always drew a crowd to the ball park with his hustle and antics, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Carmen was a center figure for Dino’s and Uniroyal during the 1970’s, and then helped Mazzola-Castle of Rochester to a World Series Title.

With consistent chatter and a bird-like whistle, Carmen had a way of taking reams out of their game plan.

He often played first base, within a few feet of the opposing batter.

Carmen was not only colorful, but compiled a .622 life time batting average and belted over 575 home runs in Major USSSA Tournaments.

He played five USSSA World Series and five Divisional or World Tournaments, earning All-Tournament honors in six of the events and twice taking MVP.

Carmen played in the Detroit Tigers’ Baseball Organization as a pitcher before turning to softball.

“He was loved or hated by the fans, but either was they cam to see him play the game,” one newspaper once said.


Linda Mueller

Linda Mueller, who made a habit of playing in USSSA Women’s World Tournaments, was inducted in the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall Of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A native of Warren, Michigan, Mueller played for Beaumont of Royal Oak, Little Caesars of Detroit, All-Sport Uniforms of Berkley and All-Sports Uniforms of East Detroit.

A left-handed spray hitter, Mueller spend most of her career at second base, but also played other infield positions.

Mueller led Beaumont to the finals of the 1974 Women’s World Tournament and was a member of the USSSA World Championship Little Caesars in 1984.

She played in eight USSSA Women’s Class “A” World Tournaments.

A physical education teacher and coach at Royal Oak Shrine High School, Mueller earned respect from her opposition for her character on and off the ball field.

She compiled a near .500 batting average.


Gary Wallick

Gary Wallick, the man responsible for building the USSSA program in the west, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

A resident of Arcadia, California, Wallick managed a team in the first USSSA tournament, played in 1968 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He was named Los Angeles Area Director and California State Director that year. Wallick advanced to Regional Vice-President in 1972.

In addition, Wallick was elected in 1983 to serve a two-year term as President of the USSSA.

This longtime USSSA pioneer was honored in 1980 when he was the recipient of the President’s Award in the Executive Board Category.

In the early years of the association, Wallick was responsible for all the territory west of the Mississippi, traveling many miles to establish USSSA state programs, Wallick helped develop a solid division in the West.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1985


Richard Bartel

Dick Bartel, who earned the nickname “rocketman” for his strong arm and powerful homeruns, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Bartel, who was named the Men’s Major All-World Team four times, played for Campbell’s Carpets when they won the World Series in 1980 and for Howards’s Western Steer when they claimed the USSSA World Crown in 1981.

The San Antonio, Texas native also played for Anchor Lounge, Ray Carpenter, Taylor Brothers, and C.C. Brick & Lumber.

With a .680 lifetime batting average, Bartel was known for his hitting in the clutch and was always his best in the USSSA World Series.

During his career the tall Texan was selected Tournament MVP numerous times as well as being selected on All-Tournament teams.

Bartle, who established himself as a true slowpitch superstar for his great ability with the bat, his tremendous “rocket arm” and great speed in the outfield was always able to maintain his humble and gracious attitude toward sponsors, players, and fans.

Bartel was always respected by his teammates and opponents alike, such respect was not confined to his ability to play softball, but included his great love for people and the game of softball.


Dottie Davis

Dottie Davis, an original member of the Little Caesars Softball Team that won four World Championships, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Davis was named Most Valuable Player in 1984 when Little Caesars on its record fourth Women’s Class “A” World Championship.

She also led the Detroit, Michigan Powerhouse to World Titles in 1978, 1979, and 1983.

Called “Doctor D” for her outstanding defense, Davis broke into big-time women’s softball in 1974 with Beaumont Hospital as they finished second in the World.

A veteran outfielder from Milan, Michigan was always respected for her great hitting power to right field.

With a career .550 batting average, Davis earned numerous ALL-Tournament and All-World Honors.

Along with playing in 10 straight USSSA Women’s Class “A” World Tournaments, Davis also helped her mixed softball team to several National Championships.


J. Larry Palmer

J. Larry Palmer, respected General Legal Counsel for the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Game in the Special Category. Paler was appointed USSSA General Counsel in 1971.

In the early 1070’s he led the USSSA through a series of battles in federal court against the Amateur Softball Association.

The major lawsuit, which resulted in a complete victory for USSSA, opened the door for the thousands of teams to become members of USSSA.

ASA lawsuit took over 3 1/2 years very concentrated legal time and a measure of personal devotion that took much time from Palmer’s private law practice.

Palmer served without compensation as General Counsel for approximately 10 years.

His love for USSSA and its leaders and his belief that it was knowledge of the game of softball that has been beneficial in other areas of the USSSA business as they related to legal issues.

The attorney from Hopewell, Virginia was awarded the coveted USSSA President’s Award in 1975.

As a member of the USSSA Executive Board, Palmer has helped to give direction to the growth of the USSSA program, has acted as a arbitrator for disputes, has served on many committees and has acted as association Parliamentarian.

Palmer was instrumental in establishing the original equipment licensing agreements with national sporting goods manufacturers.

In November of 1985, Palmer was elected to serve a two- year term as a National President of the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association.


Ronald Whittleton

Ron Whittleton, who compiled an impressive 717-199 record and led Capitol Insulation of North Hollywood, CA to eleven appearances in the Men’s World Series, was inducted in the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

Under Whittleton’s direction, Capitol was the dominate team on the west coast for more than a decade, winning four State Championships and four Western Division Crowns.

His record as manager included over 60 tournament championships.

Capital won the hearts of fans at the 1983 and 1985 World Series, finishing second and third in the biggest even in softball, upsetting teams with biggest names players and budgets.

Whittleton was credited with getting the most from his team and earned respect by repeatedly returning to the World Series with a competitive ball club after losing players to larger sponsors.

Along with serving as manager, Whittleton recorded over 700 mound victories and compiled a .600 lifetime batting average.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1986


Alfred Ciaccia

Al Ciaccia, one of the early founders of the USSSA, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association in the Executive category.

Ciaccia, who spent as a Regional Vice-President from 1971 to 1984, was promoted to Eastern Division Executive Vice-President 1985.

Known as a stable force in the USSSA, Ciaccia was recognized for his unique ability to listen to teams, umpires and players and his efforts to improve the game of Slow-Pitch Softball.

Ciaccia joined the softball association during the difficulty years and stuck with the USSSA through thick and thin.

One of the longest veterans in service to the USSSA, Ciaccia never looked for the headlines, but worked long hours promoting the goals of the USSSA.


Jacqueline Huggins

Jackie Huggins, who was selected five times to the USSSA Women’s Class “A” All-World Team, was inducted into the he United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Huggins helped the Stingers and Little Caesars to three USSSA Women’s World Championships.

Huggins, a consistent line drive hitter with a .493 lifetime batting average, earned numerous Golden Glove Awards for the defensive ability at first base.

She won her first All-World Honor in 1971 and claimed the Award again in 1984 an 1985.

Huggins played for 14 years before winning her first World Title with the Stingers in 1980.

She was a key figure in Little Caesars winning World Titles in 1983 and 1984.


Dennis Joseph Seymour, Jr.

Dennis Joseph Seymour, Jr.

Joe Seymour, who cracked several thousand home runs in a career that included five trips to the USSSA World Series, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame in the Male Category.

An old country boy from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Seymour won over 100 MVP and All Tournament awards during his distinguished career.

Seymour played for Southwestern Millrights, Williams Billiards, Candy Man Bombers, Lenior Tire, and Poundexter Lumber.

Although he hails from the state that produced many great softball teams and players, Seymour was he first person from North Carolina inducted in to the USSSA Hall of Fame.

Seymour started his career in the infield and played every position before retiring.

He compiled a .629 lifetime batting average.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1987


Don Arndt

Don Arndt, a legend in his own time led Howard’s a pair of USSSA Men’s Major World Series Championships, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A native of Denver, North Carolina, Arndt gave new meaning to the term old pro by playing at the major level well past his 50th birthday.

He handled pitching and catching chores.

With more than 6,000 career home runs and .600 plus batting average, Arndt was named to the All-World Team four times.

He enjoyed World Championships in 1978 and 1981.

A 6-foot-5, 240 pound was a clutch performer who batted a record .846 at the 1983 World Series.

Playing his entire career with Howard’s, Arndt also competed in the mixed and mater’s programs with equal success.


Linda McCoy

Linda McCoy

Linda McCoy, who led Pace to the Women’s Class “A” World Title in 1977, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A native of Rochester, NY, McCoy collected over 1,000 career hits during her long career.

During McCoy’s hay day, her famous fighting green and gold team was a consistent national contender, winning once and finishing second twice during a four year span.

McCoy was named to the Women’s All-World Team three times.

A line-drive hitter, McCoy started out as a tough defensive outfielder and played in nine USSSA World Tournaments.

McCoy took a brief retirement from softball to have a child, but returned to collect her 1,000th hit.

She joins her husband Duane McCoy, who was inducted in the Manager Category, as the first husband-and-wife team in the USSSA Hall of Fame.


Buddy Secrist

Buddy Secrist

The late Buddy Secrist, who was selected four times to the Umpire at the USSSA World Series, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

Secrist, who died of cancer in 1983, was Mr. Softball in the western mountains of Virginia.

Although his outstanding career was cut short at age 45 by his unfortunate early death, Secrist left his mark on USSSA Softball.

A native of the little mountain town of Buena Vista, Virginia, Secrist umpired at four Men’s Major World Series, Eight World Tournaments, Several Divisional Tournaments and over a dozed NIT’s.

He once said his greatest thrill as an official came in 1974 when he was picked to work the plate for the championship game of the World Series at Pinole, California.

Along with umpiring, Secrist served as Assistant State Director in Virginia and coached a boy’s youth team.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1988


Michael Cellura

Michael Cellura

Mike Cellura, a standout all-around athlete who competed in the Men’s Major World Series 11 times and was named the All-World Team six times, was inducted in to the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A native of Panorama City, California, Cellura played from coast-to-coast and enjoyed winning a pair of World Championships.

He played for Capitol, Campbell’s Carpet, Jerry’s Caters, Howard’s Western Steer, and Broken Drum.

Cellura batted over .600 at the World Series seven different times and is remembered for is line drive hits and homeruns.

Cellura blasted over 1,00 home runs in tournament play.

A solid outfielder with a strong arm, the west coast product was always tough in a clutch.


Jan Deters

Janet Deters

Jan Deters, who led Empress Chili of Cincinnati, Ohio to a record three straight World Champions, was inducted in to the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A veteran of ten trips to the USSSA Women’s Class “A” World Tournament, Deters earned a spot on the Women’s All-World Team seven times during her long career.

Playing at the top competitive level past age 40, this surprising athlete celebrated winning the first USSSA Women World Series at age 39.

She posted the highest batting average at the 1982 World Tournament and was frequently recognized for her team play and attitude.

She took great pride in advancing runners.

Deters started her career as an outfielder and later handled catching chores for Empress Chili.


Richard Howard

Richard Howard

Richard Howard, a man who truly loves softball and sponsored teams for more than 25 years, was indicted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

Under his sponsorship, his teams captured the Men’s World Series Championships in 1978 and again in 1981. When his team joined USSSA in the 70’s the moved paved the was for other teams to follow.

The popular North Carolina native, who put Denver, North Carolina on the map, was a loyal supporter of USSSA.

While best known for is powerhouse men’s major teams, he also sponsored teams in women’s, mixed and masters play.

Remembered as on of the game’s top all-time sponsors, Mr. Howard had a tremendous impact on the game of slow pitch softball.


Joseph Nucci

Joseph Nucci

Joe Nucci, a colorful fighter from New York who always found a way to get the most out of his ball club, was inducted into the USSSA Hall Of Fame in the Manager Category.

The highlight of Nucci’s career came in 1977 when his Mazzola-Castle team of Rochester, NY, pulled a stunning upset to capture the Men’s Major World Series Championship.

Nucci managed one of the fist teams to cross the boarder and compete with the USSSA.

He constantly had a team ranked in the top ten and traveled the country to play in NIT’s.

His teams are remembered more for guts and pride than overall talent.

Nucci enjoyed more than 600 victories in big tournaments.

The spirited Nucci gave umpires and opposing coaches all they wanted and more, but he gained respect as a fierce competitor who knew how to win.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1989


Bruce Meade

Bruce Meade

Bruce Meade, who made a career of winning World Series Championships, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A native of Bradenton, Florida, Meade led six teams to World Titles was named to the All-World team a record of eight times.

With a .725 career batting average and over 2,000 home runs in USSSA Tournament play, the six-foot-six, 270 pounder known for a handlebar mustache, has set standings for the others to follow.

Meade won World Championships with Nelson’s of Oklahoma City Jerry’s Caterers of Miami, Florida; Elite Coating of Gordon, Georgia; and Smythe Sox of Huston, Texas.

He also played for Dave Carroll Sports and Ken Michaels during his career.

A true gentleman on and off the field, Meade always brings out the best in his teammates.

His towering home runs, one tape measure shot over 500-foot, have long been the talk of softball fans around the nation.

Meade established World Series records and batting over .700 every season in the Major Program.


Susan Ridell-Mitchell

Susan Ridell-Mitchell

Sue Ridell-Mitchell, a standout shortstop who played her entire career with the Stingers of Detroit, Michigan, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

The outstanding defensive player led the Stingers to a pair of World Championships.

She enjoyed winning the Women’s Class “A” World with the real estate one Stingers in 1975 and again in 1980 with the Taylor Sporting Good Stingers.

Playing in the top level of the Women’s program for 20 years, Ridell-Mitchell was twice named to the All-World Team.

She thrived on good competition and her defensive skills kept the stingers in many ball games.

A true team player, Ridell-Mitchell compiled a .375 career batting average.

She displayed her best in pressure situations and always played to win, earning numerous All-Tournament Awards.


Frederick Schlueter, Jr.

Frederick Schlueter, Jr.

The late Fred Schlueter who directed the old central division to new heights, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Schlueter joined the USSSA in 1973 as Wisconsin State Director.

He worked full-time softball for 10 years and battled for the association until his final day, June 14, 1988, when he lost his last bout to cancer.

Starting with only 226 teams, Schlueter helped the central division reach 25,000 teams, the largest division in the USSSA.

Twice a winner of the President’s Award, in 1977 for Directors and in 1984 for executive board service.

Schlueter was Northern Regional President at the time of his death.

Known for his strong opinions and spirited exchanges, Schlueter never backed down from the debate.

He ruled with an iron fist and assembled a solid core of state directors who produced record numbers.

Schlueter will long be remembered for is promotion and directorship of outstanding national invitational tournaments in Wisconsin.

His True love was the women’s program.

Today the MVP award in the women’s world cup series is call the Fred Schlueter, Jr. MVP Award in his honor.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1990


Kaye Gilbert

Kaye Gilbert

Kaye Gilbert, who played her best softball during 18 trips to the USSSA Class “A” World, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association in the Female Player Category.

She led the Virginia Belles of Chesterfield, Virginia to the Women’s Class “A” National Title in 1989 and the World Championship in 1981.

She was named to the All-World Team four times and to the USSSA Virginia All-State Team a dozen times.

She was selected as a member of the 1990 Women’s Soviet Tour Team and played a vital role in the success of the historic trip.

Gilbert started her long career with the Dinwiddie Diamonds, later moved to the green berets, before joining the Belles.

She played for a record 11 Virginia USSSA Women’s State Championship Teams and takes pride in the fact she has missed only one USSSA Women’s World Tournament during her career, when she skipped the 1975 season to have her son, Dennis.

With a .571 career batting average, she is a singles hitter with sneaky power. She thrives on pressure trips to the plate.

In addition to the Women’s program, Gilbert has coached an played in every USSSA Mixed Hall of Fame Tournament in Petersburg, where she met her husband, Denny.


Dennis Larson

Dennis Larson

Denny Larson, who tested both batters and umpires with his unique pitching style, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association in the Male Player Category.

A veteran Massachusetts hurler compiled a 627-103 mound record over an 11-year period before his induction into the Hall of Fame.

Larson played for Stylists, Loring Construction, Ye Old Liquor Cabinet, Tippy’s, E.J. Alex Construction and Cassidy & Lee, All Action, MA.

A tricky pitcher who fired away from behind his back and between his legs, he led his teams to the Massachusetts Class C USSSA State Titles in 1983 and 1987.

When he went to the plate, Larson hit the ball on a line and compiled a .540 career batting average.

Despite testing umpires, Larson made a true “impact” on New England USSSA Softball.


James McCarron

James McCarron

Jim McCarron, Eastern Region Umpire-In-Chief, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association in the Umpire Category.

The Colonial Heights, Virginia resident was named Virginia State Umpire-In-Chief in 1978, was appointed Southern Division U-I-C in 1982, and assumed the Eastern Region U-I-C position five years later.

He twice worked the Men’s Major World Series, officiated at three Women’s Class “A” World Tournaments and two Men’s Class “A” Worlds.

He worked more than a dozen divisional and world events, numerous NIT’s and state tournaments.

A long-tern member of the National Playing Rules Committee, McCarron edited and help produce the fist USSSA Umpires Case Book in 1981.

A distinguished seminar speaker, this Virginian conducted or assisted in many national umpire clinics, divisional meetings, and the raining seminar at national headquarters.

He was given clinics in eight states and received the National Umpires Chief’s Award in 1983.

In addition to umpiring, McCarron has served as an Area Director and Assistant State Director in Virginia and has directed many local and state tournaments.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1991


Lynn Gendron

Lynn Gendron

Lynn Putnam Gendron, who was named to the Women’s Class “A” All-World Team eight times, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Gendron led four teams to USSSA World Championships and was named MVP at the 1980 World. She started playing in the Women’s “A” World Team at age 16.

Starting in the USSSA youth program Gendron played slo-pitch softball for over 20 years.

She was ranked as one of the best outfielders in the game for more that a dozen years and moved to first base later in her career.

She celebrated World Titles with the Taylor Sporting Goods Stingers in 1980, with Little Caesars in 1983-84, and with Canton Softball Center in 1989.

She also has played for a Mixed World Champion and is a regular in the co-ed program.

With a .575 career batting average, Gendron sprayed the batt to all fields, but also hit with power.

Know as “Putter”, she was named USSSA Sports Woman of the Year in 1980.

She was selected as a member of Team USSSA for the historic tour of the Soviet Union in 1990.


Leroy "Dick" Hoover

Leroy “Dick” Hoover

Leroy “Dick” Hoover, a third base coach for more than 25 years in the Louisville Area, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

The 70-year-old coach was a long-term fixture in Louisville coaching circles and carries 12 straight teams to USSSA World Tournament play between 1967 and 1980.

He coached in the first USSSA tournament in 1968 in Milwaukee.

After a successful career in fast-pitch, Hoover started coaching third base for the Louisville Firefighters in 1975.

He also coached for Sullivan Executives, Silver Heights, and Burger Queen before joining the Knights of St. John.

A Staunch USSSA supporters, this “unknown soldier” drew praise for his third base coaching abilities during his span with the Knights, a loyal USSSA team from day one.

A coach with over 40 years of softball experience, Hoover also coached third base for Kentucky Bourbons in the old professional league.

He was regarded as the best in the business.

Hoover organized the first old timers game in St. Denis, Kentucky and promoted the USSSA in its infancy.

Despite his years, Hoover continued his “great hustle” and confidence in the third base coaching box late in his career.


Andy Santillo

Andy Santillo

Andy Santillo, a smooth fielding shortstop who led Mazzola-Castle to the World Championship in 1977, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Santillo, a 6-foot, 190 pounder, was Mazzola’s team captain and defensive leader.

With Santillo at short, Mazzola participated in the USSSA World Series four times between 1974-78.

Santillo played in nine World Tournaments over a ten year span and was named to the All-World Team three times, in 1973, 1975, and 1978.

The Rochester native played in the very first USSSA tournament in 1968 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and his team stayed loyal to the USSSA program.

He compiled a .599 batting average in the World Tournament play, tops in the nation for players at his position in his era.

While Santillo came through in the clutch at bat, it was his defense skills that kept the New York team competitive.

He compiles a .944 fielding average with 1,941 putouts and 3,084 assists out of 5,484 chances.

During his ten year playing career with the USSSA, Santillo compiles a .55 lifetime batter average with 1,600 career hits.


Ed Williams

Ed Williams

Ed Williams who has a long memory, big heart, and enough determination to finish any job was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

One of the two remaining pioneers who attended the first meeting to for the USSSA, Williams reaped justly due regards after 23 years of the service of the USSSA.

Williams has too much pride to let the USSSA slip away in the early years.

He served as the first USSSA Kentucky State Director.

He later advanced to the position of Regional President and guided eight early states.

Williams landed the fathers of trinity field to hold the first USSSA league in Kentucky and the first Mid-America Tournament was played there in 1969.

The directors at the national convention in New Orleans in 1990 awarded Williams the President’s Award for distinguished service.

He worked with friend Chuck Fischer as Co-Kentucky State Directors and is the first pioneer selected for direct induction into the Hall of Fame with more than 20 years of service.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1992


Anthony Gaetano, Jr.

Anthony Gaetano, Jr.

Tony Gaetano was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category, based on 20 yeas or more service to the association.

A native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gaetano played in the first USSSA World Tournament in 1968.

In 1970, he was named Pennsylvania State Director.

In 1971, Gaetano was elevated to the position of Regional Vice-President and in 1989 was promoted to Northeastern Division Executive Vice-President.

In 1981 and 1982 Gaetano served as active State Director of Ohio and played a key told in getting the USSSA program started in Ohio.

Gaetano has served on numerous program committees and in 1979 he was presented the USSSA President’s Award.


Velma Lehmann

Velma Lehmann

V.K. Lehmann, A veteran outfielder who helped Empress Chili win three straight Women’s Championships, including the first Women’s World Series, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A leadoff batter with a .550 career batting average, Lehman joined Sweeney Chevrolet in 1981 and remained with the successful Cincinnati team.

The southpaw from Kentucky was named to the All-World Team three times.

She was named Player of the Year in Cincinnati in 1988 when she compiled a .589 season batting average.

Lehmann played a key role in Empress Chili winning six NIT’s during the 1990 season and was a member of the USSSA All-Stars who made the historic softball tour of the Soviet Union.

She has been named to numerous All-Tournament teams, including the 1984 Miller NIT, when she batted .850 for the weekend.

Lehmann was selected the 1990 Debeer Sportswoman of the Year.


Tom Raines

Tom Raines

Tom Raines, who has participated in the USSSA program as a player, manager, umpire, director and executive was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

Raines played in the first USSSA World Tournament in 1968 and that same year was also names the Nevada State Director.

In 1980, Raines was appointed Division Vice-President where he served successfully for nine years.

In 1989, Raines was promoted to the position of Northwestern Division Executive Vice-President.

In 1971, Rains assisted in directing and planning the first Men’s USSSA World Series which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Very active in his Las Vegas civic community, Raines has served on the board of University Medical Center Foundation, an essential part of the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.

Raines has served on numerous USSSA program committees and has played a major role in the success the USSSA enjoys today.

In 1987, Raines was honored as the recipient of the coveted USSSA President’s Award.


Braxton Speller, Jr.

Braxton Speller, Jr.

Braxton Speller, who enjoyed winning World Championships in both Men’s World Series and the Industrial World was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A native of North Carolina, Speller joined Snyders Softball Club in 1976 and was named to the All-World teams as they captured the World Series.

Speller also competed in the Industrial Program and was named All-World team in 1980 as Fisher Body won in the Industrial World Tournament at Dearborn, Michigan.

During his long career with the USSSA, Speller played in the Class A World Tournament 12 times and the Major World Series eight times.

He competed in numerous USSSA State Tournaments, consistently earning honors.

Speller began his career with the USSSA in the early 1970’s in North Carolina. Between the Major and Industrial programs, he claimed All-World Honors eight times.

With good power to all fields, Speller cracked over 2,000 home runs in USSSA Tournaments and compiled a .650 career batting average.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1993


Laura Fillipp

Laura Fillipp

Laura Fillipp, who has played in the top level of Women’s Softball for Women’s Softball for 16 consecutive years, ahs been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A teacher and coach, Fillipp participated in the historic USSSA softball tour to the Soviet Union in 1990.

With a .650 career batting average, she is a left handed power hitter who hits to all fields.

She has over 200 career home runs and becomes the 12th female player to be elected into the USSSA Hall of Fame.

Fillipp was named to All-State Teams in Illinois and Michigan five times and was MVP at the 1985 Wisconsin Ladies Classic Softball League.

Fillipp was home run leader a the 1985 Women’s World Tournament in Concord, CA.

In 1987 Fillipp was the recipient of the Debeer Sportswoman of the Year Richard Pollack Memorial Award.


Charles O'Donnell

Charles O’Donnell

Charles O’Donnell was inducted into the USSSA Hall of fame in the Executive Category, based on over 20 years of service to the association.

After joining the USSSA in 1971, O’Donnell was named Missouri Stare Director in 1973, and three years later was named Vice-President’s duties in 1988 O’Donnell helped organize the sport in Missouri and was an area director from 1971 to 1990.

In 1989 O’Donnell served as the Assistant Major World Series Director, and was named Director of the 1990 series.

O’Donnell was one of the founders of the Gateway Classic, and has directed more than a dozen divisional and world tournaments.

He has served on numerous program committees including length longevity as a member of the executive committee.

In 1985 O’Donnell was honored as the recipient of the coveted President’s Award.


Cecil "Buddy" Slater

Cecil “Buddy” Slater

Buddy Slater, the sly little pitcher that all the big guys hated to face, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Slater has appeared at the World Series 15 times, ten as a player and five as a manager or coach.

As a pitcher, Slater posted a 32-9 record, the best winning percentage of any hurler in World Series history.

He was named Most Valuable Player at the 1980 series, and was named to the All-World Team five times.

The Texas native has led eight different teams to the USSSA World Championships.

Just his appearance alone at the tournament seems to make his fellow teammates each their peak.

Although small in size, Buddy Slater has always been a giant among players when competing on the field.


Frank Titone

Frank Titone

Frank Titone, USSSA New York Umpire-In-Chief, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

A 21 year veteran umpire, Titone joined the USSSA 19 years ago.

He was named New York State U-I-C in 1978 and also makes assignments for a 200 member local league in his home town of Syracuse.

Titone worked the 1976 Men’s Major World Series and was twice picked for the Men’s Class “A” World Series.

He has served as Recording Secretary of the National Playing Rules Committee since 1978.

He received the National Umpire-In-Chief Award in 1985.

Titone becomes the seventh USSSA umpire to be elected into the Hall of Fame.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1994


Allen Campbell

Allen Campbell

Al Campbell, the most winning manager in USSSA history with over 1,100 victories, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Manager Category.

Campbell began his highly successful career in women’s softball during the 1975 season with the Swinging A’s.

He has also guided Big Bill’s Sports Shop, Little Caesars, Taylor Stingers, Steele’s Sports, Canyon Softball Center, Lady Blue, and Cannon’s Illusions.

Leading all USSSA managers, Campbell’s teams have won USSSA Crowns in 1980, 1982, 1984,1989 and World Series Championships in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994.

He has won over 50 USSSA NIT’s, has been named All World Manager six times, and was named one the managers on the historic USSSA Women’s Tour of Russia in 1990.


James Ports

James Ports

Jim Ports, involved with the USSSA since 1968 was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

Jim’s participation in the USSSA spans the entire program from Player/Manager, Umpire, Director, to Executive.

He has served as Maryland State Director for many years.

He was appointed Region 2 Vice-President in 1971, Region 4 Vice-President and to the Executive Board in 1980, and the Executive Committee in 1988.

He served as National Industrial Director for 5 years taking the program from 900 to 5,700 teams.

He was Assistant Tournament Director for the 1985 Major World Series, and a Major World Series Director in 1986.

In 1988 he was appointed Division Executive Vice-President.

In 1981 he was a recipient of the coveted USSSA President’s Award.

He was elected Nation President in 1990.

As President he set his top priority not to be the biggest softball program, but rather being the BEST softball program, and to do this by instilling a code of ethics based on trust, fairness, and honor.


Rick "The Crusher" Scherr

Rick Scherr

Rick “The Crusher” Scherr, a powerful hitter with long, tape measure homeruns his trademark, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A Wisconsin native, Scherr is the USSSA All Time World Series leader in home runs (101), hits (166), and RBIs (202).

He has played in the World Series a record of 14 times.

His USSSA career began in 1968 with Heidle’s of Jackson, WI., and continued with Slinger Foundry-Slinger, WI., Cooper Hearth-Milwaukee, WI., Taylor Brothers Jewelers-Corpus Christi, TX., Howard’s Western Steer- Denver, NC., Superior-Apollo, Ritches-Superior, Windsor Locks, CT., and A.J.D. of Richmond, VA.

With a .685 career batting average and over 1,800 home runs in USSSA Tournament play, Scherr was a tough competitor whether playing first base, third base, the outfield, or catcher.

Scherr was named the USSSA All World Team six times; he led three teams to World Championships; and in a recent poll of major managers and sponsors, Rick Scherr was voted the Top Player of the Decade (80’s) by his peers.


Joann Van Vliet

Joann Van Vliet

Joann Van Vliet, a slick fielding shortstop with USSSA since 1978 has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Regarded as one of the most feared hitter in Women’s Softball, Van Vilet has posted a .600 career batting average.

Joann, a Ceres, CA native, has played with Sunsets-Modesto, CA, Sequoia Market Bobcats-Cares, CA, California Hustle-Modesto, CA and Mr. A’s Express from Sacramento, CA.

Named MVP in twenty-seven USSSA tournaments, Van Vliet was named to the USSSA ALL World Team at the 1988, 1989, and 1990 Women’s World Series.

She was selected as the Outstanding Defensive Player at the 1990 USSSA Women’s World Series in Concord, CA.


Donald Webster

Donald Webster

Don Webster, or Chatsworth, CA, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Special Category.

Recognized as one of the early pioneers of big time softball on the west coast, it was Webster’s strong advocacy of the USSSA program over that of rival associations that out his team, Capitol/Broken Drum Insulation, into 13 USSSA Men’s Major World Series, and other tournaments in 26 stats.

His teams in the West were considered on par with Howards/Western Steer in the South and Snyders in the Midwest.

He was the 1986 recipient of the USSSA awarded of Merit for his outstanding and continuing support of the USSSA program.

Webster’s players remember his as a man who would pay the freight and still serve as the team “bad boy” if needed.

He has taken his rightful place alongside three of his team members, Elby Bushong, Mike Cellura, and Ron Whittleton, in the USSSA Hall of Fame.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1995


Harold Dwight Hall

Harold Dwight Hall

Dwight Hall, a true gentleman of the game and a man respected for his common sense and love of slow pitch softball was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

Beginning in 1971 when he was named the North Carolina USSSA State Director.

The soft-speaking southerner from Gaston, North Carolina, produced bug results and quickly moved up the ladder wit the association.

He was named a Regional Vice-President in 1973 and moved up to Southern Division Vice-Presidents in 1980.

He was serving as Eastern Region President when he dies of a heart attack in 1989 Along with helping develop USSSA programs in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia.

Hall provided the association with sound direction and leadership.

During his 18 years of service to the USSSA, Hall twice directed the Mend’s Major World Series.

He received the President’s Award in 1975 for his outstanding service.


Pamela Patrus

Pamela Patrus

Pam Patrus, a consistent hitter with a .535 batting average, and known to be tough in the clutch has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Pam, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has a 13 year USSSA softball career playing with Sorrento Pizza, Famous Recipe, and three time World Series Champion, Empress Chili. Although she has played every infield position, she is best known for her performance at third base and as pitcher.

She has pitch 3 one hit games, and her world tournament won/lose record stands at 42 wins and only 14 losses.

In 1998, while a member of Empress, she successfully switched positions from third base to pitcher, when the team lost its previous pitcher to injury.

That year Empress Chili won the first Women’s World Series and Patrus was named series MVP.

The four-time all world performer was named MVP in 12 NIT and was Cincinnati’s Female player of the year in 1989.


Richard Wheeler

Richard Wheeler

Rick Wheeler, 1,600+ home run hitter, from Ontario, California, was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Beginning with the East Coast Pioneer Squad of Capitol Insulation, Wheeler also played for Jerry’s Caterers, Gainely Ceramics, Elite Coating, Smythe Sox, Howard’s Western Steer, Ken Michael-Franey & Parr, Starpath, Ritch’s-Kirks, Bell Corp, Vernon’s.

Wheeler tied teammates Bruce Meade and Fred Trice for the home run crown to lead the elite coating to the 1985 Men’s Major World Series Championship.

He is in the top 5 in the following all time series accumulative categories: most home runs, most at bats, most hits, most runs, most RBI’s and most World Series appearances.

With a .655 career batting average, he was fiercely competitive whether playing first base, catcher, or his main position, the outfield.

Rich was named the Southern California Player of the Decade for the 80’s.

He was named MVP in 33 USSSA tournaments, including being the MVP of the 1985 Men’s Major World Series.

He played on the World Series Championship teams in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1990.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1996


Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Doug Brown, who in a span of eight years was named to five All-World Teams, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

From the time the Greer, South Carolina native began playing USSSS softball in 1979, he distinguished himself suiting up with some of the greatest teams in slo-pitch, including: Dave Carroll Sports, Jerry’s Caterers, Elite Coating, Smythe Sox, AJD-Russell, and Starpath.

Although he has played a variety of positions including third base, short-stop, right center, left-center, and catcher, Brown is primarily considered a second baseman.

As his greatest softball accomplishment, brown lists his three consecutive World Series titles with Smythe Sox in 1985, 1986, then Elite Coatings in 1987.

He was the Homerun Champion for the 1988 World Series, and he pounded out the highest batting average and most homeruns in the 1990 class “AA” World Tournament.

Brown has always been a top performer and is known as a ambassador of the USSSA program.


Allison Cole

Allison Cole

Allison Cole, a member of three World Series Championship Teams and five World Series All-World Teams, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Female Category.

With Canton Softball Center in 1989 and Lady Blue in 1991 and 1992, the Wyandotte MI native led the teams offensively, and turned in stellar defense as an outfielder in route to each of these teams winning World Titles.

Cole, a member of the Michigan USSSA State Hall of Fame, has been tabbed for more than 30 All-Tournament teams from various national invitational tournaments through her career.

The outfielder has been a vital part of successful season of outstanding class “A” teams such as Tri-County, Tosti Raiders, Canton Softball Center, Steele’s, and Lady Blue.

Cole believes that the most exciting event in her softball career was during the summer of 1990 when she and several other USSSA all-stars traveled to the former Soviet Union for the USSS’s Russian Tour.

Says Cole, “Softball… has given me the opportunity to travel… to play on some great teams.. And by far most importantly to meet so many beautiful people with whom I’ve come to love very dearly.


Rick Robertson

Rick Robertson

Rick Robertson, the 1987 National Umpire-In-Chief Award recipient, was inducted in the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native has piled up a host of awards as an umpire, including the 1983 Southwest Division Umpire of the Year, the 1993 Louisiana State Co- Director of the Year Award, and the 1994 Southern Region Umpire of the Year Honor.

Among the high profile events Robertson has worked are:1985 Men’s Class “A” World Tournament in Lafayette, LA, the 1988 Hispanic World Tournament in Las Cruces, NM, and the 1994 Mixed World Event in Euless, TC.

He has conducted many umpire clinics and has attended every National Umpire Clinic held at the USSSA National Meeting since 1983.

On the future of USSSA Softball, Robertson said, “USSSA is advancing every day and is on the leading edge for slo-pitch softball.

We must all remember out teams who have made us what we are today.

Communication lines must stay open between directors, umpires, players, and coaches so that we can all listen to the needs and wants of each other.”

Robertson has always been known for his tireless efforts in dealing with umpires, players, teams, and directors in the field. His willingness to serve has been outstanding.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1997


Mildred Burrell

Mildred Burrell

Mildred Burrell, a pioneer in the women’s and girls youth programs, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Longevity Category.

Burrell, a Chesterfield, Virginia native, has been an active member of the USSSA organization since the early 1970’s. S

he co-founded the Virginia Belles women’s softball team as manager, captured the USSSA Women’s “B” World Championship in 1975.

As Women’s National Program Director from 1981-1987, she was instrumental in building team registrations and laying the groundwork for the first women’s world series in 1988 at Garland, Texas.

Burrell was appointed as the Girl’s Youth National Program Director in 1975.

It was as Girl’s Youth National Program Director that she really hit her stride.

Beginning with only 168 teams in 1976, her program now boast over 15,000 team registrations.

She was the driving force to go to the 11″ ball in the women’s and youth programs, and worked to put the re-entry rule into the women’s program.

Her never ending work has been instrumental in organizing youth player and coaches clinics all over the nation.

In 1991 Burrell was presented with the coveted USSSA Presidents Award.

She was honored in 1984 as the USSSA-DeBeers Sportswomen of the Year, and in 1991 became the recipient of the USSSA/Worth Youth Director of the Year Award.

In 1991 she spearheaded the girl’s youth tour to the Soviet Union.

At the time Burrell’s induction into the USSSA National Hall of Fame she had previously been enshrined into the USSSA Oklahoma State Hall of Fame, the USSSA South Carolina Hall of Fame, and the USSSA Virginia State Hall of Fame.

To Mildred, the kids are her life.

Overseeing their development into fine adults from the good lessons they learn in softball is one of her main objectives.

A local television announcer best described the high regard with which she is held by players and parents alike.

When he quoted a young ball player as ,” Mildred gives the best hugs.”


Sharon Graham

Sharon Graham

Sharon “Crackers” Graham, a 13 year USSSA Women’s Class “A” veteran performer, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Association Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

A 38 year old Cincinnati native, Graham played for such top teams as Sweeney Chevrolet, Tri-State Action, Famous Recipe, Empress Chili and Auto Body Panel.

Her main position has been second base, however, she did well in every position, known primarily as a solid singles hitter, she accumulated a lifetime batting average of .445.

In 1986 she was named Most Valuable Player in the USSSA Blue Chip NIT.

She has made All-State Honors on two occasions. Additionally, “Crackers” has been a member of four All-World Teams and has a number of All-Tournament Team placing to her credit as well.

Graham was recently singled out for distinction when she was named to the USSSA Team of the Decade for the 1980’s.

The slugger believes that softball has given her the chance to work with many talented people and has allowed her to latitude to travel and see many parts of the country.

Softball has also allowed Graham an opportunity to excel in sport which showcased her many talents.


Dave Neale

Dave Neale

Dave Neale, a veteran USSSA manager and sponsor in 1981, has been inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association Hall of Fame in the Team Manager Category.

The Brooklyn, Ohio native began his USSSA career as skipper of Nationwide Advertising in 1981-1982.

In 1983 the Steele’s Team emerged under his leadership.

Neale has managed in the USSSA Men’s Major World Series a total of 13 times.

In 1988 his Steele’s Silver Bullets club won the World Series titles in Long Beach, CA.

His lifetime managerial record in USSSA play exceeds 500 wins with fewer than 100 losses.

Dave has promoted softball all over the United States and is nest known for his Steele’s Silver Bullets team that barnstormed the country in the late 80’s.

During that time he managed the team which played in 44 states and went in areas that were not aligned with USSSA, but Neale promoted the USSSA program never the less.

Neale has said that the USSSA Men’s Major World Series in the greatest event in slo-pitch softball.


Anrico Pinto

Anrico Pinto

Rick Pinto, part of the USSSA since its inception in 1968, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Rick, a 46 year old Dearborn, Michigan native, competed for twelve straight years at the top level of USSSA softball.

He has played for several teams, but is best remembered for his outstanding career with Snyder’s.

During that time he had played all 10 positions, but his claim to fame came as a pitcher, Pinto was highly respected for his defensive skills on the mound and he compiled 610 wins as pitcher.

Sixteen of those victories cam in the Men’s Major World Series play.

Not a mere defensive specialist, Pinto’s bating average in top level play was .570.

Already a member of the Michigan USSSA Hall of Fame, Pinto was named Most Valuable Player in several Major USSSA events and won MVP honors in the Men’s Major World Series in 1976.

He was chosen for the Men’s Major World Series Teams in 1975, 1978, and 1977.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1998


Dale Davidson

Dale Davidson

Dale Davidson, 18 year veteran USSSA umpire was inducted into the United States Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame in the Longevity Category.

Davidson, a Rocky River, Ohio native, has served as the Ohio State Umpire-In-Chief since 1980 and has attended and helped conduct 17 national umpire clinics.

In addition to numerous state, divisional, and NIT tournaments, Davidson officiated at the 1982 Men’s Major World Series and the Women’s World Series in 1991.

He is one of the only three umpires to have worked both prestigious events.

He was selected as one of the four USSSA officials on the first Goodwill Tour of the Soviet Union.

He was the recipient of the 1997 Umpire-In-Chief Award at the national meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“Basically, there’s probably about four people who real helped me along in the sat of Ohio,” Davidson explained.

“My good friend, the late, Great George Paupp, Floyd Salter, Mark Linnemann, and for all the time I’ve spent in softball I couldn’t have done it without the fourth person, my 15 minutes of glory here tonight are actually hers as well, to my wife, I love you.”


Clyde Guy

Clyde Guy

Clyde Guy, a line drive hitter with power to all fields, has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

A 46 year old Ruffin, North Carolina native, Guy was one of the all time great players in the USSSA history.

Especially during the early years of the association. His 15 year career included All World Selections in 1979 while playing for Poindexters Lumber, 1984 and 1985 with Howard’s Western Steer and again in 1989 with World Champions Superior-Apollo Softball.

Guy compiled a lifetime average of .680 with more than 1,400 home runs.

In the 1989 Major World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, he was selected as MVP with an .862 batting average.

“First I’d like to thank God for giving me the talent and allowing me to pick and choose my life’s desires,” said guy.

“I’d also like to thank my sons James and John who spent countless hours chasing fly balls..to the wonderful sponsors I played for.. And to my teammates, from the start to finish.

Those countless hours or training, and playing in good and bad conditions finally paid off. Softball, I love you.”


Lyn Rose

Lyn Rose

Lyn Rose, women’s NIT 13 time MVP Award winner and 26 time All-Tournament Team member, was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

Rose, a 42 year old Cincinnati native, played the game for 23 years, 14 of those with USSSA.

She recorded a lifetime batting average of about .600 and shoed good power in amassing 300 career home runs. Rose played for some of the most successful women’s teams ever, including Famous Recipe, Dollarettes, DJ’s Lounge, McGlaughlin Oil, and she played a very important role with three-time World Champions Empress Chili.

In World Series play from 1992-1995, her batting averages were: .615, .590, .630 and .600.

She was selected to the All- World Teams in 1987, 1989, and again in 1990.

“When I joined the Class “A” Division of Women’s USSSA Softball in 1985, I was very excited to be playing Class “A” Softball, but I had no idea of the tremendous rewards that would reveal.

I’m not talking about trophies or plaques; I mean the real life awards I have accumulated over the years, playing with and against some of the best players and legends of the game, good sponsor (the Kiradjieffs) (who) treated us all like daughters, And we were a family.


USSSA HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1999


Don DeDonatis

Don DeDonatis

Don DeDonatis has been inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Executive Category.

In 1981 Don DeDonatis coached a Men’s ‘C’ team by the name of Miller High Life.

After three years he had build this team up to where it qualified and participated in the USSSA Men’s Major World Series in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1984. His team finished fourth in the event.

However, it would not be as a coach that Don would make his imprint on the USSSA.

In 1979 he was appointed as a USSSA Area Director in his native sterling heights, Michigan.

Four years later he was appointed as the USSSA Michigan State Director by the late Fred Schleuter.

At that time there were a little over 500 teams in Michigan playing USSSA.

In 1997 Don’s last year as the State Director of the state of Michigan registered over 9,500 teams with USSSA.

In just his second year as State Director he was presented with the prestigious President’s Award at the National Convention in 1984 at El Paso, Texas.

In 1988 he was appointed as the Executive Vice-President of the Great Lakes Division, the largest division in the country.

In 1996 Don was elected and served as the USSSA National President for two years.

After the vote for approving the reorganization of USSSA at the national meeting in 1997, at Myrtle Beach, he was appointed as one of the three Assistant Executive Directors of the association.

With the passing of Al Ramsey in 1998 he was selected to lead this organization into the next millennium.

His ideas and decisions in just the past fourteen months will effect this association for the better, for many years to come.


Mike Macenko

Mike Macenko

Mike Macenko was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category.

Mike started his career with the USSSA in 1982 with the legendary Steele’s team that crisscrossed the country barnstorming tours in an effort to promote the game of slow pitch softball.

He was a feared power hitter with a lifetime batting average of over .600 while batting .541 in USSSA Men’s Major World Series play.

In 1987 he set the single season record with an amazing 844 home runs and astounded thousands at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium by hitting a softball out of the stadium during a home run hitting contest.

Participating in 17 USSSA Men’s Major World Series, he was a member of the All World Teams at the USSSA Men’s Major World Series in 1989 and again in 1994.


John McKinley

John McKinley

John McKinley was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Umpire Category.

John’s Umpire career started with the USSSA in 1968, and in 1971 he was appointed as the Umpire-In-Chief for Concord, California.

In 1979 John was selected to serve as the USSSA Division Umpire-In-Chief for the Western Division.

He conducted over 150 USSSA umpire clinics and has attended every USSSA convention umpire clinic for the past 21 years.

He is one of the only four umpires to have officiated in the USSSSA Men’s Major World Series and also the Women’s “A” World Series.

Serving on the USSSA National playing rules committee for the past 17 years, in 1989 he co-authored the first USSSA Umpire’s Mechanics Manual.

Mr. McKinley received the USSSA National Umpire-In-Chief’s Award at the National Convention in 1984 in El Paso, Texas.


Kathy Riley

Kathy Riley

Kathy Riley was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player Category.

With over 200 career home runs, Kathy has a lifetime batting average in USSSA play of .650.

She was a member of four USSSA “A” World Series Champion Teams with Cannan’s Illusions in 1990, 1994, and in 1996, and with UPI in 1998.

Kathy was selected to the USSSA Women’s All World Teams on six occasions and was the first female played to be inducted into the Texas USSSA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Kathy Riley is known as one of the hardest working athletes in the USSSA women’s program.

National Softball Hall of Fame 2020’s

The National Softball Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal for any player, coach, umpire or administrator who aspire to greatness in the sport. With over 400 inductees, the National Softball Hall of Fame is among the most difficult sports halls in the nation in which to gain membership.

Take a moment to browse through the Hall of Fame section and learn more about some of the sport’s greatest athletes and their accomplishments. If you get a chance to visit us in person while in Oklahoma City, please observe these hours of operation:

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
2801 Northeast 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 424-5266
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Check USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex for weekend hours

The Hall of Fame and Museum does not charge, but donations are greatly appreciated and accepted. Your donations help keep this history of softball alive through exhibit updates, upkeep and restoration projects.

Link to Video of the National Softball Hall of Fame


The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1957. Once USA Softball moved to Oklahoma City January 1, 1966 after having its offices in Newark, NJ, the decision to establish a Hall of Fame Building in Oklahoma City was made in January of 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hall of Fame were held December 19, 1970 in Oklahoma City. The late John Nagy, former Cleveland Metro commissioner, was USA Softball President at that time. Hall of Famers Harold (Shifty) Gears and Carolyn Thome Hart were among those attending the ceremonies.

The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.

The first of two additions to the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters and the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, there is 28,406 square feet of space.

A second expansion was added July of 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet of space.

The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has over 400 members with two categories of membership: players and non players. Within the player category, there are five categories: Men’s/Women’s Fast Pitch, Men’s/Women’s Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch. Within the non player category, there are five different divisions one can be nominated in: Commissioner, Meritorious Service, Umpire, Managers and Sponsors. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the USA Softball Annual Meeting.


Through our vast collection of artifacts, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about softball’s rich history. Your support is critical to these efforts.

The Hall of Fame Donation Fund was established to ensure that the National Softball Hall of Fame has a future and is committed to educating people about the great former players and non players and the role they played in the development of the sport.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps the National Softball Hall of Fame continue its mission of educating, collecting and honoring as well as the preservation of the history of softball, the maintaining of present exhibits and purchase of new exhibits and possible expansion of the Hall of Fame building.

Click here to make a donation

Due to the volume of offers we receive, we cannot accept the donation of an artifact without a completed artifact description form. This form must be filled out and mailed or emailed to USA Softball. Please see our Mission Statement and Collections Management Policy to see what types of objects we will and will not accept. Once we have received your form, our staff will evaluate the object’s potential and will be in contact with you as to whether or not we will be able to accept the donation. If your object is chosen, the donated material will be recommended to the Executive Director for consideration. Following the meeting a staff member will contact you regarding the next steps.

 Click here for the Donor Questionnaire Form



NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020


During the 2020 season there were no inductions were made due to COVID-19.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021


Phil Gutierrez

Phil Gutierrez began umpiring in 1975. Served as President of USA Softball in 2014-15. Served as Deputy Supervisor of Umpires, Southern California Umpire-In-Chief, and Commissioner. Umpired at two Men’s Major, one Class A, and one Armed Forces National Championship.


Lovie Jung

Lovie Jung was an Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist. Two-Time Pan American Gold Medalist. Two-Time WBSC World Championship Gold Medalist. US Olympic Hall of Fame member.


Terry Muck

Terry Muck was a five-time all-american. 1973 Men’s Major Fast Pitch Batting Champion. 1976 Men’s Major Fast Pitch Home Run Champion. Two-Time Olympic Festival participant.


Bill Pfeiffer

A 15-year member of the Home Savings team in Aurora, Illinois, Bill Pfeiffer helped lead his squad to 13 ASA National Championship appearances. Pfeiffer was also a member of the USA Softball Men’s National team that earned a Silver Medal at the first-ever Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Additionally, he was a member of the USA Softball Men’s National team that won a silver medal at the inaugural Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico and earned multiple All-American honors. 

Bill was an eight-time All-American. 1979 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist. Four time runner up at Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals. Three-time US Sports Festival participant.

After retiring from softball, Pfeiffer became co-founder of the Aurora Fastpitch Softball Association, which he currently still serves in. 


Doug Roberson

Doug Roberson was an 11-time All American. Six-time Super Slow Pitch National Champion. Two-time Super Slow Pitch MVP


Carl Rose

Carl Rose was an 8-time All American. Two-time Super Slow Pitch National Champion. Three-time Home Run leader at Super Slow Pitch National Championships.


Natasha Watley

Natasha Watley was an Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist. Three-time WBSC World Championship Gold Medalist. Two-time Pan American Games Gold Medalist. USA Olympic Hall of Fame member.


Cecil Whitehead was a nine-time all-american. Two-Time Super Slow Pitch National Champion. 1981 Home Run Leader at the Super Slow Pitch National Championship.

Cecil Whitehead


Curtis Williams

Curtis Williams was a 13-time All-American. He won 10 USA Softball National Championships. Was a three-time Defensive MVP.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2022

Brett Helmer


Christan Dowling


Rusty Bumgardner


George Nokes


Jeff Peck


Cat Osterman


Debbie Doom


Steve Shortland


Jeff Hansen


Al Savala


Mike De Leo


 

National Softball Hall of Fame 2010’s

The National Softball Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal for any player, coach, umpire or administrator who aspire to greatness in the sport. With over 400 inductees, the National Softball Hall of Fame is among the most difficult sports halls in the nation in which to gain membership.

Take a moment to browse through the Hall of Fame section and learn more about some of the sport’s greatest athletes and their accomplishments. If you get a chance to visit us in person while in Oklahoma City, please observe these hours of operation:

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
2801 Northeast 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 424-5266
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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The Hall of Fame and Museum does not charge, but donations are greatly appreciated and accepted. Your donations help keep this history of softball alive through exhibit updates, upkeep and restoration projects.

Link to Video of the National Softball Hall of Fame


The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1957. Once USA Softball moved to Oklahoma City January 1, 1966 after having its offices in Newark, NJ, the decision to establish a Hall of Fame Building in Oklahoma City was made in January of 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hall of Fame were held December 19, 1970 in Oklahoma City. The late John Nagy, former Cleveland Metro commissioner, was USA Softball President at that time. Hall of Famers Harold (Shifty) Gears and Carolyn Thome Hart were among those attending the ceremonies.

The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.

The first of two additions to the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters and the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, there is 28,406 square feet of space.

A second expansion was added July of 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet of space.

The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has over 400 members with two categories of membership: players and non players. Within the player category, there are five categories: Men’s/Women’s Fast Pitch, Men’s/Women’s Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch. Within the non player category, there are five different divisions one can be nominated in: Commissioner, Meritorious Service, Umpire, Managers and Sponsors. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the USA Softball Annual Meeting.


Through our vast collection of artifacts, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about softball’s rich history. Your support is critical to these efforts.

The Hall of Fame Donation Fund was established to ensure that the National Softball Hall of Fame has a future and is committed to educating people about the great former players and non players and the role they played in the development of the sport.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps the National Softball Hall of Fame continue its mission of educating, collecting and honoring as well as the preservation of the history of softball, the maintaining of present exhibits and purchase of new exhibits and possible expansion of the Hall of Fame building.

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Due to the volume of offers we receive, we cannot accept the donation of an artifact without a completed artifact description form. Please see our Mission Statement and Collections Management Policy to see what types of objects we will and will not accept. Once we have received your form, our staff will evaluate the object’s potential and will be in contact with you as to whether or not we will be able to accept the donation. If your object is chosen, the donated material will be recommended to the Executive Director for consideration. Following the meeting a staff member will contact you regarding the next steps.

 Click here for the Donor Questionnaire Form



NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2010


Norbert “The Cyclone” Warken

Norbert “The Cyclone” Warken, Covington, Kentucky – Men’s Fast Pitch

Warken earned his nickname from a Chicago sportswriter who was impressed by his pitching in the 1939 ASA national championship in Chicago and gave him the nickname after he blew through the opposition. Warken made his debut in ASA national championship play in 1937 with the Mayfield Curlee Clothiers, making history in his first game. He took a record 27 minutes to beat Denver, Colo., 3-0, striking out 14 on a one-hitter. In 1938, Warken pitched and batted Carr’s Boosters to the Kentucky state title. It was his solo homer over center field that was the difference in a 1-0 win over Mayfield Style Marts. Warken limited the losers to one hit in the game for his third consecutive one-hitter, striking out 44 batters in winning three games. Warken won six games, pitching five consecutive shutouts in leading Nick Carr’s Covington, Ky. Boosters to the National title in 1939. Warken hurled 51 innings of scoreless softball and ended the tourney with 99 strikeouts and 12 hits allowed. The only run he allowed was unearned in the last inning of the championship game. Warken extended his streak the following year before giving up an earned run and finished with 55 consecutive scoreless innings.

 


Suzy Brazney

Suzy Brazney, Huntington Beach, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

Suzy Brazney is not just defined by her achievements on the field as great as they are, but rather the passion for softball that she has continuously displayed through her career. Known as “the catcher that never wore shin guards”, Suzy has dedicated her life to playing and promoting the sport of softball. She earned 20 ASA All-American selections from 1980-2005 including 12 First-Team accolades. She was a member of many great teams such as the Long Beach Renegades, Glendale Blazers, Diamond-Blazers, Team Texas, Orange County Magestics, Phoenix Sunbirds and the So Cal Hurricanes. Brazney had an outstanding catching career at the Canada Cup where after the 2005 Canada Cup, the tournament created the “Suzy Brazney Most Outstanding Catcher” award which is presented annually. She was a member of six Olympic Festivals, winning gold in 1983. Brazney participated in three Pan American Games as a member of the USA Women’s National team, winning Gold in 1987 and 1991. She also holds the title of World Champion as she helped Team USA to a win at the 1990 World Championships. After retiring from playing, she remained dedicated to the cause of ASA/USA Softball as an assistant Coach with USA Softball. Brazney served on the selection committee from 2001-2004 and has been an assistant coach for both the Junior National Team and National Team. She becomes the 57th women’s fast pitch player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.


E.T. Colvin

E.T. Colvin, Columbus, Mississippi – Commissioner

It may be fair to say that the state of softball in Mississippi would not be at the high level it is without E.T. Colvin. Colvin is the current Mississippi Commissioner and the in-coming ASA President. He has also served ASA as a Board Member, ASA Tournament Representative, past President, and player when he began playing in 1968 in his hometown of Columbus, Miss. Colvin played at the Major Level of Slow Pitch. Before becoming Commissioner in 1992, Colvin hit over 1200 home runs and played in five ASA National Championships. Under his leadership, Mississippi ASA has an outstanding adult, junior Olympic and umpire program and on two occasions was selected to host the USA Softball Women’s’ Olympic Team during the pre-Olympic tours. Since Colvin has served as commissioner, Mississippi ASA has hosted 45 National Championships, five National Umpire schools with registration numbers increasing every year. In 2005, he was recognized by the Oklahoma ASA Hall of Fame with induction in the meritorious service category. Colvin was also awarded the ASA President’s Award three consecutive years from 1999-2001. It was not just in his backyard that Colvin was a leader as he has taken on softball on the International front as well. He has represented the United States in many International events and he is currently the North American Vice-President for the International Softball Federation. Colvin is the 40th Commissioner inducted into the Hall of Fame.


Guy Demaio

Guy Demaio, New Castle, Pennsylvania – Meritorious Service

Guy Demaio has been an integral part of ASA, especially Pennsylvania ASA, for nearly 30 years. He has served as Commissioner since 1971 and has been the Western Area Vice President since 1988. Demaio has held many roles as an ASA member including ASA Vice-President and being the first at-large representative ever to be elected to the Central Atlantic Regional Director as Vice President. This earned him a spot on the ASA Board of Directors, making him only the second at-large rep to ever hold such a position at that time. He has served as the Chairman of the National ASA Classification Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Player Representatives Committee, the Legislative Committee, the National Equipment Standards Committee, and the Special Events Committee. He has served as Editor of “Softball News”, the official publication of the ASA of Pennsylvania, since its inception in 1973. Demaio becomes the 40th Hall of Famer inducted in the meritorious service category. Demaio died on November 24, 2018.

 

 


Jody Hennigar

Jody Hennigar, Halifax, Nova Scotia – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Jody Hennigar was a standout two-way player during his fast pitch career, beating a team at the plate or on the mound. Hennigar was at his best in national championship play or world championship play, earning ASA All-America laurels seven times between 1985-2005. He twice led the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch Tourney in batting, won a home run title and the Dudley Award as the tourney’s outstanding pitcher. Hennigar compiled a 19-9 pitching record in seven ASA nationals. He batted .351 (54-for-154), drove in 46 runs and smashed 14 home runs, which is second best in ASA history trailing Jeff Seip, who entered the Hall of Fame last year. Hennigar had one of his best seasons in 1992 when he batted .382, hitting 21 homers and driving in 75 runs to lead the Bombers. On the mound that year, he fashioned a 35-5 record with an ERA of 0.82. In 1992 and 1994, he led the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Tourney in batting and in 1994 he also led in home runs with five. In 2002, Hennigar was 6-0 on the mound and won the Dudley Award as the tourney’s Outstanding Pitcher. Hennigar retired following the 2005 season. He didn’t play in the ASA National Championship that year but batted .333 for the season with three homers and 12 RBI. In the ISC, Hennigar compiled a 21-12 pitching record and batted .280. Although he was never on an ASA National Championship team, he played on teams that were consistent top ten finishers, finishing in the top five in every appearance. The teams he played for included Cedar Rapids Vigortone, Cedar Rapids Teleconect, The Farm Tavern, Madison, Wisc., the Clearwater, Fla. Bombers, Circle Tap of Denmark, Wisc., and the Fedlock Falcons who he played with for three years. Hennigar is the 78th male fast pitch player inducted into the Hall of Fame.


Ronnie Isham

Ronnie Isham, Stephenville, Texas – Meritorious Service

Manager, Player, At-Large Player Representative, Team Leader, Commissioner, Parks and Recreation Director, Director of National Teams. These are just some of the positions Ronnie Isham has held during his more than 30 years of involvement with the ASA, the perfect example of a Meritorious Service inductee. As a manager, Isham compiled a 21-year record of 1,016 wins and 310 losses for a winning percentage of .76 %, winning seven Regional championships and appearing in seven ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships. He also served as the District 12 commissioner and was the Texas Area vice-president. In 1986, he was appointed the Texas at-large player rep. In 1992, Isham was named to the Women’s National Team Selection Committee that selected the first-ever U.S. Olympic Softball Team. He was then selected as the USA Softball National Team Leader for several national teams, including the 1996 Olympic Team. His first assignment came in 1991 with the Junior Men’s National Team that competed in the ISF World Championships in New Zealand. Isham also served on a selection committee that chose the players that comprised the USA Junior Men’s National Team. From 1992-2001, as a member of the Women’s National Selection Committee, Isham has been involved in selecting multiple USA Softball Women’s National Team since 1992, including the 1994 and 1998 World Championship Teams that captured gold; 1995 and 1999 Pan Am gold medal teams and the 2000 Olympic gold medal team. Although Isham has been involved with the ASA for decades, his participation on the selection committee came through his affiliation as an ASA allied member, the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF). Isham has served as a TAAF president (1989-1991) and is one of only 19 individuals in 75 years to receive the Koger Stokes Award, the association’s highest honor, which he received in 1997. In 2002, Isham was named a Life Member of TAAF and is the 40th member of the Hall of Fame to be inducted in the meritorious service category. Isham died on December 3, 2018.


Richard Ribby

Richard Ribby, Eaton Rapids, Michigan – Umpire

Nicknamed “Ice Man” because of his demeanor under all circumstances, Ribby umpired some of the top events in softball, including five ASA Major Fast Pitch Nationals, the 1982 Olympic Festival in Indianapolis, Ind., the 1984 ISF Men’s World championship in Midland, Mich. And the 1995 ASA Women’s Festival. Ribby earned the plate in many Championship games including the 1981 Women’s Major Fast Pitch National, the 1982 Men’s Olympic Festival in Indianapolis and the 1983 Men’s Major Fast Pitch National. Following these events, Ribby was granted his ISF certification in fast pitch in 1983. A year later, he was selected to work the ISF Men’s World Championship in Midland, Mich. Ribby worked his final event in 1995 with the ASA Women’s Olympic Festival; the same year he was also was inducted into the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 

 


Mike Shenk

Mike Shenk, Ephrata, Pennsylvania – Men’s Slow Pitch

Although he started out playing fast pitch, Hall of Fame inductee Mike Shenk made his mark playing major level slow pitch softball from 1992 through 2002, playing for various teams throughout his career. Shenk began playing fast pitch softball after high school and played for two years before switching to slow pitch to play with his friends. During his 11-year career, Shenk has been named All American 22 times and has won 16 National Championships along with a lifetime batting average of.701 and has hit more than 1,500 home runs during his softball career. He batted .700 or higher five times of which his highest batting average was .739 in 2000 which included personal-high 144 homers. In the past years, Shenk had to shorten his softball career because of kidney problems but after receiving a kidney transplant, he is back on the ball field playing 40 & over. In the Super Nationals, Shenk batted .755, (117-for-155), hit 42 homers and drove in 113 RBI. Some of the top slow pitch teams boasted Shenk on their roster including Farrell Maintenance (1987-1989), Taylor Brothers (1990-1992) Shen Valley, Lighthouse (1995-1996), Ritch’s-Superior (1997), Team TPS, Team Easton and Long Haul/TPS in 2001 when the won the “Grand Slam of Softball.” In 2007, Shenk was inducted into the ASA of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. He played for a local team in 1987 and 1988 and helped it win two ASA of PA state titles. In 1994, he joined Shen Valley and continued to play at the top level of men’s slow pitch until he retired after playing the 2002 season.


Cheryl Simmons

Cheryl Simmons, Palo Alto, California – Umpire

While she was still playing softball, Cheryl Simmons was asked by her teammates to umpire a practice game in 1975 when the umpires failed to show. At the time, Simmons had been umpiring high school fast pitch. She agreed to help her team out and a year later she officially registered as an ASA umpire. She was a member of the Santa Clara Metro ASA for 25 years and served as umpire-in-chief for 16 of those years, 1985-2000. She became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1986 and that same year was awarded the ASA Award of Excellence for Region 14. Simmons attended more than 10 clinics to better herself as an ASA umpire as well as has helped train numerous umpires and has worked with other countries in exchange programs to further develop umpires. In 1995, she participated as one of the clinicians at the New Zealand Umpire Clinic in Palmerston North, New Zealand. During her 34-year umpiring career, Simmons umpired various ASA and ISF events. In 1979, she was a member of the first ASA all female umpiring crew for the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. In 1981, she worked the Senior Girls’ (18-under) Fast Pitch National Championship followed by the Women’s Class A Fast Pitch National Championship in 1983 and in 1985. In between these events, she worked and the Senior Girls Fast Pitch National Championship in Lodi, Calif. in 1987. In 1997, Simmons served as the UIC for the Women’s 35-and-over Masters Slow Pitch National in Stockton, Calif. In 2000, she was selected to work the Women’s Inter-Service Slow Pitch Tournament in Miramar NAS, California. In 1987, she was ISF certified in fast pitch and has attained all four levels of the Medals Program. Internationally, Simmons officiated three Olympic Festivals and the 1987 ISF Junior Girls World Championship. In 1994, she was selected to work the ISF World Championship followed by two ISF qualifiers. In 1993, she was the first female to umpire the Canada Cup, and worked this event for nine consecutive years. She also worked the 1997 ISF Asian Zone qualifier and the 2003 Pan American games. Simmons has been a member of the Metropolitan Officials’ Association for 34 years and served as its president for 18 years. She is the 39th Umpire to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and only the second woman umpire to be inducted.


Carl Solarek

Carl Solarek, Freeland, Pennsylvania – Men’s Fast Pitch

A former minor league baseball player who played five years for the Detroit Tigers Organization, Carl Solarek turned to playing softball after his stint in baseball ended. He got started in fast pitch in 1972, Solarek earned ASA first-team All-America honors in 1974-76 and 1978 playing for Rising Sun, the Billiard Sunners and the Reading Sunners. With these teams, he was a member of three ASA Men’s Major fast pitch National Championships teams, one runner-up and one third place. Solarek’s only appearance in ISF World Championship play came in 1976 when Reading, representing the ASA and the USA, shared the ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Lower Hutt, New Zealand with Canada, and New Zealand. Solarek batted .800 in the event and had a .985 fielding percentage in nine games. In addition to the ISF World Championship, Solarek played in the United States Olympic Festival in 1978 and 1979 and was one of the leading hitters for Billiard Barbell, batting .421 (8-for-19) with four RBI in the latter event in helping the team win the gold medal. In the ‘79 gold medal game against Clearwater, Fla., Solarek went two-for-three, scored a run and drove in a pair of runs on a two-run single in the fourth. Solarek had one of his best national tournaments in 1977 in Midland, Mich., leading Billiard Barbell to the National Title. The championship necessitated two games when Aurora Home Savings and Loan of Aurora, Ill. Handed Barbell its first defeat, 3-0. Led by Solarek in the second game, Barbell emerged with a 4-0 win. Solarek went three-for-three on offense and drove in three of the team’s four runs. He and winning pitcher Ty Stofflet had half of the team’s eight hits. Although Solarek starred in the championship game, he was not named to either of the All-America teams, finishing with a .278 batting average (5-for-18). A year earlier, Solarek had batted .313 in the National tourney to earn first-team laurels. Solarek is a member of five Halls of Fame: Anthracite Basketball, Pennsylvania ASA, District 12 Softball, Berks County Hall, and Luzerne County Hall.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2011


Lori Harrigan

Lori Harrigan, Las Vegas, Nevada – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Lori is a member of an elite group of four women who hold three Olympic Gold Medals in the sport of softball. The pitcher not only competed in three Olympic Games, but also in three World Championships and three Pan American Championships, all gold medal performances. Harrigan was also a three-time ASA Women’s Major All-American, spending two years with the California Commotion and one with the California Players. With the Commotion, she was crowned National Champion in 1999 and runner-up in 1995. She joined the USA Softball National Team program in 1992 and retired following the 2004 Olympic Games. In the 2000 Olympic Games, she set a record becoming the first individual pitcher to throw an Olympic no-hitter after blanking Canada in the tournament opener. She finished those Games with a 2-0 record, allowing just one hit and one walk in 12.1 innings.

 

 

 


Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson, Alexandria, Indiana – Umpire

Julie became an ASA registered umpire in 1976 and has emerged as one of the top umpires and clinicians for ASA. Johnson worked nine National Championships, from 1982-1998, including six Women’s Majors. Johnson earned her ISF certification through the International Softball Federation of Umpires in 1986 and would go on to work several Major Fast Pitch events including an ISF World Championship, Pan American Games and most notably the 1996 Olympic Games in Columbus, Georgia. In 2006, she was appointed to the ASA National Umpire Staff as the ASA Deputy Supervisor of Umpires. Johnson not only worked on the field of play, but off the field she served as Umpire-In-Chief for three ASA National Championships and four International events including two World Cup of Softball events and the ISF Men’s World Championship. As one of the top clinicians in the U.S., Johnson has worked over 10 clinics including National Umpires Schools and Fast Pitch Camps. In 2007 she was appointed to the position of North American UIC for the ISF. In 2005, Johnson was inducted into the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame as an Umpire. Sadly, Johnson died on April 28, 2016.

 


Brian Martie

Brian Martie, Bloomington, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Infield

Brian played men’s fast pitch for almost 20 years for several notable teams including Coffeen, Taylor Springs, Bob’s IGA, Bloomington Hearts, Decatur Pride, and ending his career with the Farm Tavern who he competed with for seven seasons. The infielder was a five-time MVP of the Illinois ASA Major State Tournament and six times was selected to the All-Tournament team. He appeared in 15 consecutive ASA National Championships and boasts six All-American titles. On the International scene, Martie competed for Team USA on two Pan American Games teams, which both won silver, as well as the 1996 ISF World Championships.

 

 

 

 


Rod Peterson

Rod Peterson, Madison, Wisconsin – Manager

Rod retired in 2009 after managing the esteemed Farm Tavern team for more than four decades. He began playing in 1955 when he saw a man pass through the hotel lobby carrying cleats. He asked him where he was going, and the stranger said a softball game. Peterson tagged along and the rest they say is history. He played and managed the Farm Tavern, a pub that he still owns today. His Farm Tavern teams, whom he began to manage in 1960, won three ASA National Championships and six runner-up finishes. They accomplished the same feat in ISC play. He quit playing in 1986 but continued to manage the team until 2009. Farm Tavern won approximately 15 State Championships under his management.

 


Lewis Secory Sr.

Lewis Secory, Sr. Port Huron, Michigan – Sponsor

Lewis established the Secory Flyers Softball Club in 1982 when his son approached him about sponsoring a team. The only criteria he asked was that the team represent him, his company and Port Huron, Michigan with class. The year 2010 marked his 29th consecutive season of sponsoring the Secory Flyers Modified Softball Team. In his 29 years of sponsoring, the Flyers have participated in 21 National Championships with two wins. The Flyers won ten MASA State Modified Championships and 16 Port Huron League Championships. During his time on the National Tournament scene, the Flyers placed in the top 10 on nine occasions. Secory is the founder and annual sponsor of the National Bluewater Invitation Softball Tournament in Port Huron. Besides his modified team, Secory has sponsored many other teams including volleyball, hockey, and bowling. In 2001, Secory was inducted into the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in the sponsor category.

 

 

 


Gary Tharaldson

Gary Tharaldson, Fargo, North Dakota – Sponsor

Gary has dedicated much of his life to supporting ASA Softball as a sponsor for not just one or two divisions but across the whole spectrum of ASA Softball. He was a sponsor for 38 years of the Men’s A, B and C Slow Pitch Divisions and supported five different levels of senior ball for a total of 24 years. Tharaldson sponsored women’s teams for 15 years as well as both Boys and Girls Junior Olympic Teams. His sponsored teams have participated in over 30 National Tournaments. Outside of his teams, Tharaldson gave back by providing North Dakota state tournament trophies and banners for all divisions for 12 years. He also sponsored the North Dakota Hall of Fame Banquet for 10 years. Tharaldson has been a key component in keeping the upper division of the McQuade Charity Tournament going. Tharaldson was also a player during his time as sponsor winning two National Championships and over playing 1,000 games as a pitcher. He had a best year record of 58-2 and a career batting average of over .600.

 

 


Tim Wahl

Tim Wahl, Grayland, Washington – Men’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

Tim was introduced to fast pitch softball by a high school friend who needed a catcher. With just two years of experience under his belt, in 1986 he was asked to try out for Pay ‘N Pak of Seattle and was shortly thereafter catching 85 mph fastballs. He spent the next 17 years of his life devoted to fast pitch softball. Along with Pay ‘N Pack, he competed with Seafirst, Penn Corp., NHCD, The Farm Tavern, Tampa Bay Smokers, Decatur Pride, and Victoria Traveler’s Inn. To play during the winter months and perfect his game, he played in New Zealand. He played on three USA Softball National Teams in ISF World Championships play and won eight ASA All-American titles. He was also named to two ISF All-World Teams. He retired in 2002 and continues to work on his family farm growing cranberries.

 

 

 


Al White

Al White, Canton, Michigan – Modified Pitch – Pitcher

Al began his career as a modified fast pitch player in 1966 and retired from the sport in 1997. He briefly emerged from retirement in 2001 to pitch his team to a ninth-place National Tournament finish. White played for 31 years, pitching for two ASA National Championship teams, and earning five first-team All-America honors and the 1985 MVP Title. With all the accolades, his greatest thrill was playing with his son for Little Caesars. They qualified for ASA Nationals every year and were the perfect battery as his son was the catcher. He is currently the Head Coach for the women’s softball team at Madonna University, continuing his commitment to the sport. White is also a Metro Detroit ASA Hall of Fame Inductee.

 

 

 


Max Wilkes

Max Wilkes, Phenix City, Alabama – Meritorious Service

Max has been a longtime supporter of ASA dating back to 1959 where he played and managed several softball teams in the southeast. Wilkes helped organized and serves as President of the Phenix City Umpire Association from 1968 to present. Wilkes served as Alabama ASA District 5 Umpire-In-Chief for over 30 years and currently still holds that position. He is a four-time President of Alabama ASA and three-time Alabama Umpire-In-Chief. From 1993-2006, he served as UIC for over 75 ASA National Championships. During his 25-years on the National Umpire Staff, he was responsible for the coordination of 350 National Championship Tournaments from the Southern Region. He received one of the highest honors when he served on the Atlanta Olympic Games staff for the first-ever Olympic Games. He also served ASA on several committees including the Slow-Pitch Playing Rules and Umpires, Master/Seniors and Junior Olympics and Playing Rules-Special Programs. Max died on October 18, 2012.

 

 


Jim Wolford

Jim Wolford, DeWitt, Michigan – Umpire

Before Jim began umpiring ASA Softball in 1974, he played competitive softball in southwest Michigan. Wolford umpired his first state tournament just two years after he umpired his first two games. In his 26 years of service, Wolford umpired in five ASA National Championships culminating with the Men’s Super Slow Pitch in 1990. Wolford umpired in over 20 state Championships and served as Umpire-In-Chief for over 30 MASA State Championships. Also, in 1990, he became the Michigan ASA State UIC, a position he held for ten years. As he turned more to promoting other umpires instead of his own career, Wolford played a key role in many Michigan umpire clinics during his time. Wolford became International Softball Federation certified in 1983. He was an inaugural member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1986 and was inducted in the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in 1993.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2012


Chris B. Armijo

Chris B. Armijo, Grand Rapids, Michigan – Umpire

Chris Armijo has been an ASA umpire for almost 40 years, during which he has had a great impact upon both ASA and Michigan ASA. Prior to becoming an ASA umpire, Chris played on five ASA State Championship teams. Armijo’s credentials speak for themselves: he is a certified ISF umpire, an ASA Elite umpire, a member of the National Indicator Fraternity since 1994, a Gold Level member of the Medals Program, and a member of the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame since 1998. He was awarded the Michigan ASA Umpire Award of Excellence twice and has served as District 7 Commissioner and Umpire-in-Chief in addition to umpiring seven National Championships. His most noteworthy accomplishment, however, is his role in the creation of the Grand Rapids Area Slow Pitch Softball Association. Amidst budget cuts, Armijo spearheaded the movement for the volunteer organization which keeps softball teams participating in ASA. Armijo has had a great influence upon the Michigan ASA umpires, and has served as an avid supporter and promoter for ASA softball.


Denny Bruckert

Denny Bruckert, Gillespie, Illinois – Manager

Beginning in 1961, Denny Bruckert has dedicated his life to softball. Growing up in a small town in Illinois, Bruckert fostered a love for fast pitch softball, a love that would endure well after his playing days were over. Rather than hang up his cleats, Bruckert turned to managing men’s fast pitch teams. After managing several successful teams, Bruckert was asked to manage the Decatur Pride of Decatur, Illinois in 1993. Bruckert led the Pride to three ASA National Championships and two runner-up titles prior to their disbanding in 2001. Bruckert did not give up on his passion, however, and continued his successful managerial career, winning three additional ASA National titles in 2002, 2005 and 2006 with three different organizations. Most recently, Bruckert led the NY Gremlins to the 2012 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National title. Bruckert also left his mark on the international scene, serving as the assistant coach to the U.S. National team in 1996 and head coach to the 1999 U.S. Pan American silver medal team. Bruckert is also a member of the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame, and the ISC Hall of Fame.


Leon Grunalt

Leon Grunalt, Warren, Michigan – Manager

Leon Grunalt began his softball career in 1955 on a local fast pitch team. After developing a love for the game, he began his managerial career with local Detroit teams. After several successful seasons within local travel leagues, Grunalt found success in 1984 when his Budweiser sponsored team won the ASA Men’s 35 and over National Invitational. After ASA sanctioned this category in 1985, Grunalt’s team went on to win the National title for two consecutive years. Then, in 1988, Grunalt joined forces with Karl and Fred Nothdurft and with new sponsorship the Nothdurft slow pitch team was created. Under his leadership, the team won 37 consecutive games, compiled a record of 63-5 in national championship play and earned seven National titles. Grunalt managed nine ASA Slow Pitch National Championship teams before retiring in 1994. Grunalt has been a member of the Metro Detroit ASA Hall of Fame since 1994. Grunalt passed away on December 12, 2015.

 


Jerry King

Jerry King, Maysville, Kentucky – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

Growing up in Maysville, Kentucky Jerry King made a name for himself as a basketball player. After graduating from high school in 1962, King joined the Marine Corps, where he served for four years. After that he earned a basketball scholarship to Morehead State University where he played for four years. King made his softball debut in 1976, playing for Debois Chemical, where he earned his first ASA All-American title. Throughout the span of his career, King has earned numerous honors and awards, most notably five ASA All-American titles (1976, 1979-82), and he has also been a member of several ASA National Championship teams. In 1980, King gave his highest performance with Campbell’s Carpets, appearing in 133 games with a .721 batting average and boasting 191 home runs. In later years, King continued his success playing with the Joseph Chevrolet World Championship team (1994-1996), a team that was rated as one of the top five “50 and over” teams in the country. After his retirement, the honors and accolades continued to come in. King was among the first class inducted into the Columbus, Ohio Legends of the Game (2009). That same year King was honored for his athletic and civic achievements at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall. King has also received honors from the House of Representatives as an Outstanding Citizen of the Commonwealth of Kentucky while also being named a Kentucky Colonel by Steve Beshear, the Governor of Kentucky. His success with Debois Chemical earned King the title of MVP of the ASA 1970s All Decade Team for Columbus, Ohio.


Larry Mays

Larry Mays, Canyon Lake, California – Manager

Prior to coaching the Gordon’s Panthers in 1982, Larry Mays played and managed competitive softball in Southern California. During his 24 years as head coach, the Gordon’s Panthers won 10 ASA Junior Olympic National Championship titles, five runner-up titles and four Hall of Fame championships, establishing their place as one of the most successful teams in ASA history. Mays also made appearances on the international scene when he served as head coach to the U.S. Pan American Trial gold medal team (1987) in Lima, Peru, the ASA Junior Olympic World silver medal team (1991) in Adelaide, Australia, and assistant coach with the Olympic Festival South gold medal team (1993) in San Antonio Texas. Throughout the 1990’s, Mays served as National team advisors to PR China, Holland and Spain and established the Olympic training program for players and coaches in Micronesia. In addition to his coaching career, Mays presented more than 200 collegiate, national, and international clinics where he taught both players and coaches. Mays has received numerous awards for his contributions, including the United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year (1996, 1999). It is no wonder why people refer to Mays as one of softball’s finest teachers and coaches as well as one of their most sought-after clinicians.


Ivan “Ike” Wheeler

Ivan “Ike” Wheeler, Bossier City, Louisiana – Meritorious Service

Ivan “Ike” Wheeler’s commitment and love for the game of softball is evident throughout his 59 years of involvement with ASA. While serving in the Air Force from 1954-1974, Ike was a member of the Strategic Air Command team, which won eight Air Force Worldwide tournaments, and was selected to the All-Air Force team twice. After retiring, he joined the Shreveport Parks & Recreation Department and continued his work on promoting ASA and softball. Ike has been a registered ASA umpire for over 56 years and has served as District Commissioner in the Shreveport area, ASA Player Representative, and Louisiana Umpire-in-Chief. In addition to these positions, Wheeler has been a member of the ASA National Indicator Fraternity since 1988 and a member of Louisiana ASA Hall of Fame since 2010. Some of his accomplishments he has achieved since joining ASA are recipient of the Region 6 Award of Excellence (2009) and umpired four National Championships (1982, 1987, 1988, 1997) in addition to serving as either Tournament Director, Umpire Coordinator, or Housing Authority for 17 National Tournaments. Since 1978, Wheeler has successfully registered every team in the Shreveport Parks and Recreations Department for ASA and has attended every Umpire-in-Chief clinic and ASA National Convention since 1982. Ivan died on March 5th, 2001.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2013


Laura Berg

Laura Berg, Santa Fe Springs, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

USA Softball’s only four-time Olympian, Laura Berg has made a name for herself as one of softball’s greatest outfielders’ to ever play the game. One of four women who hold three Olympic Gold Medals in the sport of softball, Laura is no stranger to success on both the national and international scene. In addition to competing in four Olympic Games, Laura also appeared at four ISF World Championships, and three Pan American Championships, all Gold Medal finishes. Laura also was a three-time ASA All-American, once with the California Commotion, once with the California Players and once with the California A’s. With the Commotion, she earned a Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship title in 1999. Laura joined the USA Softball National Team program in 1994 and retired following the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2012, she rejoined the Red, White and Blue as an assistant coach, helping lead the Women’s National Team to a World Cup of Softball title and a second-place finish at the ISF World Championship. In 2012, Laura, along with the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team, was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.


Lisa Fernandez

Lisa Fernandez, Long Beach, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

One of the greatest players to ever play the game, three-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Fernandez is a nine-time ASA All-American and was instrumental in helping Team USA take home the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Gold Medals. The only pitcher to appear in all three Olympic finals, Fernandez served as a threat on both sides of the plate. Overall, she achieved a 7-2 record throughout her Olympic career, allowing only 20 hits, seven walks and six runs (four earned) while striking out 93 over 74.2 innings. In addition to her pitching accolades, Fernandez maintained a .333 batting average overall in Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens with three home runs, 15 RBI and 13 runs scored. A rare pitcher/hitter, Fernandez has the distinction of holding four individual Olympic records: most strike outs in a game (25 at the 2000 Olympic Games), fewest runs allowed, highest batting average (.545) in Olympic play and most doubles (3). These accolades helped land her in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame as both an individual and with the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team. Fernandez also competed in three ISF World Championships and three Pan American Championships, all of which earned her a Gold Medal. At the national level, Fernandez collected nine ASA All-American titles and seven ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National titles, three times with the Raybestos Brakettes and four times with the California Commotion. She also won the MVP award five times and the Bertha Tickey Award five times.


Randy Melvin

Randy Melvin, Dowagiac, Michigan – Umpire

Randy Melvin first came into the ASA Softball scene in 1976 when he registered as an umpire with the Michigan ASA. Throughout his career with ASA, Randy became one of the most respected slow pitch umpires in the state of Michigan. He umpired in 16 State Championships and five National Qualifying Tournaments and his talents would eventually carry over to the national level. Between 1993 and 1999, Randy umpired in eight ASA Men’s Slow Pitch National Championships, including two back-to-back appearances at the Men’s Super Slow Pitch National Championship. Randy became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1995, became ISF certified in 1998 and was inducted into the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in 2012.

 


Shirley Simmons Snell

Shirley Simmons, Snell Shreveport, Louisiana – Women’s Slow Pitch – Infield

Shirley Simmons Snell is the sixth person and first slow pitch player from Shreveport elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame. Beginning in 1983, Shirley’s career with ASA Women’s Slow Pitch spanned over 20 years, where she earned All-American accolades five times. She competed at the National Level in six ASA Women’s Slow Pitch National Championships, ranging from Class C to Women’s Major. In addition, she was awarded Home Run Champion in 1994 and 2001, Tournament MVP in 1996 (.615) and Batting Champion (.512) in 1994. Her most notable accolade occurred during the 1998 Women’s Class B Slow Pitch National Championship. While at bat, she hit a home run 350 feet and became the first woman to hit a ball that distance in the Bloomington complex.

 

 


Margie Wright

Margie Wright, Clovis, California – Meritorious Service

Whether as an athlete, coach or clinician, Margie Wright’s softball resume speaks for itself. During her 35 years of involvement with ASA/USA Softball, Margie left a lasting impact at every level of softball. As an athlete, she collected five ASA All-American titles, including one first team All-American selection in 1988 when she threw a perfect game with the Pekin Lettes. Her greatest legacy, however, is her coaching career with the Women’s and Junior Women’s National Teams. From 1982 until 1989, Margie served various roles throughout the international softball world, including a two-year stint as an international coaching consultant for the Netherlands Antilles National Team. She also served as a consultant for ISF events, including the Pan American and Central American Games. In 1991, she made her first coaching appearance as an assistant coach for the 1991 Pan American Women’s National Team, which took home the Gold Medal. Three years later, she followed up with a Gold Medal finish at the ISF World Championship. In 1995, she became the first-ever female head coach for the Junior Women’s National Team, leading them to a Gold Medal at the ISF Junior Women’s World Championship. The following year, Margie served as an assistant coach to the U.S. Olympic Softball Team who would go on to win a Gold Medal in Athens. In 1998, she became the first-ever female head coach for the Women’s National Team and would lead them to a Gold Medal finish at the ISF World Championship. That same year, she earned the United States Olympic Committee’s Coach of the Year in the sport of softball. Wright served as the head softball coach at Fresno State, where she led the Bulldogs to the school’s first-ever NCAA Division I title in 1998. She also holds the NCAA record for all-time winningest softball coach.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014


Darryl Day

Darryl Day, Hilton Head, South Carolina – Men’s Fast Pitch – First Base

If attitude is a key to winning, there was little doubt that Darryl Day would be anything but a winner. Darryl started his softball career with a local Aurora, Ill. softball league before word of his talent reached the notable men’s fast pitch team Aurora Home Savings. Throughout his 15 years of play in ASA/USA Men’s Major Fast Pitch, Day collected four first team All-American titles, three second team All-American accolades and earned one National Championship and six runner-up finishes. Starting in 1973, Darryl was a mainstay for the Home Savings for eight years, during which time he led the team to the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship every year. Day’s strong glove at first base helped lead the Home Savings to four-consecutive runner-up finishes before ending his career with the team in 1980 with a career average of .370. The following year, Day joined the Decatur ADM, where he would earn his first ASA/USA National Championship that same year. During his four years with Decatur ADM, Day led the team to a 409-77 record and finished with a career average of .358 with 173 RBI and 26 home runs. It is no wonder why many of the best pitchers in the world regarded Day as one of the most difficult batters to retire. Day also made a name for himself on the international scene, playing for the USA Men’s Fast Pitch Team in 1979 at the Pan American Games where the team earned silver. He also played three years for the Men’s East Team at the U.S. Olympic Festival.


Crankin’ Craig Elliott

Crankin’ Craig Elliott, Wadley, Alabama – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

For years, Craig Elliot was considered as the top slow pitch player by a lot of people, a title which he earned by dominating men’s slow pitch softball at the highest level. A menace at the plate, Elliott became one of the most feared hitters in the men’s slow pitch world and could change the game with one swing of the bat. Beginning in 1977, Elliott collected 11-consecutive ASA All-American titles and earned tournament MVP accolades three times. He also earned the home run leader title in 1983, ’85 and ’86. His best performance, however, came during the 1983 season when he hit 390 home runs for a HR-to-at bat ratio of 1.93. With the legendary Steele’s team, Elliott collected three ASA Men’s Super Slow Pitch National Championship titles and finished runner-up once. Elliott was also one of very few players to be selected MVP of the ASA Smoky Mountain Classic. His close friend a teammate once claimed: “You could put a quarter in him, and he would hit home runs all day long.” Sadly, Craig died on February 26, 2015.

 

 


Ted Germain

Ted Germain, Mayville, Michigan – Umpire

You would be hard pressed to find an umpire who’s worked an ASA/USA Softball National Championship as often as Michigan native Ted Germain. Ted first registered as an umpire with the Michigan ASA in 1976, establishing a long and storied career as one of the most respected fast pitch and modified pitch umpires. Germain umpired in nine Men’s Major Modified National Championships, one Men’s 40-Over Fast Pitch National Championship, one Men’s Class A Fast Pitch National Championship and three Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships for a total of 14 National Tournament assignments. He also umpired in 36 State Championships and eight National Qualifying Tournaments. Germain also served as an Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) in 42 State Championships, 11 National Qualifying Tournaments and three Great Lakes Regional Tournaments. Ted became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1995, became ISF certified in 1998 and is a member of the ASA Medals Program at the Elite level. Germain also appeared on the international scene, umpiring at the 2007 World Cup of Softball. Germain served as a member of the Michigan ASA State Umpire staff from 1991-2007 and was inducted into the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in 1991. Ted died on January 19, 2014.

 


Stacey Nuveman

Stacey Nuveman, La Verne, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Stacey Nuveman will go down in history as one of the best catchers in the history of fast pitch softball. Nuveman competed in three Olympic Games, capturing the Gold at the 2000 and 2004 Games while claiming the silver at the 2008 games. Nuveman first wore the Red, White, and Blue in 1995 when she earned Gold at the ISF Junior Women’s World Championship in Normal, Ill. where she set a tournament record with 18 RBI. Her impressive power at the plate and strong performance behind it landed her a spot on the Women’s National Team, where she would earn two Pan American Gold Medals and two ISF World Championships. On the national level, Nuveman won two ASA/USA National Championships with the Gordon’s Panthers, coached by fellow Hall of Fame member Larry Mays. She also earned a second-team ASA All-American honor with the California Jazz. Nuveman retired following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, leaving behind an Olympic Legacy with 10 RBI and three home runs. In 2012, Nuveman, along with the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team, was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

 


Tommy Orndorff

Tommy Orndorff, Vienna, Virginia – Manager

At the Junior Olympic (JO) level, the Shamrocks, led by coach Tommy Orndorff, have established a tradition in fast pitch softball that is hard to match. Since their first national appearance in 1977, the Shamrocks have been a force in the JO world, qualifying for 25 ASA/USA National Championships and finishing in the top 10 on nine occasions. In the early years of the Shamrock organization, not many East coast teams competed competitively, but once Coach Orndorff organized the Shamrock program that completely changed. In their 25 appearances at the ASA/USA National Championships, the Shamrocks earned a total of eight top-five finishes, including a runner-up at the 2003 18U GOLD. In 2005, they earned the ultimate title in JO Championship Play as the 18U GOLD National Champions.

 

 

 


Ron Radigonda

Ron Radigonda, Edmond, Oklahoma – Meritorious Service

Under his 15 years of leadership as Executive Director, the face of ASA/USA Softball evolved dramatically. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position, Radigonda worked with the City of Sacramento in the Parks and Recreation Department for 28 years and served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Sports Commission and the Sacramento Sports Foundation. In 1982, he became the Commissioner of the Sacramento ASA, where he served as Chair of numerous committees and served on the Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Association’s Insurance and Finance Committees. During his tenure as Executive Director, the ASA Hall of Fame Complex has undergone major renovations and has continued its hosting duties for the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS), and the World Cup of Softball, an international softball event. He also helped foster a continuing relationship with the City of Oklahoma City. At the International Level, Radigonda has served as a delegate and committee chair for the International Softball Federation (ISF), the governing body of softball internationally.

 

 


Bruce Tanski

Bruce Tanski, Clifton Park, New York – Sponsor

The New York Gremlins have made a name for itself on the softball field thanks to Bruce Tanski, who has sponsored the team for over 40 years. Tanski’s commitment led to a long and storied career with ASA for the Gremlins, including a recent runner-up finish at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in 2013 and a Championship in 2012. Since 1987, Tanski’s teams appeared in 14 National Championships, earning four third-place finishes and two runner-up titles.

 

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015


Bonnie Anderson

Bonnie Anderson, Springfield, Oregon – Umpire

Ask anyone in the Northwest and they’d tell you that Bonnie Anderson was considered the premier umpire from Oregon and Pacific Northwest. Umpiring from 1974-1998, Bonnie’s achievements go far beyond the playing field. Bonnie umpired in 29 ASA/USA Regional Tournaments throughout her career and received her first National assignment in 1981 at the Women’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship. She would go on to umpire in five additional National Championships before breaking into the international scene at the 1995 ISF Junior Women’s World Championship in Normal, Ill. Anderson also served as an umpire at the 1982 National Sports Festival and the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1984. Other accolades include being ISF Certified and a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity. While her umpiring résumé is impressive, her off-field work is just as outstanding. Bonnie became the first woman Umpire-in-Chief for ASA/USA Softball in 1981 and established a top-notch training and education system for Oregon umpires. Sadly, Bonnie died in January 2012, but to this day, her military-style of teaching continues to groom umpires in the Northwest.

 


John Davide

John Davide, Centereach, New York – Men’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

In a time where teams played fewer than 100 games a year, John Davide was a staple of the County Sports softball organization for many years. Known as an intense competitor, Davide was well known throughout the Men’s Major Slow Pitch world as an outstanding shortstop and a feared hitter. Many teammates, coaches and opponents often referred to him as the best home run hitting shortstop in the game. He left little to doubt, often hitting anywhere from 70 to 100 home runs every year he played. Davide was a member of several ASA All-Tournament and All-American squads while capturing numerous Tournament MVP titles throughout his career. His playing accolades didn’t stop at the Major Slow Pitch level as he continued his playing career through the Master’s and Senior Softball divisions.

 

 

 


Andy Dooley

Andy Dooley, Thaxton, Virginia – Commissioner

Andy Dooley has a storied career with ASA/USA Softball beginning in 1984 when he served as an At-Large Player Rep for Piedmont VA ASA. Ten years later, his commitment and dedication to the organization helped earn him the title of Commissioner and helped lead the association to one of the most prominent in the Region. Along with his local accolades, Andy has made an impact at the National level, serving on the ASA/USA Board of Directors as the Eastern Territory Vice President and as the President of ASA/USA Softball from 2009-2011. Since 1992, Piedmont VA ASA has held several ASA/USA events, including National Championships and the USA Softball National Teams. Andy is also extremely active with the Special Olympics Program in both Virginia and on the National level and helped establish the ASA Special Programs Committee.

 

 

 


Sue Enquist

Sue Enquist, San Clemente, California – Meritorious Service

A true icon in the softball world, Sue Enquist has been a driving force for the sport of softball at all levels for nearly four decades. Her resume alone speaks for itself. Enquist has three ASA/USA All-American titles, five ASA/USA National Championships, five Gold Medals as a member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team and three as a coach of the program. Perhaps her most notable accolades came during her time as the Head Coach of the UCLA Softball program. With a 27-year career at the helm of the Bruins, Enquist compiled an 887-175-1 record and 11 NCAA National Championships while producing 15 U.S. Softball Olympians and 65 NCAA All-Americans. Beyond her role as a coach and player, Enquist is highly regarded as a clinician and advocate for softball. A true legend of the game, Enquist continues to instill her passion and excellence to players and coaches around the country.

 

 

 


Mark Steven Ingrao

Mark Steven, Ingrao Falls Church, Virginia – Umpire

Mark began his umpiring career in 1974 at the age of 16 in Falls Church, Va. Five years later, he joined the Fairfax Softball Umpires Association and kicked off a career with ASA/USA Softball that spanned 25 years. His umpiring credits included two Central Atlantic Regional Slow Pitch Tournaments and six National Championships, including the first Men’s Master’s 35-Over in 1985. He then worked his first of four Super Slow Pitch National Championships in 1990. His final National Championship assignment came in 2002 when he umpired at the Slow Pitch Championship Series. Along with his National Tournament assignments, Ingrao is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity, an ISF Certified Umpire and an Elite Umpire in the slow pitch category. Ingrao also has several accomplishments as an administrator for the Central Atlantic Region, including serving as the Metro Washington DC Deputy Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) from 1989-2004. He also served on the National Umpire Staff from 2006-2012.

 

 


Charles E. Moss, Sr.

Charles E. Moss Sr., Lanexa, Virginia – Meritorious Service

A cornerstone of umpiring in Virginia, Charles Moss, Sr. began his career in 1977 when he attended his first ASA rules and mechanics class. His love for the game took root that year, fostering a lifelong commitment to ASA/USA Softball. Two years after attending his first class he was appointed to the Central Virginia ASA staff as an Eastern District Commissioner and Umpire-in-Chief (UIC), positions which led to his attendance at several Regional and National Umpire Clinics. Not only was Moss active at an administrative level, but he also continued his career as an ASA/USA Umpire. His dedication and commitment to the game helped launch his successful umpiring career and several honors have been bestowed upon Moss. In addition to umpiring at 10 ASA/USA National Championships and one International Softball Federation (ISF) event, he is a member of the ASA/USA Umpire Medals program at all levels and he is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Moss is also a member of the Central Virginia ASA Hall of Fame and the National Senior Hall of Fame. Moss also has a strong commitment to Senior softball and has played a major role in the success of the program.

 


Steve Padilla

Steve Padilla, Manteca, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

In an era of iconic men’s fast pitch teams, Steve Padilla was a driving force from the circle. Starting out in the Men’s Class A division, Padilla led his team, Tee House, to the 1982 Men’s Class A Fast Pitch National title while earning ASA All-American honors. Once the word of his pitching spread around the country, Padilla made the jump to the Men’s Major division and never looked back. Joining the California Kings in 1983, he would earn his first ASA/USA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship the following year, helping his squad win 10-straight games en route to the title where he was also named the MVP. Padilla’s 5-0 performance at the National Championship while giving up just one unearned run helped him garner another ASA/USA All-American accolade. Through 10 additional seasons, Padilla earned three more All-American honors with Guanella Brothers and the Nor Cal Merchants and earned a Men’s 40-Over National Championship in 1994. Padilla also made a name for himself on the international scene as a member of the USA Softball Men’s National Team that claimed the Silver Medal at the 1987 Pan American Games. He also competed in five U.S. Olympic Festivals. Once his playing days came to an end, Padilla continued to play a role in men’s fast pitch as a coach in the National Team Program. Padilla served as an assistant coach for the 1999 Men’s National Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada and the ISF World Championship in Sydney, Australia. He also was an assistant coach for the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Athens, Ga.


Mike White

Mike White, Eugene, Oregon – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

One of the most respected pitchers in the game, Mike White put his teams on the map at both the national and international scene. A native of New Zealand, White spent some time as a member of their Men’s National Team before coming to the U.S. to begin his playing career in the Men’s Major division. White’s impressive résumé includes nine ASA/USA All-American titles and three Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships. White also has a storied career with the USA Softball Men’s National Team Program beginning in 1995 when he earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Mar Del Plata, Mexico. In his 11 years as a member of Team USA, White helped guide the U.S. to three silver medals in the Pan American Games and one bronze medal at the ISF World Championship. He continues to help the National Team Program as a member of the coaching staff for the Women’s National Team and is also a member of the ISF Hall of Fame.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016


Ken Eriksen

Ken Eriksen, Tampa, Florida – Meritorious Service

Recently completing his fifth year as the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach, Ken Eriksen has been alongside and at the forefront of coaching some of the greatest athletes the softball world has ever seen. As a player, Eriksen began playing ASA/USA Softball when he joined the Clearwater Bombers, playing from 1987-1992 while batting .347 in 1992 and .456 in the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals. Eriksen was a part of the Miller-Toyota team and Tampa Smokers up until 1997 when he won the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship with his fellow teammates. Eriksen racked up additional honors on the international scene, earning a silver medal at the Pan American Games (1991) and was a three-time Olympic Festival participant (1993, 1994 and 1995), where he took home an additional silver medal at the 1995 Olympic Festival. Eriksen retired shortly after playing for the USA Select Team, which was the first American Athletic Team to compete in communist Cuba in over 30 years (1958). After hanging up his cleats he remained in the game as a coach. His first Head Coach role came in 1997, when he led the USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team at the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Serving on the ASA/USA Softball Board of Directors, Eriksen contributed to the rewrite of criteria for the selection process to meet USOC mandates as an Elite Athletic Representative. Five years later, he joined the Women’s National Team as an assistant coach in 2002 the same year the team captured a Gold Medal at the WBSC World Championship. A highlight of his Team USA coaching resume includes being an assistant coach in the 2003 Pan Am Games which won Gold and going on to coach at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens where the U.S. Olympic Softball Team would put on one of the most dominant performances in Olympic history. Eriksen tacked on another Gold Medal as an assistant coach at the WBSC Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2011, Eriksen took over the Women’s National Team Program, continuing the legacy established before him and producing a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. For the countless individuals within the ASA/USA Softball organization and the players he has coached, Ken Eriksen has made a lasting impact on the game of softball.


Jennie Finch

Jennie Finch, Sulphur, Louisiana – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Two-time Olympian and Pan-American Gold Medalist in addition to being a three-time World Champion, Jennie Finch has become a well-known icon throughout the game of softball. Appearing in two Olympic Games, Finch was a mainstay on the U.S. pitching staff. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Finch was 2-0 from the circle en route to a Gold Medal finish for the U.S. Women. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Finch compiled another 2-0 performance as the U.S. claimed Silver at the sport’s last Olympic Games. From her earliest days playing in the Junior Olympic program to her days playing with Team USA, Finch continues to be the face of softball, inspiring and motivating millions of young softball players across the globe. Earning All-American honors numerous times with solid performances in the circle, Finch has grown to become an ambassador of the sport and shares her message of athletics, family, and faith throughout the country. A crusader for softball’s fight to return to the Olympics, Finch has made a lasting impression on the game and within the ASA/USA Softball organization.

 

 


Harry Haroian

Harry Haroian, Melvindale, Michigan – Men’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

A four-time All-American earning national honors, Harry Haroian was one of the premier fast pitch players in the 1960’s and 1970’s while playing on multiple teams in ASA/USA Softball championship play. Earning All-American honors four separate times, including two first-team selections, Haroian was not only an outstanding catcher but also a utility player who played on some of the top fast pitch teams in the country. A teammate of past Hall of Fame inductee, Carl Walker, Harry Haroian made an everlasting impression on the game of fast pitch softball and has earned numerous MVP awards and All-Tournament selections en route to his induction into the ASA/USA Softball Hall of Fame. Haroian died on June 4, 2018.

 

 

 


Peter Meredith

Peter Meredith, Salt Lake City, Utah – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

One of the greatest pitchers in the history of ASA/USA Softball, Peter Meredith holds the record for most wins in ASA/USA Softball National Championship Play, compiling a 55-27 record at the time of his retirement in 2002. A 12-time All-American and four-time member of the USA Softball Men’s National Team, Meredith won silver at the 1995 Pan American Games in Parana, Argentina and pitched the U.S. to a Gold Medal at the 1998 WBSC World Championships in Saskatchewan, Canada. He also won a Bronze Medal as a member of the 2000 WBSC World Championship in East London, South Africa. Impressive stats including his 61 tournament wins, eight no-hitters, 100 strikeouts in a single tournament and 21 strikeouts in a single game are just a few highlighted accomplishments that have marked his exceptional career.

 

 

 


John A. Nelson

John A. Nelson, Dalton, Georgia – Umpire

One of Georgia’s finest umpires, John Nelson has not only helped to further the game of softball at a state level but a national level as well. Having umpired in over 17 National Tournaments, ranging from Girls’ Slow Pitch to Men’s Super Slow Pitch, Nelson has received outstanding evaluations at all levels. While umpiring, colleagues of his say he had the utmost respect for the players, coaches, and fans in the stands. Highly respected throughout the community, his impact has been prominent, and he continually personifies what it takes to be a great umpire and true supporter of ASA/USA Softball. A member of the ASA/USA Softball Umpire Medals Program since 1969 when he achieved Silver status, John has been a member of the National Indicator Fraternity since 1991, was WBSC certified in 1998 and achieved Elite status in 2003 in slow pitch. Off the field, he has spent time helping in the recruitment and training of new members as well as volunteering at umpire community events such as the Special Olympics, Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters and more.

 

 


Tom Penders

Tom Penders, Narrangansett, Rhode Island – Men’s Fast Pitch – Infield

Combining to play 15 seasons across three different teams, including the legendary Raybestos Cardinals, Franklin Cardinals and Worchester Interstate Batterymen, Tom Penders won five National Championships and is considered as one of the greatest Fast Pitch players ASA/USA Softball has ever seen. Named first-team All-American in the 1975 and 1976 National Championships, Tom always found a way to get on base or get a key hit in the game. Fourteen ASA National Tournaments and six National ASA Finals also marked his notable career in addition to his performance on the 1984 WBSC World Games with Team USA, where they earned the Bronze Medal. Accumulating five National Championship rings is a feat only having accomplished by a handful of players during the 1969-84 era. Penders established a much-deserved reputation as a player who could serve in all areas of the game, becoming a defensive star in addition to his timely hits offensively. Contributing to the success of the 1976 National Championship team with the Raybestos Cardinals, he set a tournament record for highest fielding percentage, committing zero errors. A legendary NCAA men’s basketball coach, it was inevitable his path would lead to a career in softball as he grew up alongside his dad, who was an ASA Commissioner in Stratford. Throughout his playing career, Penders was a versatile player who was willing to do whatever it took for the good of the team.


Terry “T” Petersen

Terry “T” Petersen, Omaha, Nebraska – Sponsor

For more than 33 years, Milton “Terry” Petersen, or as everyone likes to call him, “T”, has been instrumental in providing support to multiple ASA/USA Softball teams. Passionate about the game of softball and the number ‘13’, T’s 13 teams have recorded a combined 3,300-plus wins – a record of successes that will go down in the history books in ASA/USA Softball history. One of the winningest coaches, sponsors and managers in ASA/USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch Softball history, T’s 13 has competed in 34-consecutive ASA/USA Softball National Championships. Combining for a win-loss record of .796 over a span of 33 years, notable highlights include 14 Top 10 Class A National Championship finishes, seven Top Five finishes and two Class A National Championship titles. Those close to him say, “If you are a talented slow pitch player in Nebraska or Western Iowa, you want to play for Terry Petersen.” Diligently promoting ASA/USA Softball on both a state and national level, Petersen connects and stays connected with those with whom he has worked – creating a family that many players aspire to join. With his class and integrity for the sport of softball, Petersen, in his own way, has put Nebraska softball on the map and made an impact on each player he has coached and managed over the years.

 


Mick Renneisen

Mick Renneisen, Bloomington, Indiana – Meritorious Service

A dedicated administrator in the softball community, Mick Renneisen has a long history of working to build consensus toward making the game of softball better for all those who participate. Renneisen has held numerous leadership positions at the state and national level. In addition to his 25-year playing career, Renneisen has served in a variety of positions, including local league and state and national tournament director, ASA representative for national tournaments, parks and recreation department administrator, at-large player representative, allied member, committee chair, Midwest Region Director, and member of the ASA/USA Softball Board of Directors. Currently, Renneisen serves as the Commissioner for Indiana ASA/USA Softball while also serving his community of Bloomington as Deputy Mayor. His ability to maintain a grounded focus among a large group for the enhancement of the game of softball is what has set him apart from others. Those who work with Renneisen say his commitment and dedication to each role is not only motivating but inspiring to others in his community and around ASA/USA Softball at a state and national level. Serving as a key member on the Equipment Testing and Certification Committee for over 10 years, his solid decision-making has been integral in the regulation of equipment. As chairman of the Long-Range Planning Committee, he has been effective at implementing change to grow the game by using sound surveying and planning principles to lead change efforts. The impact that Renneisen has made will leave a lasting imprint on ASA/USA Softball.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017


Mike Candrea

Mike Candrea, Tucson, Arizona – Meritorious Service

Mike Candrea is synonymous with softball success. Candrea’s resume with the USA Softball Women’s National team spanned over a decade, starting first as an assistant coach in 1994 on the Women’s World Championship team that captured the Gold Medal in Canada. Beginning in 2002, Candrea took over the helm of the Women’s National Team, during which time the U.S. captured two World Championship Gold Medals, two Pan-American Gold Medals, two World Cup titles, one Olympic Gold Medal and one Olympic Silver Medal. With a passion for making world-class athletes and individuals, Candrea was a driving force behind some of the most dominating performances in international softball. “I don’t just want to win, I want to dominate,” is a phrase Coach Candrea echoed during the journey to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Making his words a reality, Team USA recorded one of the most dominant Olympic performances in history, outscoring opponents 51-1. After retiring from his Head Coach duties following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Candrea continued his involvement with USA Softball as the Director of Coaching Education, where he took on a series of educational roles to continue the development of the sport both domestically and internationally.

 


Jimmy N. Derrick

Jimmy N. Derrick, Douglasville, Georgia – Umpire

With an infectious enthusiasm, professional pride, and love for the game of softball, Jimmy Derrick’s resume speaks for itself. Regarded by his peers as one of the top slow pitch umpires in the game, Derrick has worked some of the highest levels of men’s slow pitch softball. Whether at the Slow Pitch Championship Series or the international Border Battle, Jimmy has proven to be the consummate professional both on and off the field. Boasting a resume of 19 National Championship appearances, Derrick continues to share his love for the game through his contributions to the USA Softball Umpire program as a member of the National Umpire Staff. Serving as the Region 3 Umpire-in-Chief, Derrick is a skilled instructor through National and Local Umpire Schools and Clinics. A dynamic instructor, he is a leader in the interactive learning process for the umpire program. With a belief that “you must give respect to earn respect,” Derrick’s approach to the game truly encompasses what being a USA Softball Umpire is all about.

 

 


Gary Evans

Gary Evans, Mason, Michigan – Umpire

Having been involved with USA Softball for almost 50 years, Gary is considered one of the top umpires within USA Softball of Michigan. A firm believer in taking advantage of the valuable training USA Softball offers to its umpires, Evans applied the lessons learned and always gave 100% on the ballfield. His dedication to his craft led him to a path of national excellence, as he got the call at eight National Championships and served as an Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) or Assistant UIC in five National Championships. A true mentor for his fellow umpires, Evans took on the role of Michigan UIC, a position he held for 15 years, where he helped lead countless District and State clinics and National Umpire Schools. His insight, knowledge and love for the game will have an everlasting impact on the Michigan umpire community.

 

 

 


Dick Gulmon

Dick Gulmon, Valley City, North Dakota – Meritorious Service

At a time when the sport of softball was at a crossroads with new equipment technology, Dick Gulmon played an integral role in the Certified Equipment standards of USA Softball. Having been involved in the game at a variety of levels, Gulmon personifies leadership through his contributions to the sport. In addition to his playing and management of teams during his career, Gulmon has also served in a variety of leadership capacities. Serving on the North Dakota Board of Directors and Classification Committee since 1989, Gulmon was appointed President of USA Softball of North Dakota in 1996 and became Commissioner in 2013. At the National level, Gulmon has served on the USA Softball Board of Directors and has served on the Council for over 20 years. Gulmon has also served on various USA Softball Committees. His most noteworthy position is his role as Chairman of the Equipment Testing & Certification Committee, a role he has held since 2005. In this role, Gulmon spearheads the efforts in the development of state-of-the-art bat and ball testing protocol which help level the playing field. A great ambassador for USA Softball, Gulmon is and has been a leader of change throughout the sport of softball.

 


Mark Martin

Mark Martin, Fayetteville, Arkansas – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

With a career at the major level that spanned 15 years, Rick Minton was a sparkplug and vocal leader of the legendary Decatur Pride. A six-time All-American, Minton collected two Men’s Major National Championships, 1994 and 1995) as a member of the Pride and earned two Men’s 40-Over National Championships in 1999 and 2000. With his quick glove, great anticipation and accurate arm, Minton was a renowned defensive magician at second base with play so steady that it earned him a spot on four Men’s National Team rosters. Twice Minton earned a Pan American Games Silver Medal, 1987 and 1991, and in 1988 he was a member of the last Gold Medal winning United States team at the World Championship. He also was named to three U.S. Sports Festival teams, earning a Silver Medal finish at each appearance. One thing is for sure: when it came to playing second base, Rick Minton was the Secretary of Defense.

 

 

 


Rick Minton

Rick Minton, Cerro Gordo, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

With a career at the major level that spanned 15 years, Rick Minton was a sparkplug and vocal leader of the legendary Decatur Pride. A six-time All-American, Minton collected two Men’s Major National Championships, 1994 and 1995) as a member of the Pride and earned two Men’s 40-Over National Championships in 1999 and 2000. With his quick glove, great anticipation and accurate arm, Minton was a renowned defensive magician at second base with play so steady that it earned him a spot on four Men’s National Team rosters. Twice Minton earned a Pan American Games Silver Medal, 1987 and 1991, and in 1988 he was a member of the last Gold Medal winning United States team at the World Championship. He also was named to three U.S. Sports Festival teams, earning a Silver Medal finish at each appearance. One thing is for sure: when it came to playing second base, Rick Minton was the Secretary of Defense.

 

 

 


Bob Quinn

Bob Quinn, Branchville, New Jersey – Men’s Fast Pitch – Infield

Best known for his rock-solid defense, clutch plays and aggressive base running, Robert “Bob” Quinn was one of the most fundamentally sound players on the field. Quinn was a key player on the legendary Raybestos Cardinals, and later Franklin Cardinals, earning four National Championship titles during his 15-year career. Regarded as one of the best middle infielders in the game, he also made a name for himself as an offensive igniter. A two-time All-American, Quinn received softball’s highest honor in 1979 when he was chosen as a member of the Men’s Fast Pitch National Team, which would go on to win the Silver Medal at the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He would follow with a Bronze Medal at the 1984 World Championship in Midland, Mich. In addition to his Team USA and All-American accolades, Quinn was also selected to four All-Star Series during his playing career. His teammates would say his greatest attribute was that when the game was on the line and you needed a big play, Quinn was your guy.

 

 


Willie Simpson

Willie Simpson, Oak Lawn, Illinois – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

Regarded as the greatest clutch hitter and toughest competitor in 16-Inch softball, Willie “Steamer” Simpson was one of the last guys you wanted to face when the game was on the line. Always clutch at the plate, Simpson is a six-time All-American, 10-time National Champion and two-time MVP of the Men’s 16-Inch National Championship. Spending most of his career with the Bobcats out of Chicago, Ill., Simpson helped his team come out of the loser’s bracket in the 1979 National Championship, including seven-straight wins on Championship Sunday. Finishing his playing career after the 1988 season, Simpson’s loyalty to team play was reflective in his tenure with the Bobcats. When asked what his strong points were, Simpson quickly replied it was his team mentality, noting: “I got a lot of clutch hits, but you know somebody has to put you in that situation. There were always guys who were on base ahead of me. It takes 10 or 11 guys to play a softball game.”

 

 

 


Evans Telegades

Evans Telegades, Detroit, Michigan – Men’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

Evans Telegadas was one of the premier fast pitch players to come out of the Metro Detroit area. Playing on multiple teams in National Championship Play, Telegadas earned six All-American honors throughout his career. An outstanding shortstop, he played in nine Men’s Major National Championships and was known to make big plays when the stakes were high. Winning the 1979 Men’s Major National Championship as a member of McArdle Pontiac-Cadillac, Telegadas and his teammates earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the WBSC World Championship in Tacoma, Wash. Telegades earned a Gold Medal with his fellow teammates through his competitive nature and all-around talent. Holding a .336 lifetime batting average, Telegadas understood the need to put aside personal goals for the accomplishments of the team, a quality that in addition to his career accolades has certainly earned a Hall of Fame honor.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018


Dick Brubaker

Dick Brubaker, Elburn, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

A staple of the Home Savings & Loan squad for 13 years, Dick Brubaker brought one of the best physical and mental approaches to the game of Men’s Fast Pitch softball. With an unconventional start in the Men’s Fast Pitch national scene, Brubaker played in his first USA Softball National Championship at the age of 36, but it did not take long for the Illinois native to make a name for himself. With a lightning-fast delivery, “Bru’s” trademark grunt and hard drop ball would baffle batters at the plate well into his final season with Home Savings & Loan in 1984. In his illustrious career, Brubaker amassed a 337-63 record and a stifling 0.63 ERA, four times earning USA Softball All-American honors while finishing runner-up at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship five times. These notable accolades also earned him a spot on the 1972 USA Softball Men’s National Team, which earned silver at the 1972 WBSC Men’s World Championship. Brubaker went 4-1 in the circle with a 0.18 ERA and provided for his team at the plate, going 5-for-15 (.333) with one run scored as the U.S. finished with a Silver Medal.

 

 


Crystl Bustos

Crystl Bustos, Canyon County, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Infield

One of the most feared hitters to ever step up to the plate, Crystl Bustos is considered one of the all-time greats. Between 1999-2008, Bustos helped Team USA to two Olympic Gold Medals, an Olympic Silver Medal, three Pan American Championship Gold Medals and a WBSC World Championship Gold Medal. Getting her first run with the Women’s National Team at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, she made an immediate impact as she led the team with 18 hits, three home runs and 15 RBI. Bustos would continue to be an asset to the American offense, compiling an Olympic-career stat line of 26 runs scored, 14 home runs, 24 RBI and a .372 (30-for-85) batting average. A rugged slugger, Bustos also has the distinction of holding two individual Olympic records: most RBI (10) and most home runs (5), and she, along with her 2004 Olympic teammates, were inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame for their outstanding performance at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

 

 


John Daniels

John Daniels, Albertville, Minnesota – Sponsor

An avid supporter of USA Softball for over 30 years, John Daniels has been supporting teams in the top echelon of Men’s Slow Pitch softball since the mid-nineties. Having served as a player, manager and sponsor, Daniels captured his first national title as a sponsor of Long Haul/TPS at the Men’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship and followed with his second in that division in 2000. The following year, Daniels sponsored what many consider to be one of the greatest teams assembled in the Men’s Super Slow Pitch Division, Long Haul/Taylor Brothers/Shen Valley/TPS. The team accomplished what only one other team in the history of Men’s Slow Pitch has done: winning every major national championship there was to win in their class to capture the “Grand Slam” in slow pitch softball. In all, Daniels has sponsored nine USA Softball National Championship teams.

 

 

 


Ricky Huggins

Ricky Huggins, Pembroke, Georgia – Men’s Slow Pitch – Pitcher

The only player in the history of USA Softball to be named MVP in the three highest classifications of slow pitch softball (Men’s Major, Men’s Class A and Men’s Super Slow Pitch), Ricky Huggins is a renowned southern slugger. An 11-time All-American, Huggins pitched his teams to a total of nine USA Softball National Championships: two Men’s Class A titles, two Men’s Major titles and five Men’s Super titles. Huggins provided plenty of power at the plate, averaging a .650 batting average during those nine title years, a feat which would earn him a spot on USA Softball’s 1990’s Team of the Decade. Slugging over 3,000 home runs through his storied slow pitch softball career, Huggins legendary swing also landed him a line of exclusive Worth slow pitch bats.

 

 

 


Todd Joerling

Todd Joerling, Defiance, Missouri – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

Joerling got his start when he was 14 years old after stepping in to play for his brother’s team to avoid a forfeit. As the saying goes, the rest is history. He is a 16-time national champion who earned USA Softball All-American accolades 10 times during his storied career, including an MVP nod in 1999 at the Men’s Super Slow Pitch National Championship. With over 2,000 home runs hit during his 13-year career at the major level, Joerling’s play also earned him a spot on the first-ever USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team, which defeated Canada at the inaugural Border Battle. While his achievements on the field speak for themselves, many refer to Joerling as a true ambassador of the game.

 

 

 


William H. Silves

William H. Silves, Mt. Vernon, Washington – Umpire

Loved by his peers and respected by teams, William “Wild Bill” Silves was a highly respected USA Softball umpire for over 45 years. At the age of 18, he attended his first umpire school, which began a life-long passion for the sport of softball. After putting in the work on the field, Bill’s skills earned him the opportunity to umpire at his first USA Softball National Championship at the 1979 Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, where he would be assigned to the Championship Game. His accolades continued as he got the call at three more USA Softball National Championships and several WBSC-sanctioned events in Canada. While his on-field achievements show the amount of work he put into his craft, Bill is also well respected for his efforts to grow the umpire program off the field. Having served as an Umpire-in-Chief locally, regionally, and nationally, his commitment to the growth and development of umpires is second-to-none. Having served as an instructor at 27 USA Softball National Umpire Schools, Bill’s infectious enthusiasm sets the gold standard for the USA Softball Umpire program.

 

 


Christa Williams

Christa Williams, Houston, Texas – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time World Champion, Christa Williams is one of the best pitchers to come out of the Houston area. Having already pitched the United States to a WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship in 1995, Williams was the youngest member on the inaugural U.S. Olympic Softball team in 1996 when the sport debuted in the Atlanta Olympic Games. Proving age is just a number, Williams went a perfect 2-0 in the circle, allowing no earned runs to cross the plate while striking out 15 batters in her Olympic debut. She followed with another 2-0 showing in the circle for the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia as the United States claimed their second Olympic Gold Medal. In addition to her international accolades, Williams also made a name for herself at the national level, earning USA Softball All-American honors at the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship twice.

 

 

 


Charles Wright

Charles Wright, Columbus, Georgia – Men’s Slow Pitch – Third Base

Between 1993-1997, Charles Wright played for some of the top Men’s Slow Pitch teams in the country. Known for his smooth play at third base and his power at the plate, Wright earned USA Softball All-American honors 12 times and twice earned MVP honors at the Men’s Super Slow Pitch National Championship. Playing for legendary teams like Steele’s Sports and Ritch’s Superior, Wright’s top performance came in the 1986 season when he led the country with 503 home runs while hitting an astounding .771 throughout the year. He was also a member of the 1992 Ritch’s Superior squad, which was the first-ever team to win every major title, also known as the “Grand Slam”, in slow pitch softball. Statistics don’t lie, which is why many consider Wright to be in the Top 5 of all-time greatest slow pitch softball players in the history of the sport.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019


Rick Havercroft

Rick Havercroft, Saginaw, Michigan – Umpire

When you hear the name Rick Havercroft, the first thing you think of is men’s fast pitch. A product of the Michigan umpire program, Havercroft was the guy you wanted on the field during a Championship Game – not only for his knowledge of the rules and his mechanics, but because of the respect he earned from the players and coaches. At the grassroots level, Havercroft umpired countless State tournaments in addition to nine men’s Major, a Women’s Class A and Men’s 40-Over Fast Pitch Championships. His ability to command the game led to an assignment at the 1996 WBSC Men’s World Championship and when USA Softball held the inaugural American Challenge Series in 2007, Havercroft was one of the first to receive the call. When he stepped away from the plate, Havercroft instilled his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of umpires, continuing the standard of excellence he helped contribute to. His efforts both on and off the field have earned him the title of Hall of Famer.

 

 


Britt Hightower

Britt Hightower, Houston, Texas – Player – Outfield

Dedication. Defense. Teammates. Love for the game. Long ball slugger Britt Hightower credits all four with the success he had in a storied playing career that began in 1984. It was not uncommon for Hightower to be seen at the park following a strict batting practice routine that included hitting anywhere from 200-300 balls per day. That dedication to his performance at the plate could only be matched by his ability to play defense. Considered by many to be one of the top five outfielder is to ever play the game of slow pitch softball, Hightower put a lot of emphasis on his work in the field knowing that one missed play could result in an offensive surge for your opponent. Playing with the legendary Ritch’s Superior for most of his elite playing career, Hightower credits former teammates and friends with instilling a preparation mentality that led to his continued success. Preparation was a key to his success as he lauds five USA Softball Super Slow Pitch National Championship titles and is a six-time First Team All American. Ultimately, a love for the game and the friendships that the game brings are what Hightower will remember the most when reflecting upon his career. “I won’t play softball forever,” he once stated, “but I will always have the friends that I have made in softball for a lifetime.”

 


Warren Jones

Warren Jones, Ashland, Ohio – Meritorious Service

Warren Jones’ dedication to USA Softball has not gone unnoticed. Little did he know when he first started playing at the age of 12 that he would embark upon a journey that would land him titles such as Player Rep, Committee Chair, Team Leader, Commissioner and eventually President. Jones bleeds “USA Softball blue” through and through, with his love for the organization evident to those around him. As a player and manager, Jones participated in four Men’s Major and 10 Class A Fast Pitch National Championship Finals. His first role as a USA Softball Council Member came in 1986 when he was appointed an At-Large Player Rep and as the saying goes – the rest is history. In his 33 years of service, Jones has served as Chair of the Legislative, Boys’/Men’s Fast Pitch and the Men’s National Team Selection Committees while also stepping up as a Team Leader for the 2003 and 2015 Men’s National Teams that competed at Pan American Games and various competitions for the Junior Men’s and Women’s teams. In 2006, Jones was selected as the Commissioner for the state of Ohio and helped steer the association into an era of stability and excellence in hosting USA Softball National Championship Finals. In 2016, Jones became the first African American President for USA Softball and served a two-year term and under his guidance, USA Softball continued to be the leader in the sport of softball. Jones’ efforts to grow the sport of softball, particularly men’s fast pitch, has left an impact on the organization that has earned him a Hall of Fame honor.


Tony Laws

Tony Laws, Burlington, North Carolina – Meritorious Service

District Commissioner, Tournament Director, Team Leader and State Commissioner. Those are just a few of the titles that Tony Laws has held with USA Softball. Starting as a District Commissioner in 1969, Tony’s dedication to the game of softball is evident through his 50-plus years of service. First joining the USA Softball Council in 1986, Laws has served on numerous Committees, including Equipment Testing & Certification, Legislative, Long Range Planning, Tournament Awards and Seniors and Masters to name a few. His ability to lead and organize events came to fruition in 2000 when he served as Team Leader for the United States Men’s National Team at the World Championship in South Africa. Two additional Team Leader appointments came in 2002 with the Women’s National Team and 2003 for the Junior Women’s National Team at their respective World Championships. In 2005, Laws became the Commissioner of North Carolina, a position he continues to hold today. What truly stands out amongst Laws’ accomplishments is the growth of the Senior Slow Pitch, which annually has its National Championship in his hometown of Burlington, N.C. Laws’ continually displays exemplary leadership, and his involvement has truly made a difference for USA Softball.

 


Jessica Mendoza

Jessica Mendoza, Camarillo, California – Player – Outfield

If one were to research the accolades that two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza earned throughout her playing career, the results would never end. A career with the United States Women’s National Team that spanned 10 years, Mendoza made an immediate impact for the U.S. offense. With the ability to hit for power and average while also using her speed in the short game, Mendoza consistently hit over .300 while holding down the three-hole spot in the lineup. Mendoza was a part of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team that absolutely dominated the Athens Olympic Games, a feat which helped earn a spot in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame with her teammates. With an Olympic Gold and Silver Medal, three World Championship titles and two Pan American Games Gold Medals, the medals speak for themselves – but it is her willingness to inspire the future generation of athletes and create opportunities for females in sports that stands out. After hanging up her cleats following the 2010 season, Mendoza continued her role as an ambassador for the game, holding the position of President for the Women’s Sports Foundation. These days, you can see Mendoza in the broadcast booth. Beginning her analyst role for NCAA Softball, Mendoza’s ability to resonate with audiences ultimately landed her another milestone – making history as the first female analyst for a Major League Baseball game.

 


Mike Nye

Mike Nye, Jacksonville, Florida – Player

Mike Nye learned from an early age what it took to win games. Getting his start in softball at the age of 12 after playing pickup for his brother’s team, four years into his playing career Nye got his first taste of upper-level slow pitch softball and never looked back. Winning his first National Championship in 1976 with Warren Motors, Nye earned MVP accolades after hitting .793, a noteworthy accomplishment considering there was no limit on the pitching arc. A 12-time USA Softball All-American during his 25-year career at the Major level, Nye accumulated 12 USA Softball National titles – including two in 1989 in the Super and Major divisions. With lightning-fast speed, Nye is considered by many to be the greatest pure hitter that ever played and gave everything he had on both sides of the ball. “I like to play the game the way it is supposed to be played,” he once told fellow Hall of Famer Mike Macenko. “Take that extra base, break up that double play and always think positive.” Playing every game like it was his last, that mentality fostered a passion for the game that can only be described with one word – winner.

 

 


Ron Parnell

Ron Parnell, Highland, California – Player – Shortstop

In slow pitch softball, you need a good fielder at shortstop, and according to many, there were none better at that position than Ron Parnell. Between 1983 and 1999, Parnell made a name for himself playing on teams of legend: Steele’s Sports and Ritch’s Superior. In total, Parnell played on seven USA Softball Super National Championship squads and three runner-up teams. He batted .675 and smashed over 2,000 home runs while nine times being named a USA Softball All-American (1986-1988, 1992-1996, 1999). Once his career playing at the highest level in slow pitch softball came to an end, Parnell continued to play at the senior level where he continued his dominating play. Parnell earned All-American accolades at the Men’s 40-Over Slow Pitch National Championship three times (2007-2008, 2012) and once at the Men’s 45-Over Slow Pitch National Championship (2008) while leading his teams to National Championship titles in all but one of those All-American performances. Regarded as one of the most prolific power-hitting shortstops in the game, Parnell’s name will go down in slow pitch softball history.

 

 


Joey L. Rich

Joey L. Rich, Springfield, Missouri – Commissioner

Joey Rich has spent the last 40-plus years to the game of softball at a variety of levels. Whether on the field as an umpire or off it as an administrator, his leadership has made a resounding difference. First registering as an umpire in 1973, Rich worked tirelessly within the Missouri association to grow and develop the game at the local level. Using his knowledge for the rules of the game, Rich took his efforts to the National level after being appointed an At-Large Player Rep for the National Council in 1987. He continued to rise through the ranks of the organization, which landed him the role of Commissioner in 2003. Since that time, he has gone on to hold leadership roles with several Committees, ultimately landing him a spot on the Board of Directors before culminating with his two-year term as President. With a personality to match his love and passion for the game, Rich has earned the respect of his peers and has left a positive impact on USA Softball that will last for years to come.

National Softball Hall of Fame 2000’s

The National Softball Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal for any player, coach, umpire or administrator who aspire to greatness in the sport. With over 400 inductees, the National Softball Hall of Fame is among the most difficult sports halls in the nation in which to gain membership.

Take a moment to browse through the Hall of Fame section and learn more about some of the sport’s greatest athletes and their accomplishments. If you get a chance to visit us in person while in Oklahoma City, please observe these hours of operation:

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
2801 Northeast 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 424-5266
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Check USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex for weekend hours

The Hall of Fame and Museum does not charge, but donations are greatly appreciated and accepted. Your donations help keep this history of softball alive through exhibit updates, upkeep and restoration projects.

Link to Video of the National Softball Hall of Fame


The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1957. Once USA Softball moved to Oklahoma City January 1, 1966 after having its offices in Newark, NJ, the decision to establish a Hall of Fame Building in Oklahoma City was made in January of 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hall of Fame were held December 19, 1970 in Oklahoma City. The late John Nagy, former Cleveland Metro commissioner, was USA Softball President at that time. Hall of Famers Harold (Shifty) Gears and Carolyn Thome Hart were among those attending the ceremonies.

The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.

The first of two additions to the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters and the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, there is 28,406 square feet of space.

A second expansion was added July of 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet of space.

The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has over 400 members with two categories of membership: players and non players. Within the player category, there are five categories: Men’s/Women’s Fast Pitch, Men’s/Women’s Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch. Within the non player category, there are five different divisions one can be nominated in: Commissioner, Meritorious Service, Umpire, Managers and Sponsors. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the USA Softball Annual Meeting.


Through our vast collection of artifacts, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about softball’s rich history. Your support is critical to these efforts.

The Hall of Fame Donation Fund was established to ensure that the National Softball Hall of Fame has a future and is committed to educating people about the great former players and non players and the role they played in the development of the sport.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps the National Softball Hall of Fame continue its mission of educating, collecting and honoring as well as the preservation of the history of softball, the maintaining of present exhibits and purchase of new exhibits and possible expansion of the Hall of Fame building.

Click here to make a donation

Due to the volume of offers we receive, we cannot accept the donation of an artifact without a completed artifact description form. Please see our Mission Statement and Collections Management Policy to see what types of objects we will and will not accept. Once we have received your form, our staff will evaluate the object’s potential and will be in contact with you as to whether or not we will be able to accept the donation. If your object is chosen, the donated material will be recommended to the Executive Director for consideration. Following the meeting a staff member will contact you regarding the next steps.

 Click here for the Donor Questionnaire Form



NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2000


Russ Boice

Russ Boice, St. Louis, Missouri – Manager

Russ died on Christmas Day of 1998 at age 53 after suffering heart attack. Former player from 1964-1971 who turned to managing men’s fast pitch teams and became one of the game’s best. In 1982 and 1983 managed St. Louis Budweiser before beginning five-year stint as manager of Decatur, IL Pride. In 1985, Decatur was national runner-up and finished fourth in 1986, seventh in 1987, fifth in 1988 and runner-up in 1989. Served as an assistant coach for Penn Corp of Sioux, IA in 1990-91. Led National Care Discount of Sioux City, IA to ASA national titles in 1992 and 1993. In 1988 and 1992 served as assistant coach of the USA National Team. The team won a gold medal in 1988 ISF World Championship. In 1995 was assistant coach of USA Pan American team and was named head coach for 1999 Pan American team. Was named head coach of 1996 USA National Team for ISF World Championship in Midland, MI. Was born April 2, 1945.

 

 

 


Bill Gatti

Bill Gatti, Louisville, Kentucky – Men’s Slow Pitch – Catcher

Louisville, KY has had its share of good softball players, but there was no one that was as well-known as the Great Gatti, Bill Gatti. A former University of Louisville football and baseball star, Gatti was one of the top players playing Major and Super Slow Pitch for more than 20 years. Gatti started playing slow pitch for a local team, Guards, in 1969 before joining Jiffy Club in 1971. That year, he led Jiffy club to a 11th place finish in the national tourney and led the tournament in batting (.867). He also earned the first of his five first-team All-America selections. In 1972, he led Jiffy Club to the national title, batting .714 with 14 homers to lead the tourney as well as being named tourney MVP. In 1973, Jiffy placed fourth before Gatti played pro football for two years before re-joining Jiffy Club in 1976. In eight Major/Super Nationals, Gatti batted .674 with 123 hits in 187 at-bats, driving in 144 runs and hitting 70 homers. During his career, Gatti smashed 1,937 homers and drove in 4,076 runs. In 1989, he led Ritch’s Salvage to ASA Major and Super Slow Pitch national titles and was the MVP in the Major National.

 

 


Dennis Graser

Dennis Graser, New Berlin, Wisconsin – Men’s Slow Pitch – First Base

The first Wisconsin slow pitch player elected to the Hall of Fame, Graser played from 1977 to 1996. Eight times he was named an ASA All-American and was a member of five Super slow pitch national championships teams: 1985-1987, 1988 and 1992 and three Super Division runner-up finishes. In six Super Nationals, he batted .645, hit 35 homers and drove in 90 runs. In 1989, he was a member of the gold medal team in the U.S. Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City. It was the first-time slow pitch was on the Festival program. From 1977-1982, he played in the American Professional Slo-Pitch League and was a member of three championship teams. He batted .706 in the 1982 pro softball World Series with five homers and 19 RBI. Besides the pro teams, Graser played amateur softball for Elite Coatings, Steele’s Sports, Starpath, and Ritch’s Superior. In three years with Steele’s, he had a .671 batting average and in 1987 had 217 doubles. In 1999, Graser was inducted into the Wisconsin ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 


Ted Hicks

Ted Hicks, Chillicothe, Missouri – Men’s Fast Pitch – Third Base

If it was not for the persistence of his brother, Al, Ted Hicks might not have played major fast pitch softball. After injuring his right knee in college (Central Missouri University) playing football, Ted figured his major league baseball aspirations were over. He figured he would be labeled as “damaged goods.” In the ensuing years he continued to have problems with the knee resulting in four operations. Concerned about his brother, Al called Ted and asked him to play on a local softball team. He called him another day and said he had good news and bad news. The bad news was that the team Ted was going to play for had picked up a couple of players and did not need him. The good news was that Al quit the team and formed his own team and wanted Ted to play for him. The rest, as they say, is history as Ted played a couple of games and “loved it.” He went on to play 14 years (1975-1989) and establish himself as one of the top hitters in the game. From 1981-1989, he played for Decatur, IL and batted .318 with 121 homers and 841 RBI. Seven times he was named an ASA All-American and in 1978 set the record for the highest batting average in a Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Tourney, .632 (12-for-19). That year Ted also was named co-MVP of the tourney.

 


Wayne L. Myers

Wayne L. Myers, Terre Haute, Indiana – Commissioner

Wayne Myers took over from Tony Dyer as Indiana ASA commissioner in 1976 and has done an outstanding job the past three decades in making Indiana ASA among the top five associations within the ASA in membership. Started Indiana ASA Hall of Fame banquet and re-organized state into districts. Former fast pitch hurler. Served as vice president of the ASA and was ASA president from 1995-1996. Was team leader for USA National Team in 1986 ISF Women’s World Fast Pitch Championship. Vice-chairman of the ASA Hall of Fame Selection Committee. One of the best promoters of ASA softball. Was born August 11, 1925 in Terre Haute, IN.

 

 

 


Billy Peterson

Billy Peterson, Woodbury, Minnesota – Umpire

Has been a member of the ASA National Umpire staff since 1985. Has umpired in five ASA nationals, two ISF World Championships and four NCAA College World Series. Was ISF certified in 1984. Is outstanding clinician and instructor. Has been an instructor at 44 ASA National Schools, 10 ASA Advanced Schools and four All-American Umpire Schools. Has been the UIC at 50 events ranging from ASA nationals to U.S. Olympic Festivals. In 1998, was inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame. Second Minnesota umpire elected to ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 


Denny Place

Denny Place, Livingston, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – First Base

A model of consistency for the teams he played for during his 20-year career, Place could play shortstop, the outfield and first base, where he established himself as one of the premier first sackers in the game. In 11 years with Decatur, IL, Place had a .326 batting average hitting 111 homers, driving in 505 runs and scoring 763 runs. He played in 12 national championships and posted a .306 average with 89 hits in 291 at-bats with three homers and 27 RBI. Seven times Place was named an ASA All-American and was a member of the 1981 Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Champions. Besides the national championships, Place played in four U.S. Olympic Festivals (.301 batting average) and the 1992 ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Manila where he batted .368 as the USA won a bronze medal. A 1979 graduate of University of Wisconsin at Platteville, Place had been a four-sport standout at Iowa Grand High School in Livingston, WI where he once rushed for 300 yards in a game and his high school football coach, Jim Piquette, turned out to be his father-in-law. Place was born May 21, 1956.

 

 


Brian Rothrock

Brian Rothrock, Stewardson, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Ideally Brian Rothrock would have liked to have been pitching in the major leagues. As fate would have it, Rothrock spent three years pitching in the Minnesota Twins organization. But after being shuffled around coupled with arm problems, Rothrock decided to give up professional baseball and return to Central Illinois to try fast pitch softball. It was a move neither he nor his teams would regret. Although struggling at first to find his stroke, he eventually found it and developed into one of the game’s most feared hitters during the 11 years he played major fast pitch for teams in Illinois, including nine years for Decatur, IL. Between 1981-1989 Rothrock batted .335 with 928 hits in 2,770 at-bats and hit 148 doubles, 72 triples and 181 homers or at least 20 per year against some of the best pitching in the United States. Only once did he hit below. 300 (.298 in 1982) and in 1988 batted .411 and .379 in 1985. That season included 33 homers, 106 RBI, 21 doubles, eight triples, 128 hits and 100 runs scored. His 1985 performance helped Decatur place runner-up in the national championship. It also placed second in 1982,1983 and 1984 plus won the national title in 1981, Brian’s first year with the team. Rothrock batted .283 in nine nationals and five times was named an ASA All-American. He led the 1988 ASA national in batting with a .458 average and in 1983 shared the home run leadership with three. He batted .286 in four Olympic Festivals and starred in two World Championships.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2001


Horace Bruff

Horace Bruff, Piedmont, Oklahoma – Umpire

Former Metro Oklahoma City UIC who served as a member of the National Umpire staff from 1981-1987. Before joining staff, umpired Women’s Major Fast Pitch National (1975), Men’s Church Slow Pitch National (1978), Men’s Major Slow Pitch National (1979) and Women’s Church Slow Pitch National (1981). In 1982, was the UIC for the Girls’ 15-under Fast Pitch National and the Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National twice. In 1985, named UIC for men’s competition in U.S. Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge, LA. In 1983, served as a guest clinician for the United States Army Europe Officials in Germany and was praised for his outstanding abilities as an organizer, communicator, and motivator of people. The clinics were given in Frankfurt and Nuremberg. In 1987, was assistant UIC for Junior Girls’ World Championship in Oklahoma City and Men’s Industrial Slow Pitch National. In 1986, became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Former high school football and basketball coach. Has a B.S. degree from Oklahoma Christian College.

 

 


Don Clatterbough

Don Clatterbough, Mechanicsville, Virginia – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Throughout his career, outfielder Don Clatterbough was a model of consistency and played slow pitch without a lot of fanfare. He played baseball growing up and after a couple of seasons of semi-pro baseball, was asked by a friend to play slow pitch softball. He liked it so much that he continued to play and had a career that spanned three decades. Considered a tough out, Clatterbough was named an ASA first-team All-America five times, second team in 1988 and third team in 1989. In 1985, he helped Blanton’s of Fayetteville, NC win the ASA Major Slow Pitch National title followed by a runner-up finish the following year. In at least nine ASA nationals Clatterbough batted between .419 and .800. In 1987, he led the Men’s Major National in RBI with 38 and shared the home run trophy with 15 to go along with his .769 batting average. In 1988, he batted .684 in the national tourney followed by a .667 average in the 1989 Super National and a .476 average in the 1989 Major National. Clatterbough played for some of the nation’s top teams including Starpath/Kirk’s Glass, Steele’s Sports, Blanton’s, and Dave Carroll Sports. He estimated he hit between 3,500 and 4,000 home runs and had a lifetime batting average between .675 and .725. He calls his election to the Hall of Fame “a very gratifying award. My whole life has been dedicated to being as good a softball player as I could be.”

 


Suzie Gaw

Suzie Gaw, Dayton, Ohio – Women’s Fast Pitch – Infield

Gaw joined the Sun City, AZ Saints as a teenager and during the next two decades established herself as one of its all-time top players, earning All-America honors 11 times and appearing in more than a dozen nationals playing the outfield and infield. In 1979, she helped the Saints win the ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship and was named a second-team All-America. Four times Gaw was selected to the USA Pan American team: 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1991. In the 1987 Pan American Games, she led USA team in batting with.636 average. In the 1979 Pan Am Games Gaw batted .347 and led the team with two homers. In the 1983 Pan Am Games, she batted .235, but had 10 RBI. Eight times Gaw played in the U.S. Olympic Festival and was a member of three gold-medal winning teams (1978, 1981 and 1982). After an outstanding high school career, Gaw earned a scholarship to Arizona State University where she was named all-conference twice and had a .281 batting average with 16 homers and 86 RBI. Since retiring, Gaw has remained active in softball and has served twice as a member of the USA Softball Women’s Selection Committee. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ working as a fireman. She was born March 9, 1960 in Dayton, OH.

 


Harry Kraft

Harry Kraft, Kenosha, Wisconsin – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Harry Kraft’s career in softball started as a teenager in 1929 when he hurled a no-hitter in his first start as a pitcher in the Kenosha, WI City League. Between 1931-33 Kraft won 89 games and lost 17 for Miller’s of Kenosha. He wins included nine no-hitters and in 1933 had a 47-7 record. Although his career lasted into the 1940s, the highlight of it came in the 1934 national championship in Chicago, IL where Kraft dazzled the Newport, KY team, striking out a then record 38 batters in a quarter-final 2-1 win. It was a dazzling display of pitching class and endurance as Kraft bested Cannonball Bailey, allowing only six hits. It was the only game Kraft hurled in the tourney as the Ke-Nash-A’s of Kenosha went on to win the national title. Kenosha finished the year 64-10 but was unable to repeat in the national the next year. From 1931-1935 Kraft compiled a 132-34 record with 14 no-hitters before joining Bendix Brakes of South Bend, IN. Kraft won 18 of 19 games in 1937 as Bendix compiled a 59-6 record. Kraft had a win against Hall of Famer Shifty Gears in the national tournament that year, which was another highlight of his career. He had a 2-1 record in the nationals. Kraft continued to play until 1945, then umpired from 1946-1961. He compiled a 525-75 won-loss record in his career with three perfect games and 32 no-hitters. He estimated he averaged 15 strikeouts per games. Kraft passed away May of 2000 at age 87.

 


Kinard Latham

Kinard Latham, Columbus, Georgia – Meritorious Service

Latham has been involved in the ASA umpire program since 1962. Has served as the UIC at more than two dozen ASA nationals and umpired in 15 ASA nationals. Also served as the umpire coordinator for various international events, including Superball in 1995 and 1997 and Junior Superball in 1998. At the 1996 Olympic Games coordinated the bat and ball girls for each team. Held the first umpire school in Georgia in 1983 and has held one every year since then. In 1986, was elected to the National Indicator Fraternity. A year later, was elected to the Georgia Hall of Fame. In 1997, received the ASA Award of Excellence for his region. In 1994, received the Al Bishop Award for his outstanding contributions to the sport of softball in Georgia. In 1995, was recipient of the Georgia ASA Recognition Award. Kinard is a graduate of St. Bernard College, Cullman, AL and has a master’s degree from Georgia State University.

 

 

 


Bob Quinn

Bob Quinn, Branchville, New Jersey – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

A graduate of Boston State College, where he starred in hockey, Quinn also excelled as a fast pitch pitcher during the summer, earning All-America honors four times during a career that spanned more than 40 years. Quinn was a first-team selections in 1965 and 1973 and a second-team choice in 1966 and 1972. In 1965, he compiled a 4-1 record in the nationals in pitching Local 57 of Providence, RI to a third finish Quinn finished the year 34-4. In 1966, Quinn led the team to a second-place finish, losing 4-2 to the Clearwater, FL Bombers. Quinn joined the Bombers in 1981 and remained with them the remainder of his career. He hurled the Bombers to the 1973 national title as well as a runner-up finish in 1972. In the 1972 nationals, Quinn compiled a 2-2 record in the nationals. In 1973, he won three games including beating Sunnyvale, CA 4-1 in the finals on a four-hitter. Quinn says winning the 1973 national was his greatest thrill in softball. In 18 ASA nationals, Quinn compiled a 22-17 record and was certainly one of the most competitive players to wear a Bomber uniform. Quinn made his last appearance in a national tourney in 1986 in Seattle, WA. Quinn was born November 19, 1941 in Somerville, MA and died on July 31, 2015.

 


Rick “The Crusher” Scherr

Rick Scherr, Slinger, Wisconsin – Men’s Slow Pitch – Third Base

Nicknamed “The Crusher,” that’s what Scherr did to softballs during an almost a 20-year career, hitting more than 4,000 homers and driving in more than 7,000 runs. Ten times Scherr was named an ASA All-America and played in 10 national championships. He was a member of four national championships teams and was MVP of the ASA Super National three times (1981, 1983 and 1984). In the 1981 national, Scherr batted .842 and hit eight homers, driving in 23 runs. In 1983, he batted .882 with 12 homers and 30 RBI while in 1984 connected for a .774 batting average with 20 homers and 37 RBI. Between 1989 and 1989 Scherr had a phenomenal decade. He averaged a homer every 2.30 times at bat, hitting 2,985 while driving in 6,021 runs and bating .710. In 1989, Scherr appeared in the U.S. Olympic Festival slow pitch competition in Oklahoma City and batted .720, hitting 13 homers and driving in 30 runs to help the North team win a bronze medal. That year he also was MVP of the prestigious Smokey Mountain Classic in Maryville, TN. Twice Scherr set national home run records, 356 in 1982 and 451 in 1985. Scherr was born and raised in Slinger, WI and weighed more than 280 pounds, standing 6-feet-5 inches tall. He is the ninth former Howard’s-Western Steer, Denver, NC player elected to the ASA Hall of Fame. He also played for Superior Apollo of Winsdor Locks, CT retiring after the 1991 season.

 


Walt Sparks

Walt Sparks, San Antonio, Texas – Umpire

Involved in ASA umpiring for more than 40 years, Sparks serves as the Texas Region UIC as a member of the ASA national umpire staff. Sparks was named to the staff in 1981. Five years earlier he was named San Antonio, TX UIC. Sparks served as the first president of the Southwest Softball Umpires’ Association and helped develop the University Interscholastic League High School Program in Texas. An accomplished clinician, Sparks has instructed at more than 40 ASA National Schools as well as giving clinics overseas in Europe. He has served as the UIC at more than 50 ASA nationals as well as three U.S. Olympic Festivals. He is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity and the Texas Softball Hall of Fame. Walt says umpiring the Clearwater, FL Bombers in the 1970s was the highlight of his softball career.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2002


Butch Batt

Butch Batt, Seattle, Washington – Men’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

Fast Pitch softball teams must be strong up the middle. And the Seattle, WA Peterbilt and Pay ‘n Pak fast pitch teams certainly did not have to worry about their strength up the middle, starting with catcher Butch Batt, who played the sport 21 years. Batt earned ASA All-American honors five times, played on two ASA national championship teams (1980 and 1982), participated in 12 ASA nationals, one ISF World Championship, two Pan American Games (1979 and 1983) and three U.S. Olympic Festivals (1978, 1981 and 1983). After retiring as a player, Batt coached for Pay ‘n Pak in 1987 and managed the Knoll Lumber Legends to three ASA Master’s Championships (1995-1997). Solid defensively and adapted to handling pitchers, Batt could swing the bat with authority and was consistent .290 plus hitter. He was first named an All-American in 1973 when he batted .286 in the national championship for Pay ‘n Pak to earn second-team laurels. In 1978, he helped the West Team win the gold in the first National Sports in Colorado Springs, CO, finishing the year with a .305 average with 63 RBI. The National Sports Festival was later re-named the U.S. Olympic Festival. Batt was again named a second-team All-America in 1979 and batted .280 in the tourney and .289 for the season as his team, Peterbilt Western, finished fifth in the national championship. He also was a member of the first USA Men’s team to play in the Pan American Games, but the USA had to settle for a silver medal, losing in 14 innings to Canada, 1-0. In 1980 Peterbilt Western won the national championship and Batt was a second-team All-America for the third time, batting .167 in the tourney and .289 for the season (59-for-204). That year he also was a member of the USA National Team, represented by Midland Michigan’s McArdle Pontiac, that won a gold medal in the ISF World Championship in Tacoma, WA where Batt drove in the USA’s first run in the championship game against Canada with a sacrifice fly. Batt smacked two homers, drove in six runs, and batted .286 in leading his team to the gold medal in the 1981 National Sports Festival in Syracuse, NY. Batt had one of the best years of his career in 1982 when he was named the MVP in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in Midland, MI in leading Peterbilt Western to the national title. Batt batted .353 (6-for-17) and drove home six runs and was named the tournament MVP as well as a first-team All-America. It was the second time in the history of the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National that a catcher was named the tournament most valuable player. Batt also was nominated for the James E. Sullivan Award that year as well as Seattle’s outstanding professional/amateur athlete of the year. In 1983, Batt was again named to the USA Pan American team, but the USA unfortunately lost again to Canada in the gold medal game. Batt, however, emerged as one of the leading hitters with a .320 average (8-for-25), six RBI and a pair of home runs. Pay ‘n Pak won the gold medal that year in the National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, CO with Batt batting .294 (5-for-17 with four RBI and one home run). He also had a fielding percentage of .969 with only one error in 31 chances. Batt is the second Peterbilt Western player elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame. “Butch was a leader,” said former Peterbilt and Pay ‘n Pak manager Tommy Wagner. “He was an excellent hitter in the clutch and if we had a close play at the plate, you could always count on Butch in blocking the plate. He was very strong behind the plate and did an excellent job at calling the game.”


Bill Fraley

Bill Fraley, Lexington, Kentucky – Sponsor

In Kentucky, Fraley’s Wildcats made a name for themselves on the softball field thanks to sponsor and manager Bill Fraley. Without the help of a corporate sponsor, Fraley coached and sponsored the women’s team for almost 29 years at the Major and Class A levels. Fraley’s Wildcats dominated after being started in 1972 and won 23 of 26 City championships in Lexington, KY. The Wildcats won seven consecutive Class A championships before Class A was discontinued after 1989. In 1989, the Wildcats started participating in ASA National Championship play and continued through 2000. The Wildcats compiled a record of 1,848 wins and 327 losses for a winning percentage of .85. Fifty-seven of Fraley’s players were named ASA All-Americans at the Major and Class A levels. In 1985, Fraley sponsored three teams and participated in ASA national championship play. His Wildcats finished runner-up in ASA national championships twice 1990, (Women’s Major) and 1994 (Women’s Class A). His Major team finished seventh in 1983 and 1984, 25th in 1986, ninth in 1988 and 13th in 1989. In 1988, Fraley was inducted into the Kentucky ASA Hall of Fame.

 


Jerry Hanson

Jerry Hanson, Midland, Michigan – Umpire

Jerry Hanson’s umpiring career spanned 33 years starting in 1956. In 1975, he was named Midland, MI Softball Association UIC and served in that position until 1979. A year later, he was named assistant UIC for the Michigan ASA and five years later the UIC for the Michigan ASA. After five years as the Michigan UIC, Hanson was named to the ASA National umpire staff in 1990 representing the Great Lakes Region. He remained on the staff until November of 2002 when he was named to replace Bill Humphrey as Michigan ASA commissioner and executive director of the Michigan Softball Association after Humphrey joined the ASA national office staff. During his career, Hanson umpired five men’s Major Fast Pitch Championships (1977, 1979, 1982, 1986 and 1989), two ISF World Championships (1980 and 1987) and one Olympic Festival (1978 in Colorado Springs, CO). As a member of the National Umpire staff, he was the UIC at 32 ASA National championships, the 1997 Women’s National Team Tryouts, and the 1999 Men’s National Team Tryouts. He was assistant UIC at the 1996 ISF Men’s World Championships and at the ASA 1991- and 1992-Men’s Fast Pitch National Championships. He was an instructor at 26 National Umpire Schools and hosted four national schools in Michigan. He also served as vice-chair of the Fast Pitch Playing Rules Committee, vice-chair of the Playing Rules Committee and has been a member of the Umpire Committee since 1990. As a member of the National Umpire staff, he served on a committee to annually review the rule changes, mechanics, clinic guides and other publications. In 1979, he was ISF certified and in 1986 became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. He is a member of three other Halls of Fame besides the National Softball Hall of Fame: Michigan ASA (1991), Indiana ASA (1999) and Midland County (2000). In 1999, Hanson joined the ASA Medals Program. Hanson retired from the Dow Corning Corporation after a 33-year career as a millwright.


John Sigfrid “Sig” Lawson

John “Sigfrid” “Sig” Lawson Glenpool, Oklahoma – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

John “Sigfrid” “Sig” Lawson’s career in fast pitch softball covered the period 1933-1957. During that time, the lanky Lawson (6-foot-3) established himself not only as a pitcher but as an excellent hitter who could hit with power. Lawson compiled a 11-1 pitching record in ASA championship play (1934, 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1942) and had an overall record of 20-3 counting National Softball Congress (later the ISC) competition. He was named to the NSC All-Star team in 1954. Lawson compiled a 2-1 record in his first ASA national championship (1934) playing for National Bank of Commerce, OK. The team advanced to the third round before being eliminated. Lawson joined the Deep Rock Oilers of Tulsa, OK in 1938 and led them to the third round of the championship before being eliminated. Lawson showed his power at-bat when he hit a homer that cleared a fence 240 feet away from home plate with the ball landing on the top of a three-story building. Distance between the fence and the building was estimated at 50 feet with the ball traveling an additional 35 feet before dropping on the middle of the building. Deep Rock won the national title in 1942 and Lawson played a major role in the team’s success by winning four games and allowing only two earned runs in 36 innings. After opening with a 6-0-win Deep Rock won its next game, 1-0, in 15 innings with Lawson hurling a four-hitter with 16 strikeouts in beating Phalanx Fraternity of Phoenix, AZ. Deep Rock won its next two games beating St. Joseph, MO (2-0) and the defending Bendix Brakes, 3-2, before losing to Briggs Beautyware of Detroit, MI to fall into the loser’s bracket. Al Linde hurled a no-hitter against Bendix Brakes, which scored its two runs on errors in the third inning. Deep Rock came back with three runs in the fourth inning and Lawson’s double brought across the plate the winning run. Lawson next beat the renowned Fort Wayne, IN Zollner Pistons on a four-hitter to advance Deep Rock to the championship game against Briggs. Linde was scheduled to pitch the championship game but had a change of heart with Lawson taking the mound for the Oilers and responding with a nifty one-hitter and 12 strikeouts for the national title. It was the first national title for the Oilers, who had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals in four previous trips to the national championship. After hurling Deep Rock to the title, Lawson served three and one-half years in the military from 1943-1946 until resuming his softball career in 1947 and continuing to play until 1957. In 1975, at 62, he came out of retirement and pitched the Kerr McGee Oilers to the Tulsa City title. In 2002, Lawson died on February 24 at 88 in a nursing home in Jenks, OK. He was born September 9, 1913. Lawson is the only Oklahoman in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame.


Marty McGuire

Marty McGuire, Midland, Michigan – Meritorious Service

McGuire has been involved in ASA softball for more than 20 years and distinguished himself in different administrative positions ranging from a committee chair to director of an ISF World Championship. From 1983-1987 he served as president of the Midland Redcoats and was president of the Michigan ASA from 1980-1983, helping to form and develop the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame. In 1995, he was elected to the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame. During his career, the articulate McGuire has been the tourney director for 10 ASA national championships and four ASA National Sports Festivals. At the international level, he has been the director for two ISF Men’s World Championships (1984 and 1996). In 1997and 1998 he was a delegate to the ISF Congress and in 2000 was the team leader for the USA Olympic Team in Sydney, Australia. He was named chairman of the USA Women’s National Selection Committee in 1996 and reappointed in 2000.

 

 


Tom Wagner

Tom Wagner, Federal Way, Washington – Manager

Only three men’s team have won three consecutive Major Fast Pitch national titles, the Fort Wayne, IN Zollner Pistons, Pay ‘n Pak of Seattle, WA and Frontier Casino Players of St. Joe, MO. Tom Wagner, a former third baseman and a two-time ASA All-America, managed the Pay ‘n Pak team. Starting his managing career in 1979, Wagner’s teams won five ASA national titles, including three in a row (1985-1987). Two other national titles were won under the sponsorship of Peterbilt Western in 1980 and 1982. Between 1979-1988, Wagner’s teams won 917 games and lost 191 for a winning percentage of .83. In 10 ASA national championships Wagner’s teams won 47 games and lost 10 for a winning percentage of .810. His teams played in four U.S. Olympic Festivals and won gold medals in three of them: 1981, 1983, and 1986. In 1981, his Peterbilt Western team won a gold medal in World Games One. In 1980, Wagner was a coach for the USA National Team, represented by McArdle Pontiac Cadillac of Midland, MI, which won a gold medal in the ISF World Championship that year in Tacoma, WA. In 1988, Wagner managed the USA National Team to a gold medal in the ISF World Championship in Saskatoon. In 1995, he was the head coach of the USA Pan American team and managed the team to a silver medal in the Pan American Games in Argentina, losing a 2-1 decision in the gold medal game to champion Canada. A year later, he led the USA National Team to a fourth-place finish in the ISF World Championship in Midland, MI. In 1986, he was a nominee for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year. He also is a member of the Seattle ASA Hall of Fame. Wagner was born October 27, 1942 and ranks among the greatest managers in fast pitch history.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2003


Bill Boyer

Bill Boyer, Auburn, Washington – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

One of five former Pay ‘n Pak players in the National Softball Hall of Fame, Boyer was as exciting a player as there was during the 1980s and 1980s with his outstanding speed on the base paths and his hustling outfield play. His all-out, full throttle type of play helped teams win seven ASA Major Fast Pitch National Championships between 1983-and 1995. Pay’n Pak of Seattle won in 1985-1987 and Penn Corp of Sioux City, IA won in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993. In the process, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Boyer (nicknamed The Whip) earned ASA All-American honors seven times: four first team, one second team and two third team. In 1989, in addition to being a first-team All-America, Boyer was named tournament MVP. Boyer played in at least 10 ASA national champions and had a .261 batting average. Three times Boyer played in ISF World Championships (1988, 1992 and 1996) and had a .465 batting average with 46 hits in 99 at-bats, driving in 14 runs and scoring 35. He played in his only Pan American Games in 1995 in Parana, Argentina and batted .306 as the USA came up short against Canada in the gold medal game losing 2-1. Seven times Boyer played in the U.S. Olympic Festival and had a .338 batting average with 49 hits in 145 at-bats. His five homers in the 1993 Festival in San Antonio, TX is a Festival record. Besides Pay ‘n Pak and Penn Corp, Boyer also played for National Health Care Discount, Ski Tavern, Colonial Cedar and the Gateway 2000 Soos before retiring after the 1996 season. In 1986, he received the Inspirational Chapman Award from the Seattle Softball Hall of Fame and four years later was inducted. Boyer is a graduate of Auburn, WA High School where he starred in football, basketball, and baseball. He resides in Sumner, WA and was born June 10, 1960 in Renton, WA.


Ronnie Ford

Ronnie Ford, Jacksonville, Florida – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Between 1974 and 1993, Ronnie Ford established himself as one of the top all-around players of his era. Originally, Ford wanted a career in professional baseball. But, when that did not pan out, he started playing softball in 1974 in Manatee County, FL. That year, Ford smashed 124 homers. He appeared in in his first ASA national championship the following year and batted .545 (6-for-11, one homer and five RBI) for Copher Brothers. He finished the year with a .650 batting average, hitting 147 homers. In 1976 Ford had a spectacular season leading Warren Motors of Jacksonville, FL to the Men’s Major Slow Pitch National title. He batted .733 in the tourney and .707 for the year as the Motormen won the national title for the first time and finished the year 94-2–78 of the wins were consecutive. Ford hit 12 homers and drove in 27 runs in the national and shared MVP honors with teammate Mike Nye. Between 1977-1979 Ford played in the American Professional Slo-Pitch League and was named all-league each year. In 1977, he batted .607, smashed 85 homers and drove in 183 runs. In 1978, Ford was named league MVP and batted .645 with 80 homers and 201 RBI. In 1979, Ford paced the league in homers (43) and RBI (122). Ford returned to amateur softball in 1980 and hit 200 homers in 150 games for Ken Sanders Ford of Phenix City, AL. Between 1982-1985, Ford played for Elite Coatings of Gordon, GA and helped the team win 311 games while losing only 33. Ford earned All-America laurels three times (second team in 1982 (.571 batting average) and 1984 (.520 batting average) and first team in 1983 (.600 batting average). With his daughters growing up, Ford opted to play for a local team, Vernon’s, and played Class A between 1988-1990. He was MVP of the Class A National Tourney in 1990, batting .738 and hitting nine homers to lead Vernon’s to a second consecutive national title. Softball was a demonstration sport in the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1989 and Ford was selected to play for the South team, which won a bronze medal. Between 1991-1992 Ford played Major division softball for Vernon’s before concluding his career in the Super Division in 1993. In 1992, he batted .615 (195-for-312) for Vernon’s, hitting 58 homers as it won the Major division national title. He batted .500 (11-for-22) in the nationals with seven homers and 13 runs batted in. Ford starting out playing shortstop, but later in his career moved to the outfield to take advantage of his outstanding athleticism and strong throwing arm. Time and time again, he would scale outfield fences to make an outstanding catch. He was complete player who would make the spectacular play time and time again. He could run, field, hit and throw. He was named to the “SLOW PITCH NEWS” named Ford to the team of the decade for the 1970s as well as co-player of the decade with Mike Nye. When “SUPREME SOFTBALL,” named its All-Time Team for the 20th century, Ford was named at one of the outfield positions.


Eugene Kwalek, Shelton, Connecticut – Manager

Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, CT has dominated the ASA Men’s Major Industrial Slow Pitch Division like no other team since the ASA started having industrials national championships in 1957. Since competing in its first Industrial championship in 1967, Sikorsky has won 16 ASA Major Industrial National titles under four different managers. Eleven of the national championships were won with Eugene Kwalek as the manager from 1982-1998, with seven of them consecutive. Under Kwalek, Sikorsky compiled a won-loss record of 105 wins and 15 losses for a winning percentage of .876 in national championship play and a record of 75-4 (.949 winning percentage) in winning 11 national titles. It is the highest winning percentage for a team in Major Industrial Slow Pitch. Kwalek’s association with the team dates to 1964 when he was asked to join the team. He was a reserve that year, but in 1965 and 1966 he was the team’s regular shortstop. In 1976, Hall of Famer Ken Clark took over as the team’s manager, with Kwalek alternating between shortstop and third base. In 1980, he was assistant coach before becoming manager in 1982. Besides the 11 national titles, Kwalek guided the team to three second places, a fifth, an eighth and a ninth place in the Major Industrial National Championship. From 1979-1997, Kwalek ran the Sikorsky Interdepartmental Softball League and served as secretary and induction dinner chairman for the Connecticut ASA Slow Pitch Hall of Fame. He still assists with the annual induction program.


Jimmy Moore

Jimmy Moore, Butte Falls, Oregon – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

One of the dominant pitchers in the 1980s, Moore became an outstanding pitcher through hard work and determination after joining a team in his hometown of Butte Falls, OR. “At 135 pounds back then, I was too small to play football but played baseball,” said Moore. “After the baseball season, some of the guys got up this softball team so I joined them and played shortstop. That was back in the summer of 1973.” It was in the Medford gym the following winter where Moore started to learn how to pitch. “I was just catching for this top pitcher on our alumni team and he showed me how to throw a drop, rise and change-up,” said Moore. “I worked on it most of the winter and the next summer they let me pitch in the later innings and a few games. Things just developed from there.” Gradually Moore improved and by 1980 he was one of the top pitchers at the Class A Level. That year he earned the MVP Award in the ASA National Championship in Oswego, NY, compiling a 5-2 record with 58 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.09. For the year, Moore was 40-20 with three no-hitters and 10 shutouts. After the Class A Championship, some of the nation’s top Major teams, including the Clearwater, FL Bombers and Peterbilt Western of Seattle, WA heard about Moore’s pitching prowess. He joined Peterbilt Western in 1981 and played Major level fast pitch continuously through 1992. Besides Peterbilt, he also played for Pay ‘N Pak, Northdurft Tool and Sea First Bank. In 1996 he was selected to the USA National Team, which for the first time in ASA history did not medal in an ISF Men’s World Championship, finishing fourth. Between 1981 and 1991, Moore participated in 11 ASA national championships and compiled a 31-8 record with an ERA of 0.77, striking out 380 batters in 263 2/3 innings. He was an ASA All-American six times (four first team, one second team and one third team), and was named the Outstanding Pitcher in the 1982, 1985 and 1986 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals. He was a member of three ASA national championship teams (1982, 1985-1986) and played in six U.S. Olympic Festivals. He is the winningest pitcher in Festival history (20-4) and fanned 186 batters in 163 2/3 innings with an ERA of 1.11. In 1985, he hurled the first perfect game in Festival history. Besides the 1996 ISF World Championship in Midland, he also appeared in the 1992 ISF World Championship in Manila and was 3-0 with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings. Said former Pay ‘n Pak manager Tom Wagner about Moore, “He was the best pitcher I ever saw at spotting the ball. He was a good leader and a great team player.” Moore is one of five former Pay ‘n Pak players elected to the Hall of Fame. He was born February 8, 1955.


Cliff Warrick

Cliff Warrick, Round Rock, Texas – Commissioner

To say that Cliff Warrick has been involved in ASA softball is an understatement. Since 1967, when he was appointed as a district commissioner in the Texas ASA, he has been heavily involved in the ASA at all levels. Born September 11, 1935 in Wellington, TX, Warrick graduated from Harlandale High School in San Antonio, TX in 1953, then attended Texas A&M University where he earned a B.S. degree and a M.Ed. Degree in 1965. After working for the Gary Job Corps as a coach from 1965-1967, Cliff was hired by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department in 1967 and served as superintendent of athletics and aquatics from 1967-1979. When the new position of deputy executive director opened at the ASA National Office in Oklahoma City, Warrick was hired and remained in that position until 1987, when he was hired to be the executive director of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation. Under his leadership, the TAAF flourished and today has a rent-free headquarters in Austin, TX and a competent staff. While TAAF executive director, Cliff also served as Metro Austin ASA commissioner (1971-1979 and 1990-2002). He is Texas ASA district 40 commissioner and a Texas at-large player rep. He also is the Texas Region Director. He served as Southwest Regional vice president from 1974-1978. He was the USOC Olympic Festival NGB coordinator for eight U.S. Olympic Festivals and the USA Men’s Softball Team Leader for the 1984 and 1998 Pan American Trials and the Team Leader for the 1995 Pan American Games in Parana, Argentina. He is chair of the USA National Men’s Selection Committee and an ASA Commissioner Emeritus. Retired as TAAF executive director in 2004.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2004


Emily Alexander

Emily Alexander, Phoenix, Arizona – Umpire

The first female umpire elected to the Hall of Fame, Alexander said, “It doesn’t carry a lot of meaning for me. I think myself as an umpire and not a woman umpire. Along the way I encountered unique obstacles because of being a woman but I also have been given unique opportunities for the same reasons and so I figure it evens out. I still had to do the job. “The full impact of this honor has not completely sunk in yet,” continued Alexander. “I don’t know if it will. It seems strange and almost illogical to be rewarded for an obsession. Had I worked toward this end (Hall of Fame election) I would feel satisfaction. Because I did not, and it has come to me anyway, I feel humble and very happy. To be elevated–so to speak–to the level of the people you have always respected and by an organization you have almost revered is a sense of wonderment.” Alexander started umpiring in 1974 and umpired her first ASA national in 1980, (Women’s Major Fast Pitch), then did the Women’s Major National in 1987 and the Men’s Major Fast Pitch in 1994. She also has umpired the Men’s Class A Fast Pitch National twice (1991 and 1993) and the Men’s Class B Fast Pitch National in 1988. Besides the ASA nationals, Alexander has umpired two Olympic Festivals (1990 and 1995), three National Team Tryouts (1979, 1995 and 1997), SuperBall in 1997, North American Women’s Fast Pitch Championship (1980), World Games One (1981), Junior Girls World III (1987) the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA with the softball competition in Columbus. Since 1981, she has been ISF certified in fast pitch and has been a National Federation of State High Schools Associations certified umpire since 1975. From 1979-1982, she was the NAGWS National Softball Rules Interpreter and served as Phoenix deputy UIC from 1981-1983. In 1994, she was named Phoenix UIC for fast pitch and from 1999-2001 was the Phoenix UIC for both fast pitch and slow pitch. She founded the Cactus Umpire Association in 1978 and has been an assistant instructor or instructor at various ASA umpire schools. She has been recognized and honored including being the Arizona Softball Official of the Year twice (1995 and 2000), ASA Region 13 Award of Excellence (1994), John McGonigle Memorial Award for Umpire Excellence (1993) and the National Indicator Fraternity (1988). In 2007 was named one of 52 most influential in officiating history by Referee Magazine.


Jeff Borror

Jeff Borror, Shoreline, Washington – Men’s Fast Pitch – Third Base

Fast pitch softball teams must be strong defensively up the middle and at the corners (first and third base). The Pay ‘n Pak and Peterbilt Western major fast pitch teams of the 1970s-1980s didn’t have to worry about the “hot corner” because Jeff Borror of Shoreline, WA was there. Joining the team in 1976, Borror played in 12 ASA national championships and was a member of five national championship teams (1980 and 1982, 1985-1987). In addition to ASA national championships, Borror also played in five U.S. Olympic Festivals, and was a member of the 1987 USA Pan American Team and the 1988 ISF World Championship Team. Jeff’s first national championship in 1980 was a memorable one because he drove in the tying and winning runs in the 14th inning of the national championship game with a double for Peterbilt Western in beating Cedar Rapids, IA, 2-1. Borror batted .318 in the tournament yet was not named an All-American. He finished the season with a .258 average after batting .285 a year earlier including a .133 (2-for-15) average in the national championship. Peterbilt changed sponsors and in 1982 it won the ASA national title under the Pay ‘n Pak banner. Pay ‘n Pak also played in the Major Fast Pitch All-Stars and swept five games, with Borror batting .200 (two-for-10). Borror played in his second Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series in 1987 and batted .222 (2-for-9) in four games for Pay ‘n Pak. Three years later (1985), Pay ‘n Pak won the national title for a second time with Borror batting .500 (six-for-12) and earning All-America laurels. Pay ‘n Pak repeated in 1986 and 1987 as national champions and Borror did likewise on the All-American team. In the 1986 national championship Borror batted .357 (5-for-14), scoring one run and driving in a pair. Pay ‘n Pak’s third national title in a row tied Fort Wayne’s record of three consecutive national titles and Borror batted .208 in the national championship, including smashing a grand slam to beat Guanella Brothers of Santa Rosa, Calif., to keep Pay ‘n Pak alive in the tourney. Pay ‘n Pak lost its first game of the tourney, then won 11 in a row to equal Fort Wayne’s record. Coming through in the clutch was nothing new for Borror. Tom Wagner, former Peterbilt and Pay ‘n Pak manager, said,”Jeff was a tremendous clutch hitter for us. He won a lot of games for us.” Between 1978 and 1987, Borror played in five U.S. Olympic Festivals and was a member of gold medal-winning teams in 1981, 1983 and 1986. He batted .316 in the 1981 Festival, .167 in 1983 and .125 in 1986. In four of the five Festivals Borror had a .167 batting average (10-for-60). With softball on the Pan American program since 1979, Borror was selected to the 1987 USA Pan American Team in Indianapolis, IN and batted .182 (4-for-22) with a 1.000 fielding percentage as the USA lost in the finals to Canada. In 1987 Pay ‘n Pak won the national title and the right to represent the USA in the 1988 ISF World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Borror played a solid third base for the team (13 assists and two putouts) but managed only two hits in 26 at-bats as the team won the gold medal, the last time the USA has won a gold medal in ISF Men’s World Championship play. Borror played the 1988 season before turning to managing in 1989 and continued to manage men’s fast pitch teams until 1996.


Edward J. Lindsey

Edward J. Lindsey, Buffalo, New York – Commissioner

A former fast pitch player, Lindsey was named Buffalo ASA Commissioner in 1976, replacing David Florko. Lindsey had played fast pitch (outfield and first base) for some of the top Buffalo area teams, including Bobek’s and Big 3’s before being named the commissioner. In 1974, he was named MVP of the Buffalo MUNY Softball League. Since becoming commissioner, Lindsey has served on various ASA committees, including Meetings, Legislative, JO, Foreign Relations and Ethics. Twice he’s served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director (1985-1986 and 1998-99). Between 1987 and 1997, Buffalo received six membership awards for increases in adult and Junior Olympic teams. In 1977, Lindsey was inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame. In 1996 was one of the charter members inducted into the Buffalo ASA Hall of Fame. In 1997, Lindsey received a distinguished service award from the Niagara Frontier Girls’ League. Four years earlier, Lindsey had been honored by his employer, Bethlehem Steel, when he received the Black Achiever Award. He retired from Bethlehem in 1984. But the award Lindsey is most proud of is the Buffalo Comeback Courage Award. Lindsey received the award after his battle with cancer, which began in December of 1997, starting in his spine, going to his left arm and gradually to the right side of his head. Today Ed’s cancer is in remission and he is extremely grateful for the support and encouragement he received from the members of the ASA during his battle with cancer. In 1986, Lindsey served as the men’s coordinator at the Olympic Festival in Houston, TX. He volunteers as a mentor for the Western New York and Finger Lakes Chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma, advising stricken patients. Lindsey was born August 31, 1938 in Geneva, Alabama.


Ty Stofflet

Ty Stofflet, Coplay, Pennsylvania – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Growing up in Coplay, Pa., Ty Stofflet’s father, Harold, told him “to be the best at whatever I do. He said there is no excuse for not trying to be the best.” There were no excuses for Stofflet, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2004 after a 40-year career which will be difficult to surpass let alone equal. He put the Leigh Valley on the national softball map, leading his teams to ASA national titles in 1975,’ 77 and ’78. He appeared in 16 Major fast pitch national championships, compiling a 46-20 won-loss record. (second all-time) Ten times he was named an ASA All-American and five times he won or shared the MVP award in the national championship. Stofflet spent a couple hours each day (six days a week) with his Dad tutoring him. “I wanted to see how far I could go in softball when I started out,” said Stofflet. After pitching Sal’s Lunch of Philadelphia, Pa., to the ISC title in 1969, Stofflet joined a team (Rising Sun) in 1971 managed by Hall of Fame Manager Rocky Santilli playing out of Reading, Pa. Rising Sun qualified for the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Tourney that year and finished fourth. Stofflet was 3-2, earned first-team All-America honors and won the first of his five MVP awards. Between 1971 and 1979 the hard-throwing southpaw appeared in seven ASA national championships and compiled a 28-6 record before a hairline fracture of his pitching wrist sidelined him for the 1980 season. The injury also prevented him from being a member of the USA National Team (McArdle Pontiac-Cadillac). Ty was replaced by Hall of Famer Chuck D’Arcy and the team went on to win the ISF World title in Tacoma, WA. Four years earlier in Lower Hutt, New Zealand Ty appeared in his first ISF World Championship as the USA team shared the title with New Zealand and Canada because heavy rains prevented the playoffs from being played. The USA achieved a 11-2 record with Stofflet winning four of six games. One of his wins was a remarkable 1-0 win over New Zealand and its ace pitcher, Kevin Herlihy, in 20 innings. For 18 2/3 innings Stofflet had a perfect game before a batter was hit by a pitch. Stofflet had two of the five hits off Herlihy including the game’s only RBI with a single in the top of the 20th inning. Stofflet finished with an incredible 32 strikeouts in a game that was one of the greatest ever pitched in the history of softball and certainly the best pitched in ISF World Championship play. Stofflet won the event’s Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Pitcher awards. In 1978, the National Sports Festival (later changed to Olympic Festival) was started and held in Colorado Springs, CO. Stofflet pitched his East Team to the gold medal and capped the year by pitching Billard Barbell to the ASA national title. Ty finished the season 46-1 with 641 strikeouts in 334 innings and an ERA of 0.67. On August 19th, the Aurora, Ill., Sealmasters snapped his winning streak over two years at 71 consecutive wins. In the two-year span Stofflet compiled a 90-4 won-loss record. In 1979, when softball was added to the Pan American Games, Stofflet was named to the USA Team, which was favored to win the gold medal. After beating Canada in the round-robin, 3-0, Stofflet lost 1-0 in 14 innings in the championship game. Ty was named to the 1983 Pan American Team and was 2-0, yet the USA still came up short again, losing to Canada in the gold medal game. In addition to the 1978 Festival (4-0), Stofflet also played in the 1979, (2-1) 1982 (2-2) and 1986 (1-1) Festivals. Stofflet retired from active play after the 1992 season and is second on the all-time list for most wins in ASA national championship play. He holds the record for most consecutive wins in national championship play (14) and the most consecutive innings (76 2/3) without allowing an earned run. During his career, he hurled more than 500 one-hitters and 650 shutouts among his approximately 1,500 wins. He hurled 172 no-hitters and 58 perfect games.

Ty died on January 23, 2021.


Metro Szeryk

Metro Szeryk, London, Ontario, Canada Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Metro Szeryk grew up in Windsor, Ontario and began pitching for various local teams at the age of 14. Szeryk gave a hint of what fast pitch softball fans could expect in the ensuing years when, in 1959, he pitched Sudbury’s Internationals to the Senior B Northern Ontario, Canada Championship. Szeryk posted a regular season record of 21-1 and won six of seven games in the playoffs, with four of the wins no-hitters. Szeryk eventually migrated to play in the United States and established himself as one of the top hurlers in the 1960s and 1970s playing for the renowned Raybestos Cardinals of Stratford, CT, Local 57 of Providence, RI, the Cajun Kings of Shreveport, LA, the Poughkeepsie Brewers of Poughkeepsie, NY, and the Mid-Hudson Merchants before returning to his native Canada to play until retiring in 1984. Szeryk won more than 400 games during his highlight-filled career, including almost 200 games with the Raybestos Cardinals. In an eight-year span (1965-1972) with the Cardinals, Szeryk won 198 games and lost only 31 for a winning percentage of .86 percent. In 1,634 2/3 innings, he fanned 2,732 batters and walked only 281, allowing 651 hits and 188 runs. His won-loss records with the Cardinals were: 1965 (33-6); 1966 (36-8); 1967 (22-3); 1968 (6-0); 1969 (23-2); 1970 (27-5); 1971 (24-2) and 1972 (27-5). Szeryk appeared in six ASA nationals, including four with the Cardinals, compiling a 14-3 record (.824 winning percentage), striking out 152 batters in 112 innings. He allowed only 79 hits, 25 runs and walked 14 batters. Szeryk joined the Cardinals after compiling a 26-6 record in 1964 for Local 57 of Providence, RI including a 4-1 mark in the national championship. That year Metro won 11 of 15 games playing in the Atlantic Seaboard League, one of the nation’s top men’s traveling leagues. With his 4-1 record, Szeryk earned second-team All-America laurels. After joining the Cardinals, Szeryk earned his second All-America selection in 1970 as the Cardinals won the national title. Szeryk was 3-0 in the national championship and 27-5 for the year. He also participated in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series that year and compiled a 1-1 record. In 1971, the Cardinals finished runner-up in the national tourney with Szeryk 2-1 in the national tourney. In 1972, Szeryk had one of his best seasons, winning four games in the national tourney and earning the tourney MVP award in leading the Cardinals to the title. He also was named an All-American for the third time. Between 1970-1973, Szeryk appeared in four Men’s Fast Pitch All-Star Series before leaving the Cardinals after the 1972 season to play for the Cajun Kings of Shreveport. Szeryk had a 3-1 record in the All-Star Series. In 1974 he joined the Poughkeepsie Brewers and played for the Mid-Hudson Merchants before moving back to Canada to play for local teams until retiring for good in 1984. Szeryk, who was born August 1, 1938, now resides in London, Ontario with his wife, Carol. On November 24, 2002 Szeryk was inducted into the Connecticut ASA Fast Pitch Hall of Fame. Szeryk said the greatest thrill of his softball career was winning the three ASA national championships with the Cardinals and noted that this was made possible by the world class teams behind him.


A.C. Williams

A.C. Williams, Prescott, Arizona – Commissioner

Moving to Prescott, AZ in 1957, Williams served as the town’s recreation services director until retiring in 1983. In 1970 he was named Arizona ASA commissioner. During the 1960s and 1970s, he helped put Prescott on the softball map by hosting international teams from New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Holland, The Netherlands, and Taipei. He also took teams to such places as New Zealand, Australia, the Caribbean, Trinidad, and South Africa. In 1987, Williams was the guest speaker for Softball New Zealand’s 50th Jubilee celebration. In 1982, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association. He served as a member of the Arizona State Parks Board until 1984. In 1968, Williams was named Prescott’s “Man of the Year” and received the “Fellow Award” from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association. In 1977, the American Society for Public Administration gave him a superior service award for establishing one of the most comprehensive recreational programs in the Southwest. As ASA commissioner, Williams has helped various cities in Arizona in bidding on ASA national championships. Prescott itself has hosted five ASA nationals. Born May 16, 1925, Williams has been a member of the ASA Executive Board since 1984. He is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a B.S. degree in political science and history and a minor in physical education and recreation. Williams calls his election to the Hall of Fame “the biggest honor that I’ve had.” Williams also is a member of the Arizona Softball Foundation State Hall of Fame.


Bill Williams

Bill Williams, Midland, Texas – Meritorious Service

Bill Williams has been instrumental in developing Midland, TX into one of the ASA hotbeds for hosting ASA national championships (more than 20) during the past 30 years. “I’m a big sports fan,” said Williams. “If there’s a ball thrown up in the air, that’s where you’ll find me.” And it will be probably at the Bill Williams Softball Complex, which was named in his honor after being built in 1984. A long-time sponsor of youth and adult softball, Williams helped Midland plan and build nine youth softball fields and 11 adult fields. He also helped the Texas ASA expand its districts throughout the state and since 1989 has served as president of the Texas ASA. Williams has had a Midas touch on Midland and the people of Midland have benefited as well as the Texas ASA. “It’s fun to have fun when you are doing what is fun,” said Williams, who managed and sponsored teams for years before turning to the administrative side of softball in 1981. Bill died on October 26, 2012.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2005


Nick Cinquanto

Nick Cinquanto, Bensalem, Pennsylvania – Umpire

The first Philadelphia umpire elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, Cinquanto started umpiring while in college (Rider) doing intramural games to earn extra money. “The more I umpired the more I began to enjoy it and wanted to learn more,” said Cinquanto. “I started attending local baseball umpiring clinics and camps.” After graduating from Rider, Cinquanto began umpiring high school baseball and gradually made it to the college level. To keep busy after high school and college baseball, Cinquanto started umpiring in the Atlantic Seaboard League, then one of the nation’s top men’s fast pitch leagues. Cinquanto really enjoyed working the games and one evening was asked to attend an ASA Rules Clinic given by Tom Mason, former ASA umpire-in-chief (1972-1980). After hearing Tom, Cinquanto said he knew that he wanted to become a member of the ASA and be part of the umpiring program. Although his goal was “to be the best (umpire) that I could be,” induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame was not a high priority. “I really never gave entering the Hall (of Fame) much thought. My thoughts toward the end of my umpiring career were focused on doing the best job I could and coming out of a game or tournament he same or better than when I began. I also wanted to give back to the game teaching other young umpires what I had learned through the years from veteran umpires and the ASA National Staff,” said Cinquanto. During his umpiring career, Cinquanto officiated 15 ASA and ISF events, including six Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals. In three of the Men’s Majors, he was selected to work the plate in the championship game. In the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival in Minneapolis, MN, Cinquanto was selected to work first base in the championship game of the men’s division. His ISF assignments included the 1983 Pan American Games tryouts, the Tri-Nation Tournament in Colorado Springs, CO (1983), the 1984 ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Midland, MI, the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, IN, the European Women’s Championship (1995) and the 1996 ISF Men’s World Championship in Midland. MI. In 1982, Cinquanto was ISF certified in fast pitch. Six years later, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was selected for the National Indicator Fraternity, and in 1993 received the ASA Award of Excellence for Region Three. Cinquanto became a member of the Medals program (gold level) in 2000 followed by his induction into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame a year later. In 2003, Cinquanto was selected for the ASA’s Elite Umpire Program. Since 1979, Cinquanto has served as the Philadelphia UIC. In 1999, Cinquanto was named the Atlantic 10 Conference coordinator of softball umpires and the America East Conference coordinator of softball umpires. A 1972 graduate of Rider College, Cinquanto retired in January 2002, after a 32-year career as a therapeutic activities supervisor and state parole supervisor for the Department of Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. On June 15, 2004, Cinquanto was recognized by the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for his outstanding professional career as well as his umpiring career. Nick died on January 22, 2012.


Craig Cress

Craig Cress, Terre Haute, Indiana – Umpire

Craig Cress got into umpiring when he least expected it. Cress had umpired Little League baseball with his Dad, but still enjoyed playing softball. One evening, however, he watched a softball game in Terre Haute, IN, his hometown, and asked to umpire a fast pitch game by Dean Russell when his partner did not show up. “I had played a lot of softball and watched a lot, so I said ‘sure,’ said Cress. Indiana ASA Commissioner Wayne Myers watched Cress work the game and registered him with the Indiana ASA. Myers then told the late Ed Mayhew, the Indiana UIC, about Cress so Mayhew watched him a tourney on a weekend soon thereafter. From there, Cress continued to excel and eventually gave up playing in favor of umpiring where he achieved a high level of competency, progressing up the umpire ladder quickly. By 1983, he had umpired three ASA national championships: Boys’ 12-under fast pitch and 18-under fast pitch and Men’s Class A Fast Pitch. Because the Men’s Class A Fast Pitch was held in Craig’s region (Midwest), he umpired the event because another umpire could not work because of an injury. Blessed with a “natural ability for umpiring,” Cress worked his first of six ASA Men’s Major fast pitch national championships in 1989, plus the Women’s Class B Fast Pitch National in 1987 and the Men’s Class A Fast Pitch again in 1990. During his umpiring career, he officiated 11 ASA national championships. After officiating the Men’s Fast Pitch National in 1994, Craig was selected for ISF championships and did the Junior Girls’ Fast Pitch in 1995 and the Men’s World in 1996 in Midland, MI, followed by an ISF invitational two years later in New Zealand and the Men’s National Sports Festival in Sioux City, IA. In 1992, Cress was named Indiana UIC and remained in that position until 1999. That year he also was named Indiana High School Federation Umpire of the Year and twice (1995 and 1995) worked the Indiana High School Fast Pitch Championship. In 1993, he was ISF certified in fast pitch after being admitted to the National Indicator Fraternity a year earlier. Besides serving as Indiana UIC, Craig was a member of the ASA National Umpire staff from 1998-2002 before leaving to join the ASA national office, replacing Bill Humphrey as membership services director in 2002. During his umpiring career, Cress officiated five Midwest Regionals and was the UIC at nine ASA national championships and taught at 15 ASA National Umpire Schools. He was a take-charge umpire who excelled at game control even under the most intense situations. He is the third umpire from Indiana elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, proceeding Eddie Mayhew and Bob Quillen.


Pat Dufficy

Pat Dufficy, Westerly, Rhode Island – Women’s Fast Pitch – Infield

Pat Dufficy could play just about any position on the softball field and often did for the renowned Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT. The 17th former Brakette elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, Dufficy played 19 years for the Brakettes and because of this, holds no less than six Brakette career records, including games played (1,112), runs scored (788), hits (1,177), triples (80), home runs (91) and RBI (752). She compiled a 19-year batting average of .347 for the Brakettes. “She was an outstanding team player,” said former Raybestos Head Coach Ralph Raymond. “She came to play, and she played all the positions on the field for us. In one game (1990), we got away ahead and even put her into pitch.” The perfect mix of skill and enjoyment, Dufficy earned ASA All-America honors 11 times at three different positions (outfield, third base and shortstop). She was a first-team selection in 1983, 1986, 1988, 1993, and 1994, a second-team choice in 1980, 1989, 1990, 1992 and a third-team All-America in 1985 and 1995. Besides being named an All-American in 1983, Pat was named MVP of the ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. Now living in Tampa, FL, Dufficy was a member of 10 national championship teams and played in 11 U.S. Olympic Festivals, batting .300 or higher four times. In the 1994 Festival, she batted .347, hit a pair of game-winning homers and drove in eight runs in leading her team to a silver medal. A year later, she batted .381 in the Festival. Besides her national championship play, Dufficy twice was a member of the USA Pan American team, 1979 and 1983, and led the USA Team in batting in the latter with a .434 average and 14 RBI. She also played in three ISF World Championships (1978, 1986 and 1994) , achieving an accumulative .205 batting average (16-for-78), with a .300 batting average in the 1994 World Championship her highest batting average.


Robert “Bob” P. Savoie

Robert “Bob” P. Savoie, Easton, Maryland – Meritorious Service

Bob Savoie spent more than 20 years in the Air Force as a weatherman before retiring in 1974 and could not have forecast his eventual induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame, November 17, 2005 in Tucson, AZ. In fact, Savoie said, “When I started umpiring in Hawaii (1969), I probably didn’t know where the ASA Hall of Fame was located. After my appointment to the Metro DC UIC position and I became more familiar with the ASA, I would walk through the Hall and marvel at the accomplishments of the members, some I knew and got to know through the years. The fact that I am now one of them boggles my mind. I never in my wildest fantasies believe that this would happen to me. “Election to the Hall of Fame,” continued Savoie, “is the capstone of a satisfying career that could have easily ended without this great honor. The fact that my career and contributions were recognized and rewarded is far beyond my wildest expectations.” Savoie can thank his wife, Arlene, for getting him into umpiring when they lived in Honolulu. She sent him across the street to a neighbor’s house to borrow a screwdriver. “We were hanging the drapes in the living room, so I went to borrow one (screwdriver) from a neighbor,” said Savoie. “It turns out he (the neighbor) is president of the Little League Association. I came back with a black and white striped shirt and a rule book. That was it.” After retiring from the Air Force, Savoie and his family moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he joined the Greater Washington Umpires’ Association and served as the association UIC from 1977-1983. In 1978, Savoie was appointed Washington D.C. UIC and served in that position until March of 1990 when he was named to ASA National Umpire staff, representing Region Three (Central Atlantic). He replaced Henry Pollard after Pollard was named ASA deputy director of umpires in 1989. During his career, Savoie umpired two Central Atlantic Regionals, and four ASA nationals (Men’s A SP, 1976. Men’s Armed Forces SP, 1979; Men’s Major Modified Pitch, 1980 and Men’s Major Fast Pitch, 1981). In 1987, he was selected to umpire the ISF Junior Girls’ World Championship in Oklahoma City. In 1984, Savoie earned his ISF certification in slow pitch and is a member of the Greater Washington Slow Pitch and Fast Pitch Halls of Fame, the only person to achieve this recognition. In 1987, Savoie was inducted as a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Bob is a member of the Indiana (1994), Tidewater, VA (2002) and Pennsylvania (2003) ASA Halls of Fame. Savoie has been an instructor at more than 20 national umpire schools and 13 advanced schools.


Dave Scott

Dave Scott, Decatur, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

Dave Scott set two goals during his softball career. One was to be a member of a national championship team by the time he was 25, and the other was to be elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame. Scott achieved the first goal in 1981 when, at age 24, he pitched Decatur ADM of Decatur, Il to the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, with the tournament that year held in Decatur at Borg-Warner Field. In the tournament, Scott compiled a 6-1 record and was named MVP of the championship. He fanned 76 batters in 50.3 innings and allowed only three earned runs. Scott’s second goal was achieved November 17, 2005 when he was formally inducted into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in spectacular ceremonies at the J.W. Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson, AZ. Originally from Williamsport, PA, Scott was taught how to pitch as a youngster by is Dad, Woody. After entering the Air Force, Scott compiled a record of 117-12 in 1979 pitching for teams in Houston, San Antonio, Mexico City and Fort Worth, TX. He pitched well enough in the Pan American Trials to earn a spot on the U.S. Pan American team. The Games were held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first-time softball was an official sport of the Pan American Games. The USA captured the silver medal, losing a heart-breaking 1-0 14 inning decision to Canada. Four years later, Scott was again named to the Pan American Team and compiled a 3-1 record as the USA again lost to Canada in the gold medal game. By 1979, Scott had been noticed by some of the top men’s fast pitch teams and he decided to cast his fate with Decatur ADM, which launched a sponsorship commitment to winning at the highest level of men’s play and needed an up-and-coming pitcher to anchor its pitching staff. It was a move that neither ADM nor Scot would ever regret in the years that following. Although Scott played for other teams beside Decatur in his career, he is still employed by ADM as the company’s corporate wellness/employee assistance director. He hurled for Decatur ADM and Decatur PRIDE from 1980-1989 and 1996. He is arguably Decatur’s most decorated athletes and he certainly helped put Decatur on the national softball map. After splitting four games in the 1980 ASA national for Decatur, which finished seventh, Scott hurled Decatur to its first ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in 1981. It remains one of the highlights of his career. Others include winning the gold medal game in the 1988 ISF World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and striking out Terry Muck of Aurora, IL to win a 1979 national tourney game in which Scott drove in three of his team’s five runs off losing hurler Dick Brubaker. But Scott’s outstanding career also had its share of disappointments, including losing the 1983 ASA title game in front of more than 8,000 fans at Borg-Warner Field. Scott had pitched eight games in four days to help Decatur get out of the loser’s bracket, only to lose by a run, 4-3, in the if necessary game to the John Anquillare led Franklin Cardinals. “That one tore my heart out,” said Scott.” It’s something none of us will ever forget.” In 1981, Scott compiled a 54-12 record, and it was one of three times he won 50 or more games in a season. Besides being name MVP in 1981, he was selected an All-American and duplicated that honor in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1986 and 1993. In all, Scott compiled a won-loss record of 40-20 in ASA national championship play for a .667 winning percentage. In addition to the national championships, Scott played in a record 11 U.S. Olympic Festivals and fashioned a record of 18-11—second best in Festival history—and was on five gold medal-winning teams, also a Festival record. In 1982, Scott was named U.S. Olympic Committee Softball Sportsman of the Year and he capped his career by pitching the Decatur Legends 40-over team to ASA national titles in 1991 and 2000. Between 1979 and 1996, Scott won 595 games and lost 151. Scott died on January 2, 2019.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2006


Don Brewer

Don Brewer, Murphysboro, Illinois – Meritorious Service

Involved with the Illinois ASA since 1961, Don Brewer has “touched all the bases” in his softball career. Former commissioner Charles L. McCord appointed him district commissioner for Southern Illinois in 1961 and during the next 40 plus years Don served as regional director, vice president, executive president, at-large player rep and assistant state commissioner before being named Illinois commissioner in 2001. Besides his involvement with the administrative side of softball, Don managed fast pitch and slow pitch teams. His fast pitch teams compiled a record of 1,630 wins and 557 losses for winning percentage of .745 between 1959-1998. As a player, Don compiled a .288 lifetime average between 1959-1984 and batted .300 or higher five times. Twice (1970-71), he was named all-state for the Murdale Martin Oilers. Don’s teams participated in eight 40-and-over nationals, three 45-and-over nationals, two 50-and-over nationals, and one Men’s Major Fast Pitch (1993). In 1997, his team won the first ASA 50-and-over fast pitch national title, which was held in Tulsa, OK. He sponsored teams from 1991-1993 and 1982-83 besides managing and playing. At the state level, his teams won three Illinois Major fast pitch titles, finished runner-up four times and twice in third place. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Brewer retired two years ago after serving 17 years as regional superintendent of Jackson-Perry County Schools. During his professional education career, Don served as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant principal, dean of students and athletic director. He also was interim parks and recreation director for the city of Carbondale. Brewer’s commitment as an educator and administrator has not been overlooked either. In 1995, he was named Southern Illinois University Alumni of the Year. In 1996, he received the Illinois Association of Park District Quarter Century Award followed by the Southern Illinois University Phi Delta Kappen Outstanding Educator Award and the Southern Illinois University Educational Council of 100 Award of Merit. His softball honors include Illinois ASA Distinguished Service Award (1992), Illinois Meritorious Service Award (1997) and election to the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame (1979). Since being appointed Illinois commissioner in 2001, he and his staff have increased Illinois registrations from three to five thousand as well as holding an Illinois Hall of Fame induction banquet each year.


Sheila Cornell Douty

Sheila Cornell Douty, Phelan, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – First Base

For nearly two decades, Sheila (Cornell) Douty was among the best softball players in the world. At 38, Sheila had won every major title the sport has to offer. But it was not until after the 2000 Olympics that she really had a chance to take it all in. “My husband and son and I took a 10-day vacation in Australia immediately after the games,” said Douty. “I think that was probably the only time I had to reflect on it and understand what a huge accomplishment it was, coming back the way we did.” At the start of the Games, Douty and her American teammates seemed assured of a second consecutive gold medal. They won their first two games to extend their international winning streak to 112, but then suffered three straight losses and found themselves on the brink of elimination from medal contention before rallying to win four straight games, including a 2-1 eight inning verdict over Japan in the gold medal game. Douty started every game at first base, hitting one home run with four RBI. It maked just the second time women’s softball had been featured as a medal sort at the Olympics and American television audiences marveled at the skills of Douty and her teammates.” In 1996 it was the first time a lot of women’s sports were looked at (by a national audience),” Douty said. “It was ‘Oh look at that, they’re pretty good.’ This time it was ‘Look at those athletes out there.’’’ Douty started playing softball at age 10 in Southern California. She had just moved to a new neighborhood, so her mother took Sheila and her sister to a playground and told them to sign up for a sport. There was no professional softball then so Douty spent her summer evenings listening to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully describe Dodger games on the radio and thrilled to the exploits of first baseman Steve Gravey. By the time she reached college (UCLA) Douty was playing a pretty good brand of first base herself. She played for two national championship teams at UCLA. After college she played for various teams in Southern California before joining the Raybestos Brakettes in 1988 and staying with them through 1994. During her time with the Brakettes, she batted 1,105 times in 477 games, collected 462 hits (77 doubles, 48 triples and 44 homers) for an eye-popping .418 batting average. She earned All-America honors 16 times in her career and six of them were with the Brakettes, earning first-team honors in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993 and second-team laurels in 1994. Sheila was a member of seven national championship and three runners-up. The following year, she joined the California Commotion of Woodland Hills, CA and won three consecutive ASA national championships (1996-1998) and a second place (1995). Sheila’s first international experience came in the 1983 Pan American Games where the USA finished in second place–the only time the USA has finished second in the Pan American Games. Sheila also was a member of the 1987, 1991 and 1995 USA Pan American Teams. Starting in 1987, and continuing through the 2000 Olympics, Sheila was a member of USA Teams that won no less than 15 international titles, including three ISF World Championships, three Pan Am gold medals and two gold medals in the Olympics (1996 and 2000). Through it all, Douty and her teammates were able to blend their skills and personalities and keep each other motivated. “We push each other, she said. Whether it was in practice or in games or whatever. That’s what elite athletes do.” It’s a run that has never been equaled in the history of women’s team sports, which is a concept Douty is still trying to grasp.” When I think about the people who have impacted on women’s sports in general over the years, people like Billie Jean King and Chris Evert and Jackie Joyner-Kersey, to think that the USA Softball team could be out into that category; it’s so hard when you are part of it.”


Norm C. Davis

Norm C. Davis, Auburn, Maine – Meritorious Service

The first person from Maine elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, Davis has been involved in the ASA program since 1964 when he started umpiring. During his umpiring career, he worked three Major nationals from 1981-1987, including the Men’s Major Modified and the Women’s Major Slow Pitch twice. In 1984, Norm was named Maine UIC and served in that position for 15 years. In 1989, he was appointed to the ASA National Umpire staff. As a member of the staff, Norm has been the UIC at more than 60 ASA nationals and has been an instructor at more than 30 National Umpire Schools. Known for his outgoing personality and sense of humor, Davis was selected to the National Indicator Fraternity in 1987. In 1999, Norm achieved elite status in the ASA Medals Program and was also named a deputy state commissioner for Maine. In 1997, Davis was inducted into the Auburn/Lewiston Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Davis was born March 16, 1934.

 

 

 


Michele Granger

Michele Granger, Valencia, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Granger started her career at age 10 thanks to her Dad, Michael, who taught her a delivery that made use of her entire body, not just her arm. The instruction paid off and in the ensuing years Michele established herself as an outstanding pitcher. She was not only an outstanding pitcher, winning All-America honors six times, but she was an outstanding person who combined academics with athletics. Born January 15, 1957, Michele was senior class president and a student body vice-president vice president while in high school at Valencia High School, Valencia where she maintained a 3.5 grade point average. She was one of the most highly recruited high school athletes in the U.S.A her senior year and ultimately decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley. While at California, set the NCAA record for career strikeouts with 1,640 (a mark that has been surpassed) and finished with a career mark of 119-52. A four-time All-American, she holds school records for most victories (119), games pitched (183), complete games (155), innings pitched (1,202 2/3), strikeouts, no-hitters (25) and shutouts (94). After starring in the ASA youth program, Granger made her international debut in 1986 at age 16, leading the USA National Team to the ISF World Championship and a gold medal. She helped the USA win the World title in 1994 as well as the 1987 ISF Junior Girls’ World Championship in Oklahoma City, the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games, the 1994 South Pacific Classic and Superball 1995. In 1987, Granger pitched in the Junior Girls’ World, the U.S. Olympic Festival, the Pan American Games, and the ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship and is the only athlete to ever pitch in all of these prestigious events. She earned ASA All-America honors six times and her combined record in the Pan American Games, ISF World Championships and Olympic Games is 15-0. She compiled a 13-7 record (.650 winning percentage) in five U.S. Olympic Festivals with an ERA of 0.93. In 1986, 1987 and 1988, she won the Bertha Tickey Award as the outstanding pitcher in the national championship. In the 1988 ASA national championship in Pekin, Il she broke Hall of Famer Bertha Tickey’s record for consecutive strikeouts (11) with 16 straight, then broke her own record the next day with 18 in a row. She played in eight ASA nationals, compiling a record of 16-6 in seven of them. In her first three ASA national championships, she did not allow a run (earned or otherwise) in 68 consecutive innings. In 1996, Granger helped the USA win the first-ever gold medal in the Olympics, pitching the opening game and the gold medal game. After basically retiring after the 1996 Olympics, Granger attempted a comeback to try to make the 2000 Olympic Team. Her attempt was unsuccessful, however, and she retired as an active player after the 2000 season. Married to attorney John Poulos in 1989, the couple has four children. Besides being a mother, Michele has still been active in softball, giving pitching lessons to aspiring pitchers. From 2001-2001, she was the pitching coach at the University of Tennessee. She also served as the volunteer pitching coach at UC Davis and San Jose State.


Pat Lillian

Pat Lillian, Medford, Oregon – Commissioner

Pat Lillian will not be the person who speaks the greatest number of times at a meeting. But you can be sure that when she says something, it will be something worthwhile and will be in the best interest of ASA in coming up with a solution to a problem. Pat was born in Lingsborg, KS in 1936 and graduated from Douglas County High School in 1955. She attended Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. In January of 1998, she retired from the Bureau of Land Management after a 37-year career, working as a cartographer (the science or art of making maps) and as a budget analyst. Pat retired in November of 2005 as Alaska ASA commissioner. She began her association with the Alaska ASA in 1963 when she was named a district commissioner by Gordon Berg and served in that position until she was named by Berg as assistant commissioner in 1970. She served as assistant commissioner until 1973 when Berg resigned as commissioner. In May of that year (1973), Pat was named Alaska ASA commissioner. Before beginning her administrative softball career, Pat played fast pitch softball for 23 years for teams in Colorado and Alaska. In Alaska she played for Fairbanks’ 49ers, Tommy’s Elbow Room, Denali Fuel and Gold Nuggets. She started her playing career in 1949 in Denver playing for Garden Farm Dairy. She later played for Elcar Fence. During her career, Pat served on various ASA committees. They included Domestic Events, Equipment Standards ,Fast Pitch Development, vice chair of Finance, vice chair and chair of Foreign Relations, Hall of Fame Selection, Jr. Olympic vice chair, Jr. Olympic Awards vice chair, vice chair, chair and co-chair of Legislative; Long Range Planning, Player Representative, Trophies and Awards, Umpire and USOC Oversight. She served as Northwest Region vice president from 1986-1987 and 1990-1997. In 2004, she served as at-large female representative on the ASA Board of Directors. In addition to serving on ASA Committees, she was appointed by ASA presidents to serve in different capacities including ASA delegate to the USOC Committee (1978), Pan Am Selection Committee vice chair and chair (1983 and 1991), administrative manager for the 1983 Women’s Pan American Team, chief of delegation, 1990 Women’s World Championship in Normal, IL, Code Revision Committee (1992), Women’s National Team Selection Committee (1993-1996), team leader, 2002 Pan American Qualifier, Hermasillo, Mexico, women’s fast pitch coordinator at eight USOC Olympic Festivals, served as ASA rep at the Men’s and Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships and eight times a member of the ASA National Tournament All-American Selection Committee. She also has been involved at the international level. In 2002 she was appointed to the ISF Executive Council. She is the chair of the ISF Athletes Commission and a member of the ISF Legislative Commission. In 1994, she attended the Women’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Newfoundland and the South Pacific Classic in Sydney, Australia as chairman of the National Team Selection Committee. In 2000, she was chief of the delegation in the Canada Cup. As guest of the ISF, she attended the Women’s World Championship Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and was named to the ISF Executive Council at this event. In 1996, she attended the Olympic Games in Columbus, GA as a member of the National Team Selection Committee. She also attended the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece. In Athens, she served as the ISF Executive Council liaison for scorekeeping. Her dedication and commitment to excellence has been recognized by various organizations. She has been elected to the Northwest Region Hall of Fame and received the Alaska 49er Sports Award and the Alaska First Lady Volunteer Award. She is a charter member and a member of the Board of Directors of the Girls Clubs of Alaska. She is a life member of the Arctic Winter Games Association and was a gold medalist in basketball (1974) in the Arctic Winter Games.


Avon Meacham

Avon Meacham, Upper Marlboro, Maryland – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

The opposition knew once Avon Meacham got on base he was a threat to steal a base. In fact, Meachem was once clocked in the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. Meacham could also swing the bat and in the 1994 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival, Meacham hit the first pitch of the event for a home run, going over the center field fence at the 250-foot mark. Meacham also singled, scored a pair of runs and stole a base in a losing effort. He dazzled the crowd with his speed and power, scoring from first in the seventh inning on a triple by Mike Larabee. Meacham’s 4.3 clocking came in 1983 when at age 27, he got a tryout with the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. But, after checking Avon’s age, the Seahawks felt they did not need a 27-year-old free agent. Meacham was one of four walk-ons offered a contract. Although Avon did not make it in the NFL, he resumed his major softball career and four years later made the USA Pan American Team, which won a silver medal in Indianapolis, Ind. Avon batted .238 in the 1987 Games as the USA finished runner-up to Canada. In 1990, he was selected to play for the USA in the Labatt’s Challenge Cup in Saskatoon, Canada and led all hitters with a .536 average. In 1991, Meacham made his second Pan American team and batted .355 (11-for-31) as the USA again finished runner-up to Canada. Four years later, he made his third and final Pan American team and batted .276 as the USA again finished behind Canada. In three Pan American Games, Avon batted .296 (24-for-81). Besides playing in three Pan American Games and the U.S. Olympic Festival, Avon was a member of two ASA national championship teams, 1994 and 1995, with Decatur PRIDE of Decatur, Ill. In 1994, Avon batted .407 and in 1995 he batted .353, marking the third consecutive year he was named an All-American. He also was named an All-American in 1993. In 1994, he also was named the most valuable player in the national championship. In four years with Decatur, Avon batted .299, .380, .353 and .258. Meacham, who started playing fast pitch in 1980, participated in six ASA national championships and batted .306 (30-for-98). In addition to playing for Decatur PRIDE, Meacham also played for the Twangers, Washington, D.C., Metros, Spokane, Wash., Monarchs, Washington, D.C., Radiators, Annapolis, Md., Sunners, Reading, Pa., and the Clearwater, Fla., Bombers. Since 1998, Avon has been a member of the ASA Board of Directors and from 1996-1998 was the assistant coach at Columbia Union College, in Tacoma Park, Md. He also served on the USA Men’s National Team Selection Committee and continues to play ASA softball in the 40-and-over division of play. He graduated in 1980 from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, and in May of 2001 earned a Master’s degree in business administration from Bowie State University. He has 28 years of Federal service as a budget and program officer for the Department of Transportation. He also is a member of the USOC Athletic Advisory Committee and is the head coach and treasurer for the Track Express and Youth Track Club.


Ralph B. Miller

Ralph B. Miller, Emeryville, California – Umpire

The first umpire from California selected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, Miller had a reputation as a no-nonsense umpire who applied the rules to all participants equally. Ralph wanted to bring a sense of fairness and control to each game that he umpired. Miller was particularly proficient at controlling difficult situations while maintaining his approachability. His umpiring and leadership skills were second to none. The 33rd umpire overall selected to the Hall of Fame; Miller umpired from 1978 to 2002. During that time, he worked some of the top events in softball, including five ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships, two Class A championships, one Class B and two ISF events, including the Men’s World Championship in Midland, MI in 1996 and the Women’s Asian Zone Qualifier in Manila in 1997. Although Miller worked more than his share of national championships and quality softball events, he said that his greatest accomplishment was “the umpires I mentored in various clinics, the Oakland Metro Clinics and the Hayward Umpire Association Plate School.” After starting his career in 1978, Ralph served as president of the Mission Valley Umpires’ Association from 1980-84, president of the Hayward Umpires’ Association from 1987-89 and was deputy UIC for the Oakland ASA from 1998-2001. Miller attended two schools, the National School in Stockton, CA in 1985 after a year earlier attending the Region 14 School. Although retired from umpiring, Miller said while he gained a sense of fulfillment as an umpire, there was nothing more fulfilling than the many friends he made while umpiring. “I only regret that I didn’t start umpiring sooner,” said Miller. “I would have loved to have umpired with some the greats of the game, both locally and at a national level.” Miller was born July 11, 1945 and resides in Fremont, CA.


Dot Richardson

Dot Richardson, Orlando, Florida – Women’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

At 13 Dr. Dot Richardson played in first ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, making her the youngster player in ASA history to play in a Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. She started her career in 1972 playing for the Union Pack Jets in Orlando, FL. Before Richardson retired as an active player following the 2000 Olympics, she set a standard of excellence that will be difficult to equal, let alone surpass. Between 1972 and 2000, Richardson earned All-America honors 15 times, played on 10 championship teams, won the Erv Lind Award (top defensive player in Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship) seven times, won two Olympic gold medals, was a member of five Pan American teams and four ISF World Championship teams. After beginning her career with the Orlando, FL Rebels, Dottie joined the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CN in 1984 and remained with them through the 1994 season before joining the California Commotion of Woodland Hills, CA for the remainder of her career. While she continued to excel at the Major level, Dottie continued to pursue her career in medicine and obtained her medical degree from the University of Louisville in May of 1993. Earlier, she obtained a master’s from Adelphi University, Garden City, Long Island and a B.S. degree from UCLA in June of 1984. She did her postdoctoral residence at the University of Southern California/Los Angeles County Medical Center from July of 1993 to June of 1999. From July of 1999 to May of 2000, she did an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, CA. Since October of 2001, Dr. Richardson has been the director/medical director at the South Lake Hospital/National Training Center in Clermont, FL. She has received numerous national honors including the 1998 Sports Legends Award, the 1997 Babe Zaharias Award (Female Athlete of the Year), the 1996 Amateur Athletic Foundation Athlete of the Year, inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1996, Nuprin Comeback of the Year Award in 1990, named MVP in the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship four times, four-time Sullivan Award nominee and inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 1999. Her college honors include NCAA Player of the Decade (1980s), three-time NCAA All-American, two-time AIAW All-American, three-time ULCA MVP and 1983 All University Award at UCLA, which was shared with Jackie Joyner Kersey.


Michele Smith

Michele Smith, Califon, New Jersey – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Although she did not start pitching until her sophomore year in high school (Voorhees, N.J.), Michele Smith more than made up for her late start by becoming one of the premier double-threat players in the United States and the world. After going 46-6 in high school and being named all-state three years in a row, Smith continued to develop as a pitcher and hitter while in college at Oklahoma State University. She compiled a record 82-20 in college and batted .269, .211, .393 and .379 during her four-year career. She graduated in 1990 with a degree in health wellness and pre-med at had considered a career in medicine. After being named Academic All-Big Eight in 1989 and MVP of the Big Eight Tournament, Smith played for a variety of ASA teams, including the Linden, N.J. Majors, Budweiser Bells, the SSK California Invasion and the Redding, CA Rebels. It was with the Rebels, however, that she enjoyed tremendous personal success while making the Rebels one of the consistent top finishing teams in the 1990s. Smith earned All-America honors ten times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998) and was the winner of the Bertha Tickey Award as the outstanding pitcher at the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1995. In 1990 and 1994 she was named ASA Sports Woman of the Year. She was a member of various USA international teams, including two Olympic teams (1996 and 2000), two Pan American Teams, and three ISF World Championship teams. The success Smith enjoyed on the softball field was not however, achieved without a lot of hard work, determination, and rehabilitation, especially after she was injured in a bizarre truck accident returning from an oral surgeon.in 1986. As she was sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, she took off her seat belt and the strap caught the door handle. The door flew open. Smith fell out of the truck, which was traveling between 40 and 45 miles per hour. Smith tumbled off the road and crashed into a pole. The accident detached the triceps from the bone in her left arm and chopped off the tip of her elbow. The accident was a wake-up call for Smith who lived for softball her freshman year, knowing that in three years she would be out working and “I wouldn’t be making half a million dollars to throw the ball around the diamond.” The accident pointed out to Smith that no matter what happens it takes “a lot of practice and a lot of perseverance. You have got to keep striving forward. You cannot expect things to happen overnight. It takes a lot of work.” After going 12-6 her freshman year at OSU, she missed the fall semester her sophomore year while undergoing rehabilitation. In 2002, Michele announced she was retiring from the USA National Team program after she played in the ISF World Championship, batting .500 (5-for-10, one HR, 4 RBI) and winning her only game on the mound. She, however, is still playing softball overseas in the Japan Pro League, which she has been doing since 1994. Besides still playing, she has served as a spokesperson for Worth Sports Company and does softball color commentary for ESPN.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2007


Hank Bassett

Hank Bassett, Monticello, Kentucky – Manager – Manager

In 1971, Hank Bassett started a managing career that would achieve national recognition for his teams and ultimately lead to his induction into the ASA National Hall of Fame in 2007. As the third slow pitch manager from Kentucky to earn enshrinement, Bassett’s teams were an embodiment of himself. They played with class and intensity while displaying sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and a genuine love for the game of slow pitch. Although Hank’s teams never had the benefit of a large sponsorship budget, they more than made up for that with a team comprised mostly of home-grown talent. This approach paid off where it counts most—in the won and lost column. When Bassett concluded his managing career in 1991, he had a winning percentage of 73.6 percent. His teams won 1,060 games and lost only 381. His Starpath team put Kentucky slow pitch softball on the national map winning 434 games and losing 141 for a winning percentage of 75.5. Hank’s teams competed in five ASA Major Nationals and finished first, second, fourth, fifth and 13th, winning 26 games and losing eight. When ASA started the Super division in 1981, Hank’s teams competed in four of them and won the national title in1988, finished second in 1989 and third in 1990 and 1991. In 1989, he managed the West team to a gold medal in the U.S. Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City. But Hank has been more than just a manager in slow pitch. He has embraced the sport in many ways, including serving as a district, regional and deputy state commissioner for the state of Kentucky. He served as a player rep for Kentucky and has been the driving force behind the Kentucky ASA Hall of Fame.


Dave Epperson

Dave Epperson, Topeka, Kansas – Umpire

Dave Epperson started his ASA umpiring career in 1973. Eleven years later, Dave was named to the ASA National Umpire staff representing the Mid-America region. Dave proved to be an outstanding member of the staff. Over the years, Dave honed his skills as an instructor. His down-to-earth, common sense approach as a clinician was popular and brought numerous requests from people for Dave to return as an instructor at their schools and clinics. Besides giving clinics and instructing, Dave served as the UIC at 70 ASA national championships and one U.S. Olympic Festival. He conducted National Umpire Schools and clinics in 45 states and was an instructor at 49 National Umpire Schools and five Advanced Fast Pitch camps. Earlier in his career, Dave umpired various softball championships ranging from the Women’s Major Fast Pitch in 1981 to the Pan American Games tryouts. Dave was ISF certified in fast pitch in 1984 and in 1986 became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. In 2000, he was elected to the Kansas Softball Hall of Fame. Dave is the fourth person from Kansas elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and follows in the footsteps of Kansas umpire Harold Adams, who was Dave’s umpiring idol.

 


David Grimes

David Grimes, Lakeland, Florida – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

An ASA All-America five times, David Grimes (5-10, 175-pounds) was the kind of player a manager liked having on a team because David could play just about any position in softball. After lettering in college baseball at Florida State University (1970-71), and receiving a degree in criminology and corrections, two years later (1973), Grimes joined the famed Clearwater, Fla. Bombers. The timing could not have been better for Grimes as the Bombers won their 10th and final ASA national championship. Grimes was named a second-team All-America utility player, batting .263. He finished the year with a .318 average, hitting 10 homers. After gaining the championship round in 1973, the Bombers advanced to the championship game in 1978, but lost in the finals to Reading, Pa., and Larry Bergh. Grimes, however, was selected a second-team All-American outfielder. Dave played in the next two nationals, 1974-75, and batted .200 and .300. In 1974, he batted .343 for the Bombers and was the third leading hitter on the team. He was the team leader in homers (24) and RBI (81), which was a team record. He became only the fourth Bomber ever to get 100 or more hits in a season. Grimes had 102 hits in 297 at-bats. In 1975, Grimes led the Bombers in batting with a .330 average and was second in runs (63), doubles (20), homers (20) and RBI (63). In 1977, he batted .316, second best on the team, hitting 10 homers. He led the team in game-winning hits (15), RBI (62), runs (63), hits (73) and doubles (19). With softball accepted as a Pan American sport for 1979, Grimes was one of the 17 players selected to the team and was named captain of the team by Manager Cliff Smith. The Games were held in Puerto Rico and the USA lost to Canada 1-0 in 14 innings. Grimes batted .391 in the Pan American Trials and exhibition games. He batted .412 in the Games (7-for-17), scoring the tying run against the Virgin Islands, and having the game-winning RBI and hitting a two-run homer against Puerto Rico. Earlier in the year, Clearwater played in the U.S. Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., and won a silver medal. Grimes batted .217 and hit a HR against Ty Stofflet in a 3-2 win. A versatile player, Grimes played second base in 1981 and batted .278 in the national championship to earn another second-team All-America honor. Grimes’ performance earned him a spot on the Fast Pitch All-Stars Team against the national champion, Decatur, Ill. Grimes batted .214 in the All-Star Series and one of his hits was a grand slam homer. It was the third and final All-Star Series Grimes played in during his career. He also was named the Bombers’ MVP that season. In 1987, nearing the end of his career, Grimes led the Bombers with a .394 batting average and hit 14 homers. He connected for three homers in the Southern Regional and was named a Southern Regional All-Star, one of eight times he was selected for that honor. In 1988, Grimes batted .357 and was named to the third-team All-America team. He duplicated that feat the following year before retiring for good after the 1992 Men’s Class A National Championship. After retiring, he was president of the Clearwater Bomber Booster Club for 1990, and co-manager of the team with Hall of Famer Ray Truluck that season. Based on information available, Grimes batted .250 (26-for-104) in seven ASA national championships. He played in 12 nationals overall. Grimes, a third-generation cattle rancher, was born August 8,1949. He owns a 1,300-acre cattle ranch in Lakeland, Fla. He has two daughters, 15 and 17, both fast pitch players, and coached a travel ball softball team for seven years. Grimes finished his career with a .321 batting average including 126 homers and played four different positions: DH, shortstop, second base and center field and left field. Elected November 8th, 2007 to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, Grimes said, “I am very, very humbled by this.”


Mike Macenko

Mike Macenko, Brook Park, Ohio – Men’s Slow Pitch – Player

The first former member of the Steele’s Silver Bullets elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; Mike Macenko had a slow pitch career that will be difficult to duplicate let alone surpass. For 26 years, (starting in 1974) Mike (6-foot-3, more than 260 pounds) slammed more than 6,000 home runs, earning ASA All-America honors 11 times including two MVP Awards (1987 and 1990). He was an ASA All-American in 1977, 1984-1988, 1990, 1991, 1993-94. Born November 21, 1955 in Brook Park, Ohio, Mike started his career playing for the Brook Park Merchants in 1973 and caught the eye of Pesano’s manager, Dave Neale, in 1975, who saw Mike in a home-run derby in Lakewood, Ohio and asked him to play for a team he was managing in Cleveland. Mike played for Neale’s team, Hillcrest Tavern from 1976-1980, Nationwide Advertising in 1981 and the Cleveland Competitors in 1982 before joining Steele’s in 1983 through 1990. Mike was a member of five ASA national championship teams. In 1991 Mike joined Sunbelt-Worth before going back to Steele’s-Sunbelt in 1991 and playing another season. In 1994-1995 Mike played for Ritch’s-Superior before joining the Steele’s Hit Men in 1996 and 1997. Mike retired in 1998 but playing briefly in 1999 for R&D/Nike before deciding to retire for good after the 2000 season. Mike had some outstanding seasons for Steele’s and his back-to-back seasons in 1987 and 1988 may never be duplicated. In 1987, he smashed 844 homers and drove in 1,534 runs to go along with a .744 batting average. He followed that season with 830 homers and 1,667 RBI with a .745 batting average. One of only two players (Don Arndt is the other) to hit more than 6,000 homers in a career and between 1983-1997 hit 4,411 and batted .702 (8,227 hits in 11,720 at-bats). In 1986-1987, he was named MVP of the Smoky Mountain Classic, annually the best men’s invitational slow pitch tournament in America. In 1989, when softball made its debut in the U.S. Olympic Festival (first and only time), Mike batted .568 (21-for-37) and led the festival in homers and total bases (69) in leading the East team. During the 1987-88 seasons, Mike put up some impressive numbers: 12 including nine homers in one game (1987); 16 homers in a doubleheader (1988); 4 homers in one inning (twice in 1987); he had 3 homers in an inning 11 times; five hits in one inning (1987); he had four hits in an inning four times; 17 RBI in one game (twice in 1987); 10 RBI in one inning (on a grand slam and two three-run shots in 1987); 5 home runs in one game out of a minor league baseball park; 12 consecutive homers in 1988; had 11 in a row in 1987; 172 games in a row with at least one hit (1987) and 29 hits in a row, including 14 homers (1987); he had 10 or more consecutive hits a total of 29 times. In 1987, Macenko hit a ball into the media parking lot outside the Las Vegas Softball Complex that was measured at 508 feet. During a 1993 exhibition, he hit 16 of 47 pitches over the fence at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, including a 430-foot blast into right-centerfield. Mike is the 31st slow pitch player elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame.


Louise “Chris” Mazzuca

Louise “Chris” Mazzuca, Tacoma, Washington – Women’s Fast Pitch – Player

Although Louise “Chris” Mazzuca lacked confidence and discipline in the beginning of her softball career, in time she gained the needed confidence and discipline to become one of the outstanding pitchers of her era. Mazzuca participated in six ASA national championships and compiled a 17-11 record with an ERA of 0.64. In 240 innings, she fanned 382 batters and earned ASA All-America honors four times, three times with the Portland Erv Lind Florists and once with Buena Park, Calif. Her pitching led her teams to runner-up positions in 1959 and 1960, fourth in 1961, 1962 and 1966 and tied for fifth in 1958. Carol Spanks, a member of the Hall of Fame and one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, said this about Mazzuca. “In my opinion, Mazzuca was an awesome pitcher. I faced her many time, not only when she played for the Oregon teams but more often when she was Whittier. I always felt that from the standpoint of sheer pitching talent she was in the same league as Joan Joyce. She had as much movement and speed on the ball and was tough to hit. Just a different pitching style (windmill). She didn’t play that many years, but while she did, she was a real standout on the mound.” A natural talent who could deliver the ball with overpowering speed, Mazzuca hurled 35 no-hitters and nine perfect games during her career. Three of the no-hitters came in the 1960 ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship as he compiled a 4-2 record, striking out 75 batters. She hurled the Erv Lind Florists to the finals before losing 2-0 to the Raybestos Brakettes. Mazzuca hurled five innings and allowed two hits and two runs (one earned) before Hall of Fame Jackie Rice hurled the last inning. It was the second year in a row Mazzuca hurled the Florists to the championship game only to lose to Hall of Famer Bertha Regan Tickey, 1-0. In the 1959 national, Mazzuca also hurled a pair of no-hitters. In 1960, she no-hit Vancouver, Pekin, Il and Orange, CA., with the last two in succession. For the year, Louise finished 36-3 with an ERA of 0.10 and 534 strikeouts. In the 1958 national championship, Louise, then 18, struck out 26 Fresno Rockets in a losing cause against Fresno’s Ginny Busick, who fanned 19. Louise finished the tourney 2-2/ In 1960-1962, Mazzuca plated in three Women’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series and compiled a record of 2-0-1. In 1960, Louise beat Hall of Fame Joan Joyce 1-0 on a two-hitter. In 1961, she and Joyce battled to a 0-0 tied after 18 innings with the game called because of darkness. Louise had allowed four hits. In 1962, Louise beat the national champion Whittier Gold Sox, 3-1, on a one-hitter. Born December 23, 1939, Louise began playing softball at age 11 in various leagues in Tacoma, WA. By the time she was 14 she was playing for the Tacoma Shamrocks in the Northwest Major League, which was one of the top women’s leagues at that time. She also played for the Hollywood Boat and Motor, the Forest Grove Meadowlarks, the Erv Lind Florists, the Whittier Gold Sox, Huntington Park and Buena Park. In 2005, she was elected to the Tacoma –Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame. She is the first Tacoma woman elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. Mazzuca died on March 27, 2018.


Jack Mowatt

Jack Mowatt, Odenton, Maryland – Meritorious Service

Jack Mowatt has been involved in the ASA since 1968 when he started umpiring and eventually became vice president of the Greater Washington Softball Umpires’ Association. Jack did three ASA nationals as an umpire and later became the assignor for the umpire organization, which is one of the largest umpire groups in the ASA. He was the umpire coordinator for the first ASA Men’s Class A as well as hosting the first ASA 35-under master’s National Championship. He is a life member of the organization and a member of the ASA’s National Indicator Fraternity. In 1983, he was named Washington D.C. commissioner and continues in that position. During his career Jack has been instrumental in improving the overall quality of umpires in the Central Atlantic Region because he was one of the co-founders of the Central Atlantic Region Umpires Clinic, which eventually became one of the most successful clinics in the country. The number of attendees grew to more than 400 and Jack would invite one of the members of the ASA National Umpire staff to serve as head clinician. The breakout sessions that were used at this clinic were later added to the National UIC Clinic, which is held in Oklahoma City every two years. Jack has served on numerous ASA committees including the Umpires Committees and had worked tirelessly to improve the conditions and fees for umpires at national tournaments. He served as chair of the umpire committee for four years and was instrumental in outlining the duties and expected performance of the National Umpire staff. He has received the National Award of Excellence and the Tom Mason Award, which was presented by the Central Atlantic Region. Jack also assisted with the production of the Umpires’ Case Book and provided many hours of proof reading and technical help to the committee. Jack also comes to the national office on a regular basis to help where needed with various national office-run events.


Brenda Smith-Foster

Brenda Smith-Foster, Mechanicsville, Virginia – Women’s Slow Pitch – Second Base

It is rare when a teenager wins the MVP Award at one of the ASA’s Major National Championships. But in 1982, at age 18, Brenda Smith did in leading the Richmond, Virginia Stompers to the national title in the Women’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship. It was her first year with the team. Brenda hit 12 homers and drove in 58 runs as the Stompers compiled a record of 68-9. In addition to being named MVP, Brenda was named the ASA Sportswoman of the Year and was recognized by the United States Olympic Committee. In the years that followed Brenda continued to excel at the Major level, winning ASA All-America honors eight times and being a member of four national championship teams. When the Stompers dropped down to Class A in 1987, she again was an All-American as well as the tourney MVP. Brenda was a total player. She could spray the ball to all fields and with power. Defensively, she had an outstanding arm and was a ballerina on the field, moving back and forth with ease and grace to make difficult plays look easy. A complete player in every sense of the word. In 2001, Brenda was inducted into the Central Virginia Hall of Fame. She is the 10th female elected to the ASA Hall of Fame in slow pitch. She joins Don Clatterbough, also of Mechanicsville, in the Hall of Fame. Foster also is a member of the Henrico High School and Virginia Commonwealth University Athletic Halls of Fame. At VCU, she scored 1,072 points in three seasons—1985-1987. She also had 761 rebounds and 215 steals.


Peter Turner

Peter Turner, Stockton, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

Peter Turner Jr. played almost every position in fast pitch except for shortstop during his two-decade career and was humbled by his election in 2007. “I am flattered that I have been elected to the Hall of Fame. To share this award with some of the greatest names in our game, is by far one of the most humbling experiences in my life,” Turner said.” This honor gives me an opportunity to acknowledge those who have made the sacrifices that have allowed me to continue to play this game; my sponsors, the ASA, my teammates, as well as my family deserve the recognition for their support and sacrifices along the way. I have received far more than I ever expected from this game as softball has enriched my life, both on and off the field.” Turner earned All-America honors five times: 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999 and 2000 playing for some of the nation’s top major fast pitch teams including Guanella Brothers, Nava Brothers, Seafirst Bank and Larry Miller Toyota. He was a member of Guanella’s national championship team in 1991 and was a member of other teams that finished runner-up in 1990, third in 1999, fourth in 1996 and 2000, fifth in 1989 and tied for seventh in 1998. In 13 ASA national championships Turner batted .262 with a personal best of .563 in 1989. Four other times he batted .333 or higher in national championship play. Besides the ASA national championships, he played in five U.S. Olympic Festivals and batted .294 (25-for-85). In 1993, he batted .350 (7-for-20) to help Guanella’s win the gold medal. He twice was a member of the USA Pan American qualifying team (1989 and 1993) and in 1995 he batted .320 (8-for-25) to help the USA Men’s Team win a silver medal in the Pan American Games in Argentina. After retiring from major competition in 2001, Pete turned his attention toward managing and was an assistant coach for the Junior Men’s Team in 2001 before being named the head coach of the Men’s National Team. He led the Men’s National Team to a silver medal in the Pan American Games qualifier in 2002 and to a silver medal in the 2003 Pan American Games. In 2007, he led the USA Men’s National Team to a runner-up position in the ISF World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic. A graduate of Sacramento State, Turner has a master’s degree from Hamilton University. He was an assistant coach at Delta College for 11 years before being named head coach in 2004. That same year he was named head coach at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Born October 19, 1956, Turner grew up around fast pitch softball because his father, Peter Turner Sr., was an accomplished player in his own right, and was Pete’s idol. Pete started playing fast pitch at 16 years-old on his Dad’s teams and was a standout football and baseball player in high school.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2008


Freddie & Virginia Ezell

Freddie & Virginia Ezell, Midland, Texas – Meritorious Service

Freddie and Virginia Ezell have lived in Midland, Texas for more than 47 years. And during that time, they certainly have made an impact on ASA softball in that community. In 1970, Freddie was named district 26 commissioner and a few years later Virginia was named a deputy for the district. The two register more than 1,000 teams each year. Freddie and Virginia are a team and they certainly know how to take care of the ASA teams when they play in an ASA National Championship in Midland, which ranks among the best ASA cities for hosting ASA nationals. Midland has hosted 28 ASA nationals and Freddie and Virginia are there to take care of the teams. As Virginia said earlier in 2008, ‘’He opens up the park, he does the talking and I do the paperwork.” Freddie, who played softball and umpired, has been an ASA national player rep since 1986 In 1989, Freddie was inducted into the Texas ASA Umpire Hall of Honor. In 2002, Freddie and Virginia were inducted into the Texas ASA Hall of Fame in recognition of their dedication to improving softball in Midland. In 2003, the Midland Girls complex was re-named the Freddie Ezell Softball Complex. And in 2004, the Midland Minor League Baseball organization, The Rock Hounds, presented Freddie and Virginia with the Community Achievement Award. Freddie and Virginia also have received the Scott Douglas Seator Community Achievement Award for their outstanding contributions to Midland United Girls Softball. In the past Freddie has served as the vice chairman of the Junior Olympic Committee and has been the rep for 13 ASA national championships. On November 12, 2008 Freddie and Virginia were inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame during impressive ceremonies at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. They are the second husband-wife couple in the Hall of Fame.


Ron Galemore

Ron Galemore, Gaithersburg, Maryland – Umpire

When the ASA had its Super Slow Pitch division of men’s slow pitch, Ron Galemore often was one of the umpires penciled in to work the championship. Galemore was good at putting out fires, on and off the softball field. A retired fire fighter, Galemore used his calm, level-headed approach in fighting any “heated” discussions between players and managers. And at the Super level it was not uncommon for some players or managers to lose their cool. During his umpiring career, from 1979 to 2003, Galemore worked five Super National Championships and one Major Slow Pitch Championship, establishing himself as one of the premier slow pitch umpires within the ASA. But besides working the national championships, Ron also did the Hooters ASA Championship Series in Oklahoma City twice (2001-2002). In 1999, Ron received the ASA Award of Excellence for the Central Atlantic Region and he also is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity and the ASA Elite Program. Galemore is the 35th umpire elected to the ASA Hall of Fame. He was inducted on November 12, 2008 before a crowd of 510 people at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

 


Jenni Harp Oliver

Jenni Harp Oliver, Chattanooga, Tennessee – Women’s Slow Pitch

The fourth person and the second player from Chattanooga elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, Jenni Harp Oliver starred in women’s major slow pitch for 32 years, earning All-America honors five times. Although she played just about every position in softball, Oliver played either first base or catcher when she played for some of the Nation’s top teams. She was an anchor on three National Championships teams and three National runners-up. She had a .453 batting average with 65 RBI in 13 ASA National Championships. In her first national (1988), she batted. 667 (20-for-30), driving in 14 runs. Oliver played in her last ASA national in 1994 and had two hits in the Championship game as UPI shut out the Armed Forces, 8-0. The championship was played in her hometown of Chattanooga. Now a teacher in the Hamilton County School system, Oliver played the game with class, dignity, and sportsmanship. In 2000, she was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame and in 2005 into the Velocity Sports Hall of Fame. Oliver was the 11th women’s slow pitch player elected.

 

 


Kermit Lynch

Kermit Lynch, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Men’s Fast Pitch

In the 1940s the Hammer Field Raiders of Fresno, Calif. won back-to-back ASA National Fast Pitch Championships in 1943-44. They are the only service team to accomplish this feat. Of course, the Raiders had two outstanding pitchers, Private Al Linde, who already is a member of the Hall of Fame, and Sergeant Kermit Lynch. Lynch was a double-threat. He could beat you from the pitcher’s mound and at-bat. In fact, in the 1943 ASA national championship game in Detroit, Mich., Lynch beat the Sam Lombardo-led Detroit Bombers, 1-0, in the championship game before 5,000 people. Lynch shutout the Bombers on one-hit and drove in the game’s only run with a triple in the third inning, his team’s only hit. And he threw out Lombardo when he attempted to steal home plate in the last inning. Lynch finished the tournament 3-0 and had beaten Detroit earlier in the tourney, 2-0, as the Raiders finished the year 25-3. On the mound, Lynch had a devastating fastball, a sharp-breaking curve and a wicked change-up, and all thrown with pin-point control. He was known throughout softball as the “wonder pitcher.” And after teams played the 6-1, 170-pound Lynch, they wondered if they would get a hit off him let alone beat him during his 13-year career which ended in 1950. He joined teammate Linde in the Hall of Fame on November 12, 2008 in colorful ceremonies in Oklahoma City during the ASA’s 75th diamond-jubilee celebration. Lynch died on October 21, 2017.


Jim Marsh

Jim Marsh, Yukon, Oklahoma – Men’s Fast Pitch

Jim Marsh did not have an especially long career in fast-pitch, about 15 years, but he certainly made the most of it and especially when he competed in the ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Championship. Between 19777 and 1981 Jim played in five consecutive ASA national championships and each year was named an ASA All-America. In fact, in his first game in an ASA national championship Jim hit a pair of homers in a 12-1 win over Oklahoma City leading Napa Auto to a fifth-place finish in Midland, Mich. Besides the five All-America selections, Marsh played in the first National Sports Festival in 1978 in Colorado Springs and helped his team win a silver medal. He finished the season with a .327 batting average, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 45 runs. Three years later, in Syracuse, N.Y. Jim batted .333 in the National Sports Festival, which was later changed to the U.S. Olympic Festival. After batting .333 in 1979, Jim was again named All-America in 1980-1981, batting .571 in the latter event. He also played in World Games One in 1981 for Guanella Brothers of Santa Rosa, Calif. In four years with Guanella, Jim posted a .287 batting average and smashed 27 homers. Besides being a threat on offense, Jim was solid defensively and kept runners honest with his outstanding arm. The wear and tear of catching, however, took its toll, forcing Jim to retire from playing in 1990 and eventually have both of his hips replaced. Jim is one of nine former Guanella Brothers elected to the Hall of Fame. He and teammate Mitch Munthe were both enshrined on November 12, 2008 in Oklahoma City.


Roberta “Robbie” Mulkey

Roberta “Robbie” Mulkey, Vancouver, Washington – Women’s Fast Pitch

One of the most talented and popular athletes in the 1950s and 1960s, Robbie could play the outfield and first base. She even caught one year because of her outstanding arm. The bigger the game the better Robbie played. She was a crowd-pleaser and did a lot to promote the game. People came out to see her hit the long ball and that she did. In fact, she formerly held the record for most homers in a Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, hitting four in 1949. The record was not broken until 44 years later. Besides batting .333 and hitting four homers in 1949, Robbie was named the MVP of the tournament in leading the Erv Lind Florists to a second-place finish. Robbie was again named an ASA All-America in 1956, batting .277 in helping the Orange, Calif. Lionettes to the national title. Robbie was named second-team All-America in 1957 and a first-team choice in 1958 before retiring as an active player in 1960. Before retiring, however, she was asked by the Erv Lind Florists to accompany them on a tour of the Far East and the Pacific Island for six weeks. In 1996, Mulkey became a member of the Portland Hall of Fame. She was enshrined on November 12, 2008 in impressive ceremonies during the 75th anniversary celebration of the ASA at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

 


Mitch Munthe

Mitch Munthe, Modesto, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

In the1980s and 1990s Men’s Major Fast Pitch had its share of outstanding hitters. Outfielder Mitch Munthe of Modesto, Calif. was among them. Mitch’s 25-year career in men’s fast pitch (1979-2004) had its share of highlights and achievements. Mitch played 17 years at the Men’s major level of fast pitch and earned ASA All-America honors seven times: 1984 (second team); 1987 (first team);1992 (second team); 1993 (second team); 1996, (second team); 1990 (third team) and 1997 (third team). Munthe batted .341 (40-for-117) in six U.S. Olympic Festivals (1983, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994) and won three gold medals (1993-94 and 1985). Munthe was a member of the USA National Team in 1988, (.594), 1989, 1991 and 1993. In 1995, Munthe was a member of the USA National Team that won a silver medal in the Pan American Games in Parana, Argentina with Munthe batting .353, hitting three homers and driving in 11 runs. Twice Munthe was a member of an ASA national championship team, 1984 with the California Kings and 1991 with Guanella Brothers. In all, Mitch played in at least 15 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships and batted .273 in 14 of them (66-for-242) Munthe led the 1994 national championship in batting with a .533 average. He batted .300 or higher in six nationals. He holds ASA national championship records for most RBI in one game (eight) and most RBI in one inning (7), which he accomplished in the 1997 ASA national championship. Mitch played seven years for Guanella and batted .317 with a .551 slugging percentage, hitting 79 doubles, 25 triples and 76 homers. Twice (1987 (.375) and 1988 (.356), Mitch led Guanella Brothers in hitting and was second in 1986 (.335) and third in 1989 (.311). He is the eighth former Guanella’s player elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. With his career at the Major level at an end Mitch served as an assistant coach for the USA National Team in 2003 and 2004.


Kevin G. Ryan

Kevin G. Ryan, Ann Arbor, Michigan – Umpire

Originally Ryan started his umpiring career doing slow pitch. He never envisioned that in time he would become one of the premier fast pitch umpires within the ASA during his 25-plus year career. But he did and is the 35th ASA umpire elected to the Hall of Fame. Kevin started to umpire fast pitch in 1983 and in the years that followed umpired seven Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals, one Women’s Major Fast Pitch National and one Men’s 40-over Fast Pitch National. Ryan also worked the 1996 Men’s ISF World Championship in Midland, Mich. And was asked to do more championships but could not get the time off from work to do them. What is impressive about his career is that in seven of the nine ASA events he was selected to work the plate in the championship game or the if game, which is a testament to his ability as an umpire. His mechanics and game control were rated outstanding and attest to his ability at the highest level of umpiring. In 1992 Kevin was ISF certified in fast pitch. He also was named to the National Indicator Fraternity that year and in 2002 was named an ASA Elite umpire. He also is a member of the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame.

 


Jerry L. Stewart

Jerry L. Stewart, Mattoon, Illinois – Meritorious Service

Is there anything Jerry Stewart has not done for the Illinois ASA during his more than 30 years of involvement? Probably not, because he’s been a player, manager, umpire, regional director, vice president, associate state commissioner, tournament director and ASA rep. Stewart umpired from 1966 to 1994 including seven ASA National Championships. Two of his umpiring assignments included the 1987 Pan American Softball Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival in San Antonio, Texas. He calls them two of his three greatest thrills in softball. For his umpiring accomplishments, Jerry attained the gold level in the ASA Medals Program and is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Stewart also has been the ASA Rep for eight ASA Nationals. Whatever needed to be done Jerry did it for the ASA national program or the Illinois ASA program. Stewart was always ready to go above and beyond in the best interest of ASA softball. His efforts have not gone unnoticed either. In 1999, he was named winner of the Chuck McCord-John Rowe Meritorious Service Award and in 1986 received the Don Plarski Umpire Award. In 1990, Jerry was inducted into the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame. He is the 38th person elected in meritorious service and was enshrined on November 12th, 2008 in Oklahoma City before 510 people during the 28th annual induction ceremonies.

 


Garland Thompson

Garland Thompson, Wilmore, Kentucky – Commissioner

The 39th commissioner elected to the ASA Hall of Fame, Thompson served as the Kentucky commissioner for 20 years before retiring at the conclusion of the 2007 annual Council Meeting in Louisville, Ky. During his career, Garland helped Kentucky host 11 ASA National, including the two largest, the men’s Class D slow pitch and the Girls’ 18-under Fast Pitch. Garland served as Midwest Regional vice president for five years and was a member of various ASA committees, ranging from Finance to Playing Rules. He was a member of the Board of Directors from 1994-1999 and was a deputy state commissioner from 1975-1987 before becoming commissioner in 1988. For 19 consecutive years his association registered 2,000 or more teams and he was the ASA rep at 15 ASA National Championships. He received seven membership awards during his career.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2009


Newton Buckner

Newton Buckner, Brooklyn, New York – Umpire

Newton Buckner umpired from 1981 through 2001 and worked nine ASA National Championships, including eight Men’s Modified Pitch Nationals. In five of the championships, he was selected to work the plate in the championship game. Buckner was named New York City UIC in 1981 and the association was later changed to Southern New York. In 1992, Newton became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity and a year later was ISF certified in modified pitch.

 

 


Ben Bunch

Ben Bunch, Enid, Oklahoma – Meritorious Service

Bennie Bunch, the 39th person named in meritorious service, unfortunately passed away on Sept. 16, 2009 but was honored to have been nominated into induction. Bunch was involved with the Oklahoma ASA since 1969 and had been instrumental in the growth and improvements the Association has experienced the last 40 years. A former player, Bunch played or coached in 32 state tournaments and served as the ASA rep at 12 ASA National Championships. He helped his hometown of Enid, Okla., host 11 ASA Nationals.

 

 

 

 


Leah O’Brien-Amico

Leah O’Brien-Amico, Corona, California – Women’s Fast Pitch

Leah O’Brien-Amico earned ASA All-America honors six times during her career and was a member of three Olympic gold-medal winning teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004. She posted a .313 batting average in 15 highly competitive events during her career, ranging from the Pan American Games to the Olympics. O’Brien-Amico was an outstanding clutch player throughout her career and starred playing the outfield or first base.

 

 

 

 


Allyson Rioux

Allyson Rioux, Stamford, Connecticut – Women’s Fast Pitch

Allyson Rioux, who is only the second Hall of Famer elected posthumously, played 10 years for the Raybestos Brakettes before she died on February 9, 1989 of a brain tumor. She was a member of five ASA National Championship teams and four National runners-up. In 1985, she won not only the prestigious Erv Lind Award as the outstanding defensive player in the National Championship, but also the tournament’s MVP award. She is the 20th former Brakette elected to the Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 


Jeff Seip

Jeff Seip, Boyertown, Pennsylvania – Men’s Fast Pitch

One of the most feared hitters in Men’s Major Fast Pitch history, Seip awed fans with his outstanding power and consistent RBI totals, hitting 18 homers and driving in 43 runs in ASA National Championship play (1976-1990). Seip earned ASA All-America honors six times. He batted .500 in 1983 to lead the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in batting. Seip was a member of the 1976 and 1984 USA National Teams that competed in the ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Championships with the 1976 team sharing the Gold Medal and the 1984 team winning a Bronze Medal. Twice Seip was a member of an ASA National Championship team (1977-78) and led his team to a pair of Gold Medals in two of four U.S. Olympic Festivals. Seip also was a member of the 1979 USA Pan American team, which won a Silver Medal in the debut of softball in the Pan American Games.

 

 

 


R.B. Thomas

RB Thomas, Nokesville, Virginia – Manager

R.B. Thomas has been the manager of the Thomas Engineering team the past 31 years, leading the team to eight ASA National Championships in 19 appearances. The National Championships have included two in the 50 plus division, two in the 55 plus division and four in the 60 plus division. Besides being the team’s manager, R.B. has sponsored from one to five teams every year since 1978. During his career, he has sponsored 43 teams with 11 winning ASA Nationals. He is the 26th manager elected to the ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 


Tony Walsh

Tony Walsh, Atoka, Tennessee – Umpire

Tony Walsh started his umpiring career in 1979 and worked five ASA National Championships between 1981 and 2003. In 1988, he was named to the ASA National Umpire staff representing the Southwest Region and remained a member of that staff until 2001. He is a member of the ASA National Indicator Fraternity and the ASA Medals program.

 

 

 

 


Al Yaeger

Al Yaeger, Seymour, Connecticut – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Yaeger, who starred for the Raybestos Cardinals from 1965-1981, is the 12th former Cardinal elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. An outfielder, Yaeger was a member of four National Championships teams, in fact his two out, bases loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning landed the Cardinals their third National Championship title in four years. Yaeger had a career .298 batting average, played in four All-Star Series games, and participated in ten National Tournaments during his ASA career. Yaeger earned All-America honors three times and led the 1971 ASA National Championship in batting (.455). After 1981, Yaeger got into coaching, and he helped lead the Franklin Cardinals to an ASA National Championship. A year later, he coached the 1984 USA Men’s Softball team to a bronze medal in the International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Championships. For his accomplishments, Al was inducted into the Connecticut ASA Hall of Fame in 1986.

National Softball Hall of Fame 1990’s

The National Softball Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal for any player, coach, umpire or administrator who aspire to greatness in the sport. With over 400 inductees, the National Softball Hall of Fame is among the most difficult sports halls in the nation in which to gain membership.

Take a moment to browse through the Hall of Fame section and learn more about some of the sport’s greatest athletes and their accomplishments. If you get a chance to visit us in person while in Oklahoma City, please observe these hours of operation:

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
2801 Northeast 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 424-5266
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Check USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex for weekend hours

The Hall of Fame and Museum does not charge, but donations are greatly appreciated and accepted. Your donations help keep this history of softball alive through exhibit updates, upkeep and restoration projects.

Link to Video of the National Softball Hall of Fame


The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1957. Once USA Softball moved to Oklahoma City January 1, 1966 after having its offices in Newark, NJ, the decision to establish a Hall of Fame Building in Oklahoma City was made in January of 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hall of Fame were held December 19, 1970 in Oklahoma City. The late John Nagy, former Cleveland Metro commissioner, was USA Softball President at that time. Hall of Famers Harold (Shifty) Gears and Carolyn Thome Hart were among those attending the ceremonies.

The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.

The first of two additions to the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters and the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, there is 28,406 square feet of space.

A second expansion was added July of 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet of space.

The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has over 400 members with two categories of membership: players and non players. Within the player category, there are five categories: Men’s/Women’s Fast Pitch, Men’s/Women’s Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch. Within the non player category, there are five different divisions one can be nominated in: Commissioner, Meritorious Service, Umpire, Managers and Sponsors. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the USA Softball Annual Meeting.


Through our vast collection of artifacts, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about softball’s rich history. Your support is critical to these efforts.

The Hall of Fame Donation Fund was established to ensure that the National Softball Hall of Fame has a future and is committed to educating people about the great former players and non players and the role they played in the development of the sport.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps the National Softball Hall of Fame continue its mission of educating, collecting and honoring as well as the preservation of the history of softball, the maintaining of present exhibits and purchase of new exhibits and possible expansion of the Hall of Fame building.

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Due to the volume of offers we receive, we cannot accept the donation of an artifact without a completed artifact description form. Please see our Mission Statement and Collections Management Policy to see what types of objects we will and will not accept. Once we have received your form, our staff will evaluate the object’s potential and will be in contact with you as to whether or not we will be able to accept the donation. If your object is chosen, the donated material will be recommended to the Executive Director for consideration. Following the meeting a staff member will contact you regarding the next steps.

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NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1990


Abe Baker

Abe Baker, Cranston, RI Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Baker was one of the game’s top hitters during a 20-year career (1963-1983) playing for teams in Providence, RI, Worcester and Taunton, MA, Portland, ME, Stratford, CT, Long Island, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY. Baker estimated he hit more than 300 homers during his career. He participated in 13 ASA national championships and shared the batting title in the 1975 national with a .545 batting average. His batting average in 10 of the tourneys was .275. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 Baker said was “his greatest thrill in softball” while not winning a national title was his greatest disappointment. He played on teams that finished in the top four five times. Three times (1965, 1966 and 1975) he was named an ASA All-American and was the MVP in the 1966 national tourney when he batted .346 (9-for-26) and drove in eight runs. It was the first time a non pitcher won the MVP award. He also played in the 1967 Men’s All-Star Series. Baker was born October 5, 1937.

 

 


Dick Bartel

Dick Bartel, San Antonio, Texas – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Outfielder Dick (The Rocket Man) Bartel participated in nine ASA national championships and was a member of three national championship teams, all with Howard’s-Western Steer of Denver, NC (1981, 1983 and 1984). “In the early 80s, he was the best player in the country,” said former Howard’s manager Randy Gorrell. “He’s the player I would want at the plate when you have to win a ball game. One of the most respected players, on and off the field.” Six times Bartel earned ASA All-America honors including 1976, 1980,1981-1984. With Howard’s, he had a .654 batting average, hit 580 home runs and drove in 1,090 runs. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bartel started playing slow pitch in 1972 in his hometown of San Antonio, TX before deciding to play for some of the nationally known teams including Howard’s-Western Steer and Campbell’s Carpets of Concord, CA. The two years Bartel played for Campbell’s (1979-1980), the team won a national title (1980) and was a national runner-up. Bartel retired as an active player following the 1985 season.

 

 


Tom Beall

*Tom Beall, Monticello, Georgia – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

When Tom Beall hit a homer fans would affectionately call it a “Beall ringer.” From 1979-1984, 995 “Beall” ringers were hit by Tom playing for slow pitch powerhouse Howard’s -Western Steer of Denver, NC. Besides the almost 1,000 homers, Tom drove in 2,065 runs and had an aggregate .662 batting average with 1,907 hits in 2,879 at-bats. He was named an All-American five times. He was a second-team choice in 1981, 1982 and 1983 and a first teamer in 1979 and 1980. In the 1980 Major Slow Pitch National Tourney Beall smashed 17 homers to lead all hitters. Howard’s won three national titles during this span, 1981, 1983 and 1984. Tom’s best season with Howard’s was 1982 when he led the team in average (.702), home runs (303), hits (530), runs (507) and at bats (751). Beall was born March 12, 1953. Before joining Howard’s, Beall played for Reed’s Nuts of Pinehurst, GA from 1975-77 and one year for Howard & Carroll, Sherrills Ford, NC. In 1977, he batted .660 with 144 homers. In 1978, he smashed 250 homers second best in the USA and batted .626. Beall was born March 12, 1953 and died on December 24, 2017.

 


Ken Clark

*Ken Clark, Stratford, Connecticut – Men’s Slow Pitch – Pitcher

Ken Clark first wrote his name in the softball history books in 1985 when he became the first industrial slow pitch player elected to the Connecticut ASA Slow Pitch Hall of Fame. The long-time hitting and pitching standout for Sikorsky Aircraft wrote another chapter in 1990 when he became only the third Major industrial player elected to the ASA National Hall of Fame. In his 22-year softball career, Clark played in 10 ASA national championships and earned first-team All-America honors three times, compiling a 31-6 pitching record in national championship play and a lifetime log of 261-56. When discussing his career, Clark downplays his accomplishments in favor of talking about his teammates. “I’m in the Hall of Fame because I played with some great guys on some great teams,” Clark said. A 40-year employee of Sikorsky before retiring in 1992, Clark had a .500 batting average plus hit more than 300 homers before retiring as a player in 1976. He was born July 26, 1932 in Bridgeport, CT and died on December 22, 2014.

 

 


Harry “Coon” Rosen

*Harry “Coon” Rosen, Chicago, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

When fast pitch fans discuss the outstanding pitchers in the early days of the Amateur Softball Association one name that is mentioned often is Harry (Coon) Rosen. Rosen played in the first ASA National Championship in 1933, hurling J.L. Friedman Jewelers of Chicago, IL to the title by beating Briggs Beautyware of Detroit, MI 5-1. Rosen fanned 16 batters and allowed one hit in handing Briggs its only loss of the season. The Jewelers finished the year 108-11. According to Rosen, he appeared in the national championship every year before retiring after the 1946 season. In the 1933 championship, Rosen said he won eight games, pitched five no hitters and hurled 71 innings, striking out 160 batters. Rosen, who said he hurled 300 no-hitters and 195 perfect games in his legendary career, was featured in a 1935 “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” for allowing one hit in two games while striking out 37 of 39 batters, yet lost both games, 1-0. Rosen played for teams in Phoenix, AZ, Lettuce Kings, Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA. He was born June 25, 1908 in Lincoln, NE, but grew up in Chicago where he played baseball at Turley High School. At the University of Illinois, Rosen starred in baseball and football and in his senior year batted .368 to lead the University to the Big Ten Conference title. In 1999, Rosen was named one of the 100 best athletes in the history of Arizona, finishing 64th. Rosen died on January 4th, 1997 in Sun City, CA at 88.

 


Bill Svochak

*Bill Svochak, Detroit, Michigan – Meritorious Service

A 1951 graduate of Wayne State University, Svochak worked 32 years for the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department before retiring in 1979. Svochak served as manager of Dee’s Sports Shop in the Detroit Parks and Recreation Major Industrial Slow Pitch League from 1959-1970. The team competed in eight national tournaments, 1959-1965 and 1969 and compiled 28-16 record. The best finish was runner-up in 1960. Svochak was appointed Metro Detroit commissioner in 1971. Served as Great Lakes Region vice president from 1980-82. In 1982, Metro Detroit was the Number 1 Metro Association in the ASA under Svochak’s leadership. Svochak died on December 24, 1990 at age 72.

 

 

 


Bert Weeks

*Bert Weeks, Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Commissioner

Weeks served as Director of Recreation in Concord, N.C. and later as Athletic Superintendent in the Department of Recreation in Winston-Salem, retiring in 1985. Weeks also spent much of his adult life supporting and developing opportunities for amateur softball to flourish around the world. He was a member of USA Softball, formerly the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) from 1959 until 2005, traveling the world as an ambassador and organizer of softball events – with USA, he organized clinics in Czech Republic, England, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. He also spent six years on the Executive Board of the International Softball Federation (ISF). Perhaps his proudest achievement was his role as the first-ever competition manager for women’s softball in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga.

Named North Carolina ASA commissioner in 1974 and was the driving force behind establishing the North Carolina ASA Hall of Fame Building and banquet. Served as the competition manager for the softball competition in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, where softball made its debut. From 1988-89 served as 26th president of the Amateur Softball Association. Served six years as a member of the International Softball Federation and four years as North American vice president. He was the venue coordinator for the 1987 Olympic Festival in Raleigh, NC and was the men’s coordinator for the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge, LA. He was chief of the U.S. delegation for the 1984 Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Midland, MI. Served six years as a USOC delegate. Was chairman of the USA men’s and women’s selection committees for the 1991 Pan American Games. Has a B.S. degree in recreation from North Carolina State University (1958). Was born October 17, 1933. Retired as an ASA Commissioner in 2004. Weeks was born on October 17, 1933 in Clinton, N.C and died on January 17, 2022.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1991


Merle O. Butler

*Merle O. Butler, Edmond, Oklahoma – Umpire

Named first ASA full-time National Director of Umpires in 1981, Butler was instrumental in developing the ASA umpire program into one of the finest amateur officiating organizations in the world. He co-authored the “ILLUSTRATED SOFTBALL RULE BOOK” in 1981 and “TAKE CHARGE SOFTBALL UMPIRING,” printed by Referee Magazine in 1992; wrote the script and has directed three ASA training films, produced 28 umpire training videos, and prepared transparencies for umpire rule and mechanics training. He has been a registered umpire since 1961 and previously was Region 14 and Metro Santa Clara, CA umpire-in-chief. He umpired in two National and three World Championships, served as UIC for eight national championships and three Sports Festivals. While national director, the National Indicator Fraternity, the Umpire Medals program, the National Umpire School program, and the Umpire Uniform program were instigated. Butler gave clinics in 41 different states. Butler also serves as the ISF Director of Umpires and has furthered the development of umpiring internationally through clinics in 26 countries and in each of the six international regions. He had served as UIC for 23 World Championships, the 1996 Olympics, 2000 Olympics and the 2004 Olympics. He was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 1993. Butler was born on November 28, 1935 and died on January 6, 2008. He was 72.

 


Eddie King

*Eddie King, St. Petersburg, Florida – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Eddie King is the winningest pitcher in the history of the Clearwater, FL Bombers with 411 wins in 16 years. His overall pitching record was 544-66. King started his softball career in 1952 with the Miami Industrial Flyers before serving in the Armed Forces for two years. After being discharged, he joined the Bombers in 1955, compiling a 27-3 record. Five times he earned ASA All-America honors, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1955. He had an 18-7 record in national championship play with three no-hitters and was a member of seven national championship teams and five runners-up. Of all his accomplishments, the one that King is remembered most for is pitching 25 innings of a 31-inning game in 1963 against the Portland, OR McKee Ramblers. Relieving starter Weldon Haney in the seventh inning, King struck out 25 batters and allowed eight hits during the 25 innings before Clearwater pushed across a run in the 31st inning for a 4-3 win. The game took seven hours and 41 minutes. A graduate of the University of Florida and a native of St. Petersburg, FL, King worked 28 years for General Hospital before retiring in 1987. King died April 28, 1991 at Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, OH where he was scheduled to undergo intestinal surgery but he developed internal bleeding and died.

 

 


Sam Lombardo

*Sam Lombardo, Detroit, Michigan – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

When the Fort Wayne, IN Zollner Pistons played, the opposition knew Piston outfielder Sam Lombardo would drive them up a tree with his aggressive, flamboyant style. That’s the way Lombardo played, and teams knew what to expect. They expected Lombardo to lay down a bunt or two. Lombardo perfected the “chop” bunt and was someone who would make an easy catch look difficult. He also would make a catch at his shoe tops, tumble and come up with the ball. Lombardo started his career with Detroit’s Briggs Beautyware and helped the team win the 1937 ASA national title. Two years later, Lombardo batted .389 for Briggs. In 1945 he joined the Pistons and remained with the team until it disbanded following the 1954 season. In 1947, Sam collected 55 hits in 54 games to lead the National Fastball League in batting with a .343 batting average. In 1948, his average slipped to .251, but he batted .311 in 1949 and .394 in 1951 in the National Industrial Fastball League to lead the league in batting. He earned all-league honors four times, 1946-1949. When the men’s pitching distance was increased from 43 feet to 46 feet in 1950, Lombardo regularly batted .300 or higher, hitting .339 overall in 1951 to lead the team, .302 in 1952 and .297 in 1954. After the Pistons disbanded, Lombardo went back to his hometown of Detroit, MI to play for Burch Gage Tool and Die and twice was named an All-American (1955 and 1961). In 1971, Lombardo joined Nothdurft Tool and Manufacturing as a player-coach before retiring in 1977. Sam died on January 9, 2013 at the age of 92.


Kay Purves

Kay Purves, Lansing, Michigan – Meritorious Service

During 27-year career was a manager and player-manager in women’s major fast pitch. She was a player-manager from 1963-1980 for the Lansing, MI Laurels and managed the team from 1981-1987. In 1979 and 1983 was a member of the coaching staff of the Pan American Team. In 1980-1982 was ASA delegate to the United States Olympic Committee. Nine of her former players are or have been head softball coaches at major colleges and universities. The Laurels competed in eight ASA national championships and twice Kay (1974 and 1975) earned All-America honors as a catcher. She also played in 21 Michigan state championships. In 1976, she was inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame. In 1984, she was elected to the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame. Two years later, she received the Richard Pollak Memorial Award presented by the J. deBeer Company as the Sports Woman of the Year for her contributions to women’s softball. She also umpired for 15 years and has given numerous clinics throughout Michigan. She is a graduate of the St. Lawrence School of Nursing and was a surgical nurse for many years.

 

 


Marilyn Rau

Marilyn Rau, Phoenix, Arizona – Women’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

One of only five catchers elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame, Marilyn Rau had an eye-opening two-decade career before retiring after the 1986 season. Rau earned ASA All-America honors 11 times and was known for her clutch hitting as well as for her superb handling of pitchers. She got her start in competitive softball as an eighth grader with the Dudettes, a farm team of the legendary Phoenix AZ Ramblers. When the Ramblers disbanded in 1966, Rau was among several players who formed the Sun City, AZ Saints. Rau started out at shortstop with the Saints and eventually moved to behind the plate where she would stay the remainder of her career. With Rau, the Saints participated in 19 ASA national championships, compiling a record of 59 wins and 26 losses for a winning percentage of .694. The Saints finished no lower than fourth place 11 times. The highlight of Rau’s career? “Without a doubt, it was winning the national championship in 1979,” said Rau, who has bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Arizona State University. Rau was named the MVP in the 1979 national as well as batting .500. Earlier that year, she helped the USA win the gold medal in the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She capped the year by winning Arizona’s Athlete of the Year Award. In 1978, Rau helped the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT, representing the USA, win the ISF World Championship in El Salvador, batting .350.

 


Marlys Taber

Marlys Taber, Paw Paw, Illinois – Women’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

Marlys Taber’s major fast pitch career started at 14 years-old in 1958 for the Earlville Victorians of Earlville, IL and concluded in 1983 when she was forced to retire because of acute tendonitis resulting from a shoulder injury. Five times Taber was selected an ASA All-American. She was a first-team choice in 1978 and 1980 and a second teamer in 1965 (.385 batting average), 1966 (.250 BA) and 1976 (.238 BA). Besides being an All-American, Taber played in three ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series, 1966, 1969 and 1977, and batted .389 in the 1966 Series to lead all hitters. In 1979, she received an invitation to try out for the 1979 USA Pan American team. After her playing career, Taber taught physical education plus coached basketball, soccer, volleyball, and golf. She retired in 1995 and finds herself “extremely busy golfing, making craft projects and participating in community activities,” living in Dows, IA. Taber is a 1966 graduate of Illinois State University and was elected to the university’s hall of fame in 1982. In 1989, she was elected to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. She calls her election to the ASA Softball Hall of Fame in 1991 “the greatest thrill of her career.” She was born March 4, 1944.

 


H. Franklin Taylor III

*Franklin Taylor III, Richmond, Virginia – Commissioner

Was appointed Central Virginia ASA commissioner in 1969 and has increased membership from 200 teams to more than 2,500 teams. Has written numerous pieces of legislation, which have been adopted by the ASA, including realignment of the ASA into 15 regions, creation of at-large player rep, creation of national and area tournaments and creation of the Class B and C national tournaments. Served as ASA president from 1978-1979. Was first regional vice president of the Central Atlantic Region. Has held annually since 1969 Richmond Round Robin Tournament. This tournament annually draws between 300-400 teams. Elected ISF North American vice-president in 1981 and served for six years. Was elected in November 2001 a second time as ASA President. Retired as a commissioner after 35 years’ service following the 2003 annual meeting in Orlando, FL. Frank died on May 15, 2012.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1992


Louie Del Mastro

*Louie Del Mastro, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh – Men’s Slow Pitch – Pitcher

To say Louie Del Mastro had an impact on the rise of slow pitch softball in the 1950s and 1960s is an understatement. If anything, Del Mastro was one of the people leading the way to establish slow pitch. And Del Mastro, among others, did just that. Del Mastro got recognition for slow pitch, his team, Skip Hogan A.C., and himself with his colorful antics. He was a master showman. “He was one fantastic player who would do anything to get you off-guard to win a ball game,” said Hall of Famer Steve Loya, a former slow pitch great from Cleveland, OH. Known as “Nozza,” by his fans, Del Mastro would strut on the mound, talking excessively to teammates, opponents, and umpires. When fans heard that Del Mastro was playing there was a mass migration to that field. Antics aside, Del Mastro backed up his talking with his skillful pitching to keep hitters off-balance and line-drive hitting. He played in seven ASA national championships, compiling a 32-5 pitching record, and was named a first-team All-America four times: 1962, 1964, 1965 and 1967. He allowed less than 6.5 runs per game in national championship play in leading teams to four national titles. In 1965 he was named national tourney MVP. Del Mastro was born September 9, 1939 and died on October 31, 2011.

 


Carolyn Fitzwater

*Carolyn Fitzwater, Clackamas, Oregon – Women’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

Softball teams must be strong up the middle and the Erv Lind Florists, one of the top teams in the Northwest for years, had one of the top defensive players forming their inner defense, Carolyn Fitzwater. Fitzwater began with the Florist junior team in 1949 and made it to the “big” team a year later. From 1950 until the team disbanded in 1965, Fitzwater was an integral part of the Florists. She spent one year with the Fresno Rockets (1966) before returning to Portland to conclude her career from 1969 to 1973. She did not play softball in 1967-68 and 1971 before retiring in 1974. Fitzwater was named an All-American four times during her career: 1959, 1962, 1963 and 1964 and participated in 14 ASA national championships. Despite batting only .188 in the 1963 Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, Fitzwater starred defensively, handling 36 chances without an error, including 20 assists. In 1964, she batted .462 in the national tourney to lead the Florists to the national title. It was one that she fondly recalls. “What stands out about 1964 was that it was such a great team effort. No great stars, just a total team effort,” said Fitzwater, who has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oregon State University. Fitzwater was born October 10, 1935. Carolyn died on May 3, 2014.

 


Fred and Carl Nothdurft

Fred and Carl Nothdurft, Detroit, Michigan – Sponsor

Twin brothers Fred and Carl Nothdurft first sponsored men’s fast pitch teams, then fast pitch teams. The fast pitch teams won 936 games and lost 125. The team won five East Central regional crowns and competed in six ASA fast pitch nationals. Best finish was a second in the 1970 Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. They started sponsoring slow pitch in 1988 and won three consecutive ASA 35-and-over national titles, 1988, 1989 and 1990, and a men’s 45-over slow pitch title in 1991.

 

 

 

 

 


Jerry Pendergast

Jerry Pendergast, Miami, Florida – Sponsor

Started his softball career in 1964 and by 1969 his team had finished 23rd in the Men’s Open National Slow Pitch Championship. In 1974, his team finished second in the Open Division after 21st in 1976 and fourth in 1977. Moving up to the Super Division, Jerry’s won the 1982 Super National with a 7-1 record. It also qualified the team to play in the first ASA-Winston Slow Pitch All-Star Series in 1983. In 1983, Jerry’s finished third in the Super national and were runners-up in 1984. In 1985, just prior to the start of the season, Pendergast announced he was no longer sponsoring a team.

 

 

 

 


Henry D. Pollard

Henry D. Pollard, Highland Springs, Virginia – Umpire

One of the premier slow pitch umpires in the sport’s history, Pollard has been the ASA deputy director of umpires since 1989. He served as Metro Richmond/Central Virginia UIC from 1973-1989. Was UIC of the Central Atlantic Region from1977-1989. Has been a member of the National Umpire staff since 1977. Was ISF certified in 1983. In 1986, was selected to the National Indicator Fraternity. In 1988, was inducted into the Central Virginia ASA Hall of Fame. In 1991, received the Wilson National Award of Excellence. That same year also received the Tom Mason Central Atlantic Region Award. Is outstanding clinician. In 2004, Pollard was named Central Virginia ASA Commissioner. Henry retired as the Central Virginia Commissioner in 2020.

 

 

 


Elmer Rohrs

*Elmer Rohrs, Hamler, Ohio – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Coached by his dad and raised on a farm, Elmer (Farmer) Rohrs was one of the fastest sling-shot hurlers in fast pitch softball in the 1940s and 1950s hurling for the renowned Fort Wayne, IN Zollner Pistons. Rohrs had a good sense of humor and was often the victim of a practical joke. On the pitching mound, however, he was all business and between 1947-1954, he won more than 200 games and lost only 28 for the Pistons. Before joining the Pistons, Rohrs pitched for Napoleon’s Rausch Roofers and 7-Up as well as Ferguson State Auditors of Columbus, OH. In 1947, Rohrs won 28 of 30 games including two in the ASA National Championship as the Pistons went undefeated in six games to win their third consecutive title. Rohrs no-hit Cleveland 5-0 and pitched five and two-third innings of scoreless relief against Hanford, CA. He was 22-7 in 1949. In 1949, Rohrs went 29-3 with 276 strikeouts in 228 2/3 innings. He allowed 14 runs and walked only 28. Twenty-three of his wins were in a row. In 1950, Rohrs compiled a 34-6 record with an ERA of 1.14, followed by a 23-0 record in 1951 with 254 strikeouts in 175 1/3 innings. In his first six years with the Pistons, he fanned 1,875 batters in 1,282 innings. In 1953, a year before the Pistons disbanded, Rohrs compiled a 9-2 record in the National Industrial Fastball League, striking out 75 batters in 81 2/3 innings. Rohrs died in 1990 at age 65.

 


Diane Schumacher

Diane Schumacher, West Springfield, Massachusetts – Women’s Fast Pitch – First Base

Adapt at fielding and hitting, Diane “Schuie” Schumacher compiled a lifetime batting average of .329 during her career (1976-1986) with the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT. Diane led the team in batting five times as the Brakettes won eight ASA national championships (1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985) and one International Softball Federation world championship (1978). Seven times an ASA All-American, Diane earned first-team honors four times in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1984. In 1982 and 1983 she was a second-team choice and was a third team selection in 1985. In the 1978 ASA nationals, she batted .400 to lead all hitters. When needed, she also pitched and compiled a 55-16 record with an ERA of 1.01. Twice she was named to the USA Pan American team (1979 and 1983) and batted .333 and .387 in those events as the USA captured a gold medal and a silver in the latter. She also participated in six U.S. Olympic Festivals. A native of West Springfield, MA, Schumacher was named the Outstanding Alumni of Springfield College in 1985 for her service to softball. In 1987, she coached the Holland team in international competition, including the 1990 World Championship in Normal, IL. In 1992, she was elected to the Springfield College Hall of Fame and the Connecticut ASA Fast Pitch Hall of Fame. In 1993, she was the first former American player elected to the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame. In 2001, was elected to the Cathedral High School Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.


L.R. “Tarz” Timm

*L.R. “Tarz” Timm, Jamestown, North Dakota – Umpire

Named North Dakota State UIC in 1982 after serving as deputy UIC from 1974-1981. Umpired in six ASA nationals. Was UIC for four ASA nationals and coordinator for two others. Was coordinator for ISF Junior World Tournament in 1985. Served as UIC for 21 state tournaments. Attended eight UIC Clinics in Oklahoma City and two National Umpire Schools. Coordinated three National Umpire Schools and assisted five other National Umpire Schools. Was inducted into North Dakota Hall of Fame in 1987. Helped North Dakota set up state school modeled after national school. North Dakota was first state to do this. Was named Umpire of the Year by the All-American Umpire School in 1990. Retired from U.S. Postal Service in 1983 after 23 1/2 years’ service. Timm died on December 21, 2001. He was born October 14, 1922.

 

 

 


Paul Tomasovich

Paul Tomasovich, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Men’s Slow Pitch – Third Base

In an era before the “live” bats and balls, Tomasovich averaged more than 100 RBI and more than 40 homers a season in leading Pittsburgh slow pitch teams to national stardom during a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1980.Playing in seven national championships, Tomasovich helped Skip Hogan A.C. and Jim’s Sports Shop win four national titles-1962, 1964, 1965 and 1967.Five times the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tomasovich won All-America honors: at shortstop in 1960, in center field in 1962 and 1963, at third base in 1964 and in the infield in 1965. In the 1964 national, Tomasovich also won the MVP award. In the 1965 tourney, he shared the home run trophy with four other players, all hitting five each. In the 1962 national championship, Tomasovich batted .667 (12-for-18) and increased his average to .708 in the 1964 national tourney followed by a .471 average in 1966 and a .517 average in 1967. (15-for-29). His teams had a 38-7 won-loss record in ASA national championships and had a second place in 1963, a fifth in 1960 and a 16th place in 1966. Known for hitting some tape-measure homers and outstanding defense, Tomasovich says he never had a natural position. “It never really mattered to me where I played. If I could move around to help the team, that was fine. I’d move to a new position and things just always seemed to happen to make me look like a big shot.” Tomasovich was born December 14, 1933.

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1993


Don Arndt

*Don Arndt, Sherrills Ford, North Carolina – Men’s Slow Pitch – Player

When Don Arndt hit a home run he did it in a manner typical of the almost 7,000 homers he hit during his more than three decade career. He made it look easy. While Arndt’s fluid, graceful, almost effortless swing remained the same, slow pitch underwent a transformation during his career. Though it all, though, as players switched teams at the drop of a hat, Arndt remained steadfast to his team, Howard’s Furniture-Western Steer of Denver, NC. Arndt had one of the great careers of slow pitch. The highlights include: 13 times an ASA All-American, MVP of the 1972 Slow Pitch National Tourney, home run leader in the 1964 Men’s Open Slow National; a member of five national championship teams and outstanding pitcher in the 1983 Super Slow Pitch National Championship. From 1970-1988, the 6-foot-5 inch Arndt compiled an aggregate .628 batting average, hitting 3,330 homers with 6,166 hits in 9,821 at-bats. The most homers he smashed in a season was 309 in 1985 when he was 50 years old playing in 185 of the team’s 201 games. Arndt was born April 14, 1935 and died September 28, 2006.

 

 


Dan Blair

*Dan Blair, Lowell, North Carolina – Umpire

Was appointed to National Umpire staff in 1976 when it was expanded to 15. Started umpiring in 1954 while in the Air Force and umpired his first national tourney in 1964. Has served as the UIC at more than 19 nationals and also instructed at the ASA Umpire Schools. Three times he has given clinics in Europe. In 1977, officiated in the first North American Slow Pitch Championship and in 1987 in the first ISF Slow Pitch World Championship. Retired from softball after ASA annual meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2001. Served two terms as the mayor of Lowell, NC. Dan died on December 12, 2020 at the age of 89.

“He began umpiring in 1954 while in the Air Force and continued for the next 60 years. Even into his 80s, he umpired 2-3 games a night through the Boone Rec Dept. Dan served as NC Umpire in Chief and as Regional Umpire in Chief for the Southeastern US for 25 years. He then served on the National Staff for 15 years as a National Deputy Umpire in Chief. Throughout his career, Dan instructed umpire clinics all over the US and conducted clinics three times in Europe. As a result of his many years of hard work with ASA Softball, He received numerous awards. Dan was inducted into the NCASA Softball Hall of Fame in Burlington, NC in 1986, inducted into the ASA National Softball of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1993 and inducted into the Tennessee ASA Hall of Fame in 2015. He served as Umpire Coordinator for the 1999 Special Olympics World Games. A highlight of his career was serving as Umpire Coordinator for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.”


Jim “Sonny” Carman

Jim “Sonny” Carman, West Babylon, New York – Meritorious Service

Had a varied career as a player, umpire, deputy commissioner and as the Metro Long Island commissioner. Was appointed Metro Commissioner in 1972 after serving as deputy commissioner from 1967-1971. As Metro commissioner he increased registrations to more than 2,700 teams and received 10 ASA membership awards. He started the Metro Long Island Hall of Fame in 1976 and served as its chairman. Umpired in two ASA nationals, 1969 Women’s Major Slow Pitch and 1970 Men’s Major Industrial Slow Pitch, and four regionals. Served as Mid-Atlantic vice president three times, 1980, 1981 and 1983. As a player he compiled a pitching record of 890 wins and 187 defeats from 1940-1964. Retired, he lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with his wife, Doris. He is a graduate of Hofstra University and has a Master’s degree in elementary education.

 

 

 


Eddie Finnegan

Eddie Finnegan, Stratford, Connecticut – Men’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

Eddie Finnegan didn’t figure he would play slow pitch three decades much less in more than 4,500 games. If anything, Finnegan figured he would make his name on a baseball diamond throwing strikes from the pitcher’s mound and not from shortstop or third base. After all Finnegan had pitched Stratford, Connecticut – High School to the 1959 Connecticut state title. But, after a couple of major league tryouts, Finnegan realized, “I just wasn’t good enough.” He continued to play baseball as well as softball. Eventually softball became his game of choice. Finnegan had a .617 lifetime batting average and participated in 19 ASA national championships. Twice he was a member of a national championship team, 1968 and 1969 , and twice was the MVP in the Men’s Major Industrial National Tourney, 1968 and 1971. He was born September 14, 1941. The biggest thrills of Finnegan’s career were winning the 1968 national title, being named MVP and being elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame. Talking about the 1968 national championship, Finnegan said, “We came out of the loser’s bracket on the final day. Those were two of the best games I’ve ever played in.”

 


Elliott Hawke

*Elliott Hawke, Kansas City, Missouri – Commissioner

Took over as Metro Kansas City commissioner in 1973 and increased team membership from 395 teams to more than 3,400. Under his leadership, Metro Kansas City hosted 10 ASA nationals, including eight JO tournaments and 11 Major and Class A Regionals. He was the ASA rep at 19 nationals and in 1981 was the men’s coordinator at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Syracuse, NY. Served as Mid-American Region vice-president five terms. Was chairman of the ASA JO Awards Committee for nine years and was ASA’s representative to SODA for 10 years. Passed away June 9, 1993. He was born September 9, 1936.

 

 

 

 


Steve Loya

*Steve Loya, Cleveland, Ohio – Men’s Slow Pitch – Catcher

The late Steve Loya, a four-time All-America, played in 11 ASA national slow pitch championships during his 24 year softball career. But the one Cleveland slow pitch fans recall with fondness is the 1975 Men’s Open Slow Pitch National Championship. Not only was it held in Parma, OH, but what made it even better was that a Steve Loya-led team, Pyramid Cafe, won the national title in an upset. It was the first national slow pitch title won by a Cleveland team. Time and time again Loya came through with the big hit in his career and none was any bigger than his two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning against favored and defending champion, Howard’s Furniture of Denver, NC. The homer gave Pyramid a 12-10 win and advanced it to the championship round against another North Carolina team, Poindexter Lumber. In the winner’s bracket finals, Loya came through once more, hitting a game-winning two-run homer in a 10-9 win over Poindexter. Poindexter won the first game of the championship round, 14-8, to force another game, which Pyramid won, 11-7, to claim its first national title. Although hitless in the championship, everyone knew Loya was responsible for getting the team to the championship game. For his efforts, Loya was named the tourney MVP with Steve Loya Day proclaimed in Cleveland. Loya finished the tourney with a .444 average and made his 12 hits count, driving in 13 runs. Loya died September 25, 1991 at age 57.


Leo Luken

*Leo Luken, Covington, Kentucky – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Leo Luken was one of the mainstays of the Fort Wayne, Indiana – Zollner Piston pitching staff during the 1940s and 1950s when the Pistons won three consecutive ASA national titles. Nicknamed the Lion-Hearted, Luken started his 21 year career pitching in church league competition (1936-1938) before helping the Nick Carr Boosters of Covington, Kentucky – win the 1939 ASA national title with Luken compiling a 42-6 record. He joined the Pistons in 1940 and remained with them until the team disbanded in 1954. Luken won 12 games and lost none in national championship play. He won three games apiece in the 1942 and 1944 nationals. One of the wins in 1942 was a no-hitter against the defending national champion Bendix Brakes. In 23 innings, he allowed four hits, one run and fanned 33 batters. In 1945, he won four games including beating the Joe Louis Punchers in the final, 1-0 in Cleveland, OH. In 1946, he won a pair of games beating Cleveland , OH in relief of Bill West, 2-1 in 11 innings and shutting out Longview, Washington – 7-0, on a two-hitter.. Over three seasons, 1944-1945 and 1946, Luken put together a 53 game win streak before losing July 5, 1946 to Briggs Beautyware of Detroit, Michigan – 21. He also had a 17 game win streak from May of 1953 to September of 1954. Luken had some impressive seasons for the Pistons including 1942 (29-2 with three no-hitters and 11 shutouts; 1944 (30-2), 1945 (35-0), 1946 (31-2); 1947 (17-4), 1949 (17-1 with 151 strikeouts in 145 1/3 innings), 1950 (15-3), 1951 (6-1) and 1954 (9-1). After the team disbanded, Luken remained with the Zollner Corporation as production and traffic manager before retiring in 1982. Since his retirement he also has been elected to the Indiana (1978) and Kentucky (1984) ASA Halls of Fame. Luken was born July 14, 1918 and passed away on August 2, 2014.


Billy Monk

*Billy Monk, Glenn Heights, Texas – Umpire

Involved in umpiring more than 30 years, Monk umpired in six Texas State Tourneys, nine Regionals, three Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals, one Girls’ Fast Pitch National, the 1981 U.S. Olympic Festival, the 1983 Pan American Games tryouts and the Tri-Nation Friendship Series. Internationally, he umpired in the 1980 Men’s World Championship in Tacoma, Washington – and the 1991 Junior Girls’ World Championship in Australia. Was ISF certified in 1979. He is a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity and has coordinated two National Umpire Development Schools. He has served as the Metro Dallas UIC for more than a decade. Monk was born on January 6, 1973. He passed away on August 25, 2009.

 

 


Bernie Profato

Bernie Profato, Niles, Ohio – Umpire

Joined National Umpire staff in 1979, replacing Frank Susor. Was ISF certified in 1981. Is a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Officiated five ASA nationals, the North American Slow Pitch Championships in 1977 and the first ISF Men’s World Slow Pitch Championship in 1987. He also officiated eight state tourneys, four regionals and three Inter-service tournaments.Has given rule clinics in more than 35 different states and four times in Europe. Has been an instructor at 40 National Umpire Schools and 25 state or metro umpire schools. Outstanding boxing referee and former boxer. Won Golden Gloves welterweight championship at age 15. Won National AAU light heavyweight championship in 1978. Overall boxing record was 53-6-1. Fought Earnie Shavers in finals of AAU heavyweight finals in 1969. Born August 1, 1945 in Warren, OH.

 

 

 


Ralph Raymond

Ralph Raymond, Worcester, Massachusetts – Manager

Former field boss of the renowned Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT. Was assistant coach for two years before taking over as head man from 1968-1994. Led team to 18 ASA national titles and eight runner-ups. Compiled record of 1,991 wins and 162 losses for a .925 winning percentage. Led USA to gold medal in debut of Olympic softball in 1996 in Columbus, GA. Coached second USA Olympic team to gold medal at 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia. Is winningest manager in USA Softball history with 332-9 record for a .974 winning percentage. Compiled 72-1 record in winning five ISF World Championships: 1974, 1978, 1986, 1990 and 1994. Three times coached USA to gold medal in the Pan American Games, 1979,1995 and 1999. Coached team to a silver medal in 1983. Born April 27, 1924. Is a graduate of the University of Miami, FL where he played baseball four years, and football and basketball one year each. Was captain of baseball team senior year. Inducted into ISF Hall of Fame in 1993. Also coached baseball at Holy Cross College. Retired from coaching and teaching at Doherty High School in Worcester, MA.

 

 


Harry “Robbie” Robinson

Harry “Robbie” Robinson, Portland, Oregon – Sponsor

Sponsored softball teams in the Portland, Oregon – area since 1967. Teams have competed in at least 17 ASA nationals. Is a member of the Portland Metro Hall of Fame and the Northwest Region Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

 


Rocky Santilli

Rocky Santilli, Leesport, Pennsylvania – Manager

Led teams to three ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National titles: 1975, 1977 and 1978. In addition to the ASA nationals, his teams competed in four U.S. Olympic Festivals and won a pair of gold medals (1978 and 1979), a silver in 1982 and a bronze in 1986. In 20 ASA nationals, his teams won 67 games and lost 35 for a winning percentage of .657. During his career won 1,771 games and lost 564 for a winning percentage of .758. At the international level, he managed his team to a share of the 1976 ISF World Championship in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. He also was the head coach of the 1987 USA Pan American team and was the assistant coach in 1979 , 1983 and 1991. Was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 1991 and is a member of the Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1994


Woody and Pat Bell

*Woody and Pat Bell, Tampa, Florida – Sponsor

Sponsored slow pitch teams in Fostoria, OH from 1963-1970, then after moving to Florida turned to sponsoring men’s Super and Major slow pitch teams in addition to Junior Olympic teams, a coed team and a Class B men’s team from 1985-1993. In 1988, Bell Corp won the ASA Men’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship. Twice Bell Corp finished runner-up in Super National (1998 and 2000) and 4th in 2003. Second husband-wife duo in Hall of Fame. Woody passed away on September 8, 2008 at age 76.

 

 

 

 


Carol Bemis

Carol Bemis, Shakopee, Minnesota – Women’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Although her slow pitch career was cut short because of cancer, Carol Bemis made the most of the 13 years she played for the Anoka, Minnesota – Spooks ( 1978-1990). As Bemis the catalyst, the Spooks won 789 games, lost only 117 and captured four ASA Women’s Major Slow Pitch National Championships (1983-84, 1988 and 1990). Six times Bemis was named an ASA All-American including five first-team choices as well as MVP of the 1984 national championship. Said former Spooks’ coach Ed Ghostley, “Bemis was just super both ways and I guess that was a tip-off why she got the MVP award. She is a tremendous defensive player and a tremendous offensive player. She dives for balls that other don’t even got to.” Bemis also had a strong accurate arm and time and time again would come through with a clutch hit or outstanding defensive play. In 13 ASA national championships, she batted .481 (103-for-214), driving in 73 runs. For her career, she batted .454 with 685 RBI and 59 homers. Carol retired following the 1990 national tourney and in 1991 was inducted into the Minnesota ASA Hall of Fame. In 1997, Bemis was elected to the St. Cloud University Athletic Hall of Fame. Carol was born October 19, 1956.

 


Bill Caye

Bill Caye, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Manager

Was born May 2, 1931. Managed and played in nine ASA national championships from 1959-1979. During that time, led Skip’s AC (1964-65) and Jim’s Sport Shop (1967) to three slow pitch national titles. Was manager of 1964-1965 and 1967 national championship teams and played outfield on 1962 national championship team. His teams compiled a record of 34-9 and a winning percentage of .791 in national championship play, with nine of his players named to 14 All-America teams. In 1963, his team posted a 62-13 record and was 69-11 in 1964. From 1980-1985 was Pittsburgh Metro and Regional Player Rep. Was inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1964, he received the Dapper Dan District Award for softball and in 1981 was named Brookline Man of the Year. Played Class D and Class B professional baseball for the New York Giants.

 

 

 


Buck Johnson

*Buck Johnson, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee – Meritorious Service

Former sports editor of the Chattanooga Times who was first media inductee into the National Softball Hall of Fame. Johnson for years has been a friend of ASA softball and time and time again offered his help to further advance the sport by writing numerous columns, covering tournaments and special events. Won five softball feature writing awards for his coverage of softball as well as helping judge National Softball Media Association Contest. Was a physical education teacher from 1949 until 1979. Started working part-time for the Chattanooga TIMES in 1952 and was named sports editor in 1979. Was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. Was ISF chief press officer at 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Was born July 24,1926 in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee – where he still resides. Has a B.S. degree from the University of Chattanooga. Since 1994, the best high school girls’ fast pitch softball player in Chattanooga, Tennessee has been presented the Buck Johnson Award.

 

 


Sherri Pickard

Sherri Pickard, Raleigh, North Carolina – Women’s Slow Pitch – Second Base

Winning the 1980 ASA National Championship was, according to Pickard, “the greatest thrill of her softball career.” In that national championship, she batted .680 to led the Rubi-Otts of Graham, North Carolina – as well as being named the tournament MVP. She was also named ASA Female Slow Pitch Player of the Year and was featured in The Olympian magazine, finishing the year with a .484 batting average, 82 RBI and 16 homers.The next year in Oklahoma City Sherri displayed her home run power by winning the ASA-Natural Light National Home Run Hitting Contest at Wheeler Park. She connected for 17 homers out of 55 swings to edge Shirley Rose of Tulsa, Oklahoma – , who hit 15. Pickard, who was named to five All-America teams during her career, spent the last five years of her career with the Long Island Mice and the Denton, Texas –  Silver Streak before a shoulder injury ended her career in 1987. Since then she’s served as head basketball coach at New York University, assistant basketball coach at Duke University, and assistant basketball coach at Furman University before returning to private business in 1997. Pickard has a B.A. in math from North Carolina State University and an M.B.A from New York University (1988). She was born June 20, 1955.

 

 


Linda Polley

Linda Polley, Minneapolis, Minnesota – Women’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

All-out. That was the only way Linda Polley played slow pitch during a 30-year career that ended in 1989. Linda set high goals for herself and former coach Ed Ghostley said, “ Linda was as good as anyone who has played the game.” Polley earned ASA All-American honors six times and twice was MVP of the Women’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship, 1982 and 1989. From 1982-1989, Linda had a .412 batting average for the Anoka, Minnesota – Spooks and was a member of three national championship teams. Linda started playing softball at eight and by 17 had played in her first national championship (1969), hitting a home run in her first at-bat in a national championship for Avanti’s of Minneapolis. Twice Linda earned All-American honors during her 13 years with Avanati’s, 1972 (.411BA) and 1975 (.346 BA). She also played in the 1973 national and batted .459 (17-for-37), but wasn’t named All-America. She joined the Spooks in 1982 and batted .360 in the national tourney. She increased that average to .552 (16-for-29) in 1983 as the Spooks won their first national title and Linda won the first of two MVP awards. The Spooks repeated as national champs in 1984 with Linda batting .360 in the national tourney. In 1985 and 1986 she batted .476 in the national tourney as the Spooks placed fifth and ninth. Polley retired after 1989 season. She was born October 30, 1951.

 


Dick Reinmiller

Dick Reinmiller, Lincoln, Nebraska – Meritorious Service

Teams won 2,153 games and lost 1,508 playing JO girls’ fast pitch in Nebraska. Started coaching in 1969. His teams played in 14 ASA nationals and finished in the top ten four times. In 17 regionals, his teams finished in the top seven seven times and won 17 state titles. In addition to his coaching and managing, he helped obtain land for the Doris Blair Memorial Park in Lincoln, NE. He devoted much of his free time during a five-year period to help the development of the three field complex. In 1985, he was selected for one of the Gatorade Outstanding Youth Coach Awards. In 1991, was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame as well as receiving the Nebraska Kiwanis Citizenship Award for outstanding service to the community. Also served as a Nebraska district commissioner, founded the Lincoln Youth Softball Association and served on the Nebraska State Softball Association Board of Directors.

 

 

 


Bert Smith

*Bert Smith, Wantagh, New York – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Bert Smith once told his teammates he visualized a softball hanging on a string every time it left the pitcher’s hand. “It was just like hitting it off a tee,” said Dennis Punch, a former teammate of Smith’s. “He was so focused, he just pictured it hanging there in front of him.” “Fans came to see him,” said Punch. “Wherever we would go, half of them would come because they couldn’t believe some of the statistics he (Smith) put up. And the other half had seen him and came to get on him because he was so good.” Besides being a tense, competitive player, Smith was flamboyant. He would tell you he was good, but he’d back it up. “Nobody could go against his numbers,” said Rick Howard, one of the sons of the team’s former sponsor, Richard Howard. “We probably had eight or ten of the greatest players who played the game over 32 years from the mid-50s to the late 80s. There was no one better in big games.” Those big games were often in the ASA national championships and Smith was outstanding, batting .669 in nine national championships, driving in 160 runs and smashing 74 homers among his 148 hits. He earned All-America honors four times and twice led the national championship in homers with 21 in 1973 and 11 in 1968. Three times on three different teams Smith was named the MVP in the Men’s Slow Pitch National Championship, 1968, 1971 and 1973. He is the only male to accomplish this feat in the history of slow pitch softball. Smith was born March 2, 1945 in Wantagh, Long Island and passed away on February 25, 2012.


Richard Willborn

Richard Willborn, San Antonio, Texas – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

A member of four national championship teams, Willborn was a six-time All-America who achieved his success probably more with his glove than his bat. There is no argument Willborn could hit. His .580 average (170-for-293) in 13 national championships is verification. But it was on defense Willborn came almost legendary. Some say he was one of the greatest—if not the greatest—defensive left fielders ever to play slow pitch. Time and time again Willborn would climb the left field wall and turn a home run into an out. For 26 years, Willborn played for some of the top teams in the country, including Ray Carpenter, C.C. Brick, Nelson’s Painting, Campbell’s Carpets, Howard’s Furniture-Western Steer and Broken Drum. Between 1981-1985, Willborn averaged .562, hit 358 homers and drove in 851 runs for Howard’s. He also played in two ASA Winston Slow Pitch All-Star Series and batted .444 in 1982 and .500 in 1983. Nicknamed “Link,” “The Rooster,” and “The Texas Tornado,” Willborn was less than 6-feet tall and weighed less than 200 pounds, but he proved he was a “David” playing with “Goliath’s and was equal to the task. Willborn was born October 1, 1950.

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1995


Jack Aaron

Jack Aaron, Waco, Texas – Meritorious Service

Served ASA as president from 1993-1994.Was first player rep ever elected to that position. First player rep to become a member of the ASA Executive Board. Former president of the Texas ASA from 1978-1986. Served five consecutive terms as Texas Region vice president. Succeeded W.W. (Bill) Kethan as commissioner of Texas ASA in 1986 and did an outstanding job before becoming executive director of the Texas ASA in 1994. Former sponsor and player. Born May 11, 1934 in Stanford, Texas. Has lived in Waco, Texas since 1941.

 

 

 

 


Dorothy “Dot” Dobie

Dorothy “Dot” Dobie, Yakima, Washington – Women’s Fast Pitch – Infield

She wasn’t flashy. But she got the job done. That pretty much sums up Dorothy (Dot) Dobie, whose fast pitch career started in 1944 and concluded in 1974. Talented and hard-working, Dobie was called a natural at fast pitch by one of her former coaches, Betty Baker, of the Yakima, Washington – Apple Queens. It didn’t matter if she played the outfield or infield, Dobie was comfortable at either and played for some of the nation’s top women’s teams, including the Erv Lind Florists (1958-1965) and the Fresno Rockets (1966). She was a member of the Florists’ national championship team in 1964 and was a member of national runners-up three times (1959, 1960 and 1963). In helping the Florists win the national title in 1964, Dot captained the team and batted .333. She played in 15 ASA national championships and was an All-American four times: 1960, 1965, 1969 and 1970. She also played in two Women’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series and 13 times was named all-regional. She is a member of the Portland ASA Hall of Fame (1988), the Yakima Washington Hall of Fame (1983), the Northwest Region Hall of Fame (1993) and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. She was born June 5. 1931.

 


Francis Mott

Francis Mott, Oswego, New York – Commissioner

Appointed New York State ASA commissioner in January of 1979. During his tenure as commissioner led New York State ASA to outstanding growth with 6,617 teams registered in 1993. In 1987, was one of the charter members inducted into the New York State Hall of Fame. Also is a member of the Oswego, New York – Hall of Fame. Driving force behind his hometown of Oswego, New York – hosting Men’s Class A Fast Pitch National Tourney in 1980. Served as supervisor of the Oswego City Softball Association from 1969-1982. Served as Mid-Atlantic Regional vice-president from 1986-1987 and was chief of the USA delegation for the 1989 ISF Boys’ World Fast Pitch Championship. Served as New York State ASA district commissioner from 1971-1974 and deputy commissioner from 1975-1978 before being named state commissioner. Also sponsored men’s Class A fast pitch team, Mr. M’s, from 1972-1978. Served as chairman of the ASA Special Programs and Special Olympics Committees. Francis passed away April 9, 1994. He was born February 9, 1930.

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1996


Ray Allena

Ray Allena, Petaluma, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Player

A former junior college baseball star, Allena didn’t get discouraged by his lack of success in his early years in fast pitch softball and ultimately became a star for Guanella Brothers of Santa Rosa, CA. Allena played 14 years for Guanella Brothers and compiled a .346 batting average after joining the team in 1974. That year, he led the team to the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. He batted.426 with an amazing .843 slugging percentage with 29 doubles, 23 triples and 21 homers.In the 1974 national championship, he batted .312 to earn the first of his six All-America selections in 11 national championships. (.286 BA). He also was a first-team selection three other times—in 1979, 1980 and 1984—with the Floormen and a third-team selection in 1982. In 1977 with Super Auto of Napa, California – he earned second-team honors. Allena holds most of Guanella’s batting records: most hits in a season, 141 (1974); most runs in a season, 86 (1974); most RBI in a season, 105 (1974); most triples in a season, 23 (1974); most doubles in a season, 29 (1974); and highest batting average in a season, .426 (1974). He led the team in hitting six times. Allena was born October 28, 1948.

 


Kathy Arendsen

Kathy Arendsen, Eugene, Oregon – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Growing up in Zeeland, Michigan – Kathy Arendsen dreamed of becoming a major leaguer. That all changed, however, when she saw Hall of Famer Joan Joyce pitch for the legendary Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, Connecticut – while in high school. Joan Joyce became Kathy’s role model. As we all know, success doesn’t come overnight or in a year, but Kathy was determined to be the best she could be. . .Maybe even one of the sport’s all-time greats. Ultimately through hard work and determination, Kathy succeeded in becoming the best she could be and certainly one of the game’s all-time great pitchers. Her induction in 1996 was a testimony to her overpowering career. It is unlikely that the Raybestos Brakettes would have experienced their great success. Between 1978-1993 Kathy helped them win nine ASA national championships, three ISF World Championships and five U.S. Olympic Festivals. Kathy was also a member of two USA Pan American teams. Arendsen is the third winningest pitcher in Brakettes’ history with 334 wins and only 25 losses. She hurled 79 no-hitters, 42 perfect games and 265 shutouts. In 2,362 innings, Kathy struck out 4,308 batters and had a career ERA of 0.15. She was named an All-American 13 times. On May 12, 2003 Arendsen was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

 


Jim Brackin

Jim Brackin, Fairfax, Virginia – Men’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

Jim Brackin figured if he developed into a good hitter in fast pitch softball that he would always have a spot in the lineup. Brackin did develop into a good hitter. In fact, he was good enough to win two ASA Major Fast Pitch batting titles (1979, .533 and 1986, .563 ) and earn ASA All-America honors three times. Between 1978-1987, Brackin batted .402 in seven Major Fast Pitch Nationals and was more than just a good hitter. He could run, field and throw and on occasion drive the ball out of the ball park, hitting between 10-15 homers a season. Besides being a three-time All-American, Brackin played on two USA Pan American teams, 1979 and 1983, and was named an alternate for the 1987 team. He also played in two U.S. Olympic Festivals, 1982 and 1986 (.313). The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Brackin proved to be a clutch player throughout his career. One of his memorable clutch hits came in the 1986 Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Tourney when he singled in a run to give legendary pitcher Ty Stofflet his 45th win in national championship play, then a record. Brackin retired as an active player after the 1992 season. Brackin was born August 31, 1948.

 


David Stanley “Stan”

David Stanley “Stan” Harvey

*Harvey, Gastonia, North Carolina – Men’s Slow Pitch – First Base

Considered one of the greatest left-handed power hitters in slow pitch, 6-foot-5 inch David Stanley Harvey’s career spanned more than two decades. Harvey, who started playing softball at 14, played for teams in his native state of Tennessee before joining nationally known powerhouse Howard’s Furniture-Western Steer in 1973. Before joining Howard’s, Harvey earned the first of his nine All-America awards in 1970, playing for Golden Gallon. He helped the team finish fourth in the national championship by batting .587 with eight homers and 19 RBI. After joining Howard’s, he earned All-American honors as follows: 1973-1976, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1984 playing in 16 ASA national championships. He was a member of five national championship teams: 1973, 1974, 1981, 1983 and 1984. Born August 19, 1942, Harvey holds the record for the most homers in a Major Slow Pitch National, 23 in 1978. In 1975, he hit seven homers to share the leadership in the national championship with Don Arndt. In 1980, he led the Men’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship in batting with a .789 average. Harvey passed away on January 5, 2012 at his home in Alexis in Gaston County, NC

 

 


Stan Nelson

*Stan Nelson, Fort Dodge, Iowa – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

The late Stan Nelson never pitched for anything but small towns and small-time sponsors. Yet he excelled in big-time fast pitch softball tournaments throughout the United States in a career that spanned the 1930s and 1940s. etween 1929-1937, Nelson won 380 games and lost 25 hurling 50 no-hitters. Throughout his career, he was known as a strikeout hurler. In fact, he fanned 38 batters in an 18 inning game in 1933. In 1935, he struck out 37 in a 19 inning game. In 1936, he fanned 19 of 21 batters in a seven inning game. Once in relief of his brother, Pete, he struck out nine batters in a row. Self-taught as a pitcher, Nelson joined his first organized league in 1929 and won 20 games before joining Olson Jewelry in 1930. That year, he won 18 of 19 games including three in the national Diamondball Tournament in Minneapolis. With the formation of the ASA in 1933, Nelson won three games in the national championship in Chicago and had an overall 9-2 record in ASA national championship play. In 1935, he compiled a 25-9 pitching record.By 1936, Nelson pitched fewer games because he was diagnosed with meningitis and by 1940 stopped pitching. He came out of retirement in 1943, however, to help Tobin Packing win the Iowa State Tournament, batting .500 playing first base. He had a lifetime pitching record of 650-50. In 1970, Stan was inducted into the Fort Dodge Hall of Fame. In May of 1991, Nelson passed away at age 81.

 


Lewis Rober Sr.

*Lewis Rober Sr., Minneapolis, Minneapolis – Meritorious Service

Invented in 1895 version of softball called “Kitten Ball.” Game was invented to occupy the idle time of Minneapolis firemen. Regular games were played by the two first teams during the summer of 1895. Although the scores were high at first, the games were extremely interesting and closely contested. The first two teams to play the game were the Engine Company team and the Truck team. In 1913, the Minneapolis Park Board adopted the game officially for the park board playground and gradually grew in popularity, although it was called Diamond Ball instead of Kitten Ball. Rober entered the fire-fighting service on December 23, 1883. He was eventually promoted to lieutenant and served at this station for eight years and then was transferred to Engine Company No. 9, and then to Engine Company No. 15 where he remained three years.

 

 

 


Billy Stewart

Billy Stewart, Columbus, Ohio – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

From the outset Billy Stewart was destined to be a star in fast pitch softball. In his first two at-bats in his first game of fast pitch, Stewart smashed home runs. During a career that started in 1964 and ended in 1984, Stewart became one of the game’s outstanding players. He had outstanding speed on the basepaths and utilized that speed to play center field for some of the nation’s top teams. The teams included the Aurora, Illinois – Sealmasters (1967-1969), Little Brahaus Brewers, Poughkeepsie, New York – (1970-1974, Pay ’n Pak and Peterbilt Western of Seattle, Washington – (1975-1984). Stewart had some outstanding seasons, hitting .337 in 1974, .346 in 1979 with 33 RBI, .320 in 1977 and .304 in 1980. He played in 12 ASA nationals, compiling a .322 batting average with 12 homers and 38 RBI. He led the 1980 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National in batting with a .524 average and hit four homers to lead the tourney. A 1967 graduate of Ohio State Stewart was a member of three ASA national championships teams (1967, 1980 and 1982), two ISF World Championship teams (1969 and 1980) and one Olympic Festival gold medalist (1981). He was the leading hitter in the latter event with a .500 batting average. Stewart said three of the thrilling moments in his career included hitting a triple to drive in the winning run in the 1968 ISF World Championship, scoring the winning run for the USA in the ISF 1980 World championship and hitting four homers in the 1980 ASA national. Stewart was born March 2, 1944.


Ray Truluck

Ray Truluck, Clearwater, Florida – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Billy Parker figured Ray Truluck, then a second-year player, had the potential to develop into one of the better Clearwater Bomber players. As fate would show, Truluck developed into not only one of the better Clearwater Bomber players but one of the top hitters in men’s major fast pitch in the 1970s and 1980s.Truluck joined the Bombers in 1972 and spent the season as the bullpen catcher. In 1973, Parker, the team manager, moved him to the outfield and it was a move that neither Truluck nor Parker would regret. That season Truluck earned the first of his four ASA All-America selections, hitting .400 in the national championship and finishing the season with a .320 batting average to help the Bombers win a record 10th national title. Truluck repeated as an All-American in 1974 and batted .364 in the national tourney. Truluck earned All-America honors twice more (1978 and 1981) during his career and fashioned a .319 batting average in 13 ASA national championships. He also played in three Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series, the 1979 U.S. Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, CO and the 1983 Pan American Games (.333 batting average). Truluck batted .400 or higher for the Bombers twice during his career, hitting .429 in 1975 with 16 homers, 67 RBI and 112 hits and .400 in 1985. In 1976, he batted .390 and drove in a club record 88 runs and scored 86 runs. In 1981, he batted .318 with 47 RBI. In 1982, he batted .354 with 62 RBI and seven homers.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1997


Roy Burlison

*Roy Burlison, Newport, Arkansas – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Some players never win an ASA fast pitch national championship, although their individual performance is outstanding. Nine times pitcher Roy Burlison, who had overpowering speed, competed in the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, but never came home a national champion during a 27-year career. The closest he came was in 1969 when, then 23, Burlison hurled the Fairchild Falcons of Mountain View, CA to a second place. Born October 18, 1945, Burlison had an outstanding tourney. He won seven of nine games and struck out 108 batters in 62 innings, allowing 26 hits and 11 runs. His performance earned him the tourney MVP award as well as a first-team All-America selection. Burlison said winning that MVP award in his first national was the greatest thrill of his career. He also won the MVP award in the 1971 ASA Men’s National Fast Pitch Championship. In national championship play, he won 23 games and lost 14 for a winning percentage of .649. During his career he won more than 700 games and lost less than 100 with 14 perfect games. Burlison passed away on May 11, 2017.

 

 


Frank Cecero

Frank Cecero, Staten Island, New York – Modified Pitch – Third Base

The first modified pitch player elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, Cecero had a career worthy of that recognition with a .482 batting average, 181 homers and 1,477 RBI. From 1971-1986, he played modified pitch and earned five ASA All-America selections and one MVP (1982), participating in 10 national championships for Silvestri’s of Staten Island, NY. Silvestri’s won three national titles and never finished below fifth in nine of 10 nationals. In national championship play, Cecero was outstanding, batting .465 with 99 hits in 213 at-bats and smashed 20 homers. Yet, he gives credit to his team.”To get to a national tournament you have to play for a good team,” said Cecero.” But to stick around for awhile you must play for a really good team. I batted third but anybody from two to nine in our lineup could have batted third. One player doesn’t do it all. Fortunately, for Silvestri’s Cecero did a lot and manager-sponsor Jim Silvesti agreed.” On a team that many considered to be the best in the country for a long period of time, Frank Cecero played third base and batted third. He was clearly our best player.

 

 


Chuck D’Arcy

Chuck D’Arcy, Sacramento, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Chuck D’Arcy knew the cards were stacked against him of becoming a major class fast pitch pitcher. At 16, he was 5-feet tall and weighed 95 pounds. “I certainly wasn’t the prototype of a major fast pitch pitcher,” said D’Arcy. “Unless there was a demand for midget pitchers.” D’Arcy’s late father (Charles D’Arcy) would rather his son play the infield or maybe give basketball a try because he had been the starting guard on the basketball game. “D’Arcy’s father told him, “There was no way a little guy like him could do it.” But Chuck, who had been the bat boy for his father’s team and imitated pitching motions of different pitchers, was determined to become a major class pitcher. As history shows, D’Arcy’s persistence and thousands of hours of practice paid off as he went on to establish himself as a top-flight pitcher who earned ASA All-American honors four times during a 30-year career. He compiled a record of 1,092 wins and 250 losses for a winning percentage of .813. In 8,973 innings, D’Arcy fanned 10,689 batters and hurled 527 shutouts with 62 no-hitters and 15 perfect games. His 30-year ERA was 0.85. He had a 26-11 record in 17 ASA nationals.

 


Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories, Ashland, Ohio – Sponsor

Abbott Laboratories, formerly Faultless Rubber Company, has been a softball sponsor since 1941 when its men’s team was a semi-finalist in the Ohio state tournament. In 1959, however, Faultless started to move up the Major fast pitch ladder when it fielded a men’s team to compete in the Big 8 League. After a couple seasons in the Big 8 League, Abbott, then Faultless Rubber, joined the Ohio Fastball League and won three of five championships. Teams from Columbus, Marion, Hamilton, and Dayton joined the nucleus of the former Big 8 League to form the Ohio Fastball league. The league eventually split into two divisions, Northern and Southern. Ashland won its first state championship in 1964 and competed in its first East Central Region. In 1966, Ashland competed in its first of three consecutive ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships and finished third. It finished 10th in 1967 and fourth in 1968.Ashland’s combined record those years was 8-6 with 12 players named ASA All-American. After a 13-year lapse, Faultless returned to the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship in 1981 at St. Joseph, MO and finished second behind Decatur ADM. The second place finish was the best in the team’s history. Ashland continued to compete in the Men’s Major Nationals and 1996 marked the 15th consecutive year Ashland advanced to the nationals with finishes ranging from 33th in 1987 to third in 1995.

 


Gina Vecchione

Gina Vecchione, New Rochelle, New York – Women’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Some players deliver in clutch situations. Gina Vecchione was such a player during her 12-year career with the Raybestos Braketttes of Stratford, CT. More often than not, Gina delivered the game-winning hit or the go-ahead RBI to lead the Brakettes to another victory. In 12 years with the team, she was a member of six national championship teams, two World Games gold-medalists and four U.S. Olympic Festival titlists. She batted .242 in 12 ASA national championships and twice led the event in hitting, 1980 and 1981, and had a .322 career batting average. She batted .300 or higher eight times with a personal season best of .371 in 1982. Although known for her clutch hitting, Vecchione also was a solid defensive player who had an accurate arm and would go all-out to come up with a heads-up play. During her collegiate career at UCLA, Gina helped the Lady Bruins win the 1982 Women’s College World Series. She was named to the WCWS All-Tourney team after batting .333. A 1984 graduate of UCLA, Gina was operations manager in the UCLA Athletic Department from 1985-1994. She also was an assistant coach at UC Berkeley for a season. In the fall of 1994, she joined the Oregon State University as assistant softball coach. Since then, she has re-joined the UCLA coaching staff.

 


H.T. Waller

*H.T. Waller, Chipley, Florida – Men’s Slow Pitch – Second Base

When a shoulder separation from college football ended his dream of playing major league baseball, H.T. Waller of Chipley, FL became one of the early super stars of slow pitch softball by accident. Wanting to keep active, Waller played slow pitch as a form of recreation for a team in Wausau, Fl. Word rapidly throughout the state about his hitting ability and before long Waller was playing for some of the nation’s top teams. He led Jo’s Pizza to a pair of national championship runner-up finishes in 1968 and 1969 and earned All-America honors each year. In 1969, he also was named the MVP in the national tourney with a .594 batting average with 16 homers and 28 RBI. By 1972, Waller joined the Virginia Beach Piledrivers and batted .923 in the national tourney and finished the season with a .595 average, 63 homers and 149 RBI. Waller joined Howard’s Furniture in 1973 and was an immediate hit, batting .692 in the national tourney with 25 RBI and 20 homers to earn second-team All-America honors. He finished the year with a .664 batting average and 163 homers. Waller earned his fourth and final All-America selection in 1978, batting .545 with 11 homers in the national championship. In 1977, he had one of his best seasons, hitting 212 homers, driving in 398 runs and batting .641. In 1980, Waller played less than 20 games for Howard’s and retired at the end of the season. Waller estimated he hit more than 2,500 homers in his career with 87 in eight ASA nationals. Waller passed away on November 29, 2021.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1998


Tom Dallas

Tom Dallas, Winton, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

For Tom Dallas, playing top-level fast pitch was enough of a reward and anything else was extra. After playing a season of junior college baseball, Dallas joined the California Kings of Merced and played for them from 1978-1985. He had started his fast pitch career two years earlier. The Kings made their first appearance in an ASA national in 1982 and placed third. Dallas earned All-America honors that season, batting .278 (5-for-18). By being named an All-American Dallas also was a member of the All-Star team that faced national champ Pay ‘n Pak in the Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series in 1983 in Seattle, WA. The Kings disbanded prior to the 1983 tourney, but Dallas was picked up by Guanella Brothers of Santa Rosa, CA and was named a second-team All-America. He batted .333 as Guanella Brothers placed 10th. In 1984, the Kings won their first national title and Dallas played a major role, scoring the winning run in the championship game and being named a first-team All-American. In 1985, the Kings finished fifth in the national tourney as Dallas batted .471 (8-for-17) to earn first-team DH honors.

 

 


Claud “Chuck” Davenport

Claud “Chuck” Davenport, Branson, Missouri – Meritorious Service

From player to manager, to umpire, to national deputy and to commissioner. Claud (Chuck) Davenport did them all in a career that spanned two decades. After a brief stint as a manager, Davenport started umpiring in 1973 and by 1979 was a member of the ASA national umpire staff. He remained a member of the staff until 1984. Davenport served as the UIC at eight ASA nationals and the 1983 U.S. Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, CO. He was an instructor at National Umpire Schools from 1983-1984 and in1995 was awarded the National Award of Excellence at the UIC Clinic in Oklahoma City. In 1984, Davenport was named Kansas ASA commissioner and remained in that position until retiring in1994. During his tenure as commissioner, he established the Kansas Softball Hall of Fame and Honor, an annual convention and honors banquet and a scholarship fund. He also increased team registration from 1,110 to more than 2,000 teams. He was an ASA rep at 10 nationals and chaired the umpire committee from 1988-1991. Twice he served as Region 12 vice-president. He is a 21-year Army veteran and earned a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars while serving in Korea and Vietnam. He was born October 5, 1932 in Canton, MO.

 


Walt and Ray Guanella

*Walt and Ray Guanella, Santa Rosa, California – Sponsor

Sponsored Guanella Brothers men’s fast pitch team for 22 years. During this time, team won two ASA national titles, 1974 and 1991, and were one of the most consistent top finishers in ASA history. Won 1981 World Games in Santa Clara, CA. Won seven ASA Regional titles. Competed in six Sports Festivals, winning the gold medal in 1993 in San Antonio, TX and two silver and one bronze medal. Competed in 17 ASA national championships and the team had a record of 74 wins and 31 losses for a .705 winning percentage. In 22 years (1972-1993) team won 1,563 games and lost 401 with three ties for a winning percentage of .796. Walt Guanella died July 23, 2000 at age 73. Ray died March 16, 2007 at age 77.

 

 

 


Peter Ralph Miscione Jr.

*Peter Ralph Miscione Jr., Staten Island, New York – Modified Pitch – Pitcher

The second modified player elected to the Hall of Fame, Miscione started out playing second base before switching to pitching in 1982 for Silvestri’s of Staten Island, NY. That year, Miscione was named Most Valuable Player at the Nationals after pitching Silvestri’s to the national title by winning five games and allowing less than three runs per game. In the championship game he hurled a three-hitter and allowed one unearned run in a 6-1 win. Silvestri’s repeated as national champion in 1983 with Miscione winning seven games in the tournament. In his career, Miscione hurled 160 innings in 12 ASA national championships, winning 17 of 22 games, allowing 60 earned runs for an ERA of 2.62. In 1979 and 1984 he also was named an All-American. Between 1973 and 1981 as a second baseman, he averaged .377 as a batter. He played 15 years for Silvestri’s before retiring after the 1988 season. Miscione started his career in 1972 playing for Frankie’s from 1965-1972. Miscione was born January 27, 1945.

Miscione was born and raised in Staten Island, N.Y. As a child he spent his time developing a love for all types of sports, including bowling which was short-lived when he was drafted into the Army. Miscione married Barbara May Miscione, and together they had five children, all boys. An avid sports fan, Miscione became a pitcher and second basemen for the Silvestri softball team and was later inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments as a Modified Pitch player. Additionally, Miscione was a baseball and basketball coach at Holy Rosary Church and spent a lot of his free time as an umpire and referee for men’s touch tackle football before eventually taking up golf and joining the Fairway Club. Miscione passed away on January 22, 2022.


Dave Neale Sr.

*Dave Neale Sr., Brook Park, Ohio – Manager

Involved in softball since 1957 as a player, manager, and sponsor. Neale was good enough to earn second-team All-America honors in 1965 for Swing Inn of Cleveland, then became a player-manager in 1970 for Pyramid Cafe. Four times was named to Cleveland’s All-City team. Started only managing in 1975 and led Hillcrest Tavern to a fifth place in 1978 Men’s Major Slow Pitch National. In 1977 and 1980 team finished ninth and 13th. Won his first of four Super national titles in 1985 with Steele’s Silver Bullets. Team had 159-29 record that year followed by 217-13 in 1986, 340-15 in 1987, 366-20 in 1988, 263-26 in 1989 and 226-9 in 1990. Team was featured in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and USA Today. Was born February 24, 1938 in Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. Lettered in three sports in high school and was a Golden Gloves boxing champ at 19. In 1988, was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Slow Pitch Hall of Fame.

 

 


Mike Parnow

Mike Parnow, Novato, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Third Base

Mike Parnow, a seven-time All-America, enjoyed playing softball. And he played well for a span of 20 years. But being elected to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame wasn’t something that left Mike with sleepless nights wondering if he ever would be elected. “It wasn’t a goal (being elected) of mine,” Parnow said. “But I was sure excited when it did happen. It’s probably the ultimate thrill.” Parnow, who retired in 1993, started playing softball after a short stint in pro baseball for the Los Angeles. “After I was released by the Dodgers, there was a big gap in my life. I was raised on baseball,” Parnow said. “But softball filled that gap. For a while I played both softball and baseball but after that first Regional Tournament (1976) I was hooked on softball. It became part of my life.” Parnow stepped in to play shortstop in the regional tournament and earned a spot on the all-Regional Tournament team as a utility player. The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to come one of the great clutch hitters of his era who demonstrated on-and-off the field leadership, had a friendly and engaging personality and was an outstanding third baseman who had great defensive anticipation. Parnow participated in 16 ASA nationals, the 1992 ISF Men’s World, 1981 World Games, two Pan Am qualifiers and seven Olympic Festivals. He was a member of two national championship teams (1984 and 1991). His nine Festival homers is a record including four in 1981.

 


Freda Savona

*Freda Savona, New Orleans, Louisiana – Women’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

Freda Savona was considered one of the best—if not the best—player in women’s major fast pitch history. Kay Rich, who played for the Fresno Rockets and is a member of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame, said, “I believe Freda Savona was the absolute best woman player in the history of the game and probably the premier woman athlete of her time. She had all the skills–unusual speed, great arm, devastating bat power for average and distance, tremendous fielding range and agility. She was aggressive, daring, highly competitive and the complete player.” Savona batted consistently around .400 for the New Orleans Jax Brewers of New Orleans, LA who were formed in 1939 by Manager Heard Ragas. Between 1942-1947, Savona led the Jax to five ASA national titles and numerous victories against the best women’s teams of that era. The Jax rarely lost and at one time won 89 of 90 games in a row. One of their few losses came in 1944 when they lost twice to the Phoenix Ramblers by 1-0 scores. Freda played shortstop and her sister, Olympia, could play just about any position on the field.

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1999


G. Pat Adkison

G. Pat Adkison, Rainbow City, Alabama – Commissioner

Only three-term president of the ASA (1992, 1999 and 2001), Adkison was named state commissioner in 1976 after serving as umpire-in-chief. He has served on numerous ASA committees and chaired the Umpire Committee for eight years. He started the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1991. Served as Southern Region vice president from 1981-1983. Is a member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Organized the Gadsden Umpires’ Association in 1966. Recipient of the Alabama Parks and Recreation Society Service Award in 1991. Was born March 8, 1936.

 

 

 

 


Herman Beagles

*Herman Beagles, Chickamauga, Georgia – Umpire

Umpired in eight Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals during his career. Also umpired in first U.S. Olympic Festival in 1978 in Colorado Springs, CO, the All-Marine and Interservice Tournament in 1970, World Games One in 1981 in Santa Clara, CA, the All-Navy Tournament in 1975, and ASA youth fast pitch nationals in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994. In 1973 conducted clinics with Paul Brown throughout the Far East. First sanctioned as an ASA umpire in 1956. Played in three ASA Major Fast Pitch Nationals. Worked for Combustion Engineer and took early retirement in 1981. On March 3, 2003 Beagles passed away at age 70.

 

 

 

 


Glenn Beamon

Glenn Beamon, Oakland, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Beamon was as exciting player as there was in the 1960s and 1970s because of his great speed, his ability to get on base and his outstanding baserunning and defense. Beamon started his career in 1965 and did not waste time in establishing himself as a marquee player. He was selected to the Nor-Cal League All-Star team and in 1968 led the league in batting (.478 BA). Beamon played in his first of four ASA nationals (.353 BA, 32-for-88) in 1969 and batted .333 with 10 hits in 30 at-bats. He scored four runs and was named a first-team All-America. Born March 16, 1945, Beamon duplicated his first-team All-American selection in 1970 and batted .375 (6-for-16) playing for Sunnyvale, CA, which placed fourth in the national tourney. In 1973, Beamon had an outstanding tourney for the LeBlanc Barons and had 11 hits to equal the then record. He batted .367 as the Barons finished second. Three years later, Beamon was named an All-American for a fourth and final time, batting .333 for the Barons, who placed ninth out of 18 teams. He retired as an active player after the 1984 season.

 

 


Immor Clyte Franklin Jr.

Immor Clyte Franklin Jr., Baltimore, Maryland – Sponsor

For more than two decades has sponsored men’s, women’s and coed teams in Baltimore, MD. In 1996, his Angle Inn team won the ASA Class C national title with a 7-0 record. It is not uncommon for him to send six or more teams to various ASA national championships. Has sponsored as many as 21 teams in league and tournament play. These teams are comprised of men’s and women’s fast, slow pitch and coed players. Has spent in excess of $1 million sponsoring teams.

 

 

 

 


Bruce Meade

Bruce Meade, Bradenton, Florida – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

In college Bruce Meade was a javelin and discus thrower. The last thing on his mind was playing slow pitch softball. But friends urged him to play. “I’d tell ’em that’s a girl’s game. No way,” said Meade. The persistence of Meade’s friends paid off and eventually he ended up playing slow pitch softball. “I hit the ball pretty good that first year,” said Meade. “Pretty soon one thing led to another.” More than two decades later, Meade left behind a record of accomplishments that will be difficult to match, let alone surpass. They include: Hit the longest home run on record in slow pitch softball, 510 feet in 1978 in Amarillo, TX. The first person to hit a softball into the upper deck of the Astrodome in Houston, TX. Hit more than 3,500 homers during his career including a career best 247 in 1981. Earn ASA All-America honors 11 times (seven first teams and four second team) plus twice named MVP in the national championship, 1977 and 1982. Led the Super National championship in batting three times (1982, 1984 and 1985). In 1982, Meade also led the ASA Super National in home runs ( 12) and batting average .703 (26-for-37) with 32 RBI. In 1984, he batted .775 and in 1985 hit .815 in the Super National Championship. In 1977, Meade and Herman Rathman shared the home run trophy in the Major national championship with 22 each, with Meade and Craig Elliott the co-MVPs. Meade was a member of four national championship team and played in 16 ASA nationals. He retired after the 1993 season. Participated in the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City where softball made its Festival debut. Meade batted .735 in the Festival and hit 14 homers. Was a consistent .700 hitter throughout his career. He batted .711 in 1976 with 131 homers, .764 in 1977 with 225 homers, .720 in 1978 with 175 homers, .693 in 1979 with 163 homers, .757 with 207 homers in 1980,.767 in 1981 with 247 homers, .705 in 1982 with 102 homers, .738 in 1983 with 138 homers, .696 in 1984 with 229 homers, .746 in 1985 with 200 homers, .711 in 1986, .729 in 1987, .645 in 1988 with 33 homers, .670 in 1990 with 52 homers, .675 in 1991 with 131 homers, .649 in 1992 with 81 homers, .638 in 1993 with 79 homers and .641 in 1994 with 67 homers. Participated in 16 ASA nationals and two ASA-Winston Slow Pitch All-Star Series. During his career, Meade played for some of the nation’s top slow pitch teams, including Warren Motors of Jacksonville, FL, Nelson’s Painting of Oklahoma City, Dave Carroll’s Skoal Bandits of Sherrills Ford, NC, Jerry’s Catering of Miami, FL, Elite Coatings of Gordon, GA, Smythe Sox of Houston, TX, Steele’s Sports of Grafton, OH, Starpath of Monticello, KY and Vernon’s of Jacksonville, FL. Besides his tremendous hitting, Meade was without question the most recognized player of his era. Standing 6-feet-6 inches tall and weighing more than 260 pounds, Meade was an easy person to spot on or off the field with his handlebar mustache. Meade played in his last ASA Super national in 1993 and was named a second-team All-America, batting .727 with 10 homers and 19 RBI. Since retiring, Meade has remained active in softball, playing games to raise money for charities and continuing to work for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Bradenton, FL as warrants officer.


Nancy Oldham

Nancy Oldham, Sanford, North Carolina – Women’s Slow Pitch – Third Base

In the early 1960s and 1970s, the Satellite Beach, FL Comets streaked across the U.S. winning game after game. Leading the way for them was Nancy Oldman, who had averaged 35 points per game on the basketball floor and earned all-star honors three times in her home state of North Carolina while in high school. But it would be on the softball field where Nancy would receive national acclaim playing third base and shortstop. She was six times an ASA All-American. In 1969, she was named the MVP of the Women’s Major Slow Pitch National Tourney after batting .500 to lead the Comets to a runner-up finish. Although never a member of a national championship team, Oldham also played on teams that finished second three times and third twice. First selected for All-America in 1965, she was named again in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1972. The 1970 national was one of the best in Nancy’s career as she batted .625 with five homers and 16 RBI in leading the Comets to a fifth place. In 1996, Nancy was inducted into the North Carolina ASA Hall of Fame.

 

 


Ray Phillips

Ray Phillips, San Francisco, California – Men’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

When Ray Phillips played softball, he was not just another hitter. In fact, he was often called “Softball’s Most Feared Hitter” during his 13-year fast pitch career. Phillips was a pitcher’s worst nightmare, spraying line drives all over the field and hitting for a high average. When Phillips came to the plate, infielders automatically dropped back about five steps and just hoped the line shots he hit weren’t hit at them. No matter where you went in the United States, people in softball circles knew the name of Ray (Razor) Phillips. In all, Phillips played in eight ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships between 1960-1970, earning All-America honors five times and hitting .320. In 1966 he batted .563 in the national tourney to lead all hitters. When a teammate was unable to play in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series in 1968, Phillips replaced him and ended up leading all hitters with a .500 batting average. That year Ray also helped the Aurora, IL Sealmasters win the International Softball Federation World Championship, beating Canada 4-0 in the finals. Phillips drove in two of the four runs in the gold medal game. Phillips came out of retirement in 1980 to play for Guanella Brothers of Santa Rosa, Calif. He ended his career the way you would figure the Most Feared Hitter in Softball would. Phillips homered in last official at-bat.

 


Bill Plummer III

*Bill Plummer III, Syracuse, New York – Meritorious Service

Was employed at the ASA National Office for 30 ½ years (May 6, 1979 to Dec. 31, 2009) and served as communications coordinator and Hall of Fame Services Manager/Historian. He was instrumental in softball attaining world-wide media coverage and recognition through his efforts as press officer at two Pan American Games, 13 U.S. Olympic Festivals, six ISF World Championships and the 1996 Olympic Games where he was the information manager. A 1973 graduate of Indiana University, Plummer has written widely about the sport for almost five decades. He authored the book,” The Game America Plays: Celebrating 75 years of the Amateur Softball Association,” in 2008 and co-authored another book in 2012 and co-authored another one in 2013, which won the Oklahoma Sports Historian Award in 2014. He has also contributed to 11 other books about softball. Besides the National Softball Hall of Fame, Plummer is a member of four other ASA Halls of Fame: New York State, Tidewater, Oklahoma, and Indiana. He writes for the website: CollegeSportsMadness.com and for Fast Pitch Magazine, an online publication. Plummer, a native of Syracuse, NY, passed away on April 9, 2016.

 


Barbara Reinalda

Barbara Reinalda, Lakewood, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

After winning the 1975 ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT returned only two starters for the 1976 season. Only two starters returned because a women’s pro league had been formed and had taken the team’s ace hurler, Joan Joyce, plus most of the team. In January of that year, a story appeared in the Los Angeles TIMES that would eventually solve the pitching woes. The story was about a pitcher named Barbara Reinalda, who was born February 13, 1957. A Raybestos Manhattan salesman sent a copy of the story of back to chairman of the board Bill Simpson, who in turn forwarded it to Brakettes head coach Ralph Raymond. Raymond called Reinalda and although she was not home, gave the details to her mother. Raymond called back later and talked to Reinalda, who thought it over for two weeks before telling him she was going to play for the team. The rest, as they say, is history. Raymond unfortunately had a heart attack that year and he did not get to see Reinalda pitch until the national tournament. In his absence the team was guided by his assistant coaches, John Stratton, and Andy Van Etten. Reinalda’s first year with the Brakettes was a memorable one. She not only hurled the team to the national title but was named the national tourney MVP and led all hitters with a .429 average. Reinalda compiled a 45-6 record in 18 ASA nationals. She is the winningest pitcher in Brakette history (441-31).

* indicates the person has passed away.

National Softball Hall of Fame 1980’s

The National Softball Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal for any player, coach, umpire or administrator who aspire to greatness in the sport. With over 400 inductees, the National Softball Hall of Fame is among the most difficult sports halls in the nation in which to gain membership.

Take a moment to browse through the Hall of Fame section and learn more about some of the sport’s greatest athletes and their accomplishments. If you get a chance to visit us in person while in Oklahoma City, please observe these hours of operation:

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
2801 Northeast 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 424-5266
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Check USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex for weekend hours

The Hall of Fame and Museum does not charge, but donations are greatly appreciated and accepted. Your donations help keep this history of softball alive through exhibit updates, upkeep and restoration projects.

Link to Video of the National Softball Hall of Fame


The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1957. Once USA Softball moved to Oklahoma City January 1, 1966 after having its offices in Newark, NJ, the decision to establish a Hall of Fame Building in Oklahoma City was made in January of 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Hall of Fame were held December 19, 1970 in Oklahoma City. The late John Nagy, former Cleveland Metro commissioner, was USA Softball President at that time. Hall of Famers Harold (Shifty) Gears and Carolyn Thome Hart were among those attending the ceremonies.

The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.

The first of two additions to the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the National Softball Hall of Fame/USA Softball Headquarters and the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, there is 28,406 square feet of space.

A second expansion was added July of 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet of space.

The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has over 400 members with two categories of membership: players and non players. Within the player category, there are five categories: Men’s/Women’s Fast Pitch, Men’s/Women’s Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch. Within the non player category, there are five different divisions one can be nominated in: Commissioner, Meritorious Service, Umpire, Managers and Sponsors. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the USA Softball Annual Meeting.


Through our vast collection of artifacts, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about softball’s rich history. Your support is critical to these efforts.

The Hall of Fame Donation Fund was established to ensure that the National Softball Hall of Fame has a future and is committed to educating people about the great former players and non players and the role they played in the development of the sport.

Your tax-deductible contribution helps the National Softball Hall of Fame continue its mission of educating, collecting and honoring as well as the preservation of the history of softball, the maintaining of present exhibits and purchase of new exhibits and possible expansion of the Hall of Fame building.

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Due to the volume of offers we receive, we cannot accept the donation of an artifact without a completed artifact description form. Please see our Mission Statement and Collections Management Policy to see what types of objects we will and will not accept. Once we have received your form, our staff will evaluate the object’s potential and will be in contact with you as to whether or not we will be able to accept the donation. If your object is chosen, the donated material will be recommended to the Executive Director for consideration. Following the meeting a staff member will contact you regarding the next steps.

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NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1980


Harold S. Adams

Harold S. Adams, Topeka, Kansas – Umpire

Began umpiring in 1960 and was Kansas State UIC from1970-1978. Served as president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and rules interpreter for the Topeka Softball Umpires’ Association (1963-1979). Named National Deputy UIC for Western Region and metro area in 1976. Appointed senior deputy for Central Region states in 1977. Umpired in six ASA national championships, including five Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals and 1976 ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship. Served as UIC at two Women’s College World Series and two ASA nationals. Regarded as an outstanding clinician, he died on January 30, 1979 after suffering a heart attack. He was born in 1929.

 

 


Ivie C. Apple

Ivie C. Apple, Greensboro, North Carolina – Umpire

Was involved with umpiring for 50 years after umpiring his first game in 1938. Umpired in 11 ASA nationals and served as North Carolina UIC from 1959-1973. Apple died August 20, 1988 at age 87.

 

 

 

 

 


Ward B. “Bick” Auxier

Ward B. “Bick” Auxier, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Commissioner

Involved in softball for more than 40 years. Started career as an umpire and is one of few commissioners to have served as a state and metro commissioner. Was named Metro Oklahoma City commissioner in 1950 and served until 1954. In 1955, was named state commissioner and remained in that position until he became metro commissioner again in 1969 and remained in that position until retiring after the 1989 season. Besides being Metro Oklahoma commissioner, was president of the Oklahoma City Softball Association. After retiring in 1989, was named commissioner emeritus. Was 13th ASA Commissioner elected to Hall of Fame. Served as Southwest Region vice president three times. Was born March 1, 1920 and was 79 at the time of his death, April 7, 1999.

 


George T. Cron

George T. Cron, Elizabeth, New Jersey – Commissioner

Became commissioner of New Jersey in 1943 and served more than 50 years until his passing. Was president of the ASA from 1960-61. He was chairman of the International Joint Rules Committee on Softball. (1950-1975). Past president of the Amateur Athletic Union. George was a member of the ASA Executive Board from 1961 to 1994. In 1941, he became assistant New Jersey Commissioner under Gene Martin before being named commissioner. Was Mid-Atlantic vice-president in 1991. Played college basketball at Long Island University. Was inducted into the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame in 1988. Named AAU Man of the Year in 1968. Was lifetime member of the AAU from 1956-1994. Was inducted into New Jersey Hall of Fame in 1961. Was director of parks and recreation for County of Union, NJ for 45 years. Was born December 12, 1911 and died on April 17, 1994 at age 82 in Milwaukee, WI.


Jean Daves

Jean Daves, Orlando, Florida – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Hall of Fame pitcher Jean Daves did not have the benefit of individual pitching lessons or clinics to develop as a fast pitch softball hurler and ultimately earn enshrinement into the ASA Hall of Fame. Daves taught herself growing up in Canton, NC. “I used to throw a ball into a blanket strung over clothesline. My mother never wanted me to play, but my dad always did,” said Daves. “I taught myself most of the different pitches. But I was a finesse pitcher, not an overpowering one.” Daves played for teams in Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL and Washington, DC before joining the Orlando Rebels in 1964. She spent the last eight years of her 20-year career with Orlando and set team single-season records for wins, 40 in 1970; shutouts, 30 in 1966; strikeouts, 485 in 1967; most consecutive wins, 21 in 1966; most consecutive scoreless innings, 95 in 1965; most no-hitters, nine in 1967 and most innings pitched, 344 in 1970. She was born April 7, 1934. Daves won 255 games and lost 59 with 41 no-hitters and 197 shutouts. She struck out 2,944 batters in 2,370 innings and was a first-team All-America in 1966, 1970, 1971 and a second-team choice in 1967, 1968 and 1969. She had a 25-15 record in national championship play, retiring in 1971.


Harold Engelhardt

Harold Engelhardt, Indianapolis, Indiana – Meritorious Service

Former Metro Indianapolis ASA commissioner (1962-80). Also is a member of the Metro Indianapolis ASA Hall of Fame. Was also known for his promotion of amateur basketball and boxing. Named to the Indiana Hall of Fame for basketball in 1968. In 1975, he was honored by the Indianapolis Old Timers Club. He was a charter member of the AAU Golden Gloves program in Indianapolis. Served as ASA vice-president from 1972-1973. Is a life member of the ASA. He formed the Central Indiana Softball League in 1966. Brought the ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National to Indianapolis, IN in 1966. Owned his own softball stadium and sold it in 1962. He died at age 83 on March 26, 1987.

 

 


Nick Frannicola

Nick Frannicola, Newark, New Jersey – Meritorious Service

Was involved with ASA since its founding in 1933. Served as New Jersey deputy commissioner under Gene Martin from 1933-1940. Was Eastern Area vice president from 1967-1968. Was chairman of the ASA Umpires Committee from 1965-1977. Was inducted into New Jersey State Hall of Fame in 1971 and Newark Hall of Fame in 1978. Gave numerous clinics, including the first Armed Forces Softball Clinic overseas in 1950. Taught at Holy Trinity in Westfield, NJ, then spent three years in Army. Obtained a master’s degree at Seton Hall (1948) and spent 32 years as physical education instructor at Woodridge High School, Woodridge, NJ. Also officiated high school and college basketball games. Was appointed Metro Newark UIC in 1946. Was softball director of Newark Recreation Department from 1947-1968. Was named Newark Metro commissioner in 1962. His son, Angelo, replaced him as Metro Newark commissioner in 1981. Nick died at age 73 September 26, 1983. He was born September 9, 1910.


Ford Hoffman

Ford Hoffman, Phoenix, Arizona – Manager

General manager and coach of the Phoenix, AZ Ramblers women’s fast pitch team from 1933 until it disbanded in 1958. Team won ASA national titles in 1940, 1948 and 1949. From 1958-1959, he served as president of the ASA. Was ASA Arizona commissioner for 20 years. Organized and was president of the Arizona Softball Foundation. Was a charter member and vice chairman of the National Hall of Fame Selection Committee. After retiring from softball, Hoffman worked in real estate and bred rabbits. He was a graduate of Northern Arizona University and coached football at Arizona State College in Tempe, AZ. Hoffman died on August 23, 1989 of bone cancer. He was 81 years old.

 

 


James F. Jones

James F. Jones, Boston, Massachusetts – Meritorious Service

Served as Metro Boston ASA commissioner from 1949-1970. Was a member of the International Joint Rules Committee on Softball. As a retired insurance executive, he served as chairman of the Insurance Committee as well as on other committees. Former regional vice-president for two years. Former chairman of the Umpires Committee. Conducted numerous clinics for Armed Forces as well as throughout the New England Region. Is deceased.

 

 

 


Marge Ricker

Marge Ricker, Orlando, Florida – Manager

Led Orlando, FL Rebels to ASA national title in 1981, upsetting the favored Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT. In 32 years compiled record of 1,470 wins and 476 losses for a winning percentage of .760. In 26 nationals, the Rebels finished fifth or higher 22 times. Ricker started Orlando Rebels in 1954. By winning 1981 national title, Rebels qualified for ISF World Championship and they placed fourth with a 7-3 record in 1982. Ricker coached her last Rebel team in 1985 (55-12) and tied for fifth at the national tourney. Although no longer coaching, she was still active in softball with the Rebel Spring Games in late February for more than 100 university and college division teams. Ricker died on January 16, 2013.

 

 


Frank Susor

Frank Susor, Poland, Ohio – Umpire

Was an original member of Tom Mason’s four person National Umpire staff from 1966-1979. He spent five years as a minor league baseball umpire in his distinguished 40-year career. As an ASA umpire officiated 10 Women’s Nationals, two Men’s Nationals, one ISF Men’s World Fast Pitch Tourney (1968) and four Interservice Tournaments. Was UIC for 15 ASA nationals. Was inducted into Curbstone Coaches’ Hall of Fame, Youngstown, OH in 1978. Born December 21, 1911. Frank died on July 10, 1995 at age 83.

 

 


Matt Urban

Matt Urban, Holland, Michigan – Commissioner

Former Michigan ASA commissioner who won nation’s highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a total of 29 medals for bravery. He is the most decorated combat soldier in U.S. history. Was named Michigan ASA commissioner in 1960 and served five years as regional vice-president. Was on selection committee for the Pan American Games in 1979, the first-time softball was an official sport of the Games. Matt died on March 4, 1995 at age 75. Served as Holland, MI director of recreation from 1974 to 1989.

 

 


Ron Weathersby

Ron Weathersby, Cuthbert, Georgia – Men’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

When the Clearwater, FL Bombers needed a clutch hit to keep a rally going, more often than not Ron Weathersby came through. One of Weathersby’s most memorable hits came in the 1966 national championship when he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Providence, 4-2, to give the Bombers their eighth national title. Weathersby called winning that title the greatest thrill of his 16-year career. Weathersby was a member of four national championship teams and four runners-up. Four times he earned ASA first-team All-America honors: 1964, (.412),1966 (.267), 1967 (.389) and 1973, and played in 12 ASA national championships. He also played in three All-Star Fast Pitch Series and batted .500 in the 1967 Series. Besides his clutch hitting, Weathersby also excelled on defense. Said former teammate Doug Mason. “You can’t measure his contribution because of the respect he demanded from his teammates and his leadership. Barring pitchers, Ron was the best softball player in the game.” Weathersby had some impressive seasons for the Bombers, including 1964 (.338 BA), 1966 (.300 BA, 20 homers and 43 RBIs) and 1968 (.311 BA, 7 homers and 57 RBIs).He retired in 1974 as an active player but came back to manage the Bombers in 1977 (11th ) and 1978 (runner-up). Born October 5, 1940, Weathersby is clerk of Circuit Court in Bay County, FL. He and his wife, Pam, have two children.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1981


George Adam

George Adam, Branford, Connecticut – Men’s Fast Pitch – First Base

When it came to playing first base, George Adam was among the best. Not only an outstanding fielder, but he could also beat you offensively. After beginning his almost three-decade career in 1952, Adam played for some of the nation’s top major caliber fast pitch teams, including Briggs Beautyware of Detroit, MI, Trenton Democratic Club of Baltimore, MD, DeJur Cameramen, Long Island, NY, Raybestos Cardinals of Stratford, CT, Little Brahaus Brewers of Poughkeepsie, NY and Interstate Batterymen of Spencer, MA. He earned All-America honors 11 times including nine times to the first team (1952-56, 1958-59, 1962 and 1971) and twice (1960 and 1972) to the second team. He played in 17 ASA nationals and had an accumulative .275 batting average with 72 hits in 262 at-bats. Six times Adam was a member of a national championship team five times with the Raybestos Cardinals of Stratford, CT (1955, 1958, 1969, 1970 and 1972) and once with Briggs Beautyware (1954). He also played on four teams that finished runner-up in the national tourney. Adam retired from active play following the 1977 season.


Charles “Budd” Gilbert

Charles “Budd” Gilbert, Cliffside Park, New Jersey – Meritorious Service

Gilbert joined Dudley Sports Company in 1953 as sales manager and in 1962 became vice president and chief executive officer. In 1970, he became president of Dudley. He was a strong supporter of numerous ASA programs and events. He originated hospitality rooms at the ASA annual meeting that eventually attracted other manufacturers and exhibitors, which led to commercial exhibits. Through his pioneering of the cork-center softball, the standard of ball manufacturing improved, helping the development and growth of the sport. Both directly and indirectly, Gilbert provided much needed financial support for many ASA activities at all levels through strong sponsor support. He also was responsible for helping ASA in securing revenue through a licensing program that was eventually joined by other manufacturers.


Arnold “Red” Halpern

Arnold “Red” Halpern, Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho – Commissioner

Served as Idaho commissioner from 1959 to 2002. Was 23rd president of the ASA from 1982-1983. Was third person from the Pacific Northwest to serve as ASA president. Former chairman of the ASA Junior Olympic program and former member of the National Softball Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Served two terms as Northwest vice-president and was chief of delegation for USA teams in first Junior World Fast Pitch Championship in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in 1981. Was named Pacific Northwest Most Outstanding Park and Recreation Professional in 1981. Was first president of the Idaho Recreation and Park Society. In 1992, received the Professional Emeritus Award by the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of the National Recreation and Park Association. Also received the Gar Anderson Award as one of Idaho’s outstanding sportsmen. Served from 1954-1985 as director of the Coeur d’Alene, ID Recreation Department. In 2001. Halpern was inducted into the Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame. Also is member of the Idaho Sports Hall of Fame, Inland Empire Hall of Fame, Idaho Hall of Fame and Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame. Halpern died on October 3, 2003 at age 79.


Arthur Noren

Arthur Noren, Pompano Beach, Florida – Meritorious Service

A 1921 graduate of Springfield College who received advanced degrees from Columbia University and New York University, Noren was named secretary in 1923 of a committee of five recreation leaders who codified and unified the rules of softball. Noren remained as secretary until retiring June 24, 1978. In 1934, the original committee was expanded to include representatives of other national organizations and assumed the name of The Joint Rules Committee on Softball. In 1954, other national organizations including the ASA were invited to join. In 1936, the JRCOS incorporated under the name of The International Joint Rules Committee on Softball and accepted representatives from several countries to serve on the committee. In 1936 published the first book on softball to be accepted and placed in the Library of Congress. Noren died on March 21, 1982 at age 82.


Bill Parker

Bill Parker, Lake Wales, Florida – Men’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

Versatility marked Bill Parker’s fast pitch softball career. Parker could play just about any position in softball and almost did after joining the Clearwater, FL Bombers in 1962, playing the outfield, second base and third base. A year earlier Parker batted .364 (4-for-11) in the national championship for Homestead, FL and was noticed by the Bombers. The 1961 tourney was the first of 11 national championships Parker played in, including nine with the Bombers. In 11 nationals he batted .257 with 44 hits in 171 at-bats, scoring 26 runs and driving in 17. Six times Parker earned ASA All-America honors including first-team honors in 1966 (.357), 1967 and 1968 (.333) and second team in 1962, (.176), 1964 (.308) and 1965 (.211). In 1967, Parker batted .409 in the national championship to lead all hitters. In 1968, he was captain of the Men’s Major Fast Pitch All-Stars, a role not unfamiliar for Parker who was named captain of the Bombers in 1964.In 1963, Parker set a Bomber record for consecutive game hitting streak, 18, and most games with two or more hits, 10. He also had a streak of 12 consecutive hits that season. He was the second Bomber to have 100 or more hits in a season. In 1970 he led the team with a .353 batting average. Parker played on five national championship teams, two runners-up, and two third place finishers. After retiring, he managed the Bombers to a second place in 1972 and to their 10th national title in 1973. Parker was born February 9, 1933 in Lake Wales, FL on April 3, 2005 Parker died of a heart attack. He was 72 years old.


Vince Scamardella

Vince Scamardella, Staten Island, New York – Meritorious Service

The father of modified pitch softball, Scamardella was credited with getting modified pitch recognized as a division of championship play in the ASA. He later chaired the first Modified Rules Committee. Former Metro New York commissioner, he developed the first lighted softball field on Staten Island. Former star hurler. He also umpired 15 years during his career. Is commissioner emeritus. Scamardella died on April 13, 2017.

 

 

 


Carol Spanks

Carol Spanks, Whittier, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

When Carol Spanks threw out the ceremonial first pitch before UCLA played Washington for the NCAA title May 31, 1999 in Oklahoma City it could have been her last pitch. After the delivery, Spank came to the sidelines, where she was greeted by well-wishers and former players, including Lisa Fernandez, who hugged. Spanks announced earlier her retirement from softball. It closed the book on one of the outstanding careers in softball as a player and a coach spanning more than four decades. For five years, Spanks served as co-head coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas after spending 15 years as head coach at Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA. She concluded her coaching career with an overall record of 725 wins, 433 losses and five ties. UNLV honored Spanks May 6th, 1999 following its game against Utah. In 15 seasons at Cal Poly, she had a record of 577 wins, 310 losses and five ties, for a winning percentage of .650. She led them to 11 postseason appearances (three AIAW and eight NCAA). As a player, Spanks was one of the greatest of all-time, earning ASA All-America honors 14 times in 19 national championships. She was a member of four national championship teams, 1962, 1965, 1969 and 1970, playing for the Orange, CA Lionettes. She started playing softball in 1951 for the Buena Park, CA Kittens and eventually joined the Buena Park Lynx, a nationally known team, and stayed with them until joining the famed Orange, CA Lionettes in 1958. She retired in 1975.


Harvey Sterkel

Harvey Sterkel, Denver, Colorado – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

When Harvey Sterkel arrived in Aurora, IL in 1956, it was the start of a new era. And what an era it turned out to be. Not only did Sterkel establish himself as one of the game’s great pitchers, but he put the Aurora Sealmasters team on the softball map. Between 1956-1969, Sterkel won 345 games and lost only 33. He hurled 2,599 innings, walked 415 batters, and struck out 5,212. He hurled 60 no-hitters and 15 perfect games, and his ERA was 0.34. Between 1965-1968, he won 52 games in a row. Sterkel helped Aurora win four ASA national fast pitch championships. He compiled a 43-24 record in 22 ASA national championships and earned ASA All-America honors eight times. Twice (1956 and 1959) he was the MVP in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship.In the 1959 national, Sterkel lived up to his nickname of “The Horse,” by winning eight of nine games to pitch the Sealmasters to their first national title. There was nothing easy about winning the title. After losing his opener to Clearwater, Sterkel came back to win eight games in a row. He hurled three of the wins on the tourney’s final day including beating Clearwater twice by identical 1-0 scores. He shares the record for most games won in a national fast pitch tournament (8) and formerly shared the record for most strikeouts in a seven-inning game, 19. Besides the national championships, Sterkel also achieved a 7-0 record in the first two ISF World Championships (1966 and 1968), striking out 70 batters in 45 1/3 innings. For his outstanding performance in these two World Championships, Strekel was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame November 14, 2002.


Shirley Topley

Shirley Topley Hondo, Alberta, Canada – Women’s Fast Pitch – First Base

Growing up in Hondo, Alberta, Canada, Shirley Topley excelled in different sports, but it would be softball in which she established herself as one of the greatest players of all-time. As a member of several Canadian teams, Topley displayed outstanding abilities at-bat and on defense. She was second-team All-America in 1960 for the South Hill Queens of Vancouver, BC. This earned her a spot on the roster for the 1961 Women’s Major Fast Pitch All-Series against the national champion. Orange, CA second baseman and owner Ricki Caito was so impressed with Topley that she asked her to join the team in 1962. That year, Shirley helped the Lionettes win the national title and earn another All-America selection. For the next two years, Shirley played for the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT before re-joining the Lionettes in 1965 and remaining through 1975. The two years Shirley played for the Brakettes she led in batting with averages of .372 and .340. Between 1967 and 1972, Topley coached the Lionettes to 389 wins, 67 losses and three ties. In this span, the Lionettes won two ASA national titles (1969 and 1970), seven Pacific Coast Women’s League titles and a silver medal in the 1970 ISF Women’s World Championship. She participated in 16 ASA nationals and was a member of five national championship teams and five runners-up. She was an ASA All-American 11 times. Topley served as one of the assistant coaches for the 2000 USA Olympic Team. Topley was born April 14, 1934.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1982


Fred G. Blum

Fred G. Blum, Rochester, New York – Commissioner

Served 25 years as Metro Rochester ASA commissioner (1951-1975) and was president of the ASA from 1968-1969. One of charter members elected to the New York State ASA Hall of Fame in 1987. Graduated from St. Michael’s College (1937) and Cornell Law School where he served as president of the student body his senior year (1947). Former publisher of Blum’s Daily Sports Bulletin, which was established by his father, and published 77 years. Was former batboy-mascot for the Rochester Red Wings baseball team from 1928-1936. Fred died on April 1, 1998 at age 83. Was Navy veteran of World War II.

 

 


Bill Cole

Bill Cole, Detroit, Michigan – Men’s Slow Pitch – Third Base

Between 1960 and 1974, Bill Cole helped Detroit teams win a pair of Major Slow Pitch National titles, 1966 (Michael’s Lounge) and 1970, (Little Caesars) and finish runner-up three times. He batted .603, smashed 335 homers and drove home 1,001 runners from 1962-1974. Four times Cole, who was born February 25, 1937, was named an ASA All-American (1962, 1969, 1970 and 1971) and in 1962 he earned the tourney’s MVP award after batting .758 to lead Eastside Sporting Goods to a runner-up finish in the national tourney. It was one of 12 national championships Cole participated in. Nicknamed “Hummer” because he could “hum” or spray the ball to all fields, Cole was not a “stone” glove either playing first, third and the outfield. One of the qualities that made Cole such an outstanding player was his ability to adjust to field conditions, according to his former manager Roy Lombardo. “Some players are strictly pull hitters and if the wind is blowing in, they can’t hit it out. Cole could adjust and hit to any field. And when he did not hit it over the fence, he would get his singles.” Retired from the Chrysler Corporation, Cole was born February 25, 1937.


Fred Crosby

Fred Crosby, Phelps, New York – Commissioner

Served as president of the ASA in 1960 and ASA Maryland commissioner from 1937-1965. A graduate of Springfield College was inducted into the Recreation Pioneers Hall of Fame in 1973. A native of Phelps, NY, he was born April 19, 1902. Crosby died August 27, 1967 at age 65 in Baltimore, MD.

 

 

 

 


Billie Harris

Billie Harris, Phoenix, Arizona – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

The first African American woman inducted into the Hall of Fame; Harris played for a team called the Sunshine Girls in 1948. They played a game in Phoenix against the PBSW Ramblers who noticed Harris not only had control and speed as a pitcher but could hit and had speed on the basepaths. Harris eventually joined the Ramblers and between 1950-1975 played for the Ramblers, the Yakima, WA Webcats and the Sun City, AZ Saints. Three times Billie was selected a first-team All-America, twice as a pitcher (1969 and 1958) and once as a utility player (1959). In the 1958 ASA national championship, she compiled a 5-2 pitching record with an ERA of 0.14. In 1959, she batted .347 (8-for-23). Harris starred both as a pitcher and hitter in the 1969 national and was named the tourney MVP. She won four of five games on the mound and batted .400 (8-for-20) to lead her team to a third-place finish. She won more than 20 games in 15 ASA nationals. Playing in the Pacific Coast Women’s League from 1953-1975, she had a .260 batting average with 264 hits in 370 games. She scored 123 runs and drove in 59 runs.


Judy Hedgecock

Judy Hedgecock, Satellite Beach, Florida – Women’s Slow Pitch – Pitcher

Growing up in Satellite Beach, FL, Judy Hedgecock did not have to worry about having a coach because her father, Percy, coached her for nine years as a member of the Satellite Beach Comets starting in 1965. Judy started playing slow pitch at 16 while still in high school and played for 13 years before retiring in 1978 as a member of the renowned Marks Brothers and Bob Hoffman North Miami, FL Dots. Born August 13, 1945, Judy participated in 10 ASA national championships and was a member of two national championship teams, 1975 and 1978. In the 1975 national Judy won the MVP award as a pitcher and is the only pitcher to win that award. Six times she earned first-team All-America honors (1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978) and was a second-team choice in 1970. Hedgecoach also coached 18-under girls’ teams to three national slow pitch titles 1978, 1981, and 1985. Hedgecock died on November 21, 2000 at age 55 after a long illness. She had a 33-year career in the Brevard County School System at Satellite High School and Eau Gallie High School, FL.


Percy L. Hedgecock

Percy L. Hedgecock, Satellite Beach, Florida – Meritorious Service

Former mayor of Satellite Beach, FL, Hedgecock was instrumental in developing youth softball in the Satellite Beach, FL area, including hosting 10 of the first 12 ASA youth nationals. He also managed youth and adult teams with his youth teams winning national titles in 1975, 1977, 1981 and 1981. His adult women’s team placed second twice, third and 12th in ASA national tournaments before he switched to coaching youth at the end of the 1972 season. Hedgecock founded Satellite Beach in 1957 after he and four relatives invested land in the area. He served as the city’s first mayor from 1957 to 1973. The son of a poor tobacco farmer, Hedgecock dedicated his later years to philanthropy and education leadership. In 1985, he received the Community Foundation of Brevard’s Philanthropist of the Year award. From 1981-1987 he served on the Florida Institute of Technology Board of Trustees. The FIT gymnasium is named in his honor. Hedgecock died on January 27, 1987 at age 70 after suffering a heart attack at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, FL. His daughter, Judy, is a member of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in the player category.


Richard Howard

Richard Howard, Denver, North Carolina – Sponsor

The most recognizable sponsor in men’s slow pitch history, Howard spent more than three decades as a sponsor and was truly one of the great softball ambassadors. His contribution to the growth of slow pitch was immeasurable, not only from a competitive view but from the help he gave to other teams, sponsors, officials, and the ASA headquarters itself, far removed from the tiny hamlet of Denver, NC. Howard’s men’s team won back-to-back Major national titles (1973-1974), the first Super National in 1981 and back-to-back Super nationals in 1983-1984. In addition to the men’s national championships, he also sponsored a Junior National boys’ slow pitch championship team (1973) and a women’s slow pitch national champion (1980). Between 1969-1981, Howard’s men’s teams won1,354 games and lost only 273 for a winning percentage of .832. Howard was born December 7, 1924 and died on April 28, 1998. He was 73 years old.


Nancy Ito

Nancy Ito, Denver, Colorado – Women’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

One of the outstanding catchers in amateur softball, Ito started out playing the infield as a teenager in Denver, CO before her coach, Andy Hale, asked her to learn catching because the team’s regular catcher left the team to get married. It was a move neither Hale nor Ito would regret. In the next two decades, Ito was named a 13-time All-American. She played 10 years before a job transfer brought her to California in 1960 where she joined the Orange, CA Lionettes. In 15 years with the Lionettes, the 5-foot-7 Ito participated in 13 ASA national championships and the 1970 ISF World Championship in Osaka, Japan. She was a member of four national championship teams and four runners-up. An outstanding defensive catcher with a strong throwing arm, Ito made only 10 errors in 1,401 chances in 222 games in the Pacific Coast Women’s League from 1967-1974 for a fielding percentage of .993. Five seasons she made only one error per season and in 1972 was flawless handling 134 chances. Former teammate Carol Spanks called Ito “the best catcher I’ve ever seen. Not only was she strong and secure around the plate, but she had a great arm and was fundamentally sound in every aspect of defensive play.” She was born June 26, 1933 and died December 19, 1987.


Tom Mason

Tom Mason, Newark, Delaware – Umpire

Was a football referee and softball umpire for 33 years. Officiated high school basketball 17 years. Started umpiring in 1958. Served as ASA National Deputy UIC from 1967-1971 and was ASA National UIC from 1972-1980. Was National Rules Interpreter from 1981-1984 and international rules interpreter for nine years. Umpired 15 years, including 25 state, six regional, four military and five national tournaments. Was UIC for three ISF World Championships, assistant UIC for 1974 Women’s World Fast Pitch Championship, nine ASA nationals, the 1978 U.S. Olympic Festival and the 1979 Pan American Games. Conducted 280 clinics in 35 states and supervised clinics in seven foreign countries. In January 1996 issue of REFEREE magazine Mason was cited as one of 20 people who have most influenced sports officiating in the last 20 years. Retired from DuPont Company in 1985 after 30 years as a customer service manager. Former athletic director at Wilmington College in New Castle, DE for two years before retiring July 1, 2000. He was the assistant softball coach for 10 years. Tom Mason was born April 1, 1931. In 2007 was one of three ASA people named among 52 as most influential in officiating history by Referee Magazine. Mason died on December 15, 2014.


Eddie Mayhew

Eddie Mayhew, Indianapolis, Indiana – Umpire

Named Indiana ASA umpire-in-chief in 1976 and served until 1989. Umpired in five ASA nationals and in 1964 toured the Far East for the ASA, conducting clinics for the Armed Forces. In 1981, was inducted into the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame. Lived in Indianapolis, IN. Until dying on January 15, 2003 at age 83.

 

 

 

 


Eddie L. Moore

Eddie L. Moore, Shreveport, Louisiana – Meritorious Service

One of the outstanding managers in men’s fast pitch who led the famed Clearwater, FL Bombers to four national titles and four runners-up between 1946-1957. Also, former Florida ASA commissioner. Served as president of the ASA from 1972-1973. In 1939, he was appointed Clearwater recreation superintendent and was named parks and recreation director in 1956. He retired in 1978. Complex in Clearwater is named after him and was dedicated September 22, 1982. Was a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame Committee. His son, Tommy, also a former Clearwater, FL Bomber, is a member of the Hall of Fame and is a former seven-time All-America. Only father-son combination in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. Eddie died on May 28, 1998 at age 86 at Tallahassee, FL Community Hospital. Was a native of Slidell, LA. Played professional baseball in Birmingham, AL, Savannah, GA and Macon, GA from 1935-1938 after graduating from the University of Florida in 1934.


Don Snyder

Don Snyder, Biloxi, Mississippi – Commissioner

Attended Oklahoma City University on a track scholarship for two years before entering the Merchant Marine Academy in 1942 and graduating as an ensign in 1945. After the Navy, returned to college and earned a B.S. degree in education and a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and was a member of the 1948 Big Ten All-Star track team. Named Mississippi ASA commissioner in 1956 and served 36 years. Led the Biloxi recreation department from 1953 to 1974. He also coached track at Biloxi High School and led youth recreation activities in the school system from 1951 to 1956. After his retirement in 1974, he began a second career as assistant recreation department director for Kessler Air Force Base, where he served for more than 20 years. He was cited as being the key organizer and co-chair of the Biloxi Tricentennial’s Tri-Academy Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Meet, held in Biloxi in April 1999. In 2001, the Donald Snyder Sr. Community Center was dedicated in Biloxi, MS. 2001, honoring Snyder for dedication to the field of recreation and serving as a coach, teacher, and example to countless young people.


Nancy Welborn

Nancy Welborn, Eugene, Oregon – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

She did not know it at the time, but when Nancy Welborn opted to stay in Eugene, OR and finish her final year of high school, instead of going with her parents to Montana, it turned out to be one of the most important decisions of her career. By staying in Eugene, Jack Moore, manager of McCulloch Chain Saws, was able to work with Nancy, who was then pitching figure-eight. Because of her height (5-11) and coordination, Moore figured Nancy would be better as a windmill pitcher. As history has documented, Moore’s assessment was correct because Welborn developed into an outstanding pitcher. Between that time, however, a lot of work was done as they worked three times a week on speed, then control. Wild at first, Nancy eventually developed, beating Yakima 1-0 in 20 innings in the regional final and a berth in the national tourney in 1965. In 1966, the Chain Saws beat Yakima twice in the regional final to earn another berth in the finals. This time the Chain Saws finished fifth in the nationals and Welborn was again named an All-America. The 1965 national champ Orange, CA Lionettes needed pitching and asked Nancy to join the team. She originally said no but had a change of heart. It was a decision neither Welborn nor the Lionettes would regret. From 1969-1975, Welborn recorded 306 wins and 68 losses with 27 no-hitters and 46 one-hitters. She was a first-team All-America in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973, winner of the MVP award and the Bertha Tickey Award in 1970 and winner of the Tickey Award in 1969, 1971 and 1972. After hurling the Lionettes to the national title, the Lionettes earned a berth in the ISF World Championship in Osaka, Japan and finish second behind Japan. Welborn set ISF records for wins (six) and innings pitched (50). In eight nationals, she compiled a 34-11 record with an ERA of 0.39, striking out 288 batters in 338 innings, allowing 169 hits and walking 37. Not a high average hitter, Welborn was runner-up in RBI for the Lionettes in 1971 and in 1973 led the team in assists. In seven years with the Lionettes she made only 51 errors in 411 games for a .945 fielding percentage. At the regional level, she had a 10-2 won-loss record with an ERA of 0.21 in 98 innings.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1983


Ed Dressler

Ed Dressler, Bethpage, New York – Umpire

Served as member of the ASA National Umpire staff from 1976-1997 and retired after UIC Clinic in 1997. Received National Award of Excellence at clinic. Umpired first national tournament in 1960 in Jones Beach, NY in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National. Also umpired seven slow pitch nationals. First tourney he was UIC for was 1963. Was Nassau County UIC for more than 30 years and Metro Long Island UIC for more than 17 years. Also, he was a baseball and basketball official for more than 30 years. Inducted into the Long Island ASA Hall of Honor in 1977. Graduated from Hofstra University in 1950. Dressler died on October 30, 2003 at age 78.

 

 


Ida Jean Hopkins

Ida Jean Hopkins, Cleveland, Ohio – Women’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

Before being admitted into the Olympics in 1996, softball had an Olympian. But it was not for softball. It was for luge, and Ida Jean (Hoppy) Hopkins, a National Softball Hall of Famer, from Cleveland, OH, earned that destination. “John Nagy (former ASA Cleveland Metro Commissioner and president) thought I could do anything,” said Hopkins. “So, he suggested I try out for the luge team.” Hopkins made the 1972 team, but unfortunately never competed in the Olympics. She bruised her back in practice and “was disappointed” she never competed in the individual competition. She still attended the competition in Japan, however, and considers the experience “one of the highlights” of her career. Another highlight was winning the ASA Women’s Major Slow Pitch Championship with Ridge Maintenance of Cleveland, OH in 1967. That year Hoppy also captured her first of three MVP awards. She also was National Tourney MVP in 1968 and 1970 In 1970, Hoppy won her third MVP award as well as earning another All-America award plus leading the national tourney in batting (.704 average, 19-for-27).


Bonnie Jones

Bonnie Jones, Detroit, Michigan – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

The name had already been picked in advance by his parents when the baby was born February 2, 1933. The name was Bonnie, but the baby turned out to be a boy. The name wasn’t changed, however, and Bonnie Jones went on to become a star pitcher in fast pitch softball. How Jones became a pitcher is interesting. At 11, he missed the last six weeks of school recovering from an appendicitis. Joe Wierbicki, a neighbor, heard Jones had a live arm and taught him how to pitch. It was not until he was 16, however, that Jones gave up his duties as bat boy for Hazel Park Jewelry to pitch in the league. “I lost my first game, then I had a no-hitter and finally ended with nine straight wins,” said Jones, who was declared ineligible for the league and was forced to play up. By 1956, Jones played in his first of 12 ASA national championships, compiling a 33-17 record (.660 winning percentage) and winning the MVP award in 1961 and 1964 and the outstanding pitcher award in the 1970 ASA national championship. Despite Jones’ awesome performance in the 1961 national, winning eight games and hurling 77 2/3 innings, the Burch Grinders finished runner-up. Jones was a five-time ASA All-American and shares the record for most wins in a national tourney (eight) and is second for most innings pitched. On July 14, 1978, Jones died from injuries suffered in a car accident.


Joan Joyce

Joan Joyce, Boca Raton, Florida – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Softball is a team sport. But Hall of Famer Joan Joyce dominated it if it was an individual sport during a 21-year career for the Orange, CA Lionettes and the Raybestos Brakettes, Stratford, CT. Born August 19, 1940, Joyce made her debut with the Brakettes in 1956 and played for them through 1963. From 1964-1966, she compiled a record of 80 wins and six losses pitching for the Orange, CA Lionettes. She re-joined the Brakettes in 1967 and remained until retiring after the 1975 season. As a Brakette, she won 429 games and lost 27 and struck out 5,677 batters in 3,397 innings. She hurled 105 no-hitters and 33 perfect games. Besides being a great hurler, Joyce also was one of the game’s all-time top hitters, finishing her career with a .327 batting average that included leading the Brakettes in batting times six times (1962, 1960, 1967-1969, 1973). Her highest single season average was .406 in 1973. She was a member of 12 national championship teams and 18 times was named an ASA All-America. Eight times she shared or won outright the MVP award in the Women’s National Championship. In 1974, Joan led the Brakettes to the world title in the third ISF Women’s World Championship. She was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 1999. Named by Sports Illustrated that year as the 13th greatest sports figure in Connecticut history.

“Joan Joyce was one of those rare people to enjoy success as both a player and a coach. After concluding an illustrious playing career that spanned parts of four decades in numerous sports, Joyce was named Head Softball Coach at FAU in 1994. The 2022 season was her 28th with the Owls. She was the only FAU softball head coach in program history, racking up 1,002 wins and eight Conference Coach of the Year titles in three different conferences along the way. Under Joyce, the program’s accomplishments are unparalleled: eight-consecutive Conference Championships (1997-2004) – 12 in all (2006, 2007, 2016, 2018) – and eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1997-2004) – 11 in all (2006, 2015, 2016).” Joan passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2022. She was 81 years old.


Bob Kuykendall

Bob Kuykendall, Waynesville, North Carolina – Men’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

After playing baseball in the Milwaukee Braves’ farm system, Kuykendall switched to fast pitch softball and became one of the top catchers in the game playing for the Clearwater, FL Bombers. Kuykendall played in his first ASA national tourney in 1960 for Canton, NC, then joined the Bombers in 1962. He earned All-America honors that year, batting .389 in the national tourney. He also earned All-America honors in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967. He helped the Bombers win national titles in 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1968, finish second in 1965 and third in 1967. Kuykendall retired as a player after the 1972 season, then served as the assistant manager of the Bombers in 1976. Growing up in Waynesville, NC, Kuykendall earned 14 letters in high school while playing football, baseball, basketball, and track. In 1953, he entered Western Carolina College in Cullowhee, NC and lettered in three sports, only the second athlete in school history to accomplish that feat. He played guard on the football team and was all-conference twice. In baseball he played one year and batted .383 and was named all-state. He also was a guard on the basketball team and earned all-state honors. Kuykendall died on February 24, 1995 at age 59 of a heart attack.


Donna Lopiano

Donna Lopiano, Stamford, Connecticut – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Although she had a relatively short fast pitch career-10 years, Donna Lopiano made the most of it. During that time, she earned All-America honors nine times and MVP laurels three times; 1966, 1971 and 1972. In addition, she led the 1972 Women’s Fast Pitch National Tourney in batting with a .429 batting average for the Raybestos Brakettes. Twice she led the Brakettes in hitting, 1970 (.316) and 1972 (.367) and once held the team record for most homers in a season, eight. On the mound, she won 183 games and lost only 18 for a winning percentage of .910, the highest for a pitcher with 150 or more wins. She hurled 817 innings, struck out 1,633 batters and walked only 384. In national championship play, she had a 15-2 record and was a member of six national championship teams and four runners-up. Besides playing in national championships, she also played in the first ISF Women’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Melbourne, Australia in 1965, batting .345 for the Brakettes. An excellent student as an undergraduate, Lopiano has a Ph.D. (1974) and master’s degree (1969) from USC and a B.S. degree from Connecticut State College (1968). She served as the Director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Texas at Austin from 1975 to 1992 and as Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 1992 to 2007.


Bobby Lutz

Bobby Lutz, Denver, North Carolina – Manager

Led Howard’s Furniture/Western Steer of Denver, NC to back-to-back titles in 1973-1974. Between 1969-1979 his teams compiled a record of 1,059 wins and only 233 losses for a winning percentage of .820. In addition to the back-to-back titles, his teams finished third three times, second once, fourth once, fifth once and 10th in national championship play. Named Howard’s manager in 1964 after playing on team for six years and managed team for 16 years. Was known as a “quiet motivator.” Lutz died on April 11, 2012.

 

 


Margaret “Toots” Nusse

Margaret “Toots” Nusse, Linden, New Jersey – Meritorious Service

Founder and manager of the Linden, NJ Arians in 1934, she pitched for the team for 28 years, compiling a record of 396 wins and 114 losses with 109 shutouts and 30 no-hitters. She sponsored the team for 42 years and was the team’s manager for 24 years, then business manager. The Arians competed in three ASA national championships: 1942, 1951 and 1954. Nusse died on December 29, 2002 at age 85. Organized the Eastern Major Girls League in 1959 and was elected commissioner of the league. Was ASA deputy commissioner for 20 years and youth commissioner for two years. She also organized the National Girls Softball League, the American Girls Softball League, and the New Jersey Women’s Umpires Association. When Arians celebrated their 50th year in 1984, a dinner was held to honor Nusse for her election to the National Softball Hall of Fame. In 1960 was elected to the New Jersey ASA Hall of Fame.


Bob Quillen

Bob Quillen, Indianapolis, Indiana – Umpire

Started umpiring in 1927 and umpired in 12 ASA nationals. Served as Metro Indianapolis UIC from 1941-1981. He formed the Indianapolis Umpire Association in 1944 and was co-owner of the Metropolitan Softball Stadium from 1962-1986. He was a manager at Johnson Chevrolet Body Shop for 20 years, retiring in 1987. He was a member of the Ancient Landmark Masonic Lodge and a life member of the ASA. He died in December of 1989 at age 78 at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis.

 

 

 


Duane “Tiny” Schafer

Duane “Tiny” Schafer, Jamestown, North Dakota – Commissioner

Served as North Dakota ASA commissioner from 1960 until his death June 25, 1996. He was 71 years old. He was born October 30, 1924. He was co-founder of the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 and was inducted into the F.M. Bowlers Hall of Fame in 1995. Was elected to the North Dakota ASA Hall of Fame in 1974. Served as a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Was public relations director for the North Dakota Division of the United States Brewers Association for 28 years before retiring in 1986. He worked as an accountant for the Milwaukee Railroad for seven years, then was office manager, then sales manager for an automotive parts firm for 11 years.

 

 


Cliff Smith

Cliff Smith, Aurora, Illinois – Meritorious Service

Fast pitch career spanned 33 years and included 19 years as a player and 14 years as a manager for various Illinois teams. He was a member of national championship teams in 1959 and 1960 and twice was named an All-America catcher (1962 and 1963). Cliff was the coach for Aurora, IL Sealmasters when it won the ISF World Championship in 1966. In 1967, he managed the Sealmasters to the national title and a year later to the ISF World title. In 1969, he managed the team to a fourth place in its last year of sponsorship. In 1970, Smith led the Aurora Blue Seals and in 1971 managed the Anixter (Skokie) Bombers to a third place in the national championship. In 1973, Smith managed Home Savings and Loan to an eighth place in the national tourney and between 1974-1977 led the team to four consecutive second place finishes. Smith’s last year as a field boss was 1978 when he led Home Savings and Loan to a 14th place in the national tourney. In 1979, when softball was added to the Pan American Games as an official sport, he was named head coach of the USA Men’s National Team and led team to a silver medal in San Juan, Puerto Rico, losing a 1-0 14 inning decision to Canada in the finals. Smith also managed the Major Fast Pitch All-Stars four times (1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977). Smith died on May 29, 1999. He was 72. His nickname was Joker because of his good sense of humor. He was employed by Stephenson-Adamson for 35 years.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1984


Bob Barron

Bob Barron, Aurora, Illinois – Men’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

Making the transition from baseball to major fast pitch softball can be difficult. It wasn’t for Bob (Beaver) Barron who, in less than two years, was one of the nation’s top softball players. After five years in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, plus two years in the Army, Barron joined the renowned Aurora, IL Sealmasters in 1960. As expected, he did not hit for a high average, .163, but after that gradually improved to where he was one of the team’s consistent .300 average hitters. He batted .287 in 1961, .281 in 1962, .323 in 1972, .305 in 1975, .312 in 1965 and a career high .345 in 1967. Born May 2, 1933, Barron earned the first of his six All-America selections in 1961. The highest Barron batted in a national championship was .350 in 1972 and in 11 nationals he batted .243 (44-for-181). Barron was a member of national championship teams in 1961, 1965 and 1967. He also played in two ISF World Championships, 1966 and 1968, and batted .333 in the 1966 ISF world championship. In July 1996, Barron retired from College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL where he served as assistant softball coach/equipment manager for 26 years.


Lewis D. Brasell

Lewis D. Brasell, Mobile, Alabama – Commissioner

Former Mobile, AL commissioner who was elected to Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Served as deputy commissioner for 11 years and 20 years as Mobile ASA commissioner. Was involved in softball for more than 50 years and was regional vice president from 1980-1981. He hosted and served as director of the first ASA national tournament in Mobile, 1976. Directed 15 regional tournaments and two area tournaments during career as commissioner. Elected to the Mobile Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Alabama Softball Hall of Fame in 1992 as a charter member. The softball complex at Cottage Hill Park in Mobile was named in his honor in 1990. Is commissioner emeritus. Was born August 10, 1918 and died on March 28, 2006.

 


Al Brausch

Al Brausch, Newport, Kentucky – Manager

One of the outstanding managers in the early years of men’s slow pitch, he led Joe Gatliff Auto Sales of Newport, KY to three national titles: 1956, 1957 and 1963. He also had teams finish runner-up twice, third once and fifth twice. In nine ASA national championships his teams compiled a 36-12 won-loss record for a winning percentage of .667.

 

 

 

 


Mickey Davis

Mickey Davis, Huntington Beach, South Carolina – Women’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

As a teenager falling in love with softball in the small town of Ware Shoals, SC, Mickey Davis occasionally read about softball stars and fantasized about becoming one of them. But she realized her dream during a distinguished career with the Atlanta, GA Tomboys, (1964-1966), the Orlando, FL Rebels (1967-68) and the Orange, CA Lionettes (1969-75). Six years in a row (1967-1973) Davis was named an All-American (one first team and five second team) and the year she was not named, 1975, she batted .375 in the national championship, the highest of her career. An outstanding fielder, Davis did not make an error in her first seven nationals and committed only two errors in nine nationals for a fielding percentage of .960 (47 putouts, one assist) and a .231 batting average (30-for-130). In 12 years, Davis compiled a .257 batting average and a .966 fielding percentage. She was a member of two national championship teams (1969-70) and two runners-up. She also batted .375 in the 1970 ISF World Championship in Osaka, Japan as the Lionettes, representing the USA, finished second behind Japan.


Diane Kalliam

Diane Kalliam, San Mateo, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Diane Kalliam could run, field, hit and throw. But she will probably be best remembered for her outstanding hitting during a 15-year career in which she twice led the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Tourney in batting. The first was in 1974 when she batted .444. She followed with a then record .632 batting average in 1975 (12-for-19). Kalliam’s performance was not enough, however, as her team, the Santa Clara Laurels, finished second in the 1975 national championship. Kalliam said losing that championship game was the biggest disappointment of her career. The two biggest thrills of her career were setting the then batting record and playing in pair of national championship finals. After the 1975 season, Kalliam retired and left behind an impressive career including a .427 lifetime batting average with 1,060 hits in 2,843 at-bats with 448 stolen bases. She also scored 842 runs with a personal best of 89 in 1966. Kalliam was born August 24, 1943. Between 1961-69, Kalliam appeared in seven national championships and batted .430 (43-for-100) and was named an All-American five times (1961, 1971, 1973, 1974, and 1975) and All-Regional 13 times. From 1979-1999, she was head softball coach at San Francisco State University and compiled a record of 286-640-5.


J.D. McDonald

J.D. McDonald, McAdenville, North Carolina – Men’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

Starting his softball career at 14, J.D. McDonald ultimately became one of the slickest fielding shortstops in the United States between 1955-1979 playing for the McAdenville, NC Reds. McDonald played in 22 national championships and earned All-America honors 10 times as the Reds won six Major Industrial Slow Pitch national titles. Although the 5-foot-7, 147-pound McDonald was better known for his stellar defense, he could also handle himself at-bat and was a consistent .500 plus hitter. In the 1974 national championship he batted .636. As the first player from North Carolina elected to the Hall of Fame, McDonald played in an era when slow pitch was suited for smaller players who could run, field, hit and throw. The bats were wooden, the balls were not as lively as they are today and 15 to 20 runs per game was the norm. And the teams did not hit home runs by the dozen, so speed and defense were stressed. In his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, McDonald give credit to his sponsor and to his former teammates. “If it had not been for Mr. Pharr, I wouldn’t have had the exposure of having played in all parts of the country. We had some great teams that won many national championships. But I was one member of those teams. I had some great teammates during all the years of playing softball and I want them to know that they share a part of this honor with me.” In December of 1986, McDonald died at age 50.


Jackie Rice

Jackie Rice, Portland, Oregon – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Fast pitch pitcher Jackie Rice did not allow too many earned runs, especially in national championship play. In fact, in 203 1/3 innings of national championship play she allowed less than half a run per game (0.48). And 11 of her 21 wins were shutouts to go along with eight losses. Rice’s pitching helped her teams win three ASA national championships (1964, 1969 and 1970) and she was named an All-American five times (1963, 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1968). She also participated in seven ASA Women’s Fast Pitch All-Star Series (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971). In 1963, Rice achieved a 4-1 pitching record in the national championship and led the Erv Lind Florists of Portland, OR to a runner-up spot. The next year the Florists won it all as Rice was undefeated and was named the tourney MVP. In 1966, Rice played for Fresno and had a 3-1 record in the ASA national championship. In 1967, she joined the Orange, CA Lionettes and helped them win a pair of ASA national championships. In her first year with Lionettes, Rice led the Pacific Coast Women’s League in ERA (0.07) and compiled a 23-14 record and 0.14 ERA. In 1968, Rice had a 4-2 record with an ERA of 1.16 in the ASA national tourney. After the 1974 season, Rice retired as a player to pursue a professional career in the Department of Physical Education, Health and Athletics at Western Oregon College before retiring in 1984.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1985


E. Louise Albrecht

Louise Albrecht, Illmo, Missouri – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Starring as a pitcher and outfielder during a 24-year career, E. Louise Albrecht played for some of the top women’s Major Fast Pitch teams. An outfielder and a pitcher she had a 304-83 pitching record for a .785 winning percentage. Among the teams she played for were the Whittier, CA Gold Sox, Orange, CA Lionettes, California Chaparrals, Dieselettes, Sunnyland Lettes, and the Raybestos Brakettes. A native of Illmo, MO, Albrecht had her best season in 1952, winning 56 of 58 games and batting .300. She had a .258 lifetime batting average. In eight ASA national championships, she won 17 games, lost seven, allowed 77 hits, struck out 82 and allowed only 16 earned runs in 160 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.70. Her six All-America selections were evenly divided between first and second team with first-team selections in 1961, 1962 and 1965 and second-team honors in 1963, 1964 and 1969. In 1962, she also won the tourney’s MVP Award and compiled a 5-2 pitching record. The 5-foot-8, 140-pound Albrecht was a member of national championship teams in 1961 and 1965 and three runners-up: 1966, 1969 and 1972. She was born November 19, 1934. She retired from Southern Connecticut State University in 1992 and was associate athletic director at that time. She was appointed to that position in 1984. She joined the university’s athletic staff in 1970. She was born November 19, 1934.


Sharron Backus

Sharron Backus, Anaheim, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Shortstop

Sharron Backus is one who had an outstanding playing career, then distinguished herself as a coach. Backus played amateur softball from 1961-1975 for the Whittier Gold Sox, the Orange, CA Lionettes and the Raybestos Brakettes. Backus batted .268, .298 and .301 for the Gold Sox and was a second-team All-American in 1961 as the Gold Sox won the national title. Backus spent three years with the Lionettes (1964-1966) and was a first-team All-American in 1964 and 1966. She batted .285, .293 and .263 those three years. Sharron spent the last seven years of her career with the Brakettes and earned All-America laurels three times. She was a member of five more national championship teams (1971-1975) and participated in 13 national tourneys. Backus had a seven-year .292 batting average with the Brakettes with .361 in 1971 her highest batting average. Born February 12, 1946, Backus was named head softball coach at UCLA in 1975 and coached for 21 years before retiring in June of 1997. In 21 years, she compiled a record of 847-167-3 with nine national championships and a post-season record of 118-32.


Jim Galloway

Jim Galloway, Westbury, New York – Men’s Slow Pitch – Infield

If there was one player who brought notoriety and exposure to slow pitch softball in its early days, it was Big Jim Galloway. Standing 6-feet 4 and weighing 230 pounds, Galloway was the long-ball hitter deluxe. His career spanned the period 1946-1980 and he was as exciting player as there was playing slow pitch softball with his tape-measure homers and outstanding defensive plays. He was named an ASA All-American nine times. “Jim was such a gifted athlete that he threw the ball underhanded across the infield. When he started a double play from first base, he would flip the ball backhanded to the shortstop like a second baseman does,” said Doc Linnehan, Jim’s former manager. “He hit the ball harder and further than anybody,” said Dave Neale, former manager of Steele’s Silver Bullets. “Back then you had your sluggers like Tex Collins (of Detroit). Collins hit home runs, but Galloway hit tape-measure home runs.” Jim played in 10 ASA nationals, hitting 75 home runs, and driving in 162 runs. and was a member of a national championship team in 1968, two runners-up (1966 and 1973), one fourth (1969), one 11th, one 12th and one 13th place. Galloway was born June 1, 1935. Jim died on December 19, 2020 at the age of 85.


Erv Lind

Erv Lind, Portland, Oregon – Manager

Former manager of Erv Lind Florists of Portland, OR who were one of the top teams in the Northwest and won the ASA national title in 1944 and 1964. His team played in 14 nationals and 11 times it placed fourth or higher, including five second place finishes. The other three times the team finished fifth, sixth and seventh. Annual award is named after Lind and is given each year to the Outstanding Defensive Player in the ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. Was elected to Northwest Region Hall of Fame in 1984. The softball field at Normandale Park in Portland was dedicated the Erv Lind Field on July 16, 1965. His teams had a won-loss record of 1,113 wins and 324 losses for a winning percentage of .774 from 1937-1964. Lind died on November 19, 1964 at the age of 58.

 


Willie Roze

Wiltraud “Willie” Roze, Hamden, Connecticut – Women’s Fast Pitch – Outfield

Born November 8, 1948 in Germany, Wiltraud (Willie) Roze starred for the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT for 10 years, earning eight All-America selections. Noted for her base running and clutch hitting, Roze was a first team selection in 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1974 and a second team choice in 1968, 1969 and 1973. Except for 1974 when she was named at second base, she was named as an outfielder. Roze played in 10 ASA national championships and batted .248 (53-for-214) and twice, 1967 and 1972, batted .333. She had a .281 career batting average with the Brakettes with 526 hits in 1,869 at-bats, with .342 in 1975 her highest single season batting average. Roze was a member of eight national championship teams during her 10 years and played in the 1974 ISF World Championship, which was held in Stratford, CT. She was the fifth leading hitter on the team with a .455 batting average (10-for-22). Winning that World championship, Roze said, was the greatest thrill of her career. Her greatest disappointment was in 1969 when the Brakettes did not win the national title and thus missing qualifying for a spot in the ISF World Championship in Osaka, Japan. A graduate of Southern Connecticut State, where she obtained both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees, Roze played three years of pro softball after retiring from amateur softball in 1975.


Jack Spore

Jack Spore, Nashville, Tennessee – Commissioner

Was associated with softball for more than 40 years and served as Tennessee state commissioner for two decades. During his career served two terms as chairman of the Awards Committee and served on Finance, Building and Hall of Fame Committees. In 1978, received award for registering most youth teams in ASA. In 1982, was director of the first Winston-ASA Slow Pitch All-Star Series. Under his leadership, Tennessee hosted 10 ASA national tourneys. In 1955 Spore received National Orchid for his outstanding work in recreation. The Dixie Softball Association honored Spore as Softball’s Best Friend. In 1971, he was recognized by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association for 25 years of active officiating in football and basketball. Served four terms as president of the TSSAA officials. Was selected as Sportsman of the Year in 1982 by the Nashville BANNER. Spore is a Peabody College graduate and has a master’s degree from the same college. Spore died December 26, 1987 at age 69.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1986


Herb Dudley

Herb Dudley, Clearwater, Florida Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

Herb Dudley pitched in seven decades, starting in 1939 and ending in 1981. He played 13 years for the Clearwater, FL Bombers. He played in their first game in 1940 and ended his career with them in 1981. In between came stops in Atlanta, GA, Ashland, OH, Levittown, NY, Long Island, NY, Fort Wayne, IN, St. Petersburg, FL, Miami, FL, Sunnyvale, CA, Rising Sun, MD, Birmingham, AL, and Allentown, PA. He was named an ASA All-American five times, compiling a 28-9 record in 16 ASA nationals. Between 1946-1950, Herb had a 142-10 record for the Bombers and hurled 110 shutouts with 45 no-hitters. His records were 25-0, 23-3, 27-1, 31-2 and 36-4 with 2,475 strikeouts. In 1951 and 1952, Dudley had records of 17-2 and 24-4 for the Fort Wayne, IN Zollner Pistons before rejoining Clearwater in 1953 and staying through the 1958 season. In the 1949 national, he set the ASA record for most strikeouts in a game with 55 against Okmulgee, OK in 21 innings, September 21. He finished the tourney with 130 strikeouts. It remained the record until broken by Mike Piechnik of the Farm Tavern, Madison, WI in 1988 with 140. Dudley was born December 19, 1919 and died on March 16, 2007 at age 87.


Peggy Kellers

Peggy Kellers, Stratford, Connecticut – Women’s Fast Pitch – Catcher

All but one season of Peggy Kellers’ softball career was spent with the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT from 1964-1974. During that time, Peggy earned All-America honors six times playing in 11 ASA nationals as the Brakettes won seven national titles. Peggy started nine of the 11 years she played for the Brakettes and had a .218 batting average with 280 hits in 1,287 at-bats with 29 doubles, 21 triples, seven homers and 121 runs batted in. She batted .238 in national championship play. In addition, Kellers also played in seven Women’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series, the third ISF Women’s World Fast Pitch Championship in 1974 (.238 BA) and the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada where softball was a demonstration sport. Complications from surgery on her right arm in September of 1974 forced her to retire from softball before the start of the 1975 season. A native of Stratford, CT, Peggy has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State (1970), a master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport (1977) and a doctorate in sports psychology from the University of Virginia (1989). In 1993, Peggy was named head coach at the University of Virginia and remained there until 1997 (123-97 record). In 1994, Peggy was named Atlantic Coach Conference Coach of the Year. Kellers was born March 19, 1948.


Chris “Pettina” Miner

Chris “Pettina” Miner, Portland, Oregon – Women’s Fast Pitch – Infield

The youngest player ever named an ASA All-American in women’s major fast pitch, Chris Miner started her softball career in 1960 with the Portland Rosebuds, a junior team. In 12 years—she sat out the 1968 and 1969 seasons—Miner played for the Rosebuds, Erv Lind Florists, Dr. Bernard’s, the Sun City Saints, Sun City, AZ, the Fresno, CA Rockets and the Fullerton, CA Royals. Born July 2, 1946, Miner played in seven ASA national championships and was a member of the 1964 ASA national champion Erv Lind Florists. She was named an All-American five times: 1962 (.227 BA), 1963 (.318), 1965 (.263), 1970 (.316) and 1972 (.462). In 1972 she also was named winner of the Erv Lind Award as the outstanding defensive player in the Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. Despite having a broken thumb, she played errorless ball for the Fresno Rockets at shortstop in five games. “It meant (winning the award) so much to be because it was Erv’s,” said Miner. Lind was one of the people who greatly influenced Miner’s career. “He was a great influence, a great man, a first-class person. I can ‘t say enough good things about him,” Miner said.Miner also singled out Portland coaches Lois Williams and Hap Piper for praise. “They were two different type of coaches, but they would get the best from you. Portland coach Harvey Oberg also was important. “He was like the father I didn’t have,” Miner said. Miner retired after the 1973 season as a player.


Mack Phillips

Mack Phillips, Grosse Point Woods, Michigan – Meritorious Service

Mack’s career dates to 1939 as a player for Briggs Beautyware of Detroit, MI. He played 17 years for Briggs and was named an ASA All-American in 1949. From 1952-1955 he managed the team and it won ASA major fast pitch national titles in 1952 and 1953. In 1954 team was runner-up in national fast pitch tourney. Sponsored East Side Sporting Goods in 1958 as team won ASA Open slow pitch national title. Member of Michigan ASA Hall of Fame and Metro Detroit Hall of Fame.

 

 

 


O.W. “Bill” Smith

O.W. “Bill” Smith, Bennington, Nebraska – Commissioner

Former Nebraska ASA commissioner from 1967-1998. Served as president of the ASA from 1990-91. Director of the National Softball Centennial celebration. Director of softball for Explorer Olympics for eight years. Inducted into Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame in 1980. Vice chairman of JO Committee for 10 years. Former chairman of the JO Committee (1989). Served three terms as regional vice-president. Listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest for outstanding community service. Honorary member of the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame. Alternate delegate to the USOC House of Delegates meeting three years. Awarded a life membership in the Nebraska PTA Congress for outstanding service to youth recreation and sports. Former member of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Elected to ISF Hall of Fame in 2001. Bill died on April 23, 2012.


Hal Wiggins

Hal Wiggins, Covington, Kentucky – Men’s Slow Pitch – Outfield

Wiggins had a 31-year career in softball and was known for his clutch hitting and solid defensive play in the outfield for some of the top teams in Northern Kentucky in the early days of slow pitch softball. Wiggins played in 15 ASA national championships including 12 slow pitch, two Major Industrial and one Major fast pitch (1949). He was a member of four national championship teams, including the first ASA Men’s Slow Pitch national champ, Shield’s Contractors in 1953, Lang’s Pet Shop (1955) and Joe Gatliff Auto Sales (1957 and 1963). Besides the national championship teams, he played on teams that were runners-up four times, third three times, fourth once and fifth once (fast pitch). The slow pitch teams he played for compiled a record of 68-23 in national championship play. In the 14 slow pitch nationals he played in, Wiggins hit between .428 and .750 (1958). Three times he was named an ASA All-American: 1956 (.666 batting average); 1961 (.650 batting average) and 1963 (.519 average, two homers). In 31 years of playing Wiggins estimated he played more than 5,000 league and tournament games. Wiggins said the greatest thrill of his career was in 1963 when his team was 12 runs down going into the bottom of the sixth and it came back to win 13-12. The person who influenced his softball career the most was his manager Al Brausch. In January of 1985, he was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame. He was born December 20, 1928 and died on October 15, 1996 from cancer. In 1999, Wiggins was elected to the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1987


Rose Marie “Rosie” Adams

Rose Marie “Rosie” Adams, Escondido, California – Women’s Fast Pitch – Second Base

At 14 the youngest person to play in an ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship, Rosie Adams played seven years for the Orange CA Lionettes and four years for the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT. The back-up infielder in 1965-1966, Rosie made the Lionettes’ starting lineup in 1967 and continued through the 1970 season. In 1971, she joined the Brakettes and earned first-team All-America honors 1971-1973. With the Lionettes, Rosie was named a second-team All-American in 1969 as the Lionettes won the title and qualified to represent the USA in the ISF World Championship in Osaka, Japan. She also competed in the 1974 ISF World Championship. Rosie rejoined the Brakettes in 1971 and was a member of four consecutive national championship teams. In four years with the Brakettes, Adams had a .279 batting average in national championship play and batted .187 in 11 national championships (29-for-155). Although all her defensive stats are not available, she had a .959 fielding percentage in six years with the Lionettes, making 802 putouts and recording 520 assists with only 56 errors. She had a .209 batting average with 340 hits in 1,624 at-bats with 133 RBIs. She was born August 22, 1951 and died on May 15, 2018.


Carl “Tex” Collins

Carl “Tex” Collins, Detroit, Michigan – Men’s Slow Pitch – Catcher

When Detroit men’s slow pitch teams were the toast of the softball world, 6-feet-4 inch, 260-pound plus Carl “Tex” Collins was one of the players supplying the offense. Collins, who died in 1980, played in nine ASA national championships and earned All-America honors four times. The first was in 1967 when he batted .630, hit 13 homers (including six in a row) and drove in 27 runs. The second All-America selection came in 1969 as Collins led Little Caesars to third place in the national tourney, batting .654 (17-for-26) with four homers and 11 RBI. Little Caesars won the national title in 1970, defeating defending champion Copper Hearth of Milwaukee, WI with Collins batting .625 and hitting five homers, including four in the championship game. But he wasn’t named an All-American. In 1972, Collins was named All-American for a third time. Caesars finished seventh in 1972 as Collins batted .582 with five homers and 15 RBIs. His fourth and final All-America selection came in 1973, batting .541, hitting 11 homers and driving in 19 runs to lead Little Caesars to a third-place finish. Born in Miami (pronounced Miam-ah in Oklahoma), OK in 1934, Collins died of a heart attack in 1980.


Henry Flowers

Henry Flowers, Copley, Ohio – Umpire

Was involved in officiating for more than 30 years. Umpired in two Class A nationals, three Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals, the 1984 ISF Men’s World Championship in Midland, MI and the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela. Was ISF certified in 1980. Was born January 9, 1929.

 

 

 

 


Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey, Midland, Michigan – Umpire

One of the original founders of the ASA National Umpire School in 1980, Humphrey umpired from 1953-1984 and served as a member of the ASA National Umpire staff from 1977-1990. He umpired in the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National and the Men’s Modified Pitch National in 1975, and the Men’s Major Fast Pitch All-Star Series a year later. He was the UIC for the 1978 and 1981 U.S. Olympic Festivals and the 1979 Pan American Games Trials. He umpired the 1981 NAIA College World Series, the 1983 Division One NCAA World Series, World Games One (1981) and the 1984 ISF Men’s World Championship in Midland, MI. He was ISF certified in 1979 and served as Great Lakes Regional director from 1988-1996. He was the Michigan Amateur Softball Association commissioner from 1990-2000 and executive director of the Michigan Amateur Softball Association from 1987-2000. Served as president of the ASA from 1997-1998 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1988-2000. In April of 2000, Humphrey accepted a position as director of membership services at the ASA national office and remained in that position until retiring June 1, 2002. Humphrey has a B.S. degree in recreation from Michigan State University. Is a member of the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame (1992) and the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame (1982). In 2007 was named one of the 52 most influential in officiating history by Referee Magazine. Humphrey was born March 18, 1939.


Alfred “Red” Morton

Alfred “Red” Morton, Redwood City, California – Commissioner

Red was a people person who would do anything to help people out. Served as Northern California ASA commissioner 1951-1971 and later as regional vice-president, 1956 and 1960. Also, a member of the San Mateo Sports Hall of Fame. Worked for the Redwood City Parks and Recreation Department from 1937-1971 as its first recreation director. Born in 1907 and died in 1971 at age 64.

 

 

 


Lorene Ramsey

Lorene Ramsey, Pekin, Illinois – Women’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

It did not matter to Lorene Ramsey, a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame since 1987, if she was playing a game of softball or practicing for one. “I loved to play the game. I even loved practice,” said Ramsey. In a career that spanned more than two decades, Lorene established herself as a Hall of Fame pitcher as the mainstay for the Chuck McCord Pekin, IL Lettes. Between 1955-1972 Ramsey played for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, Sunnyland Lettes, and Pekin Lettes, compiling a won-loss record of 401-90 and a winning percentage of .816. Before 1955, she achieved a pitching record of 82-32 for amateur teams in St. Louis. She was 21-1 in 1951, 7-21 in 1952, 20-5 in 1953 and 34-5 in 1954. She played in the first of 13 ASA national championships in 1954 and compiled a 3-1 record for the fourth-place St. Louis Kutis Funeral Home. In national championship play, Lorene won 22 games, lost 22 and four times was named an ASA All-American (1959, 1960, 1965 and 1970). She also participated in three ASA Women’s Fast Pitch All-Star Series. In 18 years, Ramsey fanned 3,811 batters in 3,460 innings, allowed 1,793 hits, 277 runs and 616 walks. Her lifetime ERA was 0.56. In 1965 and 1966 she was named MVP of the Houston, TX Warren Paine Tournament, annually one of the top women’s tournaments then. In 1965, Ramsey pitched 98 1/3 scoreless innings for the Pekin Lettes, breaking the old mark of 59 held by Hall of Famer Marie Wadlow. Ramsey was born July 10, 1936. Retired April 1, 2003 from Illinois Central College. Is also a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, TN.


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1988


John Anquillare

John Anquillare, New Haven, Connecticut – Men’s Fast Pitch – Third Base

Although he never realized his dream of being an NFL quarterback, Anquillare had an outstanding career against the best of men’s fast pitch in 18 years of fast pitch competition. Convinced to give fast pitch softball a try after starring as a college baseball player at the University of New Haven, Anquillare was an immediate hit with the renowned Raybestos Cardinals. He led the team in batting (.296) in 1966 and two years later (1968) broke the Cards’ all-time one season hitting mark by two points with a .432 average. Anquillare twice more batted .400 or higher in his career with a .426 average in 1971 and a .400 average in 1972. Eight times he led the Cardinals in hitting and finished his career with a .345 lifetime batting average. In 1,017 games, Anquillare scored 632 runs, hit 158 doubles, belted 67 homers, and drove in 492 runs. He had a .513 lifetime slugging percentage and earned ASA All-America honors seven times in 13 national tourneys and twice was the MVP in the national championship (1970 and 1983). He also played (.318 BA) in the 1984 ISF World Championship in Midland, MI as the USA won a bronze medal after winning the 1983 ASA National Tourney in an upset. Anquillare was born March 31, 1942.


Rex R. Brown

Rex R. Brown, Bremerton, Washington – Umpire

Served as Washington State UIC from 1972-1981 and was appointed to ASA National Umpire staff in March of 1981 and served until 1993. He umpired in five ASA national championships and two ISF World Championships. Served as the UIC at two U.S. Olympic Festivals, 1982 and 1986, and 12 ASA adult and Junior Olympic nationals. He conducted numerous clinics overseas and was ISF certified in 1978. He was born on October 7, 1923 in Charleston, WA. Rex Brown died on January 12, 2009. He was 85 years old.

 

 


Vinnie Caserto

Vinnie Caserto, Marlboro, New York – Men’s Fast Pitch – First Base

Calling fast pitch softball “the greatest team sport that I ever played,” Caserto was a pitcher’s nightmare between 1971 and 1984 playing for the Little Brahaus Brewers of Poughkeepsie, NY, the Raybestos Cardinals of Stratford, CT and the Franklin Cardinals of West Haven, CT. A four-time All-American, he smashed 170 homers and drove in 583 runs during his career to go along with his .329 lifetime batting average. Four of the eight years he played for the Cardinals he led them in batting and was twice named an All-American (1976 and 1983). He also twice was an alternate for the USA Pan American team (1979 and 1983). He also batted .280 in the 1984 ISF World Championship. In his first year (’76) with the Cardinals, Caserto led the team in batting (.384) and homers (11). In 1979, he again led the team in batting (.360) and homers (18). He played in 11 ASA national tourneys and twice was a member of a national championship team (1976 and 1983). Before joining the Cardinals, Caserto starred for Little Brauhaus and helped them finish third twice in the national championship. Caserto batted .336 in his first year with Poughkeepsie and was an All-American. He batted .444 in the 1972 national championship to lead all hitters as well as being named an All-American again. Caserto was born June 12, 1946.


John Deaver

John Deaver, Louisville, Kentucky – Commissioner

Served as Kentucky ASA commissioner from 1933-1963 and was eighth president of the ASA from 1955-1956. Was the first president of the ASA to receive presidential recognition in organizing National Softball Week during the Eisenhower administration. Helped organize the first ASA National Slow Pitch Tournament in Cincinnati, OH in 1953 and was overall director of second ASA Slow Pitch National Tourney in 1954 in Louisville, KY. One of the original members of the ASA, he had a career as the registrar of the Louisville Scottish Rite after retiring from softball.

 

 


Gene Fisher

Gene Fisher, Denver, North Carolina – Men’s Slow Pitch – Catcher

The first former Howard’s Furniture/Western Steer player elected to the Hall of Fame, Fisher compiled a .562 lifetime batting average during a 24-year career, hitting an estimated 3,000 home runs and driving in more than 2,000 runs. From 1970-1983, Fisher averaged .558 and smashed 1,439 homers as Howard’s won back-to-back Open slow pitch national titles (1973-1974) and the Super Division national title twice (1981 and 1983). The 1973 national championship Fisher called his “greatest thrill in softball,” while not winning a record third title in a row in 1975 in Cleveland, OH was his greatest disappointment. The Cleveland tournament was played in almost swamp-like conditions as Howard’s was eliminated by Poindexter Lumber in the loser’s bracket. Poindexter then lost to Pyramid Cafe of Cleveland, OH in the championship game, 11-7. Fisher’s All-America selections came in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1978. He batted .658 with 23 homers and 20 RBIs in 1973, .429 with seven homers and 12 RBIs in 1974, .480 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 1975 and .583 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs in 1978. Fisher was born April 20, 1941 in Long Island, NC.


Howard B. Honaker

Howard B. Honaker, Ashland, Ohio – Commissioner

Succeeded Nick Barack as Ohio ASA commissioner. Served as president of the ASA from 1980-1981. Former member of the International Joint Rules Committee on Softball. Served on various ASA committees during his career including Hall of Fame. Under his leadership, Ohio ASA has been one of the ASA’s strongest associations and among the leaders in team membership for many years. Served as chairman of the Hall of Fame Foundation. Has served as regional vice-president for all but two years since 1970. Is a member of the Ohio State ASA, Ashland, OH and Akron, OH Halls of Fame. Honaker died on August 1, 2018.

 

 


William “Red” Jenkins

William “Red” Jenkins, McAdenville, North Carolina – Manager

Managed Pharr Yarn Reds of McAdenville, NC to three Major Industrial slow pitch titles, 1960, 1961 and 1963. Also had teams finish runner-up twice (1957 and 1965), fourth twice (1959 and 1966) and fifth once (1962) in national championship play. Managed from 1955-1969 with his teams winning 61 games and losing 24 for a winning percentage of .714 in national championship play.

 

 

 


Al Lewis

Al Lewis, Stratford, Connecticut – Men’s Fast Pitch – Pitcher

It is not often that the team bat boy becomes a Softball Hall of Famer. Unless of course you are Al “The Horse” Lewis, who served as the bat boy for the renowned Raybestos Cardinals from 12-17. While Lewis took care of the bats, Hall of Fame pitcher Johnny Spring taught Lewis the finer points of pitching. Lewis idolized Spring. Spring’s instruction paid off as Lewis eventually pitched his way into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. Four times Lewis earned All-America honors and in 1976 was MVP of the men’s fast pitch national championship after hurling the Cardinals to the title. Lewis won all five games and allowed only one run in 37 innings to finish with an ERA of 0.19. In 12 ASA national championships, Lewis compiled a 20-11 record and was a member of five national championship teams. He had a 1-0 record in the 1984 ISF World Championship as the Cardinals represented the USA and won a bronze medal. In 1979, Lewis was one of the four pitchers on the USA Pan Am Team. He finished his career with a record of 325 wins and only 91 losses. Lewis was a battler right to the end of his career when he lost a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer on May 23, 1994. He was born September 20, 1944.


Roy Lombardo

Roy Lombardo, Detroit, Michigan – Manager

Managed from 1954-1975 and won three ASA Open slow pitch national titles: 1958 with East Side Sporting Goods, Michael’s Lounge in 1966 and Little Caesars in 1970. The 1966 Michael’s Lounge team and the 1970 Little Caesars of Detroit, MI were undefeated in the national championships. His teams also were runner-up in 1967 and 1971, third in 1969 and 1973, fifth in 1964 and seventh in 1972. Lombardo died on August 3, 2010.

 

 

 


Don E. Porter

Don E. Porter, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Meritorious Service

Served as ASA executive director for 35 years before taking over as president of the International Softball Federation. During his tenure as ASA executive director, the Association had outstanding growth and development of softball, including building of ASA national office, National Softball Hall of Fame, and Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. Porter joined ASA in May 1962, as an assistant to former executive secretary -treasurer Gene Martin and was named executive secretary-treasurer in January of 1963. Position was later changed to executive director. Porter campaigned for more than two decades to get softball into the Olympics. That became a reality in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. Porter was born May 18, 1930 and is a native of Southern California. Prior to coming to ASA national office, Porter served as Southern California ASA commissioner. Was also the president of the International Softball Federation in Plant City, FL before that dissolved and became part of the WBSC.


Maxine Thayer

Maxine Thayer, Indianapolis, Indiana – Manager

First Lady of softball in Indianapolis, she managed women’s fast pitch teams from 1956-1984, compiling a record of 1,118 wins and 475 losses for .702 winning percentage. Her teams won 28 Metro titles and competed in seven ASA nationals: 1956, 1957, 1963, 1968, 1969, 1973 and 1974. Best finish was a third in 1974. Also, a member of Indianapolis ASA Hall of Fame. Thayer died on July 13, 2006.

 

 

 

 


NATIONAL SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1989


Tom Beck

Tom Beck, Tidewater, Virginia – Meritorious Service

Served as slow pitch manager, UIC and commissioner during his career in softball. Led Virginia Beach Piledrivers to the 1971 ASA Major slow pitch national title led by Hall of Famer Bert Smith. As a manager, his teams won 1,802 games and lost 593 for a .751 winning percentage. His teams participated in 14 ASA nationals and finished in the top 10 seven times. Served as his association’s UIC from 1963-1968 and was named Metro commissioner in 1974 and served until 1988. Served as the Central Atlantic region vice-president from 1981-1982. In 1983, was elected to the Tidewater ASA Hall of Fame. As a commissioner, hosted three nationals and 26 regionals. Is a member of the ASA National Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Was a commissioner emeritus on the National Council until his death on March 13, 2016.


Raymond “Whitey” Brown

Raymond “Whitey” Brown, Williamstown, Kentucky – Men’s Slow Pitch – Shortstop

When Northern Kentucky teams dominated in the early days of slow pitch, Raymond (Whitey) Brown was one of the players leading the way. Brown’s career started in 1946 and concluded in 1984. He played an estimated 5,000 games. Brown played for some of the outstanding men’s teams, including Lang’s Pet Shop, Yorkshire Restaurant and Gatliff Auto Sales. He started out playing fast pitch before switching to slow pitch in 1955. He played in 15 ASA Nationals and was a three-time All-American. (1956, 1959 and 1964). He batted .400 (12-for-30) in the 1956 tourney for national runner-up Lang’s Pet Shop, leading his team in RBIs (13) and sharing the home run leadership with John Stephens (3). In the 1959 tourney Brown batted .355. Brown was a member of five national championship teams: Joe Gatliff Auto three times, Lang’s Pet Shop once and Yorkshire Restaurant once, all between 1955-63. Brown is the fourth member of the Gatliff team to earn amateur softball’s highest honor. Brown retired from the General Electric Company in 1987, but still enjoys playing Senior Slow Pitch. Brown was born March 4, 1925 and died on July 15, 2017.


Bill Finley

Bill Finley, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Umpire

Served on the National Umpire staff from 1974-1981. Was Metro OKC UIC for more than 30 years and is a member of the OKC Metro Hall of Fame. Served as the UIC at more than 20 ASA nationals. An accomplished clinician, Finley received a certificate of appreciation from the Department of Army for patriotic civilian services for his Far East clinic in 1973. Twice he was selected to give clinics overseas in Germany and Southeast Asia. Received outstanding umpire award from the All-American Umpire School. Also, an outstanding football official, he was selected to work the Oklahoma state playoffs 11 times and once officiated two classes in one year. Also officiated the prestigious Oil Bowl four times. Also was a basketball official during his career. In 1992, was inducted into the Oklahoma Officials Hall of Fame. Was born July 12, 1932.