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Sept. 1, 2012

24 ELECTED TO NATIONAL HALL OF FAME

Jack Sirard contributing writer
Twenty-four managers, players, pioneer players and officials have been elected to the 2012 National Senior Softball Hall of Fame.

The National Senior Softball Hall of Fame was founded in 1995 in Chattanooga, Tenn., and is now headquartered in Mustang, Ok. Its purpose is to recognize players, managers, umpires, directors, and sponsors, who have achieved the highest honors in Senior Softball.

Here is this year’s class and a written comment from one of the individual’s supporters:

Manager Ken Lipinski: "Ken's commitment to senior softball over the past two decades has certainly qualified him for inclusion in the NSSHOF. Ken and his players have always exhibited excellent sportsmanship, which is sometimes not as noticeable at the Major Plus level. Without question he has managed the most outstanding 50+ team in the U.S. in recent years."

Pioneer Manager Ted Lawson: "There is not a sport that Ted has not tried and has been successful in most. He certainly would meet any of the three Hall of Fame categories, Manager, Player, or Pioneer. In 25 years of senior softball he has been a player, manager and been selected to six All-Tournament teams and has won seven championship rings."

Pioneer Player Daniel Ayala: "Daniel's athleticism and defensive softball skills enable him to play all positions, a real coach's dream. Ayala's offensive skills are above average and he always hits the ball strategically."

Pioneer Player Stephen Boinski: "Steve (Bo) is one of the most talented players with whom I have had the privilege of playing over the years. His skills include, although not limited to, pitching, shortstop, outfielder, and he is an awesome hitter."

Pioneer Player Ray Burr: "Ray has spent over 50 years playing, coaching and managing in our program. He has always been a leader for every team he has represented. His love for the game and his humility have endeared him to teammates and opponents alike."

Pioneer Player Wayne Campbell: "Wayne is an outstanding outfielder, with good speed, strong arm, and great range. Always hitting for a high average, he is also a long ball hitter, who can hit in the clutch. Wayne is a fine person, on and off the field, and is a great ambassador for the game.”

Pioneer Player Ray Petty: Ray has for years been one of the most outstanding Senior Softball players in the country. He has performed at the highest level regarding not only his softball play, but his personal attitude towards the game."

Pioneer Player Charles Sarver: "Charlie is a multifaceted individual being an outstanding hitter, team player, teacher and innovator. Were I a manager, I would want the luxury of writing Charlie Sarver's name on the lineup card for every game!"

Pioneer Player Marlo Termini: "Marlo is an outstanding softball player who has won numerous All-Tourney, All-World, All-American, and MVP honors. He is a superb defensive player, an accomplished runner (who also runs for other players), a player with exceptional instincts and an excellent accurate throwing arm, and a good hitter. He is a spark plug who ignites success."

Pioneer Player Jack Westbrook: As Jack's manager for the past 12 years, and as his friend for many years more, I have had many occasions to observe and evaluate his performance. Jack has consistently displayed maximum effort, ability, and production."

Player Robert Conrad: "Offensively Bob is known for hitting with power, but he also knows how to adjust to the game situation to hit for a single when that's the percentage play. Defensively, he is an outstanding outfielder. He reads the ball off the bat very well and thus gets an excellent jump on the ball. With good speed and his long arms, Bob reels in fly balls that most players would miss."

Player Randy Fithian: "Randy has been one of the most dedicated team members that I have ever had the privilege to coach. He is a versatile and energetic player who never complains and can be found helping his teammates when they are not going well."

Player Jesse Martinez: "Jesse is always a pleasure to manage in that he comes prepared, plays the game hard, and is never critical of his or other teammates. He is considered a ferocious competitor and at the same time, he’s a true gentleman.

Player Pat McLellan: "Pat is one of those players that I refer to as a franchise player. He is generally money in the bank in terms of base hits and getting you a hit when you really need it."

Player Mike Pickett: "When competing against Mike, we feared his bat. If you're lucky enough that the ball remains in the park, you better get the ball into the infield in a hurry because with Mike's great speed, he'll be standing on second or third. He is a high percentage hitter who hits with power."

Player Thomas Tudor: "Tom is one of the most admired and respected players by his peers in the game. Tom brings a winning attitude to the game, lifts up all his teammates and inspires everyone around him to play at the top of their ability. Tom is an outstanding athlete and one of the best middle infielders in the senior game."

Player Truman Wade: "He has been a joy to watch as he has a unique way of pitching. He keeps hitters off balance with his unorthodox way of mixing up his pitches. Truman is also a great hitter in that he can hit line drives or burn the outfielders when they play too close. "

Player Raymond Wimbrough: "Ray is one of the best senior pitchers in the country. He's a crafty, experienced pitcher who has been participating in slow pitch softball for 41 years. His pitch selection, accuracy and control, as well as his style of pitching have been contributing factors to his team's victories. His reflexes and competitiveness enable his to shut down the middle making him a double threat on the mound."

Woman Director Connie Stewart: "Connie has been a guiding force of the women's program in Senior Softball for several years, representing LVSSA, SSUSA, and as Chair for the Women's Advisory Board to the National Senior Softball Summit."

Woman Pioneer Player Jerry Gawura: "Jerry is now 91 years old, and would still be playing if we had enough players over 80 to play. She played shortstop in 1988 in St. Louis in the Women's Senior Olympics."

Woman Pioneer Player Harriet Mair: "Harriet catches and throws with one motion. She is so smooth. Many of us have tried to imitate that throw-but alas there is only one Harriet. She hits long balls that bring in many of our runs. She runs like a rabbit. Harriet is an all around athlete."

Woman Pioneer Player Jerri Turner: "Jerri was dedicated at every level of the game. Helping coach and playing was not only hard but it takes self-discipline. You have to be able to perform and lead others to the level you set by example for them to be.

Woman Player Patricia Stephenson: "Stevie has been a fixture in the top of our lineup for many years, being one of the most valuable cogs in the Golden Girls offense. Her ability and willingness to move runners, hit for average, and her high on base percentage are the things that make her such a dangerous hitter and a fabulous teammate."

Woman Player Judy Wrather: "Judy has the natural ability that couldn't be taught. You don't have to tell her what needs to be done when she's up to bat, she just knows. If you are on base and she's up, she will hit you in."
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