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Four Elected into 2023 Senior Softball USA International Hall of Fame
May 1, 2023
Softball News Report
A power hitter, an international director who helped build the sport in Asia and two pioneers who spent decades developing senior softball were elected into the Senior Softball USA (SSUSA) Hall of Fame in 2023.
“These four inductees represent the best aspects of our sport,” said Fran Dowell, SSUSA’s executive director. “They represent excellence in athletics, in managing, and in helping the sport to grow in America and in Asia.”
Here are the newest SSUSA Hall of Famers:
Player Category: Louise O’Donnell of Corbin City, New Jersey:
Louise has played in Senior Softball USA since 2008 on some of the best teams in the nation – both East and West. The teams include Arizona Dream Team, Firestyx, and Team Works. Known for her power hitting, Louise has won the home run contest at the Tournament of Champions several times. “Louise is a powerful hitter and excellent player – and her positive attitude toward the game and other players makes her a wonderful example,” said Fran Dowell.
Director Category: Zhaoli Chen of Japan:
Zhaoli has taken a leading role in developing slow-pitch softball throughout Asia since 2010. She was named Executive Director of the Pacific Rim Slow-Pitch Softball Federation and has helped coordinate the Federation for the past decade, which includes representatives from Japan, China, Taiwan, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau and Guam. The Federation was created to help foster international friendship through sports. The Pacific Rim Championships moves to each member country each year. “She has also been instrumental in introducing the sport in schools throughout China and is involved in several sports education boards in both China and Japan,” said Terry Hennessy, SSUSA’s chief executive officer. Zhaoli also is the Executive Director of Senior Softball USA/China.
Manager Category: Mike Sisavic of Portland, Oregon:
Mike loves the game of softball and has been playing what he calls the “perfect” game for about 75 years starting in the concrete playgrounds in New York City. He entered the senior softball community 50+ years ago in Portland, Oregon and playing softball changed - from recreation and exercise to a whole new way of life. He was a player-manager with dozens of teams winning many local, regional, national tournaments and 22 rings. His teams won four Triple Grand Slam championship in the 75s and 80s divisions.
Mike helped shape the sport as a member of SSUSA’s Player Advisory Committee and the Senior Softball Summit Association. Sisavic is also the Northwest Director for Senior Softball USA.
Mike also has been a goodwill ambassador to promote senior softball by participating in the inaugural SS USA Goodwill Games to Japan, Mexico, and Cuba. Mike was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2015.
Manager Category: Dick Anderson of St. Anthony, Minnesota:
Dick not only manages teams, but he was the driving force in establishing senior softball in Minnesota – and he was instrumental in the national creation of the 80 division in 2010, the 85 division in 2015 and the 90 division in 2022. He not only managed the 90s East Team, but also was one of the standout players in the first-ever 90s competition.
Dick was born a pioneer.
Even more impressive is Dick Anderson’s work off the field. He founded the Edison High School Sports Foundation that has raised more than a million dollars in scholarships. Dick also founded and was president of the Minnesota Sports Association and has been inducted into the Minnesota ASA and Minnesota USSSA Halls of Fame.