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ISC Hall of Fame – impressive Class of 2011
Saturday, August 21, 2010
ISC Hall of Fame – impressive Class of 2011
By John Thompson
On Sunday August 15, the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame held its Class of 2010 induction breakfast with 300+ in attendance at the Valley Plaza Resort Conference Centre in Midland MI for six individual inductees and a long-time fastball supporting family.
This week, the Hall of Fame Selection committee, announced that the ISC Board of Directors approved a slate of elite softball players and passionate builders of the sport for induction as the Class of 2011.
Six inductees are being recognized for their collective accomplishments and achievements as players, management and builders.
Of the six inductees, three are being recognized for their accomplishments as players.
JODY HENNIGAR, Hudson FL
The resume of the on-field accomplishments of Jody Hennigar are simply very, very extensive. They circle the globe and engage teams in provincial, Canadian, ASA and ISC competitions and internationally as a member of Team Canada representing his country. Suffice to say that in focusing on the ISC, Jody was a double barreled threat and impact player with a flair for the dramatics. As a pitcher, he could silence opponents’ bats, and as a designated hitter, when he wasn’t launching fence-busters, he was intimidating pitchers into drawing walks to add to his teams’ offensive rallies. He celebrated ISC Championships as a youngster with Cedar Rapids IA Teleconnect in 1987, and as a seasoned veteran a decade later, helping to lead Rod Peterson’s Madison WI Farm Tavern to 1997 and 1999 titles. Spanning fifteen years, Jody has five ISC All-World designations, twice with Cedar Rapids IA (1987-89); twice with Madison WI (1997 and 2001) and once with Clearwater FL (1992).
JERRY HOFFMAN, Laguna Hills CA
Jerry was introduced to softball in 1969 but it was in the late 1970s and 1980s that he competed in the Western Softball Congress and attended a long string of ISC tournaments. In 1983, in Bakersfield CA, Jerry’s Lancaster CA Chameleons won the World Tournament and had top three finishes in 1984 and 1986. In 1986 Jerry equaled the ISC record for hits (16) in a double knockout tournament, a mark that stood for a decade. In ten ISC World tournaments, Jerry was All World three times with the Chameleons and was highly regarded as one of the best-ever defensive first-base infielders in the game, while consistently maintaining a .300 batting average.
BRIAN PATON, Woodstock ON
Brian played in 12 consecutive ISC World Tournaments and was a member of three ISC Championship teams, twice with Toronto ON Gators (193-95) and with Tampa Bay FL Smokers (1998). In 1995, he helped to lead the Gators in their amazing come-back week to capture the ISC title. In so doing, Brian established a new record for hits in a tournament (17) and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Patrolling centre field, he was one the best at stealing what appeared to be “sure-hits” and limiting base runners to singles. He was not simply a member of great teams – those teams enjoyed their successes in no small part as a result of Brian’s leadership – witness his nine “top-four” finishes at the ISC Worlds. Brian has numerous other notable softball accomplishments international with Team Canada (1985-2002) with four Pan-Am gold medals and in ISF, both silver and gold.
In the other categories, three dedicated softball volunteers will also be recognized:
LANNY RUPP (deceased), Lakewood CA (Field Manager)
In the highly competitive Western Softball Congress, Lanny Rupp was a mainstay softball general manager for a quarter of a century, with his teams battling the legendary Long Beach CA Nitehawks. In the 1970s, Lanny guided his Lakewood CA Jets to 4th place ISC finishes in 1972 and 1974. Sandwiched between was the memorable 1973 ISC championship in Rock Island IL when Lanny’s Lakewood CA Stevenson/Forrester Jets rode the pitching of Eddie Klecker and KG Fincher and defeated the Clovis CA Cowboys twice on Championship Day to capture the ISC crown. His stable of players was impressive with 17 of his team-mates already enshrined in the ISC Hall of Fame, including the recently inducted outfielder Alan Rohrback (HoF 2010).
ROBERT GRAY, Wetumpka AL (Administrator)
Robert became the ISC Southeast Area Commissioner in 1991 and has served as a member of the ISC Executive Committee since 1999 in the role of secretary. In addition, Robert has served on several committees and has been active in various roles behind the scenes. Locally, Robert became involved in the Blue & Gray Softball Association in Alabama in 1981, assumed various roles as secretary and treasurer and has been President since 1995. In addition, Robert served as President of the Montgomery AL Blue & Gray Fast-pitch League from 1988 to 2007.
DAVE BLACKBURN, Venice CA (Bob Welby Memorial – Recognition of Services)
Dave became involved in the ISC in 2000 as the California Area commissioner, but his true impact started a year later. In 2001, Dave pioneered softball broadcasting by streaming live coverage of games in a test project at the Pioneer Days tournament in Salt Lake City UT. In the ensuing decade, as technology changed and Dave gathered support from the ISC stakeholders and created ISC TV. The medium has reached softball fans around the world from Australia and Argentina to Japan and New Zealand and points in between. However, Dave is more than a “techy”. He has pitched more than 1,800 games over 30+ seasons with a particular fondness for his ten International Maccabiah Games, where he is the only softball player with four gold medals.
The Class of 2011 induction will be held as part of the ISC 2011 Championships in Moline IL and build on the successes of the previous celebrations that have been held annually since the initial induction in 1965.
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