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Wednesday, September 3, 2014
SHAWN RYCHCIK, Salamanca, NY – Outfielder/Infielder
Shawn Rychcik - 2012 ISC Hall of Fame
Shawn Rychcik grew up on the ball fields in Salamanca, NY. His introduction into fastpitch came from spending weekends at the ball park watching his dad play in Western NY. In 1985, at age 17, he got his first chance to play and spent the next 4 years playing softball in the local leagues and then traveling to tournaments along the east coast and Canada. Over the next 23 years Shawn would play on some of the best softball teams in the world and play alongside some of the game's greatest players.
In 1989, Shawn played in his first ISC Tournament in Kimberly, WI for the New Martinsville Softball club out of West Virginia. They went on to win four games that year and Rychcik was co-leader in RBI’s for the tournament and named to his first All-World Team. In 1991, as many fastpitch players have, Rychcik made a stop in Ashland, OH for a season with the Planggers Softball team. In 1992 he joined the Midland Explorers out of Midland, MI for 2 seasons and it was after a 3rd place finish at the 1993 ASA Nationals with Midland things would really change for Rychcik’ s softball career.
At the end of the 1993 season, he received an invitation to play in New Zealand by Mark Sorenson and that would have a huge impact on the rest of his career. After a 2nd place finish in New Zealand with the Hutt Valley Cardinals, Rychcik and Sorenson, would return to the States together and join All-Car Roadrunners out of Green Bay, WI. There, they would team up with legendary coach Russ Boice and make a 6-0 run through the 1994 ISC Tournament beating the Toronto Gators in the final. Rychcik would hit a 2 out, RBI triple, to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th and score the winning run 2 batters later bringing All-Car and Rychcik their first World Championship. All-Car would come close to the title again in 1996 with a 2nd place finish and then a 3rd in 1997. In All-Car's final competition it would go on to win the ASA National Championship in Decatur, IL.
In 1998 Rychcik would leave Wisconsin and head south for Tampa. One season with famed teammates David Boys and Darren Zack and the Tampa Bay Smokers would produce his 2nd ISC World Championship. Rychcik would drive in 2 runs in a 4-2 win over the Farm Tavern. It would be a short stay in Tampa though as Rychcik would head to the Decatur Pride in Decatur, IL. In 1999 the Pride would finish 3rd in Sioux City, Iowa. Two weeks later, they would host the ASA National Championships and Rychcik would get his 2nd ASA National Championship. He would also take home tournament MVP honors and set the tournament RBI record with 15 in five games. Looking to keep the momentum going in 2000, the Pride would add pitchers Darren Zack along with Mike White and claim Rychcik's 3rd ISC title in St. Joseph's, MO. Rychcik would drive in the game winning run in a 2-1 win over Broken Bow, NE. The Pride would have another strong finish in 2001 with a 5th place finish.
Rychcik would return to Wisconsin for the final 5 years of his career.
In 2002, Shawn joined the County Materials Team and started an impressive 5 year run. Joining forces with future hall of famers, Tim Sonnentag and manager John Becker turned out to be a positive move for Shawn and a great way to close our his impressive career. During the five years with County, Shawn was named to the all-world team 3 times.
2002 – Third place
2003 – Second Place
2004 – Second Place
2005 – WORLD Champions
2006 – WORLD Champions
In 2005, after two straight years of being the bridesmaid, County faced it rival, the Farm in the finals. Down 3-0 going the bottom of the 7th, County was 3 outs away from becoming softballs version of the Buffalo Bills. Two home runs in the 7th tied the game and County won it in the bottom of the 8th to claim their first of two World Championships. Shawn not only proved to be world class on the field but also provided great leadership with his teammates. Shawn was named to the all-world team again, making the 10th team time for such an honor.
The 2006 season was very special for Shawn and his County Materials Team. Shawn and his teammates played in seven tournaments that year and won ALL seven including its second straight ISC World Championship. That years record was 47-3. The 2006 version of County Materials has been called one of the greatest teams ever. This title can always be debated but you can’t have a conversation about the greatest teams without including County in that conversation.
As he walked away from the game in 2006 he left behind a tremendous career and some great memories with some of the game’s greatest players. Shawn’s 23 year career included an eight year stint on the USA Men’s National Team, producing a gold medal, 2 silver medals, and a bronze medal. He was twice named United States Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year in Men’s Softball. He was able to walk away with 2 ASA National Championships with a MVP and 8 All-American selections. And finally, he left with all the memories of those final weekends at the ISC, which produced 5 World Championship rings and 10 ISC All-World honors.
Shawn is currently in his 8th season as the head softball coach at Boston University. He resides in North Andover, MA with his wife Tricia and their two boys Ajay and Drew.
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