ISC World Stage Star Honored
By Bob Otto/Yucaipa, CA
It took 16 years, but 14-year fastpitch softball star, Larry Nolan, finally got his just due.
Nolan, who electrified softball diamonds from California to Allentown, Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 80s with his speed, defense and bat prowess, was chosen for induction into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame. Nolan will be honored during Hall of Fame ceremonies at the 2002 ISC World Tournament in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
"During the 1970s and early 1980s, Larry Nolan was arguably as good as any fastpitch player in the world, who played in that era," said Dave Blackburn, former teammate and current California ISC Area Commissioner. "When Larry finally got the opportunity to display his fastpitch skills on the ISC world stage, he seized the moment in Hall of Fame fashion.
It was on the World Tournament stage that Nolan became known as one of the sport's all-time great clutch players.
Nolan was a guiding force in leading the Camarillo, Calif. Kings to consecutive World Tournament titles in 1981 - '82. In a performance the Tulsa Firebirds won't soon forget, Nolan played a huge part in sending the Oklahomans to defeat in the 1981 title game. Spurred by Nolan's 3-for-3, and two runs scored, the Kings defeated the Firebirds 4-0, claiming their first ISC title, and making Nolan a household name in fastpitch circles.
"Larry had 12 hits in 20 at bats, winning the ISC's leading hitter award and was named the Most Valuable Player of the '81 World Tournament," said Blackburn.
Proving it was no fluke, the Kings claimed the 1982 title as well. And again Nolan played a major role by driving in the winning run in a 1-0 victory over California rival Dave Frye Plastering of Bakersfield in the winner's bracket final.
Nolan's fastpitch career began with the Los Angeles Eagles (1972 - '79) as a 21-year-old. Immediately he became an impact player. Playing in the rugged Western Softball Congress, Nolan rose to All-Star status seven times along with claiming Most Valuable Player, Leading Hitter and Best Batting Average awards.
Besides the Eagles, Nolan's career included stints with the Long Beach Nitehawks, Camarillo Kings and Lancaster Chameleons.
But it was as a King that Nolan reached his peak. Remarkably, in the Kings 1981 run from ISC California state champion to ISC World Tournament champion, Nolan blistered the world's best pitchers for an astounding .735 batting average.
In addition to his Most Valuable Player and Leading Hitter awards, Nolan's ISC World Tournament honors include being named All-World four times (1981 - 1984) in five appearances.
Forced to retire from fastpitch after the 1986 season because of injuries, Nolan continued his successful ways by starting a trucking business, becoming an ordained minister, a personal financial analyst and Regional Vice President of a major financial service company.
Larry lives in West Covina with his wife Rosie Nolan. They have three children, Larry Jr., Sheree, Keisha, Nikki, Tyrell and Marcus.