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NSA Girl's Fast Pitch Softball
Illinois NSA

Hall of Fame Class of 2007

Ken Adams
Chicago, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Ken Adams has managed and sponsored two teams which have competed in the NSA Men's B program over the last ten years - Home Run Inn & KA Softball. Home Run Inn finished second in the NSA state tournament one time, but it was with the KA Softball team that Ken found the most success. KA Softball has won the NSA state tournament three times (2004, 2005 & 2006) and finished second in 2003.  The team has won a NSA Super B NIT five straight years (2003 in Kankakee, 2004 in Avon, IN., 2005 in Arlington Heights, and both 2006 & 2007 in Kankakee).

KA Softball participated in the NSA world tournament seven straight years, beginning with the A World in 2001 and at the B World from 2002 through 2007.  The highest finish was fifth, accomplishing that four times (2002, 2003, 2004 & 2007). KA Softball qualified for the NSA Super B World six straight years (2002 through 2007).  The highest finish was fourth, accomplishing that three times (2003, 2005 & 2006). KA Softball has participated in several other notable NSA events, including the Gumby three times and the Music City once.

Rick Alderson
South Wilmington, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Rick Alderson is married to Cindy and has 2 adult daughters, Cassie and Amy. He is mayor of South Wilmington. Rick started umpiring in 1978 (29 years ago). He was a U.I.C., assigned, umpired slow pitch leagues and tournaments beginning in 1978 at the V.F.W. Park in South Wilmington. With 2 daughters playing fast pitch, his focus turned to fast pitch softball in the 1990's.

After retiring from the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2002, Rick began umpiring full time. He has worked 100 + NSA tournaments, 7 NSA State tournaments, 6 NSA World Series and 1 NSA Super World! Rick works over 300 games a year including college, high school, junior high school, summer leagues and travel softball. Rick Alderson is one of the better umpires in the state using his calm personality and great communication skills to manage his games!

Belcher Construction
Don Sr., Roger and Don Jr.
(Don Jr. accepted the award)
Manteno, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Don Belcher was married to Judy and had two sons Don Jr. and Roger. Don owned Belcher Construction and in 1975 started to sponsor softball teams. Both sons, Roger and Don, played on the Belcher sponsored teams, taking up the passion that Don Sr. had for the sport of softball.

Don Sr. in the earlier years pitched and played when needed. He was a very good hitter! Don also coached most of his teams. Don Sr. and Roger sponsored competitive men's teams in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Don Jr. helped coach Belcher-sponsored women's teams from 2001-2004.

Judy Belcher passed away in 2001, and Don Sr. passed away on Christmas Day 2005.

Don Brinkley
Umpire in Chief / Umpire
Springfield, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Don Brinkley started doing NSA Slow-Pitch in 1988 at Four Seasons Sports Complex in Springfield, IL. He worked mens and womens league games and did many tournaments in the St. Louis area over the years.  Don did slow-pitch until approximately 1995. While doing slow-pitch, Don worked over 75 tournaments and 1,500 games. He umpired in State tournaments and in 1994 worked the men's Class C World Series in St. Louis. In 1992, Don Brinkley began doing fast-pitch. From 1994 thru 2007, he worked 15 State tournaments and approximately 150 tournaments, over 2,100 fast-pitch games! Don had the privilege to work seven (7) World Series (Jupiter, Fl., Columbus, OH.(twice), Chattanooga, TN., Charlotte, NC., Indianapolis, IN, and E. Peoria, IL.) and two (2) Super Worlds.

Don's most memorable World Series was in Jupiter, FL. in 1995 when Hurricane Erin struck the area. Out of a possible 35 games he might have worked, Don was only able to get 16 games in. It was a "logistics nightmare" to find playable fields and get teams there to play at their designated times . Don was umpiring at 4:00 A.M. and then scheduled to begin again at 7:00 A.M. Don is greatly honored and thankful for this recognition that he has received.

Here is a list of most of those teams: 981 - Belcher 2nd AA state 1982 - Belcher 1st AA state 1992 - Belcher 2nd AA State 1993 - Belcher 2nd AA State 1994 - Belcher 2nd AA State 1995 - Belcher 1st AA State 1996 - Belcher 1st AA State 2000 - Belcher Women - 1st State 2001 - Belcher Women

2002 - Belcher Women 2003 - Belcher Women 2004 - Belcher Women 2000 - Belcher Women - 1st State 2001 - Belcher Women 2002 - Belcher Women 2003 - Belcher Women 2004 - Belcher Women 2005 - Benfield/Reece/Belcher/AM 2006 - Bell Corp/Taylor Bros/Belcher/Easton 2007 - Bell Corp/Belcher/TAI/Backman

Rusty Bumgardner
Kings Mountain, North Carolina
Inducted December 1, 2007

Rusty is married and his wife's name is Page. He has been playing softball for 10 years and is currently a professional softball player, Contractor for NUS-PEC Tech. High School Sports Highlights/Awards/Records:  Outstanding High School Football and Baseball player. Highly recruited by numerous colleges. All Conference and all County in both sports. Hold records in both sports at King Mountain High School.
College Sports Played:  Football & Baseball.
College Sports Highlights/Awards/Records:  Played as a true Freshman, Lettered all 4 years.
Professional Sports Played/Teams/Highlights:  Baseball- Florida Marlins, First player signed by Florida Marlins Expansion Team. Hit the first 2 Home Runs for the Florida Marlins at Bucky Dent Baseball School in Del Ray Beach, FL during the Marlins first year of existence.
Teams Played On:  Converters Unlimited (92-94), Shen Valley (95-97), Team TPS (98-00), Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shencorp/TPS (01).
All Tournament:  25 Times Total; USSSA (8), ASA (4), NSA (7), ISA (3). Others (3)
Championship Teams:  17 Total; USSSA (4), ASA (3), NSA (4), ISA (3), Others (3)
MVP Titles/Records Held:  1997 Player of the Year; 1997 NSA MVP; 1997 Smokey Mountain Classic MVP (Set various Records at this Tournament); 1992-2000

Numerous MVP's; 2001 MVP NSA Major, Columbus, OH; 2001 All-Tournament ISA Super World Series; 2001 ASA All World Team; 2001 Grand Slam Champions; 2001 All World Team

Steve Endress
Kankakee, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Steve Endress, a native of Sparland, Illinois, a small town north of Peoria and now a resident of Kankakee, Illinois for the past 30 plus years has spent most of his life on the softball diamonds as a player, manager, coach and now an umpire. In the early 1990's while still playing slow pitch Steve started working at the River Road Softball Complex as a slow pitch umpire two to three nights a week and was player-manager for his slow pitch team the other nights. Steve did not start working fast pitch games until 1996 when his daughter was playing Division I college fast pitch.

Steve started working NSA slow pitch in 1998 when the Kankakee started hosting NSA championship tournaments. Steve has worked almost all of the State, Regional's, NIT's and World Series that have been hosted at the Kankakee complex averaging about 120 slow pitch games each year.  He regularly is selected to work on the Championship crew for all of the major tournaments. In 2002 Steve worked his first Slow Pitch Super World Tournament at the Men's D Super World Series in Muncie, Indiana and was selected to work the Championship game in his first trip to a Super.  Steve has made two additional trips to a Men's Super Worlds 2005 and 2006.

Steve was selected to work the Championship game each year and was named to work the plate in the 2005 Men's C Super World. When Steve retired from playing in 2001 he began working NSA fast-pitch at the Kankakee area softball fields.  Since then he had been working an average of 60-70 games of girl's fast pitch each summer in addition to his slow pitch schedule. Steve has been selected to work the Women's 23+ World Series in East Peoria, Illinois in 2005, 2006 and 2007 being selected each year to be in the Championship game umpire crew. Steve's dedication to the game and to the umpiring profession has be recognized at both the local and zone levels.

Steve received the Northern Zone 110% award in 2002 and was awarded the 2004 Umpire Directors' Award of Excellence for the Kankakee area.

Chris Garner
Springfield, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Chris Garner, age 44, of Springfield has three daughter's: Augustana 10, Cassidy 9, and Alexia 6. Chris considers himself a very lucky man! When Chris retired in 2001, he was both NSA Southern Illinois Adult Slow-Pitch Director and NSA Girl's Fast-Pitch Director. He was with NSA for 13 years!

In 1988, Chris started with NSA after being recruited by Roger Cook, Illinois state director to manage slow-pitch tournaments. Lonnie O'Haver was the Illinois UIC. Chris soon purchased Four Seasons Recreational Park which had 3 diamonds and began to run men's, women's and coed leagues! Four Seasons won the NSA National Outstanding Park Award from 1988-2001! Mary O'Connor, Indiana Youth Director, convinced Chris to run girl's fast-pitch tournaments and he started running the Springfield Shootout in 1991.

Chris became the first girl's fast-pitch director in Illinois in 1993 and Carlos Childress became the first GFP UIC. The first Illinois Girl's Fast-pitch State tournament was held in Springfield in 1993!

In 1994 - Glen Ellyn, in 1995 - West Chicago and in Schaumburg from 1996-2001! While in Schaumburg, the state championship blossomed from 90 teams in 1996 to 228 teams in 2001. The tournament was so large that Chris had to split it so the 3 age groups were playing one weekend and 2 age groups were playing the next! In 1998, the Chicago Tribune rated the NSA Girl's fast-pitch tournament in Schaumburg as one of the best run tournaments in Illinois! Chris instituted a $12,000 cash scholarship program for the state tournament and several activities which added a new dimension to the tournament. Chris received the NSA National Most Improved Director Award in 1999! He received the Area Director of the year 1991-1999.

Gerry Gund
Kankakee, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Gerry Gund has been married 27 years to his wife Lynne, the best thing to happen to him in his life is that he has been blessed by great people around him. He started playing slow-pitch softball when he was in sixth grade playing pick up games behind his parents house in Bourbonnais.

When he was twenty, he left college, got a job at Bradley Roper and started playing with the company softball team. The next year, Gund started playing with the St Anne Nads, The Nads ran a "Sweet Corn " Festival tournament every August for a fundraiser.

Gerry soon learned from Terry Sirois and Walt Andrews how run a good tournament! In 1980, Gerry started another tournament, "The Early Bird Classic", which had only 6 teams, playing on the high school field in St Anne. In 1981, Gerry started playing with Belcher Construction of Manteno. Belcher won 8 tournaments that year and finished second in the ASA AA state held in Kankakee. Gund made the all-tournament team. Gerry then started playing with Midwest Silk Screening.

In 1984 Gerry started a softball team, Performance Sports and in 1989 Superior Silkscreen. During that time "The Early Bird Classic" started to grow as a fundraiser, gaining key sponsorships and became one of the best tournaments in the Midwest, attracting 50-60 teams per year in four classes!

In 1990, Gund was hired by the Kankakee Valley Park District as Recreation Director and started running more tournaments including a industrial tournament and Class B State tournament which had 100 teams. He also started a 35 and over state tournament in 1993.

In 1995, Gerry suffered a serious knee injury which required two surgeries and a long rehabilitation.

In 1997, Superior Silkscreen won the 35 and over Illinois state championship and Gerry made the all-tournament team, then retired as a player. In 1998, Gerry was appointed NSA Illinois State Director, and started to build the NSA slow-pitch program, with new tournaments, including world qualifiers, super nits, super regional and state championships, sending teams to NSA World Series. Gerry was tournament director for several Slow-pitch World Series tournaments including -  Men's B (2), Men's C, Men's D, Men's E (2), Coed C, Coed D (2), Coed E (2), Master 45 and assistant director for the Black American World Series with director Willis Miles! Gerry was on the Slow-Pitch Super World Series Committee directing the B in 2004 at Muncie, the C in 2005 at Indianapolis, the E in 2006 at Indy E and the D in 2007 at Owensboro. In 2000, Gerry started his first fast-pitch tournament - The KGSSL Classic, as a fundraiser for the local girl's league. In 2003, he added the Xtreme Promotional, MPI, Holiday Inn Express and Decker girl's fast-pitch tournaments. In 2004, Gerry added The Howling - a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, and the Land of Lincoln All-Star championships.

In 2006, the Firecracker classic was added and in 2007 the Big B Blast and Battle Royale. Gerry was site tournament director for the NSA Girl's fast-pitch Illinois Class B state championship held in Kankakee County in 2003 and 2004. He was director for the Girls Fast-Pitch World Series in 2002 (Schaumburg), in 2005 (East Peoria) and in 2006 (Pekin.).

In 2005, Gerry was appointed BPA Baseball Illinois State Director and immediately established a website which publicized new qualifying tournaments, new state championships and BPA World Series. The program today has now expanded to ages 9-18 in one year increments! Awards given to Gerry during his 9-year NSA career include: the 1999 Region 6 State Director Of the Year, the 1999 Region 6 Newcomer Of the Year, the 2004 North Zone NSA 110 % Award, the 2005 BPA North Zone Newcomer Of the Year, the 2007 North Zone Chuck Middleton Award and the 2007 NSA National Highest World Series Team Participation Award!

Frank Hill
Manager / Organizer
Schaumburg, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Mr. Frank Hill has started and coached the Sluggers for 17 years, the Hoffman Estates Varsity for 6 years, and has been involved in the Schaumburg Athletic Association for 20 years.  During his tenure in the SAA, he has been Travel Commissioner, Softball Head Commissioner, and President of the organization, which serves over 6,000 registrants and over 600 softball players. in the June of '96, Frank, with the help of the volunteers of the SAA, dedicated Schaumburg's new Olympic Park with two major events:  a double header he coached against the 1996 USA Olympic Team, and the National Softball Association's State Tournament. Under the direction of Chris Garner, again in '97 and '98 the Schaumburg Athletic Association played host to the National Softball Association's State Tournament.  The Tournament went from 90 teams in '96 to 168 teams in '98.  It was rated in the Chicago Tribune as one of the best run tournaments in Illinois. Chris and Frank instituted cash scholarship programs and several activities which added a new dimension to the tournament.

Frank also earned the 110% award from the National Softball Association.  In 2003, the Schaumburg Athletic Association hosted the NSA "B" World Series which were held in the Northwest Chicago Area. As a coach of the Sluggers, Frank's teams won, three Metro Championships, went 6-2-2 in the Colorado Fireworks tournament, took 2nd and 7th, and 17th  in the NSA World Series, and 3rd place in the NSA Super World Series.  His teams have been to the NSA World Series every year since 1995.  He brings an intense love and knowledge of the game. Frank has worked over 50 tournaments and played in over 800 games, His teams played in 12 state tournaments, 12 World Series and 1 Super World Series!

Dick Kanoski
Bourbonnais, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Dick Kanoski, better know as "Polock", started his softball career in 1962 playing for Armour & Swift in the local Industrial League. They played in several state tournaments, finishing second to Kankakee Roper by a score of 3 to 2. After a few years of fast-pitch Polock started to play slow-pitch keg-games on Sundays. This was the start of slow-pitch in the area.

Back in the mid 60's slow-pitch went from The Pier to River Road. Then Polock played for Windy's & Swift. They played in many state tournaments. In 1970 Polock started to umpire and played one more year of fast-pitch with the Gilman Merchants. He has umpired about 200 games every year in leagues, local tournaments and State Tournaments.

Since approx 1980 Polock has been the Assignment Chairman for the Kankakee area. When he started we had about 8 or 9 Umpires. Polock started an Association to handle Umpire needs. Today we have 45 Umpires registered in our association.  Since the N.S.A. has been our sanctioning body, softball has grown in Kankakee area. Polock has worked every level in leagues and have worked almost every tournament to come through River Road Park - over 7,000 Games.

In 2003, Polock received the N.S.A. Northern Zone 110% Award! In 2004 Polock received an Umpire Recognition Award from The Kankakee Umpire Association. Both of these awards are very gratifying to Polock as he loves staying into softball. It is nice to get recognized for something you like to do!

Bob Kerness
Umpire in Chief / Umpire
Kankakee, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Bob Kerness has been married for 40 years to his wife Linda and has three Children - Kerry 30's, Keith 30's and Kathleen 19. He has 2 grandchildren, Allison age 12 and Payton age 7. Bob is also an accomplished football official as referee for high school and college, working in many championship playoffs!  Bob was also an accomplished basketball official but retired in 1995! In his spare time he works as supervisor in the Finance Department for a large Biopharmaceutical company. Bob has been a slow-pitch umpire since 1976 and was appointed Illinois State NSA Slow-Pitch UIC in 1999. He is responsible for the recruitment and for training of all NSA umpires in the state of Illinois.

Bob has worked or was UIC for tournaments in Iowa, Indiana, and all over the state of Illinois for approximately 30 NSA State tournaments, 20 Regional's, 80 World Series Qualifiers', and 50 NIT's. While working as an umpire, he was chosen to work the finals in most of the tournaments. Bob has implemented a training program and pay scale for the NSA tournaments in Illinois. He has presented umpire training sessions at the annual Zone meeting!

Bob along with Dick Kanoski organized an Award Banquet for NSA slow-pitch umpires. Bob was the Winner of the 2004 NSA Northern Zone 'UIC of the Year' award!

Bob Knox
Umpire in Chief / Umpire
Springfield, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Bob Knox has a wife Frances, and 3 children Kathy age 50, Bob Jr. age 45 and Patrick age 40. Bob is celebrating 50 years of umpiring in 2008! Bob started doing NSA Slow-Pitch in 1988 at Four Seasons Sports Complex in Springfield, IL. He worked men's and women's league games and did many tournaments in the St. Louis area over the years.

Bob did slow-pitch until 1991. During his slow-pitch career, Bob worked over 75 tournaments and 1,500 games. He umpired in several State tournaments and in 1994 worked the Men's Class C World Series in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1992, Bob Knox began doing fast-pitch. From 1994 thru 2007, he worked 15 State tournaments and approximately 150 tournaments, over 2,100 fast-pitch games!

Bob Knox had the privilege to work seven (6) World Series (Columbus, OH (twice), Chattanooga, TN., Charlotte, NC., Indianapolis, IN, and E. Peoria, IL. and two (2) Super Worlds. Bob was the Illinois State Girl's Fast-pitch UIC from 1995-2000. Bob is greatly honored and thankful for this recognition that he has received.

Bruce Meade
Bradenton, Florida
Inducted December 1, 2007

At 6'6", 250 lbs, Bruce Meade is a daunting man, especially with his waxed moustache. During his amazing career of 6000 home runs, he ripped the Hall of Fame softball home run distance record of 510-feet in Amarillo, Texas, 1978. Bruce Meade has been married for 25 years to wife Ellen! They have a daughter Bryce, who is 20 years old and a son Blake, who is 16. Bruce's full-time job is a Deputy Sheriff in Manatee County, Florida. A native of Bradenton, Florida, Meade won six world championships with Nelson's of Oklahoma City, Jerry's Caterers of Miami, Florida, Elite Coating of Gordon Georgia, and the Smythe Sox of Houston, Texas.

Meade also played for Dave Carroll Sports, Ritch's-Kirk's and Starpath. Meade has won three MVP awards on the national championship level! He led the nation in batting five of these years. Meade was named to 32 All-World teams in his long glorious career. Meade is also one of only two players in softball history elected to all four association's Hall of Fames. He gained election into the USSSA Hall of Fame in 1989, the NSA Hall of Fame in 1992, the ASA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the ISA Hall of fame in 2003. He will be inducted into the Illinois NSA Hall of Fame during this year's ceremony.

Willis Miles
Chicago, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Willis Miles has been married to Gloria for 33 years.  He has 4 children Cedric 36, Michael 33, Darian 29, and Dorothy 22, and four grandchildren:  Patience, Skyler, Devon, Darian Jr. and Michael Jr. Willis starting played 16-inch softball when he was 15! His coach and lifetime mentor was Coach Dan Dumas one of the best 16-inch softball players in the game. In DuSable High School, Willis was the captain of the varsity football team, played on the varsity basketball team, was a member cadet of the R.O.T.C. Program with the rank of Major.  He was a January graduate of the class of 1966.

In 1968 he received a Major in Business Administration from Wilson Junior college.

In 1968, Willis was drafted into US Army and received an honorable discharge in 1970! Willis has received 5 Most Valuable Player awards. He was selected for league and tournament All-Stars 25 times in Hamilton Park, Washington Park, Sherman Park and Ogden Park Willis started his NSA career in 1999! He has worked in NSA Class A Girl's Fast Pitch World Series in Columbus and South Carolina! Willis also worked in NSA Class B Girl's Fast Pitch World Series in Schaumburg, East Peoria and Merrillville.

Willis has umpired many post-season slow-pitch tournaments: 9- 16-inch World Series, 3 12-inch Co-Ed World Series, 2 - 12-inch Class D World Series, 1- 12-inch Class D Super World Series, 2-12-inch Class E World Series and 5- 12-inch Black American World Series. Willis was the National Director for Black American program from 1999 - 2005 In 2005 he was inducted into the Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall Of Fame in the umpire category.

Willis will now be inducted as an umpire in the Illinois NSA Hall of Fame!

Kevin Price
Player / Manager
Peotone, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Kevin Price of Tinley Park started playing softball in 1981! He also coached slow pitch teams from 1999 to 2006.

Teams that Kevin was on include: Hanrahan's, Teresa Pizza, Phoenix Futures, Belcher's Const./Dudley, Mid-America TPS, Chicago Kings Easton, Joe Black / Worth, Rockers 16",Screwballs 16", Ken's Beverage, Empress Casino, Kluever's Snap-On / Easton, Illinois USSSA All-Stars, O'Charlies, Darcy/Marino Const./Joliet VFW, Superior Silk Screen, Cando Metals/Easton, Hero's & Legends, Big Basin Softball Club, Liquid Blue NJ, Supreme Softball FL, Hague/Ohio Trans/Wessell/Belcher/TPS OH, Martin/Mizuno IN, Mizuno OH, Darcy Joliet, AM/Benfield/Belcher/Reese/Easton VA, Bell Corp/Taylor/Belcher/Easton FL.

Kevin made 13 All-Tournament teams, was awarded the Most Valuable Player 3 times and was the home run champion once. His teams won 7 state championships and were world champions four times. One of his best memories and tournament was the 1993 NSA Class A World Series held at St. Clair, Illinois!

His team, the Chicago Kings placed 2nd, and Kevin was named MVP of the World Series, going 21-24, batting .875 with 14 hrs! One of the most exciting moments in his coaching career was during the 2005 NSA Major World Series in Michigan City, Indiana. Kevin's team, AM/Benfield/Belcher/Reese/Easton, won the Championship by beating #1 ranked Resmondo/Smith/Menose after being down 19 runs in bottom of 4th and then rallied to win the NSA Major Title in 8 innings!

Vicki Senesac
Player / Manager
Manteno, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Vicki started playing softball at the age of 10 with the Kankakee Petticoat Girls Softball League at Washington Park.  Due to a knee injury her freshman year of High School, she didn't play any high school or collegiate ball. Vicki started playing softball at River Road in 1979, on Salkelds women's league team.  Combining both the women's and Co-ed leagues she has pitched over 2,000 games holding an average ERA of 4.5.

Vicki starting coaching in 2001 when she organized her first teams Belcher Concrete (2001-2004) and then Manteno Pool & Spa/Z Farms (2005-2007). Vicki has pitched in over 15 state tournaments, and over 10 World Series.  She helped her women's team win three state titles and place 7th in the 2004 NSA World Series in Lexington, KY.

Most recently Vicky made the all-tournament team at the Co-ed 2007 WS Qualifier in Itasca, IL, and was the 2007 Women's Illinois State Tournament MVP. Her most memorable moment was the 2000 State tournament at River Road Park when their team came through the loser's bracket to double dip Head First by winning the Championship game in a come from behind win in the 7th inning.

John Wojnowski
St Anne, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

John Wojnowski has 2 children, Adam age 27 and Rachel age 18. He also has a grand child (Adam) Hanna who is 12 weeks old. John lives in St Anne and owns his full-time business Cando Metals. John started playing softball in 1974 at the age of 19 with the St. Anne Nads with his brother Brian.

In 1978 he started the St Anne Foundry until 1986 when he started playing with Belcher Construction with his brother Keith. Both John and Keith then played for Champaign Pias from 1992-3, Superior Silkscreen from 1994-95 and Cando Metals from 1996-2006. John's first tournament championship was in Danville in 1978! He played with his brother Brian and Gerry Gund on the St Anne Nads as they double-dipped Johnny Mac out of St. Louis, Missouri in the Championship.

John won many tournaments with Belcher Construction in including his first state championship in Alton in 1994. John also played coed with Cando Metals from 1996-2002 winning several state championships. John also won 10 Masters 35 and over state championships! Cando Metals played in 8 NSA World Series and 5 NSA Super World Series. John made the All-Tournament team in 1997 with his son Adam who was 16. John also made the NSA 35 and over state all-tournament team in 1997.

At the age of 50, John played in the 2005 Men's C Super World Series in Indianapolis Indiana with Cando Metals, finishing second. He and Adam made the all-super world team! During his 34 years of softball, John Wojnowski was undeniably one of the best softball players in the state of Illinois. John could hit, field run and throw with the best of them!

Rich Woolman
Joliet, Illinois
Inducted December 1, 2007

Rich "Birdman" Woolman at age 60 has been married to Barb for 39 years and has three sons: Rich 38 and wife Norma, Jeff: 37 and wife Kristi and Jeremy 35 and wife Marnie. Rich has been employed for 34 years at Caterpillar Inc. in Joliet. Considered one of the top defensive pitchers in game, Rich has been playing softball as a pitcher and outfield for 40 plus years. In 1964, Rich started playing modified fast pitch in Port Huron Michigan.

From 1973 - 2007 he played for softball teams in Illinois and in the 1970s and 1980s had numerous top 3 tournament finishes! Bird's lifetime stats include over 1000 pitching victories and a .650 batting average.

In 2007, Bird played the 50 and over Senior Circuit  in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Alabama and Champaign! Teams Rich played with: Platzer Plumbing; Red Birds; Fossil Rock; Mazon State Bank; Yellow Hammers; the legendary Belcher Construction; Superior Silkscreen, Melco: Monkey Spankers; Can-Do Metals; J. Denny and Class Act! Bird played on 3 Illinois state champions:
Superior Silkscreen - 1997 NSA 35 and over
Cando - 1999 NSA Illinois
Class B and Champs - 2007 Masters 40 and over!

He played in 6 NSA World Series tournaments and 3 NSA Super World Series (1995, 1999, and 2007) finished in the top 9 in the NSA B Super World and the Top 5 in the NSA World Series! Bird made the all- tournament team 8 times including the 1981 AA Illinois State, the 1994 Masters 35 and Over World, the 1999 B World and the MVP in the Illinois Masters 35 State!

Even with all of the wins, trophies and awards, the highlight of Bird's career was to be able to play on teams with his sons: Bird is honored to be inducted into the NSA softball hall of fame and believes that this is a dream of every serious softball player!