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NSA Girl's Fast Pitch Softball
Illinois NSA

Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Jeffery Bataoel

Slow Pitch Manager
Inducted April 9, 2017

Jeffery Bataoel is married to Suzanne and they have have children; Vincent, Brittany, Samantha, Thomas, and Taylor, with one grandson, Henry. He said, “managing a softball team is very time consuming and tends to take away from my family”. Jeff feels very thankful and blessed to have the support of his children and extremely lucky to have the support and understanding of his beautiful wife.
Jeff has been around 16” softball since he was a child. He can remember watching his father play at venues such as Grant, Portage, and Oak Park. He tarted playing softball at the age of eleven. It was an intermural program at Horner Park organized by his grade school. He remembers going home and telling his parents he would “rather play softball than baseball”.

Jeff graduated from St. Benedict High School in 1980. That summer, he and a few of his friends decided to put together a softball team. Not only would he play, but he was elected to coach. Jeff and his friends played at Mather Park and did not do well against the older teams. They decided to enter an 18 & under tournament at Revere Park and won! That win inspired Jeff to continue to manage teams. These included, Artesians, Slugs, X-Factor, Minnow, Lugnuts, Fule, March, Jaxx, Stars& Stripes, Mutiny, and Impact. While players have changed the last twelve years Jeff has been very successful. He’s had to change the team name a few times due to sponsorships. Jeff feels very grateful and humble to be inducted into the 2017 Illinois NSA Hall of Fame saying “this accomplishment could not have been achieved without the players dedication and desire to perform at a high level. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the things I have”. 867 total wins, One NSA State Championship (2006), Four NSA World Series Championships (2005, 2009, 2010, and 2012), Three NSA World Series Runner Ups (2006, 2011, and 2016), and Two NSA World Series fourth Place nishes (2007 and 2013). “Remember, this is a game and a hobby, have fun and enjoy every moment!”

Kevin Schade

Slow Pitch Player
Inducted April 9, 2017

Kevin Schade is 51 years old and resides in Gilman, Illinois. He graduated from Iroquois West High School in Gilman in 1984. He played football, basketball, and baseball. He was all-conference in football and baseball as well as all area in baseball his senior year.

Kevin has been married to wife, Dana, for over 25 years. They have two children, Kale and Ryenn. Kale's men's slow pitch team just finished a successful season with a trip to Florida for Worlds. Kevin is employed by Borchers' Family Farms in Gilman and is a self-employed handyman. He began playing softball at the age of 13 for Cliff's Market in the Gilman league. He has played every summer since in various leagues and tournaments throughout the area.

Kevin said, "I just love playing the game of softball. I love the camaraderie before, during, and after games, and I cherish the lifelong friendships that I have been fortunate enough to gain." He has played in numerous state tournaments in all classes. Some of the most successful teams include: The Gamblers, Gilman Merchants, Wildlife Inn, and BJ's Pump. He was a pioneer in the Waterfront Lounge to Gordo's Tacos to eventual multiple state champion GimmeDat teams as a player/coach. He has also been on his son Kale’s team 1HQ the last three years.

Kevin was honored to play with or against other NSA Hall of Famers John Wojnowski, Gerry Gund, Robbie Carr, and Kevin "Redbone" Kronst. Kevin had to say, "This is an amazing honor. Thank you to Illinois NSA board of Directors. Also, thank you to the umpires, players, coaches, wives, groundskeepers, tournament directors, vendors, and sponsors for everything that you do for the NSA and softball."

"Softball has been good for me. I hope I have been good for softball."

Charleston Chill

Travel Ball Team
Inducted April 9, 2017

The Charleston Chill was started by Joel Reed in 2002. Initially, the organization only had one 12u team but began to expand in 2006 under the leadership of Reed, Kevin Rankin, and Glenn Pruett when they added 10u and 14u teams.

By 2008, the organization had grown to ve teams with teams in each age group 10u 18u. Through out the years, the Chill have played primarily NSA tournaments since 2006 and have regularly sent teams to the NSA State tournament and the NSA World Series.

In 2011, the Chill 18u team finished 4th at the NSA “A” World Series. They followed that with a 7th place nish in 2012. In 2016, the 10u Chill won the Illinois “B” State Championship and went on to finish 2nd at the NSA “B” World Series in Evansville, IN. The Chill also host two NSA World Series Qualifiers each year.

In 2006, they began hosting the Charleston Chill Summer Slam and in 2007, they added the May Invitational. Both have been held every year since and typically bring 70-80 teams to Charleston during the summer. The Chill are also involved in the community by helping promote softball through the local recreational program hosted by the city.

Paul Martens

Slow Pitch Player
Inducted May 8, 2017

Paul Martens began his softball career in 1991 with the USSSA. After a few years he made the move over to the NSA were he started establishing himself as a top tier player. Paul showed great versatility in his ability to play both left and right eld and rst base. Doing so on many notable teams such as the Grasshoppers, Eastsiders, Old Commission, Men from Uncle, Lugnuts, Storm, Mutiny, Impact, and Hammer the Clam.

Some of his teams would go on to win numerous championships. Storm winning the World Series in 1998, 1999, and 2002. The Lugnuts winning the World Series in 2005 and 2012 with a State Championship win in 2006. In 2010 he played with Mutiny to another World Series Championship. Finally, Hammer the Clam and Minnow getting World Series Runner Up in 2013 and 2016 respectfully.

Paul is no slouch when it comes to awards either. The 2006 Lugnuts were an NSA All State Team. He also received All World Team awards with the 2009 Mutiny and the 2013 Hammer the Clam. Paul presently resides in Dyer Indiana with his wife Judy. He is also grateful for his children Ryan, Rebecca, and Rachel. Throughout his 25 years of playing softball Paul always maintained a competitive mindset and loyalty to the game of softball.

Randy Brown

Fast Pitch Coach
Inducted May 8, 2017

Randy has been coaching girls fast pitch for 21 years. In July of 2017 he coached his final tournament at the NSA Border wars in Fenton Missouri. During his 21 years of coaching Randy has competed in NSA tournaments. He traveled over the United States and Australia promoting the sport of softball.

Some of his most memorable on eld accomplishments include winning 5th place in Birmingham Alabama at the NSA World Series with an 18u team in 2007, winning 6th place at the NSA nationals in Lagrange Georgia with a 16u team in 2006 and winning 1st place at the 2015 NSA south State tournament in Peoria Illinois.

Randy has dedicated most of his adult life to girls softball and more importantly to the development of young women. In a conversation with Chad Compton, his assistant coach of the last 5 years, Randy quoted something he said he had learned from one of his mentors. “If you are coaching this sport to win a lot of games you are doing it for the wrong reason. If you are coaching this sport to help young girls turn into good young women you are doing it for the correct reasons.”

Randy has a hitting and pitching facility at his residence witch he uses to give hitting and pitching lessons to girls all year long. Hundreds of girls have passed thru his facility. Before any girl ever left he would be sure to complement her. He always pointed out the good things she did during her session while teaching to correct mistakes. While Randy did charge a small fee for his professional instruction, he would, from time to time, give free lessons to girls who couldn’t afford them.

At a recent banquet held for Randy several hundred former players and parents attended to recognize his accomplishments. It was a testament to the love and support he has garnered over the 8 years.

Jack Bradley

Fast Pitch Player
Inducted May 8, 2017

Jacki Bradley participated in NSA play for 10 seasons from 1996 - 2005 as part of the Mattoon Pride fastpitch softball organization. During her high school years as a pitcher/hitter she led her team to back to back conference championships in the highly competitive Big 12 Conference. She gathered 1st team All-Conference honors for three consecutive years and was named as a Coaches Association.
All-State her senior season.

With Jacki leading the way, her Pride squad gained numerous NSA Tournament titles over the years. Included were a 16u class “A” state championship in 2002 and a Super World Series Championship in 2003 at the 18u level. The 2002 team finished as the runner-up at the Class “A” National Championship in Chattanooga Tenn.

After High School, Jacki went on to play one season at Parkland Jr College in Champaign-Urbana where she helped her team to a 2nd place National Tournament finish. While there, Jackie set new single season records with an ERA of 0.77 and in doubles with 23. She also led the team with 70 RBIs and finished with a 17-3 record as a pitcher.

After her season at parkland, Jacki accepted a full ride to Evansville University in the Missouri Valley Conference. During her three seasons at Evansville Jacki continued to play as a pitcher and as a position player hitting in the middle of the lineup. Jacki worked her way to the #1 starting pitcher slot in her final two seasons and completed her three year career at Evansville with 32 wins. During her college years, Jacki gave back to the kids helping coach and teach several Mattoon Pride teams from 2006 - 2009.

Jacki completed her degree in Biology from Evansville University and is currently employed as a Lab Technician at a Cancer Center in the Kansas City area. Jackie is married with a daughter two years of age and a son that is one. Her husband is an Athletic Trainer for the Kansas Jayhawks.

Anthony Gonzalez

Slow Pitch Player
Inducted May 8, 2017

Anthony “Gonzo” Gonzalez has three children, Christian, Paige and Toni Marie. He also has two grandsons Christiano and Beckham. He resides in Orland Park Illinois. He’s played 30 years of competitive softball at the local, state, and national level. He continues to play to this day and looks forward to many more years to come.

Anybody that played with or against Tony, knows he plays “For the Love of the Game” Tony was swinging the bat as soon as he could walk. As a youngster, if you were looking for Tony you’d look no further than the neighborhood ball eld where he and his friends were playing homerun derby, strike out, “right eld out” or wie ball.

Tony played four years of high school baseball at Bloom Trail. He went on to play in the Mexican baseball league and in 1995, at the age of 25, for a short time went to join MLB as a replacement player during the strike. Soon after, he joined an independent team run by Ron Kittle and Steve Trout. As his dreams of playing in the MLB came to an end, His love of the game never died.

Men’s competitive softball now became his passion, playing countless nights locally and weekends in and out of state.Early on, Tony played in the Upper level with John VanGennep for the Budweiser Kamikazes out of Orland Park. League nights at Country Club Hills supervised by Les Duncan. He also played for a local team USA and Joltin Joes. Other teams he played for include JDenny, Commission/Gimmedat, Pope/Commission, Creative Design, Polekatz, and Rampage. While playing for these teams, Tony consistently hit over 700, he was selected to numerous all tournament teams and also received MVP honors. He also played in 12 State, 12 World Series, 9 Super World Series, multiple Super NIT, Regionals, World Qualifiers, and 14 Early Bird Classics in Kankakee.

Sean Nichols

Slow Pitch Player
Inducted June 7, 2017

Sean “Bear” Nichols started playing NSA softball in 1997. While he primarily played First Base, he would occasionally move to play the other two bases and even pitch or catch. This flexibility on the eld and an impressive batting average made him invaluable as a player.

Sean would go on to play for such successful team as Dave’s Pizza, BNK, Precision, Swing Kings, BPI, MOB, and All while winning Championships and awards along the way. In 2013 and 2015 Dave’s Pizza and BNK won the Gold division at the Kankakee Early Bird and Super NIT with both teams getting All Tournament Team Awards. Sean also received an MVP award for his performance playing with Dave’s Pizza. 2015 also a win at Illinois Gold State and a 2nd place finish at the World Series ending the 2015 season in the top 6 of the Super World Series.

Over the past twenty years Sean has been setting the bar in player quality. The many Championships won and awards received by this athlete are impressive and to numerous to list. The amount of success shown here is no less than inspiring. Making Sean Nichols one of NSAs greatest players.

Robert Freyman

KVPD Head Field Grounds Keeper
Inducted June 7, 2017

Robert Freyman has been involved with sports all of his life. Bob and his wife Nancy have been married for 48 years and has 2 children and four grandchildren.

After retiring from Azzarelli construction and golfing, he was hired by the Kankakee Valley Park District to take care of the ballfields at River Road Park a labor of love for the last decade.

Bob has kept the ballfields at River Road in great shape during his tenure at the District. The grounds crew gets everything ready for fast pitch or slow pitch regardless of the weather.

The River Road Park difference is Bob is who has worked 10 years working ineld materials and top dressing, landscaping, painting, new trees and plenty of love!

Bob said: “We like NSA because they know what they are doing and we know what’s expected of each other. Working together to achieve a common goal – happy customers!”

Satisfaction of making something playable when it not easy to do and making it happen and seeing all of the kids playing… team goal is getting them ready to play.

Mike Ithal

Slow Pitch Umpire
Inducted June 7, 2017

Good evening. I am surprised and honored. I would like to thank the Hall of Fame committee for this great honor.

I would like to give a big shout out and thank you, to my wife Karen Ithal. Without her none of this could of happen. She has been there for me, when I was at the fields. As most of you know during our summers we dedicate ourselves to be gone 5 to 7 days of the week. Not getting home till our loved ones are already a sleep. It takes a special person to take care of the house and kids while I was working the games. And Karen you are my special person. Thank you for all of your support over these years.

My journey started 23 years ago. I had just recovered from Leukemia, When Karen was reading the newspaper and she seen someone looking for umpires. She had me call and it was Polock. He sweet talked me into signing up to do Slow pitch softball. Like only Polock could do. This is when I got to meet Bob Kerness, Mell, Steve Endress and a whole lot more umpires that help me become I believe a good umpire. After starting in slow pitch I expanded my NSA family to include Fast pitch, where I was able to meet special people like Lenard Winchester, Curt Page and a whole slew of dedicated officials. That I still learn from every time I walk onto the field.

Softball has been my passion since I was 18 when I started playing in Wilmington and Carbon Hill. I love being on the eld, weather it is umpiring or playing which I thank God I am still able to do both. I am so proud of being in this family of amazing people!

Terry King

Fast Pitch Coach
Inducted June 7, 2017

Terry was raised in Rantoul, Illinois but now lives in St. Joseph, Illinois. He and his wife, Sandy, were married in 1972. They have four daughters, Jessica, Holly, Kristen, and Kimberly. He has been a salesman for fourty-five years.

Terry started coaching softball in 1982 doing recreational softball. He has been involved with the Central Illinois Diamonds since 1995 when his daughter Kristen began playing for the organization. His daughter Kimberly also played for the Central Illinois Diamonds. They were both pitchers.

Kristen’s team nished fth in the NSA World Series in 1998 and Kimberly’s team nished third in the 2002 NSA World Series as well as fth in the NSA Super World Series. Kimberly was inducted into the Illinois NSA Hall of Fame in 2013 as a player.

In 2002, Terry started coaching with the Central Illinois Diamonds as an assistant coach. He was the head coach of the 18u Central Illinois Diamonds until 2011, when he became a member of their Board of Directors. He currently serves as treasurer. He has been coaching at St. Joseph Middle School for the last eight years and has helped as a team scout for Randy Wolken at St. Joseph Odgen High School for the last twenty years.