MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Ten individuals received softball’s highest honor on Wednesday evening as the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America inducted ten members to the National Softball Hall of Fame at the 31st Annual celebration in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
A night full of memories and emotions, the 2011 class consisted of Lori Harrigan (Fast Pitch Player), Julie Johnson (Umpire), Brian Martie (Fast Pitch Player), Rod Peterson (Manager), Lewis Secory (Sponsor), Gary Tharaldson (Sponsor), Tim Wahl (Fast Pitch Player), Max Wilkes (Meritorious Service), Al White (Modified Player) and Jim Wolford (Umpire).
Read more about the 2011 ASA Hall of Fame Class.
Lori Harrigan – Fast Pitch Player – Las Vegas, Nevada
Lori Harrigan is a member of an elite group of four women who hold three Olympic Gold Medals in the sport of softball. The pitcher not only competed in three Olympic Games, but also in three World Championships and three Pan American Championships, all Gold Medal performances. Harrigan was also a three-time ASA Women’s Major All-American, spending two years with the California Commotion and one with the California Players. With the Commotion, she was crowned National Champion in 1999 and runner-up in 1995. She joined the USA Softball National Team program in 1992 and retired following the 2004 Olympic Games. In the 2000 Olympic Games, she set a record becoming the first individual pitcher to throw an Olympic no-hitter after blanking Canada in the tournament opener. She finished those Games with a 2-0 record, allowing just one hit and one walk in 12.1 innings.
Julie Johnson – Umpire - Alexandria, Indiana
Julie Johnson became an ASA registered umpire in 1976 and has emerged as one of the top umpires and clinicians for ASA. Johnson worked nine National Championships, from 1982-1998, including six Women’s Majors. Johnson earned her International Softball Federation (ISF) certification through the ISF of Umpires in 1986 and would go on to work several Major Fast Pitch events including an ISF World Championship, Pan American Games and most notably the 1996 Olympic Games in Columbus, Ga. In 2006, she was appointed to the ASA National Umpire Staff as the ASA Deputy Supervisor of Umpires. Johnson not only worked on the field of play, but off the field she served as Umpire-In-Chief for three ASA National Championships and four International events including two World Cup of Softball events and the ISF Men’s World Championship. As one of the top clinicians in the U.S., Johnson has worked over 10 clinics including National Umpires Schools and Fast Pitch Camps. In 2007 she was appointed to the position of North American UIC for the ISF. In 2005, Johnson was inducted into the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame as an Umpire.
Brian Martie – Fast Pitch Player – Bloomington, Illinois
Brian Martie played men’s fast pitch for almost 20 years for several notable teams including Coffeen, Taylor Springs, Bob’s IGA, Bloomington Hearts, Decatur Pride, and ending his career with the Farm Tavern who he competed with for seven seasons. The infielder was a five-time MVP of the Illinois ASA Major State Tournament and six times was selected to the All-Tournament team. He appeared in 15 consecutive ASA National Championships and boasts six All-American titles. On the International scene, Martie competed for Team USA on two Pan American Games teams, which both won silver, as well as the 1996 ISF World Championships.
Rod Peterson – Manager – Madison, Wisconsin
Rod Peterson retired in 2009 after managing the esteemed Farm Tavern team for more than four decades. He began playing in 1955 when he saw a man pass through the hotel lobby carrying cleats. He asked him where he was going and the stranger said a softball game. Peterson tagged along and the rest they say is history. He played and managed the Farm Tavern, a pub that he still owns today. His Farm Tavern teams, whom he began to manage in 1960, won three ASA National Championships and six runner-up finishes. They accomplished the same feat in ISC play. He quit playing in 1986 but continued to manage the team until 2009. Farm Tavern won approximately 15 State Championships under his management.
Lewis Secory Sr. – Sponsor – Port Huron, Michigan
Lewis Secory Sr. established the Secory Flyers Softball Club in 1982 when his son approached him about sponsoring a team. The only criteria he asked was that the team represent him, his company and Port Huron, Michigan with class. The year 2010 marked his 29th consecutive season of sponsoring the Secory Flyers Modified Softball Team. In his 29 years of sponsoring, the Flyers have participated in 21 National Championships with two wins. The Flyers won ten MASA State Modified Championships and 16 Port Huron League Championships. During his time on the National Tournament scene, the Flyers placed in the top 10 on nine occasions. Secory is the founder and annual sponsor of the National Bluewater Invitation Softball Tournament in Port Huron. Besides his modified team, Secory has sponsored many other teams including volleyball, hockey and bowling. In 2001, Secory was inducted into the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in the sponsor category.
Gary Tharaldson – Sponsor – Fargo, North Dakota
Gary Tharaldson has dedicated much of his life to supporting ASA Softball as a sponsor for not just one or two divisions but across the whole spectrum of ASA Softball. He was a sponsor for 38 years of the Men’s A, B and C Slow Pitch Divisions and supported five different levels of senior ball for a total of 24 years. Tharaldson sponsored women’s teams for 15 years as well as both Boys and Girls Junior Olympic Teams. His sponsored teams have participated in over 30 National Tournaments. Outside of his teams, Tharaldson gave back by providing North Dakota state tournament trophies and banners for all divisions for 12 years. He also sponsored the North Dakota Hall of Fame Banquet for 10 years. Tharaldson has been a key component in keeping the upper division of the McQuade Charity Tournament going. Tharaldson was also a player during his time as sponsor winning two National Championships and over playing 1,000 games as a pitcher. He had a best year record of 58-2 and a career batting average of over .600.
Tim Wahl – Fast Pitch Player – Grayland, Washington
Tim Wahl was introduced to fast pitch softball by a high school friend who was in need of a catcher. With just two years of experience under his belt, in 1986 he was asked to try out for Pay ‘N Pak of Seattle and was shortly thereafter catching 85 mph fastballs. He spent the next 17 years of his life devoted to fast pitch softball. Along with Pay ‘N Pack, he competed with Seafirst, Penn Corp., NHCD, The Farm Tavern, Tampa Bay Smokers, Decatur Pride, and Victoria Traveller’s Inn. To play during the winter months and perfect his game, he played in New Zealand. He played on three USA Softball National Teams in ISF World Championships play and won eight ASA All-American titles. He was also named to two ISF All-World Teams. He retired in 2002 and continues to work on his family farm growing cranberries.
Al White – Modified Player – Canton, Michigan
Al White began his career as a modified fast pitch player in 1966 and retired from the sport in 1997. He briefly emerged from retirement in 2001 to pitch his team to a ninth-place National Tournament finish. White played for 31 years, pitching for two ASA National Championship teams and earning five first-team All-America honors and the 1985 MVP Title. With all the accolades, his greatest thrill was playing with his son for Little Caesars. They qualified for ASA Nationals every year and were the perfect battery as his son was the catcher. He is currently the Head Coach for the women’s softball team at Madonna University, continuing his commitment to the sport. White is also a Metro Detroit ASA Hall of Fame Inductee.
Max Wilkes – Meritorious Service – Phenix City, Alabama
Max Wilkes has been a long time supporter of ASA dating back to 1959 where he played and managed several softball teams in the southeast. Wilkes helped organized and serves as President of the Phenix City Umpire Association from 1968 to present. Wilkes served as Alabama ASA District 5 Umpire-In-Chief for over 30 years and currently still holds that position. He is a four-time President of Alabama ASA and three-time Alabama Umpire-In-Chief. From 1993-2006, he served as UIC for over 75 ASA National Championships. During his 25-years on the National Umpire Staff, he was responsible for the coordination of 350 National Championship Tournaments from the Southern Region. He received one of the highest honors when he served on the Atlanta Olympic Games staff for the first-ever Olympic Games. He also served ASA on several committees including the Slow-Pitch Playing Rules and Umpires, Master/Seniors and Junior Olympics and Playing Rules-Special Programs.
Jim Wolford – Umpire – DeWitt, Michigan
Before Jim Wolford began umpiring ASA Softball in 1974, he played competitive softball in southwest Michigan. Wolford umpired his first state tournament just two years after he umpired his first two games. In his 26 years of service, Wolford umpired in five ASA National Championships culminating with the Men’s Super Slow Pitch in 1990. Wolford umpired in over 20 state Championships and served as Umpire-In-Chief for over 30 MASA State Championships. Also in 1990, he became the Michigan ASA State UIC, a position he held for ten years. As he turned more to promoting other umpires instead of his own career, Wolford played a key role in many Michigan umpire clinics during his time. Wolford became International Softball Federation certified in 1983. He was an inaugural member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1986 and was inducted in the Michigan ASA Hall of Fame in 1993.
On Tuesday afternoon, the ASA Hall of Fame committee met and reviewed the nominations for the 2012 class. The following individuals will be inducted into the ASA National Hall of Fame in November of 2012.
Chris Armijo (Grand Rapids, Mich.)- Umpire
Jerry King (Maysville, Ky.)– Slow Pitch Player
Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.) – Manager
Leon Grunault (Warren, Mich.) – Manager
Larry Mays (Canyon Lake, Calif.)– Manager
Ike Wheeler (Bossier City, La.)– Meritorious Service
The 32nd induction ceremony will take place on Wednesday, November 14 in Dallas, Texas at the 81st Annual ASA Council Meeting.
Rules and guidelines to nominate potential Hall of Fame candidates for 2013 are available at www.asasoftball.com under the Hall of Fame section. There is a deadline submission of September 1, 2012.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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