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Illinois NSA / BPA Hall of Fame

NSA /BPA Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Robby Lambert, David Melosi, John Kramer, Robbie Carr, Andrea Hildebrand & Kevin Kronst

Bradley: Bradley: On Saturday December 1st, a crowd of over one hundred softball fans gathered at the Quality Inn & Suites to honor the six inductees to the Illinois NSA/BPA Hall of Fame. The 2012 Hall of Fame Class includes; Robbie Carr, Andrea Hildebrand, Kevin "Redbone" Kronst, John Kramer, Robby Lambert and David Melosi.
Master of Ceremonies Bob Kerness opened the evenings program by thanking the sponsor of the evenings dinner; Decker Sports, Quality Inn & Suites, Homestead Restaurant, Maximum Performance, Inc., Weber Printing and Xtreme Promotional Products. Kerness went on to introduce the Illinois NSA / BPA State Director Gerry Gund who spoke a few words about the Illinois NSA program. Gund said, "This is the sixth year of the Illinois NSA Hall of Fame Banquet. All of the current forty-six inductees and their biographies can be viewed on our virtual website".
Gund went on to say, "The Illinois NSA Hall of Fame mission is to recognize individuals, teams and parks who have made a significant contributions to amateur softball and to thank them for their outstanding efforts, achievements and examples!".
Gund concluded his remarks by saying, "We are here to celebrate the induction of six individual into the Illinois NSA / BPA Hall of Fame tonight. We will introduce the Inductees, ask that they stand and applaud their impact on the sport of softball".
Kerness then introduced the eighteen Illinois NSA / BPA Hall of Fame member in attendance to honor this year’s inductees.
Each inductee received a plaque that read "Illinois NSA Hall of Fame, In recognition of your outstanding service and dedication to NSA, Member (inductee's name & category) to Illinois Softball. December 1, 2012."
The evening's special guest speaker was Laura Harms the head softball coach at Bishop McNamara High School who also played on two Women's Professional Softball League World Champion teams before embarking on her coaching career.
Laura Harms began her collegiate softball career in 2001, spending two seasons at Kankakee Community College where she was a two-time NFCA First-Team selection as well as an All-American and First-Team All-Region selection. Following the 2002 season Harms moved on to Bradley University where she started every game during her two-year span compiling a career batting average of .353 including 135 hits. She was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and earned was named Bradley's Most Outstanding Athlete during her senior year in 2004. Drafted by the NY/NJ Juggernaut of the National Pro Fast pitch (NPF) following her senior year, Harms helped the team capture the inaugural Cowles Cup Championship over the New England Riptide. Harms signed with the Chicago Bandits to begin the 2005 season, and will go down in history as the first player to ever score a run for the Bandits in a 6-2 victory over the Australian National Team. Throughout her years with the Bandits, she built a solid career on the field as well as off, developing into a fan favorite. In 2008, the Bandits captured their first Cowles Cup Championship as an organization, Harms' second of her career. She retired following the 2009 season, and in February of 2010 she was inducted into the Bradley/Bourbonnais Hall of Fame. On June 7, 2012 the Bandits officially retired her #6 in a pre-game ceremony at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Harms spoke on how sports have been a big part of her life and the lessons she learned from participating in athletics have helped make her into the person she is today. She pointed out that softball not only paid for her education but also taught her how to work towards achieving a goal.
Speaking of her years as a professional softball player Harms said, "While playing at the highest level I played with and against some of the best player to every play the sport."
She went on to speak about team chemistry and if those players that are on the bench are just hoping someone else makes a mistake so that they can get a chance to play, your team will not succeed. She made this point by saying, "great player don't always make great teams."
Harms then spoke of winning the title with the Bandits by saying, "In 2007 we went from last place in the league to winning the championship in 2008." She went on to say, "In spring training we did not look very good. Other teams had better players… we made a pact right from the start that we were going to accept whatever role is ours and we were going to dedicate everything everyday towards the team to be the best." End result, World Champions.


Laura Harms

Laura Harms - Guest Speaker

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