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Inaugural NSA BPA Hall of Fame Banquet

Holiday Inn Express In Bourbonnias On December 1st, 2007

The Original Inductees to the Illinois NSA BPA Hall of Fame

BOURBONNAIS: The Illinois NSA BPA held it's inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at the Holiday Inn Express in Bourbonnais on December 1st with seventeen individuals being inducted. A crowd of more than one hundred ten people were in attendance for the evenings festivities. Brendan Michaels WKAN - Star Radio from Kankakee was the Master of Ceremony for the evening pinch hitting for Bruce Meade who was unable to attend due to illness. Meade did make a phone call and spoke to the audience via a speaker phone. He spoke about having a long softball career, memorable games and the honor he felt having been inducted into four softball associations national hall of fames. He went on to speak about the teammates and friends that softball has brought to his life.
Meade closed by saying to the evenings inductees, "Its is your night to shine enjoy the moment. You have earned it and God bless."
Rusty Baumgartner arrived after driving four and half hours from a sporting goods show being held in Indianapolis, IN to pinch hit for his good friend Bruce Meade and saying a few words to this years inductees. Baumgartner said, "instead on complaining to your director go up to them and thank them for giving you the opportunity to play softball in this great organization the National Softball Association."
Each of the evenings inductees received a crystal plaque with stand that read 'Illinois NSA BPA Hall of Fame. In recognition for your outstanding service and dedication to NSA member (person name & NSA Hall of Fame category)'.
Ken Adams from Chicago who managed both Home Run Inn and KA Softball was inducted as a manager. His teams won the NSA Men's Class B state tournament four times with two other second place finishes. His teams also won NSA Super B NIT's in five straight years. His KA Softball ball
club 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 also has qualified for the NSA Super B World six straight years (2002 through 2007). Their highest finish was fourth, accomplishing that three times (2003, 2005 & 2006). KA Softball has also participated in several other notable NSA events,
including the Gumby three times and the Music City once. Adams said while accepting his place in the 'Hall of Fame' by saying, "I have been fortunate to have the players and the kind of teams that have camaraderie and have over achieved and made the season so enjoyable."
Rick Alderson from South Wilmington was inducted as an umpire. Alderson 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 two daughters playing fast pitch, his focus turned to fast pitch softball in the 1990's. He has worked more than one hundred NSA tournaments, including seven NSA State tournaments, six NSA World Series and one NSA Super World!. Alderson is known as one of the better umpires in the state using his calm personality and great communication skills to manage his games. Alderman said, "Thank you to the Illinois NSA... it's a great game and I enjoy working with the kids."
Don Jr. and Roger Belcher the owners of Belcher Construction from Manteno were inducted as a sponsor of softball. The Belchers have had competitive team since the 1970's. Their Illinois NSA and National NSA successful teams include; 1981 - 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,
and 2007 - Bell Corp/Belcher/TAI/Backman. Don Belcher Jr. who both sponsored and managed the Belcher's Women's softball team accepted the award by saying, "Their have been a lot of ball players and I want to thank them one and all." He went on to thank his father Don Sr. who
passed away several years ago for starting the Belcher Construction connection to softball around the Kankakee area. Don. Jr. closed by saying, "Thank you to the NSA for this honor."
Don Brinkley from Springfield was inducted as an umpire. Brinkley 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. Brinkley did
slow-pitch until approximately 1995. While doing slow-pitch, Don worked over seventy-five tournaments and one thousand five hundred games. He umpired in NSA State Tournaments and in 1994 worked the NSA Men's Class C World Series in St. Louis. Brinkley began doing fast-pitch softball umpiring and from 1994 thru 2007, he worked fifteen NSA State Tournaments and approximately one hundred and fifty NSA tournaments, calling more than over 2,100 total fast-pitch games. Brinkley has worked seven World Series and two Super Worlds. While accepting his
place in the Hall of Fame Binkley said, "When I start umpiring I never expect to end up in this place." He went on to say, "I did slow-pitch softball until I found fast-pitch softball I realized its a whole new ball game. Fast-pitch is a kinder gentler sport... I only did it for the kids."

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