Five Inducted Into Illinois USSSA
Hall Of Fame
At Cliffbreakers In Rockford On
ROCKFORD: The eleventh annual Illinois USSSA
Hall of Fame Induction Banquet was held on Saturday November 5th
at the Cliffbreakers Resort Hotel in Rockford with over one hundred
and fifty people in attendance. Six individuals were inducted bring
the total number of individuals inducted to eighty-one. Being honored
at this year ceremonies were Pioneer Player Charlie Baumgartner
from Oswego, Sponsor Don Metz (Metz Tool) from Rockford, Male Players
Bill Sahagian from Bartlett, John Wood from Rockford and Umpire
Irv Porter from Aurora.
Co-Master of Ceremonies Chuck Fisher opened the evening by saying,
"Ladies and gentleman, the ultimate honor that can be bestowed
upon on a player, coach, manager, director, umpire sponsor or any
involved in the game of softball is to be nominated, elected and
than inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in Illinois. The inaugural
Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame induction ceremony was conducted on
March the 23rd, 1996 and of this date seventy-five individuals have
received this very special honor."
Co-Master of Ceremonies Jeff Brown than took the podium and introduced
the twenty-four Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame members who were present
at this year's banquet so that they could stand one by one as their
name was called and be recognized by everyone in attendance.
Brown went on to introduce Don Metz who was being inducted as a
sponsor. Metz, unfortunately was away in Florida attending to some
property damage from the recent hurricane and could not accept his
plaque and ring in person.
In his introduction of Metz Brown said, "Don Metz time and
career in softball proves that the end destination is often not
as important as the path traveled to get there." Brown continued
by saying, "Don was known to his friends as 'Gamer'."
Brown closed by saying, "Don once told me, 'I have been all
over the world and have had many great times, but the truth is the
best people, the most fun, the real life victory have come from
my time in softball."
Each inductee received a ring and a plaque that said 'United Stated
Slo-Pitch Softball Association Illinois Hall of Fame (persons name
& category), Upon nomination and election, you are hereby inducted
as a member of the Illinois United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association
Hall of fame to be recognized forever this 5th day of November in
the year 2005.'
Fisher introduced Umpire Irv Porter by saying, "
Hall of Famer (Class of 2004), Ken Franzen introduced Porter by
saying, "I would put him on any game any time, any [place.
I think he is one of the top three or four umpires we have ever
had in the state of Illinois." Franzen continued by saying,
"at the pre-game meeting and coin toss, the umpires at Forest
Hills will tell the managers about the ground rule when a ball went
into the ivy , that it would be a two base hit, Irv would always
say that's not ivy out there, it's weeds and they should be burnt
In accepting his award Porter took the time to say something on
a personal nature about each of the other individuals that were
being inducted this evening. Porter went on to say, "Over the
years people have asked me, 'Why, do you umpire?' and I don't understand
where they are coming from. I am outside in basically nice weather
with my shorts on with the sun shining watch a game that we all
love. I get the best view, if I'm not close enough I get to move
closer to the play to get a better view, and they pay me money to
do this. Try and find a better job description." He closed
by saying "It's and honor, a privilege, it is intimidating,
I've looked back at the people who have gone into the hall in front
me and, wow, they are the best of the best."
(L) Don Metz - Sponsor & (R)
Irv Porter - Umpire
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