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13th Annual Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame

Six Individuals and Two Teams Are Inducted

Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame Class of 2007

Front row (left to right) John Strugill, Cheryl Snyder, Marc Musser - Back row (left to right) Ken Dohm, Bernie Carroll and Leon Kreher

ROCKFORD: The Illinois USSSA held its 13th annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on November 3rd, 2007 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Rockford with twenty-four former inductees in attendance among the crowd of nearly one hundred ninety people coming to honor the six individuals plus added two teams being added to it 'Hall of Honor'. To date eight-seven individuals, three teams, and four 'Lifetime Achievement award winner had been honored as they opened the door to welcome in this years class to their prestigious club.
This years inductees include Cheryl Snyder from Springfield in the Women's Player category, Male players, Bernie Carroll from Elmhurst, Ken Dohm from Grayslake and Leon Kreher New Athens, umpire Marc Musser from Joliet and John 'Smiley' Sturgill from Joliet in the Meritorious Service Category. Two teams were also inducted into the Hall of Honor. Lily Air Systems from Chicago a ball club that played at six USSSA Major World Series in the 1980's and also being recognized was the 2007 USSSA Men's Class C World Champions Shockers / Paul Davis Restoration from Rockford for becoming the second Illinois team to win a USSSA World Title. The only other team from Illinois to win a USSSA World Tournament was the Forest Hills Diamonds ball club in 1976 winning the Men's Class B World Tournament.
After dinner had been served and deserts consumed Co-Master of Ceremonies Chuck Fischer opened the evening program by saying, "Ladies and gentleman the ultimate honor that can be bestowed upon a player, coach, manager, director, umpire, sponsor, or anyone involved in the game of softball in the State of Illinois is be nominated, elected and inducted into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame. The first Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame induction ceremony was conducted on March the 23rd 1996. And as of this date eight-seven individuals have received this special honor."
Jeff Brown, Co-Mater of Ceremonies introduced the twenty-four 'Hall of Famers' who were attending the evenings festivies they stood as their names were announced and they were recognized by the crowed with cheers.
Fischer introduced umpire Marc Musser from Joliet the evenings first inductee. Marc 'Muss' Musser umpired USSSA softball for seventeen years working the USSSA Women's Class A World Tournament plus many National Invitational Tournaments and numerous Illinois USSSA State Tournaments along the way. Muss was known for his quite way of keeping control in a pressure packed game that made observes mention how he 'made it look like a walk in the park'. He stated that as a player in the early 1970's he played in another softball associations tournament program and came away disappointed in their tournaments but he always enjoyed coming to Rockford to play and later to umpire.
Accepting his place in the 'Hall of Fame' Musser said, "We (umpires) are there to mediate. The best feeling I ever got as an umpire after a game was to actually leave the field and no one said a word, I just walk to my car to drive home and I would say to myself, 'I must of had a great game, no one said a word'. As an umpire that is the greatest thing that could happen to me."
Illinois USSSA Executive State Director Brenda Paulson read his certificate honoring Musser accomplishments of being inducted into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame plus awarded him a crystal softball trophy. Paulson said, "Thank you Marc, we've really missed you. You were one of our best umpires ever."

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