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10th Annual Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame

Standing (L to R) Bill Bromenschenkel, Tom McCarthy, Larry Sheppard & Dennis Muth, ............Sitting (L to R) Ken Franzen, Laurie Smith And Tom Burton

ROCKFORD: The Tenth Annual Illinois USSSA Hall Of Fame Induction Banquet was held on Saturday November 6th at The Cliffbreakers in Rockford with over one hundred and ninety people attending. Five individuals were inducted into the Hall Of fame with two other earning Lifetime Achievement Awards. The evening festivities followed a sit down dinner with Chuck Fischer from Louisville, Kentucky and Jeff Brown from Rockford acting as Co-Master of Ceremonies.
Fischer opened the banquet by saying, "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 to be nominated, elected and than inducted into the Illinois USSSA Hall Of Fame. The inaugural Illinois USSSA Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was conducted on March the 23rd, 1996. As of this date sixty nine individuals has received this very special honor."
Brown than took over the podium to introduce the twenty-five Illinois USSSA Hall Of Fame member who where in attendance for this evenings banquet.
The evening's first inductee was Tom McCarthy from Naperville. For fourteen years McCarthy played left center field and batted in the leadoff spot for the Bank of Westmont. During his playing career he batted over .630 with more than 320 home runs to his credit and he accumulated five MVP awards from USSSA Men's Class A & B Tournaments, numerous 'Gold Glove Awards, Four home Champion Awards, three All-State Tournament Team awards and eleven All-Tournament Awards.
McCarthy was introduced by his former manager and Illinois USSSA Hall of Famer, John Larson who said, "…his desire and his ability to perform at a high level, that what made him excel at this game."
In his acceptance speech McCarthy reflecting back on what his team meant to him said, "Our family was our wife's, our girl friends, and our spouses they were our true fans, they came out there. For some reason the bank Of Westmont was not know for going 7-0, we would lose our first or second game on a Saturday and we'd play seven or eight games on Saturday night and all day on Sunday to get home by midnight". Speaking of his teammates McCarthy said, "We worried about each other we respect each other, we spent five out of seven days a week with each other. We were a family."

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