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2018 Norwood Sorrento’s-Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremonies Slated For January 28th At Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront

Another class of seven distinguished slow pitch softball figures will comprise the 2018 class of inductees into the Norwood Sorrento’s-Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame.

 

Elected by the Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame Committee, the inductees will include Jim Freeze in the Sponsor Category, David Maury in the Special Service Category, Johnny Miller in the Male Player Category, Micki O’Donnell in the Senior Player Category, Carole Baldauf Replogle in the Female Player Category, Steve Rogers in the Senior Player Category, and Wayne Rust (posthumously) in the Umpire Category.

 

The seven will be inducted during the 33rd annual Norwood Sorrento’s-Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront, 668 West Fifth Street in Covington.

 

This year’s class brings the Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame to a total of one hundred seventy-three distinguished members in the seven categories for outstanding contributions to softball in Greater Cincinnati.

 

Below are brief profiles of this year’s inductees.

 

Jim Freeze: Sponsor Category

 

Under the Freeze Concrete banner, Jim Freeze sponsored local teams for over 20 years, including some of the premier B teams in Cincinnati during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Jim Freeze

It was a time when teams were required to win an NIT to qualify for World Tournament play. From 1996 to 2007 in NSA and USSSA play, Freeze Concrete teams won 52 National Invitational Tournaments, three City Slam titles, six B State Championships, four B National crowns, and a World Tournament. They also enjoyed a .600 winning percentage against A-AA teams, winning a pair of A-AA NIT’s, and finished ranked nationally as a top five team in the country for five consecutive years from 1999 to 2004. Jim also contributed to his team in the lineup, winning several all-tournament awards. In 2001 he batted .933 to lead Freeze to a USSSA B State title, and in 2004 when when he was named the Outstanding Offensive Player in the USSSA B Nationals. With Jim’s induction, Freeze Concrete teams will have produced five members of the Sorrento’s Pizza-Greater Cincinnati Softball of Fame.

 

Dave Maury: Special Service Category

 

Since becoming a slow pitch umpire in 1982 at the age of 19, Dave Maury’s life has been intricately connected to the game of softball in Greater Cincinnati for over three

Dave Maury

decades. In 1990 he became the Assistant Park Director at Rumpke Park, then in 2001 was named Park Director at what is now Mid-America Ball Yard, where he is currently the park’s Operations Manager. Dave’s trademark appearance – stained, dirty ball cap, Wrangler jeans and work boots – has been a familiar site to countless players and fans during the early morning and late evening hours now for over thirty years. During that time, he has also been active as a player, coach, sponsor and ASA Commissioner, and has served on many committees which have served to better the game. At Mid-America, he has overseen a staple of such premier events as the annual Bash for Cash, City Slam, Conference USSSA Men’s Major, and the Metro Tournament. Dave has unquestionably been responsible for the success and longevity of the Metro Tournament. Above all else, he treasures the many life-long friends he has made in the game. One of his most prized memories in softball is the time his dog and long-time sidekick, Max, ran across field 1 at Rumpke Park during a Jay’s vs VIP Major Metro semi-finals game.

 

Johnny Miller: Male Player Category

 

During his 20-year playing career, Johnny Miller was best known for spending the bulk of career batting leadoff and playing left field for EMR. He helped lead his teams to a

Johnny Miller

pair of Major Metro championships and eight top three Major Metro finishes. His teams have also captured a pair of USSSA B National titles and an NSA B and WSL C Midwest World Championship, and many other invitational and Metro tournament crowns. Johnny’s individual accomplishments include being named to the 1st Team All-City Major division ten times and 1st Team All-Decade in 2000. He was an eight-time 1st Team All-Metro selection and a 2000 Major Metro MVP. Overall he has been picked to 19 All-Tournament teams, with five MVP awards. And in addition to many other awards, he has been named USSSA B All-State three times, and to the an NSA B, USSSA B and WSL C All-World 1st team. Known as a hitter who could “throw it around the yard” and hit for occasional power, Johnny owns a .660 life-time batting average and has hit over 450 career home runs.

 

Michelle O’Donnell: Senior Player Category

 

From 1967-’80, Michelle “Micki” O’Donnell played for some of the top women’s major teams in Greater Cincinnati, including 1968 ASA Women’s Open Major National

Micki O’Donnell

Champion Escue Pontiac, ASA Metro and Regional Champion Cincinnati Cardinals, and the Cincinnati Blazers. But it was her participation in the Senior program that would ultimately propel her into the Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame. With the Ohio Cardinals from 1999-2009, Micki captured numerous Senior World Series titles and Senior Olympics Medals. Primarily an outfielder during her 51-year career, her athleticism and versatility also enabled her to play shortstop. A lifetime .566 hitter, she batted in the 3-4-5 slot, and “made things happen” with her powerful swing. Despite all of these accomplishments, Micki proudly confesses that her biggest thrill was winning the 2004 Women’s Senior Softball World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, and getting to hold her son Noah in the team’s winning picture.

 

Carole Baldauf-Repologle: Female Player Category

 

Managers and coaches could not have asked for a better teammate than Carole Baldauf Replogle. Described as a dependable player and a base-running and defensive specialist

Carole Baldauf-Replogle

in left and right centerfield, Carole simply out-worked and out-hustled the competition. When the game was on the line and a team needed a clutch play in a crucial part of the game, Carole was the player you wanted to have the ball hit to. During her 21-year career during the height of women’s slow pitch softball, she was a mainstay on the roster of two National Championship teams, Rutenschroer Floral and Sorrento’s Pizza. Some credit Carole with winning the 1970 National Championship after making a diving catch in the outfield behind another outfielder while doing what Carole always did, backing up a teammate.

 

Steve Rogers: Senior Player Category

 

Steve Rogers has been playing softball for 49 years and is still going strong in the senior softball circuit. Steve’s resume of teams is extensive, including ASA Open Metro

Steve Rogers

Champion and USSSA B World Champion Queen City Pattern, and two-time ASA Open Metro Champion Greater Cincinnati Sports. He also played with the Cincinnati Suds the year they compiled the best regular season record in the American Professional Slo-Pitch League. But it has been Steve’s play at the Senior level that has fashioned him into a Hall of Famer. Competing with teams like Riverside Paving, Stafford Sales, Travelodge, American Metals, Kinnco, and DeClaire Insurance, Steve has collected over 25 World titles in ASA, ISA, NSA, ISSSA, SPA and USSSA 50, 55 and 60-over play. And he has ammassed over 250 league and 300 tournament titles. His personal accomplishments include nine MVP awards and more than two dozen All-Tournament selections in Invitational, State, Regional, National and World Tournament competition. And he was named to four All-City teams. A towering right-fielder, Steve boasts a lifetime batting average of .600-plus with over 1,500 home runs and 4,000 rbi’s.

 

Wayne Rust: Umpire Category

 

For 40-plus years, Wayne Rust positioned himself behind many a home plate and shared ballfields with countless players while umpiring over 35,000 games prior to

Wayne Rust

passing away in 2007. Wayne worked as an ASA umpire for Queen City Umpire Association for twelve years prior to joining the Buckeye Umpire Association at Expressway Park. There Wayne officiated over 300 USSSA National Invitational Tournaments, 225 USSSA State Championships, 25 USSSA National Tournaments, six USSSA World Tournaments, and a USSSA Men’s Major World Series in 1996. Long time friend Bob Owens, Park Manager at Expressway Park where Wayne worked the lion’s share of his games, said Wayne relished working any game at any level, whether it be a league game or tournament game. Wayne never missed an umpire assignment, Owens added, and no one was ever a greater ambassador for the game. Owens also praised Rust for being a mentor, teacher and father figure to Expressway Park’s umpires, and for his unmatched knowledge of the playing rules. He attended twenty USSSA Divisional Umpire Clinics, and fifteen USSSA National Clinics. He served as Umpire-In-Chief for over 100 USSSA State Championships, over 300 National Invitationals, twelve USSSA National Championships, and four World Tournaments. Locally, Rust received 17 Buckeye Umpire Service Awards from 1982-2007, was named Buckeye Umpire Association Umpire of the Year six times, and was selected Greater Cincinnati USSSA Umpire of the Year twice. He was honored as the Ohio USSSA State Umpire of the Year in 1996, and in 2002 was presented the USSSA “National Director of Officials Award” – USSSA’s highest umpire awards except for induction into the National Hall of Fame.

 

This year’s Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and banquet affords an opportunity for softball enthusiasts from around the tri-state to gather, enjoy the rich history of Greater Cincinnati softball, and celebrate the wealth of inductees in the class of 2018.

 

Former umpires, family and friends are welcome to be part of the induction ceremonies on Sunday January 28th. Tickets are available for purchase by going to

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/norwood-sorrentos-greater-cincinnati-softball-hall-of-fame-banquet-tickets-40032644718

 

Or call Mark Linnemann at 859-991-3860.

 

You can also celebrate with the inductees on Friday night January 26th at Tina’s in downtown Cincinnati starting at 7pm during the Pre-Induction Hall of Fame social.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on Jan 18 2018.
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