Three Locals To Be Inducted Sunday, December 3rd, Into Ohio USSSA Hall Of Fame Class Of 2017

Columbus, OH. – Three Greater Cincinnati softball legends, including Ron Baird, Colleen Needham, and Mary Jane Ranz, will be among the ten distinguished slow pitch softball figures comprising the 2017 class of inductees into the Ohio USSSA Softball Hall of Fame on Sunday, December 3rd.


Elected by the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame Committee and being inducted are: Ron Baird, Cincinnati, Oh.; Alan Clark, Reynoldsburg, Oh.; Ron Fields, Cleveland, Oh.; Nick Inboden, Grove City, Oh.; Colleen Needham, Cincinnati, Oh.; Mary Jane Ranz, Cincinnati, Oh.; Doug Reed, Columbus, Oh.; Earl Smith, Eaton, Oh.; Tommy Thompson, Springfield, Oh; and Dick Traphagan, Columbus, Oh.


The ten will be inducted during the 6th annual Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame ceremonies and banquet planned for Sunday, December 3rd at Columbus Airport Marriott, located at 1375 N. Cassady Ave., Columbus, OH, 43219.


This year’s class brings the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame to a total of sixty distinguished members in the seven categories for outstanding contributions to USSSA softball in the State of Ohio.


Being inducted are:


Ron Baird of Cincinnati, who managed the only Greater Cincinnati team to capture a USSSA Men’s Class A World Tournament (1989)

Ron Baird

and who won an unprecedented four consecutive ASA Men’s Major Metro Championships from 1987-’90. Baird’s VIP club also won trips to both the ASA Super Major Nationals and USSSA World Series in 1990 – a feat that has yet to be equaled in Greater Cincinnati softball. Other noteworthy championships include two Hudepohl Classic and One-Pitch NIT crowns, victories in the Great Lakes, Springfield and Agler-Davidson National Invitationals, an Ohio USSSA “A” State title, an ASA Mid-West Regional championship, and a 3rd place finish in the USSSA A World. Baird was named Greater Cincinnati softball “Manager of the Decade” in 1990, and to the Greater Cincinnati All-Century team in 2000. He retired in 1991 after an eight year coaching career that produced a 573-223 won-loss record.


Alan Clark, from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, who is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame in

Al Clark

the Executive/Director category. Al Clark arrived in the Columbus area in 1969 after six years in the U.S. Army and has been there ever since. He started playing in the area on some local low-level teams but then got hooked up with such notable teams and coaches as Max Green and the well-known Central Ohio Welding, CP Medical, and Jeff Hague’s teams. He was introduced to umpiring by Chuck Reinhart, USSSA’s UIC in the area at that time, and in 1984 he started running tournaments when Del Harlan, the District Director at that time moved due to job obligations. Eventually, of course, he was appointed to replace Gary Ogle as District Director for Ohio District XII. He has won numerous awards, including the Ohio USSSA State Director’s Award in 1993 and again in 2006. He was named a Greater Columbus Legend of the Game for 2013, and is a member of the Columbus Softball Hall of Fame. From 1969 until 2017 this new Ohio USSSA Hall of Famer has now been active in the game for 50 years!


Ron Fields of Cleveland is being inducted into the Ohio USSSSA Softball Hall of Fame in the Male Player Category. During a career

Ron Fields

which lasted more than 20 years, Ron Fields was a vital member of such noteworthy teams as R&M Metals, Coyne Sports, Ohio Sealants, Rope Club, O & S Cattle, Steele’s Sports, Hague/Ohio Transport, and Non-Ferrous Metals. A versatile player who literally played any and all positions, Ron Fields had an approximate .700 batting average and hit close to 1000 homeruns. His hitting talents led to being named to an amazing 26 All-Tournament teams and MVP for leagues or tournaments more than 20 times. He was named as a USSSA All-Conference player in 2008, and, like several other members of the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame, was a proud member of the A-AA Hague/Ohio Transport team which claimed the 1995 USSSA Major World Series.


Nick Inboden of Grove City is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Softball Hall of Fame in the

Nick Inboden

Male Player category. Nick enjoyed a 44-year career playing both infield and outfield for some of the best known and most talented teams of the Greater Columbus area, including BBL Blacktop, Danny’s Drilling, Russo Realty, Gooslen, Hague/Ohio Transport, and Aqua Science. This versatile offensive player could hit for average or power and was named to All-Tournament teams more than 20 times in State, National, and World Tournaments, and MVP at two National Championships. Like many others in the game, once he could not keep up with the younger crowd, he also found a home in the “senior” game where he continued to make appearances in Senior World Tournaments for another 15 years.


Colleen Needham of Cincinnati has managed and coached successful softball teams for over 35 years and counting, including Famous

Colleen Needham

Recipe, Empress Chili, Northern Cincinnati Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Pride, Ty-1-On and the Ohio Cardinals. Her teams won USSSA A World Championships in 1986, 1987 and 1988, and were runners-up in 1982, 1989, 1990 and 1995. She also managed Ty-1-On to a USSSA B World title in 2007. In the Masters’ and Senior programs, Needham managed six 35-over World Champions, five 50-over World Champions and the 2005 45-over and 55-over World Champions. Between 2001 and 2017, her Ohio Cardinals have won the gold in the National Senior Olympics six different times in various age brackets. Also in 2017, the Cardinals captured the SPA World Championship in the 65-over age division. Her combined won-lost record in the Womens’ and Masters’ program is 946-245. She was named the USSSA-deBeer Sportswoman of the Year in 1996, and Greater Cincinnati Manager of the Year in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2007.


Mary Jane Ranz of Cincinnati has won USSSA World Championships over the span of three

M. J. Ranz

different decades, including the 1979 Youth World with Sweeney Chevrolet, the 1985 Women’s A World with Northside K of C, and the 2000, 2002, and 2004 Women’s World Series with Kinder Sharks. Ranz has also played on two World Series runner-up teams, including Empress Chili in1995 and Kinder Sharks in 2001. In 2002 she was named World Series MVP, and later that year received the deBeer-USSSA “Sportswoman of the Year” award. She also won a 35-over World with Ty-1-On in 2004. Ranz has been a perennial Greater Cincinnati All-City selection, was the Greater Cincinnati “Player of the Year” in 1995, has been named to nine All-World teams. She was named to the Greater Cincinnati All-Century team in 2000, and was an ASA All-American in 2001. She has been selected to 26 All-Tournament teams at USSSA National Invitational Tournaments during her career, and was named Most Valuable Player in four of those.


Doug Reed, Columbus, Ohio, is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame in the Team

Doug Reed

Manager/Sponsor Category. In a managing and sponsoring career lasting more than 30 years, Doug has participated and won in practically every category of men’s play available. His teams have city, State, National, and World titles from Men’s D to Men’s A-AA and 35 & Over and his 2004 and 2005 teams were the first to win back-to-back USSSA A World titles. Teams such Cardiac Kids, Candlestick Lounge, Spaghetti Joe’s, Plank’s, and of course, Creative Stucco, are just a few of the many teams helped by Doug’s leadership. Off the field, Doug has contributed to softball just as much, serving as “Softball Insider” for Columbus TV show Sports Beat, working as a contributing member of Berliner Action Team for Softball (BATS), and serving on the Columbus Softball Hall of Fame Committee. For his many contributions to the game, Doug was inducted into the USSSA National Hall of Fame in 2016.


Earl Smith, from Eaton, Ohio, is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Softball Hall of Fame in the

Earl Smith

Executive/Director category. Prior to his retirement just a few years ago, Earl Smith had accumulated almost 50 years of softball on his extensive resume. He played the game, umpired the game, managed the game, and then most notably, he was the Director of all adult and youth softball league play in Eaton, Ohio for more than 30 years. The extensive involvement of his own family in softball (and many other sports) was likely the moving force behind Eaton’s reputation as a hot-bed of USSSA co-ed softball, sending more teams per capita than any area outside the Cincinnati area to Southern Ohio USSSA mixed couples championship play. He used his USSSA league director position to also send teams off to National and World Tournaments for 15 years. His extensive umpire resume led to working not just slow pitch, but also both high school and USSSA fast pitch softball all around S.W. Ohio. He was recognized as the Ohio USSSA Director of the Year in 1998 and was named a Greater Dayton Legend of the Game in 2009.


Tommy “Booouupp” Thompson is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Softball Hall of Fame in the Male Player category.   Having

Tommy Thompson

retired relatively recently (2010), this Springfield, Ohio native had an illustrious career spanning 20 years and playing for the most recognizable of teams in the Midwest during that span. Teams like Maroadi Transfer of PA, Jay’s and Watanabe of Cincinnati, Hague and Creative Stucco of Columbus, Northwest Pipe/Bud Light of Michigan, and EWS/Rope Club of Chicago have all benefitted from his immense talent. That talent led to more than 2000 homeruns and close to a .700 batting average for this explosive hitter, along with multiple All-Tournament and MVP awards in appearances in championship play all over the country at the highest levels of play. Tommy achieved a “hat trick” by winning a USSSA A World with Maroadi Transfer (2000), and a AA World (1994) and Major World Series (1995) with Hague. His trademark “Booouupp” with each smash of the ball became known far and wide and is the stuff of legend in the game…both entertaining to his teammates and frustrating to his opponents…but always done as an expression of the fun he had in this great game.


Dick “Trappy” Traphagan of Columbus, is being inducted into the Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame in the Male Player category. Dick

Dick Traphagan

played with many of the highest profile teams in the Central Ohio area including Art Russo Realty, BBL Blacktop, Creative Stucco, Danny’s Drilling, and Hague. A versatile player, Dick played infield for his first 15 years but then moved to the mound for most of his last 15 years of competitive play. His teams compiled a won-loss record of 800-200, and they won numerous state and national championships, including the popular 4th of July Tournament in Toledo five times, and his teams played in no less than 15 World Tournaments.   His proudest achievement was being an integral part of the 1995 Hague/Ohio transport team which won the USSSA Major World Series as an “A-AA” team.


This year’s Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and banquet affords an opportunity for softballers from around the State of Ohio to gather, enjoy the rich history of Ohio USSSA softball, and celebrate the worthy of inductees in the class of 2016.


Ceremonies begin at 1pm with a cocktail reception featuring a cash bar. The banquet begins at 2pm, with induction ceremonies immediately to follow.


Tickets for this event can be purchased for $45 each from the following:


Scott Kuhnen, P.O. Box 31038, Dayton, OH 45437   (937-429-0029)

Jerry Pinoni, 7810 Chicory St. Blacklick, OH 43004   (614-560-0625)

Mark Linnemann, P.O. Box 18153, Erlanger, KY 41018   (859-991-3860)


Tickets should be purchased by Monday, November 27th if possible. Please mail a check made out to “Softball Hall of Fame” and tickets will be mailed to you, or call one of the above individuals to make other arrangements.


We hope you will consider joining us at this special softball event to honor and congratulate our newest Ohio USSSA Hall of Fame inductees.



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Posted by on Nov 24 2017.
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