Archive for the Category ◊ Members ◊

BIO:

Jimmy Carter was an aggressive, feared, left-handed hitter with stadium power who hit for both power and average as a 1st baseman, catcher and right fielder.  Jimmy held a career .673 batting average in the Conference USSSA, and overall batted .700 and clubbed over 1,000 homeruns during a 14-year career.   After cutting his teeth with Tuker’s in 2001 and winning a B State title, he spent the next three years with Freeze Concrete.  Freeze amassed no fewer than 17 Invitational, State, Regional and National titles during that period, including a U-Trip Great Lakes B National championship and a pair of A-AA NIT crowns.  The 2004 season was a breakout year for Jimmy, as he was named to six all-tournament teams, was All-State and All-Great Lakes Nationals, and ultimately selected the Greater Cincinnati B Player of the Year.  He spent the next two seasons with Watanabe Optical, winning his first Metro crown in 2005, and earning All-City Rookie of the Year in 2004 and back-to-back 1stTeam All-City honors.  Jimmy took a hiatus from Greater Cincinnati softball in 2007, finishing runner-up in the USSSA A World with KME/Chaney’s of California. Then for the next five years, he returned to the Queen City to lead Blitz/Watanabe to three Metro titles, approximately 20 top ten finishes in USSSA Men’s B, Major and Open NIT’s, and ultimately to a USSSA B World Tournament crown in 2011.  During that time, Jimmy was named to two Open Metro All-Tournament teams, was 1stTeam All-City three times and Greater Cincinnati Player of the Year in 2008, was picked to several NIT All-Tournament teams, a USSSA All-World team, and was a two-time Conference USSSA selection. He finished out his career with Pure Romance (2013-2014), Headlines (2015), and TG/Red’s Astros/Headlines/K & G/Worth (2016).

BIO:

Steve Gordon has been umpiring slow pitch softball for 32 years in all levels of men’s and women’s divisions of play.  Steve got his start working for the Eggleston Park Umpire Association, and later officiated for Blue Chip Umpires, then ASA and USA Softball.   He was a workhorse for the annual Amateur Softball Association’s Metro Tournament for 28 years, calling numerous championship games.  He was a fixture in the championship games of the Major Divisions, where his distinctive strike call behind home plate became his trademark. Rated as one of the top 20 umpires in the nation by ASA/USA Softball, Steve has worked 23 National Tournaments at all levels of play.  He was selected to work three Super Major, six Men’s A, and three Armed Forces Nationals. He attended six National Umpire Clinics from 2006-2012, including two Advanced Schools.  He also served locally as an Umpire-In-Chief and instructor.

Steve has consistently displayed a professional attitude and appearance on and off the field, always beginning each assignment in a well-kept uniform and polished shoes.  Heis known for his modesty, business-like approach to the game and work ethic.  His style is to never call attention to himself, yet always to ensure that each of his games is kept under control and receives his best effort.  Steve credits his ability to work at the highest level in both his National and International assignments to the experiences he has gained while working in his hometown with all the great players and the outstanding level of competition in Greater Cincinnati.  He believes that the best softball in the country is played right here in the tri-state.

BIO:

Bill Jackson played with the premier teams in Greater Cincinnati during the 1970’s and 80’s, including Greater Cincinnati Sports, Bushelman Construction, M. W. Tribble and VIP. Jackson helped lead Greater Cincinnati Sports to a 3rdplace finish in the USSSA Major World Series in 1979, but it was with VIP that Jackson would achieve his greatest accomplishments.  In 1985, he pitched VIP to the winners’ bracket finals and an eventual 3rdplace finish in the USSSA A World.  Three years later in 1988, after spending the 1987 season with M. W. Tribble, Jackson would rejoin defending ASA Metro Champion VIP and help lead the team to the second of five consecutive Major Metro titles – the final one coming under the Greg Back Transport banner (1991).  That feat that has never been equaled.  Also that year, VIP was crowned USSSA A State and ASA Midwest Regional champions, and captured three invitational titles.  Then in 1989, after winning the prestigious Springfield Stroh’s National Invitational, VIP became the only Greater Cincinnati Men’s team to ever capture a USSSA Men’s A World Tournament, winning in Cocoa Beach, Fl., where Jackson was named the Most Valuable Player.  The team won six tournaments in all that season, and finished in the top three in ten events.  Jackson and VIP set more precedents in 1990, becoming the first Greater Cincinnati team to ever compete in the ASA Super Major Nationals and USSSA Men’s Major World Series in the same season.  A lifetime .525 hitter with hundreds of home runs to his credit, Jackson was named Greater Cincinnati Player of the Year in 1989, to the Greater Cincinnati All-Decade Team in 1990, and to the Greater Cincinnati All-Century Team in 2000.  He retired in 1993 after an 18-year career.

BIO:

Andy Larkins and his 16-year old website, cincysoftball.com, have transformed Greater Cincinnati softball over the past two decades.  Along with Andy’s Facebook page, cincysoftball.com has become the number one online resource for Greater Cincinnati parks, players, managers and fans to exchange softball information, with an audience of over 10,000 slow pitch enthusiasts.  Now possessing over 25 years of experience as a player, manager, sponsor, Andy first developed a passion for the game at Rumpke Park competing against many Hall of Fame players, while learning about the competitive opportunities available in Metro, State and World Tournaments.  A lifelong entrepreneur and partner in a website hosting company, Andy saw an opportunity to revolutionize the nation’s largest tournament, the Cincinnati Metro, by providing a website to streamline the ability to obtain game times and bracket information.  That idea took hold in 2003 when he registered cincysoftball.com, launching the site in 2004 after partnering with several parks, adding a message board, and archiving articles from the Cincinnati Softball News.  Almost instantly, the site became the best advertising spot for area softball league and tournament operators.  Eventually in 2010, cincysoftball.com became the exclusive platform for Cincinnati Softball News.  At its peak, the site topped out at over 2 million pageviews per year and this past year had over 2,000 unique IP visitors.  After Softball News publisher Mark Linnemann retired in 2014, Todd Sledge came on board and the site started leveraging Facebook. Cincysoftball.com can now quickly push video content and tournament results and announcements to over 5300 followers on that platform while maintaining the current site and message board.

BIO:

Jane Scheper Meier began her 15-year slow pitch softball career in 1964, competing in a Catholic Youth Organization League at the age of 13.  Two years later she joined Ducker’s to compete in the Friday Night Women’s League in Covington, where she would catch the eye of two eventual Hall of Fame coaches: Commie Currens and Merle Williams.  Jane joined Currens’ Burger Beer team for the 1971- ’72 seasons, then, after a season with the Cincinnati Cardinals, became the starting left-fielder and number two hitter for Williams’ legendary Sorrento’s Pizza teams.  Competing at the highest level of play over the next six years, Sorrento’s became one of the dominant teams in Women’s slow pitch softball, compiling a 483-68 won-lost record and an .877 winning percentage. Playing 90-plus games every summer, Sorrento’s collected numerous invitational titles, captured three Amateur Softball Association Metros and a Midwest Regional crown, and finished in the top ten in ASA National or USSSA World Tournament play in five of the next six seasons.  The team’s greatest achievement came in 1976 in Chattanooga, Tn. where they won ten games in a row to climb out of the losers’ bracket and stun the North Carolina Rubiotts in a double-finals to win the ASA Women’s Major National Championship. A .401 hitter during her six years with Sorrento’s, Jane was ultimately named to the Greater Cincinnati Women’s All-Century team in 2000.

Jane has also achieved extensive local, regional and national recognition, honors and awards for her expansive community involvement, contributions and service as a board and committee member, volunteer, speaker, teacher, coach and athletic director. She has been inducted into nine Halls of Fame and received five national awards for her leadership achievements.

During her a 31-year career as a coach and athletic director at Northern Kentucky University, Jane coached four eventual members of the Greater Cincinnati Softball Hall of Fame, including Brenda Ryan, Pam Patrus, Amy Flaugher and Tina May Tuck.

BIO:

Norm Stafford was involved in slow pitch softball in a managing, coaching and sponsoring role for 40 years before retiring in 2015. His powerhouse Senior and Men’s Major teams included an impressive list of names, including Planet Softball (1992-‘95) and Chase/Reece (1996-’02) at the Men’s Major level, and Stafford Sales (2002-‘05) and OKI (2010-‘15) in the Senior program.  Norm’s former players who have been inducted into local and national Hall of Fames is extensive.  His most exciting moment came in 2002 when his Chase/Reece team won the USSSA Super Major Championship in Sanford, Florida.  Norm continued his softball success at the 50 plus level, claiming an NSA 50 Major Plus World Championship with Stafford Sales in 2003 before collecting five more titles with OKI.  Those included three consecutive SPA 50 Major Plus World titles in 2011, ‘12 and ‘13, and back-to-back ISA 50 Major Plus World championships in 2011 and 2012.  In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Norm was named the SPA Manager of the Year.

BIO:

Under the Freeze Concrete banner, Jim Freeze sponsored local teams for over 20 years, including some of the premier Men’s Class B teams in Greater Cincinnati during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. It was a time when teams were required to win a National Invitational or National Tournament 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 batting lineup, winning several all-tournament awards. In 2001 he batted .933 to lead Freeze to a USSSA B State title, and in 2004 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.

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BIO:

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 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 contributed to the betterment of 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 number 1 at Rumpke Park during a Jay’s vs VIP Major Metro semi-finals game.

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BIO:

During his 20-year playing career, Johnny Miller was best known for spending the bulk of those two decades batting leadoff and playing left field for EMR. He helped lead his teams to a pair of Major Metro championships (2000 and 2004) 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 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 lifetime batting average and has hit over 450 career home runs.

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BIO:

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 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 elevate 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.

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