Cincinnati Softball News Article
Written by Mark Linnemann
While doing some research for this month's SOFTBALL NEWS, I stumbled across a softball website that ought to be of interest to virtually every softball fan - young and old, slow pitch or fast pitch, men's or women's. In fact, it appears to fill some sizeable voids even within the websites of the major softball organizations themselves. The site is published by Steve Dimitry, and is called "Steve Dimitry's Slow Pitch Softball History Page." "All the information you ever wanted to know about slow pitch softball is in here," touts the introduction. "Just click on the link to the left to go wherever you want to visit. This site covers all the national championships of all the softball organizations past and present from men's to women's to seniors and every other class imaginable. All the softball hall of fames and all-time teams are listed along with the yearly team rankings and individual national leaders. Some of the old time tournament classics of yesteryear are documented along with today's major NIT's and some of the more prominent invitational tournaments around the country. Bill Plummer of the ASA offers his official description of softball history for all kids doing school projects on the subject matter. There are some stats of the legends of the game complete with many photos. A complete list of softball links and a message board is available also as is a page of thanks for all the people that have helped and contributed to this site. Thanks for stopping by - Steve." Surfing the "The Softball History" website is comparable to opening a softball encyclopedia. To the best of my knowledge, it is the most comprehensive, all-embracing, all-inclusive and extensive treatment of the game since its inception. There are websites and books and magazines and newspapers that might treat selected subjects more broadly, but I can't imagine one that tackles the game in general more effectively. Some of the softball organizations have vast websites with superior graphics and more bells and whistles. But they are limited to covering their own activities, while the "Softball History" site has no such restrictions. For today's player, there is a "2002 Schedule Page" showing where all the top NIT's and National Champion-ships are scheduled this year for the Men's Super, AA and A World Series. And in case you forgot about what happened last year, click on the "2001 National Softball Review page to refresh your memory" on who won those events last year, along with the final rankings and the national statistic leaders. I'm not a big fan of the upper-most level of the game, but for the handful of people who like to follow this when big time wrestling and NASCAR aren't available, here ya' go! Want to find the ASA, USSSA, ISA, NSA, and SSAA regional, national, world and world series champions from the very first national tournaments all the way to the present day? Just click on the appropriate "National Champs" site. Some even list the runners-up and statistical leaders. ASA's site has their Men's Super Division all the way down to class D, plus the Church and Industrial divisions. Regular season and playoff results from the NSPC (National Slow Pitch Conference) from 1978 through 1987 are available for the "super" program enthusiast, plus a plethora of information on the pro leagues of the late seventies and early eighties. The APSPL (American Professional Slo-Pitch League) and UPSL (United Professional Slow Pitch League) site includes playoff and World Series results, final league standings, All-Pro teams, league statistical leaders, All-Time All-Pro, league MVP pictures and even team logos. In terms of local flavor, the Cincinnati Suds are shown as winning their division twice, once in 1978 with a 40-24 mark, and again in 1981 with the league's best record, 43-15. Both years the Suds went down in the semi-finals, including 1981 in a heartbreaking one run loss in the deciding game to the Kentucky Bourbons. Four of the five games were decided by a run. The Bourbons, who featured ex-Suds Mike LaFever and Mike O'Brien, went on to win the league crown. Cincinnati all-pro selections included outfielder Mike O'Brien in 1978, and pitcher Black Ron Jones, second baseman Tony Salamone, outfielder Hal Ward and utility player Jim Tuttle in 1981. Ward (2nd) and teammate Jim Kuhn (8th) were also among the league batting leaders in 1981, and Tuttle finished second in the league in rbi's. On the "Final National Team Rankings" page, Greater Cincinnati dominated the rankings and "Player of the Year," category. In fact, area teams finished ranked number one nationally nine out of the first eleven years from 1953 through 1963. National "Players of the Year" included Myron Reinhardt (1953, '54), Walt Wherry (1955, '59), Hal Wiggins (1956), Don Rardin (1958) and Sam Minniti (1961). Greater Cincinnati "ruled" again during the fifties on the "All-Time Teams and Honors" page. Greater Cincinnati "Player of the Century" Myron Reinhardt was named "Player of the Decade," while Tom Imfeld (Lang's Pet Shop '55, '57), Vern Roberts (Gatliff '56 MVP), John Drees (Waldeck's Tavern '54), Don Heilman (Shield's Contractors '54), Don Rardin (Gatliff '56, 59 and Yorkshire '60), Bo Stuntebeck (Shields '54 and Lang's '55), Bob Trainor (Waldeck's '54, '55), Whitey Brown (Lang's '56, Yorkshire '59, Gatliff '64), Myron Reinhardt (Shields '54, Yorkshire '59, Gatliff '56, '57, '63), Walt Wherry (Keeneland Bar '54, Lang's '55, Boone's Bar '58, Yorkshire '59), Hal Wiggins (Lang's '56, Gatliff '61, '63), Gene Dittoe (Lang's '55) and John Henry (Gatliff '58) were named to the "Team of the Decade." Sam Minniti (Hamilton Tailoring '60, 61), Bob Harrison (Gatliff '64, Wilsman Trucking '66) and Hudson Knock (Gatliff '64, '65) were the only area "All-Decade" picks in the sixties. Other pages of interest to Greater Cincinnati softballers might be "Classic National Invitational Tournaments." Here the "Stroh's/Hudepohl" Springfield NIT and Ohio Valley Classic (Cincinnati) are chronicled, listing past champions and individual award winners, many of whom will be familiar names to area players and fans. A "Women's History" page is steeped in Greater Cincinnati accomplishments, especially during the fifties, sixties and seventies with ASA championships by Dana Gardens ('57, '62, '63 and '66), Dairy Cottage ('61), Escue Pontiac ('68), Rutenschroer Florist ('70), Riverside Ford ('72), Sweeney Chevrolet ('73), and Sorrento's Pizza ('76), and then again in the seventies and eighties with USSSA "A" World Champions Sweeney Chevrolet ('76), Northside K of C ('85) and Empress Chili ('86, '87, '88). There is even a Master's page heralding the achievements of teams and players from eleven organizations and ages 35 all the way to 80 and over, plus a "Fast Pitch," "Origins of Softball" page, and a "Softball Links" page that is an incredible gateway to over 200 links to organizations, information pages, personal pages, message boards, company pages and softball search engines. Steve Dimitry has made an unmatched contribution to the game of softball with his "Softball History" website. It fills a huge void in the preservation of the game's history and traditions, and the legacies of its great players, teams and sponsors.
All I can say is thank you Mark for all the kind words you said about my web site in your article - Steve Dimitry
The Hudepohl Softball Hall of Fame in Cincinnati is loaded with great players. Just take a look at this of members and also their selections for all-decade and all-century players. It reads like a list of who's who in National Softball History:
Men's Slow Pitch
Women's Slow Pitch
Player of the Century - Myron Reinhardt
First Team Second Team Third Team P- Walt Wherry Black Ron Jones Jim Burbrink Dave Penick C- Myron Reinhardt Randy Lewis Sonny Rider 1B- Barry Norman Hudson Knock John Earls Emery Lucas 2B- Ray Whitey Brown Tony Salamone Galen Kelly SS- Rick Linz Ron Cutter Tom Kasee Karl Nageleisen 3B- Jim Kuhn Mike Sullivan Steve Roeder Lee Sledge OF- Tom Taylor Mike Burns Marty Monterosso OF- Steve Massong Paul Nutley Hal Ward OF- Mike O'Brien Bill Schlesinger Jerome Youngblood OF- Hal Wiggins Earl Berryman Randy DeAngelis OF- Leo Osterday Denver Gabbard Randy Atna OF- Mike LaFever Utility-Don Rardin Butch Hays Homer Ruth Utility-Bill Goedde Walt Roeckers Larry Shircliff Utility-Red Ron Jones Mark Huber Mike Smith Utility-Don Whitford Davey Johnson Terry Childs Utility-Bo Stuntebeck Paul McMullen Greg Sandy Utility-Clyde Stafford Billy Jackson John Coorey Mgr- Al Brausch Bob Fennell Mgr- Reed Hughes Ron Baird Mgr- Tommy Rowan Don Schachleiter Sponsor-Joe Gatliff Sorrento's Pizza Sponsor-Jay Hopkins Carlise Construction Sponsor-John Bushleman Century Tire
Players of the Decades
Player of the Year Winners
Player of the Year Runner-up - Player of the Year 1977 Mike LaFever, Rockcastle Motors Jim Kuhn, Hal Manufacturing 1978 Hal Ward, Greater Cincinnati Sports Ron Jones, Strohs 1979 Rick Linz, Greater Cincinnati Sports Jack Robinson, Bushleman's Construction Hal Ward, Greater Cincinnati Sports 1980 Galen Kelly, Bushleman's Construction Davey Johnson, Hammers Steve Hicks, Bushleman's Construction 1981 Mike Tolliver, Jay's Steve Hicks, Bushleman's Construction 1982 Mickey McMullen, Bushleman's Const. Joe Griffith, Knights 1983 Leo Osterday, Bushleman's Const. Jack Collins, Bushleman's Construction 1984 Bob Massong, Bushleman's Const. Leo Osterday, Bushleman's Construction 1985 Jack Collins, MW Tribble Mike Sullivan, VIP Limousine Mike O'Brien, Jay's 1986 Mike O'Brien, Jay's Mike Sullivan, VIP Limousine Don Cleaver, VIP Limousine 1987 Scott Hein, VIP Limousine/ETC Mike Sullivan, VIP Limousine/ETC Mike Harvey, Jay's Bob Cole, F&C Athletic 1988 Steve Roeder, VIP/ETC Larry Shircliff, VIP/ETC 1989 Billy Jackson, VIP/ETC Steve Roeder, VIP/ETC Marty Monterosso, Jay's 1990 Marty Monterosso, Jay's Homer Ruth, VIP/ETC 1991 Tony Salamone, Greg Back/Kipling's Doug Riley, Greg Back/Kipling's Tim Clemmons, Jay's 1992 Mike Kinnett, Watanabe/Scarlato's Doug Riley, McCluskey Chevrolet-GEO 1993 Tommy Thompson, Jay's/Worth Mike Kinnett, Watanabe/Scarlato's/Easton 1994 Randy Lewis, Watanabe/Scarlato's Mike King, Hosea Worldwide 1995 Mike Kinnett, Watanabe/Scarlato's Joe Penwell, Backstop/Easton 1996 Jim Kearns, Lovill/Easton Joe Penwell, Backstop/Easton John Steele, Watanabe/Scarlato/Perkins 1997 John Steele, Watanabe/Scarlato/Perkins Marvin Doyle, Backstop/Easton 1998 Randy Lewis, Watanabe/Scarlato/Perkins Tom Ellis, First American Title 1999 Mark Smith, Watanabe/ Perkins/TPS Tony Sharkins, Perkins Roofing/TPS 2000 Jack Collins, EMR/Meiner’s Cafe/Worth Kevin Atwood, Perkins Roofing/TPS 2001 Marvin Doyle, EMR/Worth Jason Roesch, Cooper/Pohlman/Worth Steve Spille, Perkins/TPS John Steele, Perkins/TPS 2002 John Steele, Perkins/Watanabe/TPS Marvin Doyle, Cooper/Specialty Vending/Worth 2003 Brian May, Watanabe/K&G/TPS Tom Ellis, Watanabe/K&G/TPS Darrell Hall, DLB/Arnold/Superior Jon Jamison, Luckey Homes/Rite Rug 2004 Brian Wegman, Watanabe/New/K&G/Tiny Shane Hatfield, Alpine/Easton Mike Kinnett, EMR/Worth Johnny Miller, EMR/Worth
©1998 Steve Dimitry, all rights reserved.