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Welcome to my Page of Thanks. I'd like to personally thank just about everybody that I can remember that helped me out with this web site. If I missed anyone, I'm sorry, but I think I got everybody.

* Jerome Earnest for always being able to provide some kind of information on just about any softball subject whatsoever. This man was a walking encyclopedia of softball. Sadly, he passed away this past year and we are all going to miss him.

* Robert Brown, former Pro League commissioner, provided year-by-year details of the pro leagues. He also helped me with some NSPC stuff. This man has the most unbelieavble memory I have ever come across. He went out of his way of his busy schedule to help me. Robert is a genuine good person who is the kind of guy you feel you've known for a long time. He makes people that comfortable around him. This is evident by the many people who speak of him in that way. 

* USSSA, NSA and ISA (and future ASA) Hall of Famer, Mike Macenko for the information and pictures he has provided to this page. This man is absolutely a nice guy with a good sense of humor. I would like to wish him the best of luck in his endeavors with Nike. I think we are all glad that he decided to come back and play this year. 

* Robert Still of the USSSA Hall of Fame Museum for a lot of information on the USSSA Hall of Fame members. I was in Petersburg, Virginia recently and visited the USSSA Hall of Fame. Robert is a very nice guy and he gave me a wonderful tour of USSSA history complete with explanations. The Museum is layed out in a great design format and it is impossible not to see everything. 

* Bert Smith of Charlotte, who was the most prolific Home Run Hitter of his time and maybe all time and one of the best softball players that ever lived. We have talked many times and I hope some day he sits down to write a book on his life in big time softball. I gaurantee it would be interesting, because he has played with or against the greatest players in history, and can even remember a little something about each and every player like it was yesterday. He also is the only person in ASA history to win 3 separate MVP awards for three different teams. And then go on and win a Pro League MVP award. Bert is now in the ASA Hall of Fame. 

* Mike Nye set the single season batting record in 1976 (.769), that stood for almost 20 years. Mike sent me a big package of his personal records for me to read, He was an amazing athelete and is truely a nice guy and certainly will be a future Hall of Famer. 

* ASA, USSSA and NSA Hall of Famer, Bruce Meade for taking the time from his busy schedule to call me on the phone and answer many questions and provide many details of the 1970's and 1980's. He is a true gentleman and deserves every accolade he receives. 

* Bill Gatti for researching some of the missing details of the professional leagues. People don't realize that Bill Gatti was the one who helped provide inputs and tested the design of the 'original' TPS bat. The silver one with the red end cap. He also did the same for the first 'power end' blue TPS bats. These bats were the beginning of the technology explosion of the bat makers. Bill Gatti was also one of the greatest softball players of all-time. 

* Brian McCall of the National ASA office and especially Bill Plummer for always responding to my requests for information and providing ASA Hall of Fame biographies as well as many, many ASA details. Bill has helped me out in so many different situations of my information research. The ASA should be proud to have such a fine man working for them. And he was elected to the ASA Hall of Honor this year for his many years of work. 

* Paul Miller gathered all the Senior Softball information together and sent it to me. He also sends me any updates or changes. I'm glad we can recognize these fine elder statesmen and the championships they have won. 

* Wally Boyer of Pittsburgh, PA for some ASA Major National Tournament info, since he has been to every ASA national and remembers every single one of them. 

* Rocky Neale and Dave Neale, Jr. of Steele's Sports for always answering questions I have about the history of the Men of Steele's. They sent me the official Steele's history book and much info on the NSA national tournys. 

* Andy Yazwinski of Rochester, NY for providing a lot of missing information on the Pro Leagues. He sent me a nice letter explaining the info he provided. He also sent me some old programs, rosters, stats and media guides, etc. 

* Joe Huff of the Maryville Recreation Department for information on the prestigious Smoky Mountain Tournament. He went out of his way to provide details for me. 

* Jim Snyder for helping out with a lot of information about the history of the NSPC. Jim sent me a 10 pound box of papers to look at and extract data from. These were his own personal collection and he trusted me to review them and mail back to him. Jim is also in the USSSA Hall of Fame. 

* Jack Trompics of Detroit sent me a lot of information on Detroit Slow Pitch from East Side Sporting Goods, Michael's Lounge, Little Caesars to the Detroit Metro Travel League and even the best 35 and over team of all-time, Nothdurft's of Michigan who have won 8 ASA titles and 3 USSSA titles. 

* Myron Reinhardt of Kentucky sent me a couple of nice letters explaining the early ASA days. This man was the very first slow pitch player to be inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame. 

* Paul Tomasovich of Pittsburgh sent me a large package loaded with information on the greatest team of the 1960's, Skip Hogan's A.C. By the way, Tomasovich was the best ever to come from that area and is in the ASA Hall of Fame. 

* Don Behlendorf was the manager of the first USSSA powerhouse, Accurate Welding. He sent me a lot of nice articles and stats on his years with this team. 

* Craig Elliott works about 100 hours a week driving a truck but always finds time to help me out with some piece of data. I have his cell phone number and he always likes to talk. This man should be in the Hall of Fame soon. 

* Three time ASA All-American Ricky Leek of County Sports for researching much old County Sports information along with former County Sports member and Long Island Metro Hall of Fame Inductee, Steve Barkan. These guys, especially Steve went out of their way to locate the records from the Rheingold Tournament of Champions 

* Tom Yoder of Ohio, who sent me his whole collection of ASA and USSSA programs to review. I appreciate his kindness and trust he had in me to do this. These items are very valuable to him and I'll treat them like gold until I send them back. 

* A special thanks to Tom Riccio for sending me a bunch of nice information that has accumulated over the years on the ASA and NSPC.

 The following people have also helped out a great deal either by sending me some information, telling me information on the phone or even steering me in the right direction. I have them divided up by geographical regions: 

* Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky: Don Rardin, Sr., Raymond "Whitey" Brown, Walt Wherry, Bo Stuntebeck, Keith Stopplewerth, Sam Minniti, John Drees, Walt Roeckers, Jack Carmichael, Art Merten, Reed Hughes, John Henry, Mrs. Gene Dittoe and Mrs. Hal Wiggins 

* Pittsburgh: Mike Kovack, Billy Caye, George Siford, Charles See, Guy Demaio, Anthony Gaetano and Albert Tankosh 

* Florida: H.T. Waller, Luther Ates, Gerald Martello, Ron Ford, Darrell Leake, Harold Warren and special thanks to Linda Geiger, daughter of Ted Childers, who along with his late wife were the owners of Jo's Pizza from Milton, Florida 

* Milwaukee: Pete Narrai, Dennis Graser, John Stone, Dick Polgar and John Korinek * Detroit: Mike Gouin, Gary Vitto and George Caloia 

* Cleveland: Andy Loya, Ron Annotico and Sanford Gross 

* Denver, NC: Rick Howard of Howard's Furniture is the son of the late Richard Howard, who started the team from scratch and built them into a National powerhouse and probably one of the more famous softball teams ever: Gene Fisher, Don Arndt, Dick Bartel and Randy Gorrell have helped me out to clarify some facts 

* California: These guys shed some light on Softball in the West: Gary Wallick, Ed Menosse, Campbell Strange, Jim Lamb and Don Goldstein 

* Also to these great stars for their sincerity when talking on the phone about softball history: Frank DeLuca, Eddie Zolna, Herman Rathman, Lynwood Strickland, Ron Paterson, Ron Olesiak, Jim Ports, George Taylor and Chet Tyl 

* New York: I have a special feeling for because I grew up there: George and Billy Linnehan of Levittown for helping me get in touch with the players on the County Sports teams that were run by their ASA Hall of Fame father, Doc Linnehan; Jim Galloway, Oscar Steadman and Larry Chiapetta, Plus the other New Yorkers: Bob Bier, Vince Branigan, George O'Neill, Zeke Sinicola, Rocky Salice, Jim Carmen and Mike Kucklinka.

 


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Email: sdimitry@verizon.net