Olympians headline Hall of Fame Inductions
Colorado Springs, Colo.---Four players who were integral in the success of the USA Softball Women’s National Team during the past two decades, including capturing the first Olympic gold medal in the sport of softball, headline the list of inductees who were enshrined into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame on Thursday evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Sheila Douty (Diamond Bar, Calif.), Michele Granger (Granite Bay, Calif.), Dot Richardson (Orlando, Fla.) and Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.) become the first members of the original U.S. Olympic Softball Team to be inducted into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame. Each was a member of the 1996 USA Softball National Team that captured the sport’s first Olympic gold medal. Douty, Richardson and Smith also led the U.S. to its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in Sydney, Australia. Granger also becomes the first U.S. Olympian to be inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame tonight.
A total of nine people were elected in four different categories to the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame during the 74th ASA National Council Meeting held last year in Tucson, Ariz.
USA Softball’s Avon Meacham is the lone player from the men’s fast pitch category to be selected to the Class of 2006. A three-time ASA All-American, Meacham led the USA Softball Men’s National Team in three Pan American Games.
Entering the Hall of Fame tonight in the meritorious service category is retiring Alaska Commissioner Pat Lillian (Anchorage, AK) was selected after serving on the ASA Council for more than 20 years and as an ASA commissioner 33 years. Also being inducted in the meritorious service category is Illinois Commissioner Don Brewer and Region 1 umpire-in-chief Norm Davis of Lewiston, Maine.
Ralph Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) will become the 33rd individual enshrined in the umpire category into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and is the final member of the Class of 2006.
Members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2006 are: Don Brewer (Murphysboro, Ill.) meritorious service; Norm Davis (Lewiston, Maine), meritorious service; Sheila Douty (Diamond Bar, Calif.), women’s fast pitch player; Michele Granger (Davis, Calif.), women’s fast pitch player; Pat Lillian (Anchorage, AK), commissioner; Avon Meacham (Upper Marlboro, Md), men’s fast pitch player; Ralph Miller (San Francisco, Calif.), umpire; Dot Richardson (Orlando, Fla.), women’s fast pitch player; Michele Smith (Califon, N.J.), women’s fast pitch player.
Brief bios on each of the selected individuals are listed below:
Sheila (Cornell) Douty: Two-time Olympic gold medalist who was named ASA All-America 16-times as first baseman, DH and utility. She was a member of seven ASA national championship teams. She compiled a .418 batting average with the Raybestos Brakettes. In international competition she batted .412 in three ISF World Championships and .433 batting average in five Pan American Games.
Michele Granger: Southpaw pitcher who earned ASA All-America honors six times. Compiled 13-7 record in five U.S. Olympic Festivals, 4-0 in two ISF World Championships and 9-0 in three Pan American Games. Holds record for most consecutive strikeouts in a Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship (18). She led the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in 1996.
Dr. Dot Richardson: Two-time Olympic gold medalist who was named ASA All-America 15-times and was member of 10 ASA national championship teams. She won the Erv Lind Award as outstanding defensive player in ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship seven times.
Avon Meacham: Named ASA All-America three-times and was MVP of the 1994 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. He batted .306 (30-for-98) in six ASA nationals.
Michele Smith: Two-time Olympic gold medalist who was named as an ASA All-America 10-times and was a four-time winner of the Bertha Tickey Award as the outstanding pitcher at ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. She was one of the premier double-threat players to ever play the game.
Don Brewer: Has been involved with Illinois ASA since 1961 and excelled as a manager, sponsor and commissioner. Compiled won-loss record of 1,630 wins and 557 losses as a fast pitch and slow pitch manager. He sas been Illinois ASA commissioner since 2001 and received membership awards each year.
Norm Davis: Began ASA career in 1964 as an umpire and served as Maine UIC for 15 years. In 1989, was named to ASA National Umpire staff. He is also a member of National Indicator Fraternity and ASA Umpire Medals program.
Ralph Miller: Umpired 24 years and worked eight ASA nationals including five Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships. In 1996, was selected to umpire the ISF World Championship in Midland, Mich., and served as deputy UIC for Oakland ASA from 1998-2001.
Pat Lillian: Retiring after 33-year career as Alaska ASA commissioner, Lillian served as the women’s coordinator at eight U.S. Olympic Festivals. She is chair of the International Softball Federation Athletes Commission and is a member of the Northwest Region Hall of Fame.
The National Softball Hall of Fame was established in 1957 to honor those players and non players for their contributions to the development and promotion of softball. The nine new inductees increase membership in the Hall of Fame to 316. Formal induction ceremonies have been held since 1981.