Olympians Selected for Hall of Fame
OKLAHOMA CITY – 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 people chosen for enshrinement into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in 2006.
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 selected for induction 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.
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 recently in Tucson, Ariz., at the J.W Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa.
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.
In the meritorious service category, 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 selected in the meritorious service category were Illinois Commissioner Don Brewer and Region 1 umpire-in-chief Norm Davis of Lewiston, Maine.
Ralph Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) becomes the 33rd individual to be selected for enshrinement in the umpire category into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and the final member of the Class of 2006.
The nine inductees will be officially enshrined at the 2006 ASA National Council Meeting, November 11-18, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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: Named ASA All-America 16 times as first baseman, DH and utility. Was a member of seven ASA national championship teams. Compiled a .418 batting average with the Raybestos Brakettes. 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).
Dr. Dot Richardson: Named ASA All-America 15 times and was member of 10 ASA national championship teams. 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, Batted .306 (30-for-98) in six ASA nationals.
Michele Smith: Named ASA All-America 10 times and four-time winner of the Bertha Tickey Award as outstanding pitcher in ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. Was one of the premier double-threat players in 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. Has 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. Member of National Indicator Fraternity and 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, MI. Served as deputy UIC for Oakland ASA from 1998-2001.
Pat Lillian: Retiring after 33-year career as Alaska ASA commissioner. Was women’s coordinator at eight U.S.O.C. Festivals. Is chair of the International Softball Federation Athletes Commission. 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.