USSSA Softball Hall of Fame Inductees
- 1.1 Dan Smith
- 1.1.1 Bill Mathews
There are several ways to test a USSSA softball bat. First, you should reach the end of the barrel with your fingertips. A longer bat is likely to feel ungainly, whereas a shorter bat may not. This is especially important if you plan on using your bat in a game. Secondly, a bat should feel balanced. The weight should be evenly distributed, and the length should be within your desired range.
As a sponsor of AJD, Andy Joel plays USSSA softball. His team has a record of 650 wins and 250 losses, and won the USSSA Virginia Men’s State Tournament seven consecutive years from 1984 to 1991. In a USSSA Hall of Fame ceremony, Joel recalled that one of his favorite tournament memories was when his team defeated Steele’s team. Now, he’s a USSSA Hall of Famer.
During his time in the league, he played for the San Jose Giants. His teams won the USSSA Men’s “AA” World Tournament in 1991 and finished fourth at the Men’s Major World Series the following year. Since then, Smith’s teams have participated in every Men’s Major World Series, and he has won the National Hall of Fame twice. He is also a member of the National Board of Directors for the USSSA.
The Smoky Mountain Classic is a world-class USSSA softball tournament known for prodigious home runs and tight defense. The winning team in the masters division rallied from a loss on Saturday to win the championship 48-27. They scored 13 runs in each of the first two innings to force a winner-take-all game. And the big day for Dan Smith didn’t stop there. He also hit a walk-off grand slam in the fifth inning, as well as a pair of double-digit hits in the tournament.
The Dan Smith/Proton Major Conference team has surprised the softball world this season with their dominance. They have made it to the championship game four times this season. They also have three 2nd place finishes. And in the windy city major on June 3rd, they won the tournament championship. That’s what I call teamwork! Dan Smith and his teammates have made it look so easy! But the road to the championship game is long.
Bill Mathews began his career as an umpire with the USSSA in 1972 and remained active with the organization until 1987. He also officiated the USSSA Industrial World Tournament in 1984. In 1985, he was appointed USSSA State Director for Missouri. During his tenure with the USSSA, he hosted numerous divisional tournaments, including the Men’s “D” in 1988 and the Men’s “C” in 1991. He also served as Assistant Tournament Director for the 1994 USSSA Men’s Major World Series.
The 2021 USSSA season will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the third consecutive season that the league has been held in Vegas. The previous season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The USSSA has over five million players in its league, including over 500 at the collegiate level. In addition, the game is played in Big League Dreams Park, which has hosted nine previous seasons.
The career of Beverly Lovett has been a long one for the former USSSA softball player. She has played on four USSSA World Series championship teams, the USSSA Women’s Program, and the USSSA Mixed Program. She has an obscene batting average (.600) and has been named to the All World Teams five times. She has also made the All Star Game, and was selected to four USSSA “A” All-Star teams, including the USSSA Women’s World Series.
Inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in the Female Player category, Ryan made an impact on the USSSA Women’s Program. She was a member of the 1977 Women’s ‘B’ World Champions, the Pabst Blue Ribbon. She later joined the Women’s ‘A’ World Championship team, the UPI/Kinder. Her accomplishments were recognized with two MVP awards, one for excellence in fielding, and one for batting average.
A former shortstop for the Steele’s Sports and Ritch’s Superior teams, Ron Parnell was a member of seven USA Softball Super National Championship squads and three runner-up teams. He slugged more than 2,000 home runs during his amateur career and was named an All-American nine times. Despite his successful playing career, he continued to play slow pitch softball as a senior.
During his time with Steele’s Baseball, Parnell had opportunities to work with legendary players such as Bruce Meade, Buddy Slater, Doug Brown, Cecil Whitehead, and Stu Davis. Parnell also was able to hire some of the greatest names in American baseball history, including former Hall of Famers Monty Tucker. While at Steele’s, Parnell was an active member of the American Association of Professional Softball executives and coaches.
Former USSSA softball player Randy Gorrell has passed away. He was 55. He married Alvina Harris on May 17, 1995. The couple lived in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where the Deem family operated college bookstores. Randy was an avid softball player and coached his children, helping them achieve their dreams of playing college baseball or softball. He was a devoted father and mentor and is survived by his wife of 52 years, daughters Barbara and Tracy, and son Brian. A memorial service is planned for Thursday at 2 p.m.