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History of the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame

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When the Arizona Softball Foundation was formed in 1973, their second order of business, after electing a Board of Directors, was to set up and populate an Arizona Softball Hall of Fame to be comprised of Arizona's greatest players, coaches, sponsors, umpires and other contributors to the game of fastpitch softball.

The Foundation decided the first person to be inducted into the Hall would be Art Funk, chairman of the Board of Greyhound Parks of Arizona and sponsor of the legendary Funk Jewels which included many of the great Arizona softball players. The team was a dominant force in 16 national championship tournaments held in Phoenix at softball fields which he built. This included the famous Phoenix Softball Park, a $100,000 stadium and field at 17th Avenue and Roosevelt.

The next year, 1974, marked the 40th anniversary of fast pitch softball in Arizona. The Board thought it fitting to select what would be known as the Charter Members of the Foundation from a ballot containing only the names of the men and women who played in the pre-war years. The following sixteen men and women were chosen as the Charter Members and were honored at the first induction banquet.

Charter Women Players

Charlotte “Skipper” Armstrong
Louise (Curtis) Miller
Margie (Wood) Law
Rose Mofford
Carolyn Morris
Amelina “Amy” Peralta
Mickey Sullivan
Dot Wilkinson

Charter Men Players

Joe Hunt
Harry “Coon” Rosen
Arnold “Nolly” Trujillo
Larry Walker
Paul “Windmill” Watson

Charter Contributors

Ford Hoffman
Ben Spalding
Art Van Haren Sr
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From 1975 to 1980 the Foundation continued to operate and eighty-eight more men and women were inducted into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame. Then, for some unknown reason, the Foundation ceased functioning between 1980 and 2000. No new members were inducted into the Hall of Fame during those years.

Around 1998, a group of retired renowned men fast pitch players that were attending a national tournament decided the Foundation should be rejuvenated again. A Committee of interested men and women players was formed and began work for the next two years putting together a new Board of Directors and setting up new membership and goals for the Foundation.
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The newly formed Board held its first induction banquet in 2000 at the Elks Lodge in Mesa, Arizona. Under the leadership of newly elected President, Dennis Ferguson, the Foundation inducted nine teams and twenty players or contributors into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame.

From 2002 to 2010, under new President John White and Vice President, Karen Mischlipsy, the Foundation has grown and inducted ninety-three men and women into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame. As of September of 2010, there are a total of 198 men and women inducted into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame.

In the beginning the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame had several "homes." Eventually it ended up at the Hayden Library on the ASU campus. This was due, in part, to the Arizona Historical Society contact that the Arizona Softball Foundation had made. However, after a while the Arizona Historical Society was directed by the Hayden Library staff to remove the plaques since the Library does not permit permanent displays. The Historical Society removed the plaques and for a few years they lay boxed and in storage out of the public eye.

In the spring of 2005, the current Board of Directors contacted the Prescott Parks, Recreation and Library Department to inquire about possible available space to display the Hall of Fame plaques and memorabilia.

Luckily for the Arizona Softball Foundation, Prescott did have space available and on May 27, 2005 the grand opening of the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame was held. Each year the ASF board sets new goals for the Hall of Fame to meet the on going donations of memorabilia and the expected growth. Fund raising is an continuous project to cover the cost of new display cases, storage, tracking all memorabilia donations, and future expansion.
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Visit the Hall of Fame
Grace Sparkes Activity Center
824 E Gurley St
Prescott, AZ 86301
Click HERE for a map
Arizona Softball Hall of Fame
824 E. Gurley Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
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If you would like to donate to the ASF Hall of Fame, please contact:
Karen Mischlispy 602-438-2928
Nominate Someone for the Hall of Fame

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