The list of Dewey Everts’s accomplishments is unparalleled. He is often referred to as “the father of Rockford softball,” and he has truly seen it all.
Through the years, he has been a mentor and friend to many in the Illinois USSSA softball scene. Much of the good present today in Illinois USSSA softball is directly or indirectly attributable to Everts’s vision, effort, guidance and philosophy of assuring a fair playing field for all teams and players.
He has been a player, softball complex administrator, team sponsor, has assisted with numerous State Tournaments and was Illinois’ first USSSA State Director.
Everts ran Rockford’s first real softball complex, the Ace of Diamonds, during the 70s. During that time, he also sponsored multiple teams.
Everts convinced many teams to join USSSA sanctioned leagues and play in qualifiers back when the USSSA was unproven and the entry fees were higher than they are now. He also persuaded umpires to switch to USSSA and bear the burden of double registrations – ASA and USSSA.
He helped the Rockford Park District’s Bob Papich with the many details of sanctioning a flood of new USSSA teams. Those teams brought with them an expansion of State and Regional Tournaments to the Rockford area.
Everts was also one of the people primarily responsible for bringing Brenda Paulson into the USSSA.
“The first few years I was Women’s Director, I’d call Dewey up and we’d talk for hours,” Paulson said. “He was always there for me.”
Ken Franzen, who Everts brought to Forest Hills Diamonds in 1978 offers similar praise. “He was the best thing that ever happened to Illinois USSSA softball. He worked at the Ace, and was always looking out for others. He ran the USSSA the same way,” Franzen said.
Though now retired from active USSSA participation, Everts remains a valued friend to all those who have been touched by his remarkable compassion of competence and kindness.