2016 Male Player: Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

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Mike began his softball playing career with Lannings of Beloit in 1983. He played for Ken Lanning for 5 seasons, which saw the team finish 2nd in the Wisconsin State Tournament. Softball success seemed to follow him in his early years, as he played on the Class “A" State Championship team, Chipper’s Pub and was awarded the Golden Glove for his efforts; “Spence” says this was his most favorite team. The Chippers team spring boarded him to play with other talented squads like: Ingrassia, Ralston-McLaren, Pope Transport, Shockers, PDR and Wood Law, and presently with Team Arkansas.

The talented shortstop that played his high school ball at Hononegah in Rockton has accumulated an outstanding .730 lifetime batting average, while swatting over 700 homeruns. His best season by far was in 1991, when he posted an unequaled .820 BA.
With all these years of experience, Mike says his most memorable moment was when he was up to bat and could hear a guy saying “Watch This Guy!” and heard his daughter reply, “That’s My Dad!”

“Spence” has mentored many kids and younger players who reach out to him for advice and hopes he has improved their talents, behaviors and created a positive environment for growth.

Funny moments also occur over the years and his most memorable was watching Dennis Muth do a face plant into the baseline after rounding 1st base, while attempting to take 2nd.

His favorite coaches were Harrison Jones and Mike Carroll, while he sites some of the best players to share a diamond with are Jim Cushing, Brad Lindmark, Steve Stull, Brian Cunningham, Mike and Dave Carroll, and Don Klarner.

He states that if he has any regrets, it is not giving more respect to opposing players and he wishes he would have talked more to them over the years.

In his final statement, he said that he has been blessed and provided with a talent to play the game of softball. USSSA has provided the avenue to achievement and is most appreciative of his selection to the Hall of Fame.

2016 Male Player: James Phad

James Phad

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Jimmy Phad had been involved with softball for over 40 years, starting with tournaments  on the United States Marine Corps National team. Jimmy has been able to see all phases of USSSA softball play from the beginning of his career with his hometown team, "Lost Acres" in 1981 and with longtime C USSSA Team "The Outsiders" winning 2 C State Titles and multiple NITs, all with a tremendous group of teammates.

Jim played B with the Easton group. Getting some great opportunities with his Rope Club team travel at the C and then B level, that had what became some of the most elite players from Illinois. He then joined his 2nd softball family of Full Tilt softball. More C State Championships were won, but more importantly a softball family.

With USSSA and GSL combining, Jim was on the No Ego/Next team that won the Nationals in Blaine, MN as well as the GSL World Series.

Jim began as an outfileder, then moved into 3rd base and finally landed in his desired home of the pitcher's mound. There he kept playing with his trademark curve and screwball until this year at the National level, finishing 9th pitching in the C worlds at the age of 60 with his ISS family.

Along the way, Jim has won some incredible tournaments including many 35+ and 40+ with one of his favorites being the 40+ USSSA World Series in 2010 in Arizona. There he earned the MVP award.

He always achieved a lifetime batting average in the .650 area with his trademark right filed line hits. But where the fun really began was 12 years ago with his Full Tilt family, that included his son Michael when he was 18 years old. After having 3 incredible daughters, the last child was a boy that Jim was able to watch grow and excel as a centerfielder, and then a middle infielder.

USSSA has given him the ability to travel to incredible venues with amazing players. Lifetime friends and family brought him joy and continue to give him incredible fun with his 50+ and 55+ teams that roam the country to play this amazing game.

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2016 Male Player: Kevin Mattson

Kevin Mattson

Kevin began playing USSSA softball in 1979 and has continued to enjoy the game to this day.  The 55-year-old has maintained his love of the game over the years, due to finding success at the competitive level of play and through the making of lifelong friendships.

The outstanding first baseman boasts an impressive .670 career batting average and has hit over 650 dingers, while receiving countless All-Tournament and MVP honors. His participation with RMA, Franks Sports Page, and Mary’s Place has provided him with additional team success stories. All-Tournament recognition in Divisional Class B tournament play at Milwaukee, Steeles Sports Invitational and Little Caesar’s Qualifier has put Kevin in a class of his own.

He has played in state and divisional tournaments from 1981 through 2000 and was a member of the 1985 Class B Divisional Championship team of RMA. He was also a member of 2 state championship squads.

Kevin recalls that his most memorable softball moment was when he hit a 3 run home run in the 6th inning to put RMA up 4, after they intentionally walked Brian Benning in front of him. His timely blast aided the team to the divisional tourney game victory 14 to 13!

2016 Male Player: Tim Fetters

Tim Fetters

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Tim was nicknamed “Pig Pen” appropriately by fellow teammate Jim Yeager. Even though the story of how he acquired this name is not exactly clear, it has stuck throughout his playing career.

Tim began playing the game in 1975 right out of Harlem High School and remains on the field today, while still playing in the 50-and-over classification. The 59-year-old third baseman/pitcher began play with Schlichting Excavating and soon became noticed as one of their leading hitters, and recognized with best offensive player accolades during Class “A” N.I.T. play in Memphis and Milwaukee.

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He was also a contributing team member of the 1976 Class B World Championship team, Forest Hills Lanes, at the ripe old age of 19 where he joins fellow Hall of Famers: Clancy Horn, Jim Rumple, LT Graham , Rod Shives, Ken Franzen, Don Cox and Randy Torgerson.
He boasts an impressive .585 life-time batting average, while swatting over 650 home runs in USSSA play.

Also, Tim has coached his daughter’s Slow Pitch team and was the Women’s State Director for 4 years. Tim states, “I have been to so many places due to great sponsors and the outstanding USSSA program over the years as a player. That is why I coach and sponsor, so to give back to the program and so my daughter and her teammates get the same opportunities that I did.”