Without a doubt, 25 years of managing the same team should qualify you for sainthood or a place you into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame. That is exactly what Lonnie Keck did while becoming one of the top managers in southern Illinois.
He began his coaching career while being a player/manager for Lonzos in 1975. During this team’s early years, Lonnie built the team into a very competitive and winning unit at the Class C level of play. As success was found, Lonzos traveled up the competitive ladder to Class B where they continued their winning ways.
Coach Keck has many special memories of his team’s competition. For example, during the 1979 season they captured a tournament championship at Red Bud against some very outstanding teams and went 4-2 against an outstanding field of Class B teams in Pevely, Missouri. The high note, however, may have been when Lonzo won the 1989 Class C tournament in Louisville, Kentucky – a moment Lonnie will treasure forever. This opened the door for continued success during the 1990s as the team traveled across the state of Illinois and surrounding playing some terrific teams.
Over the years, Lonnie had numerous outstanding players who played on his team and out of respect for each one of them he does not wish to pick only a few to comment on as they are all very special to him. He also has the highest regard for the competition that he played and managed against during his 25-year career. He also has the highest respect for the people who make up the USSSA program and the tournament directors that provide the great facilities and tournaments.
He is so happy for the many friends he has gained over the years while playing the game of softball as he continues to share the memories of success with them.