Ken Adams is the first-ever inductee in the Meritorious Service category.
He has carried many titles under the Illinois USSSA banner. He has been a manager for 17 years, and he also sponsored that team 11 of those seasons. His teams include Papa Passero, One Hour Cleaners and Home Run Inn/Easton. Adams also was an Illinois USSSA Area Director (the first named director in the Chicagoland area by Brenda Paulson) for seven years before being promoted to the newly formed position, Northern Illinois USSSA Regional Director – a title he held for four years. In 1985, he was named the first winner of the Illinois USSSA State Director Award. He also umpired for one season.
Paulson’s teams have won three State Titles: 1987 14-inch, 1993 Men’s Class B and 1994 Men’s Class B. His 1995 Men’s Class B team qualified and played at the USSSA Men’s Class B World Tournament with a fourth-place finish at the Great Lakes Men’s Class B Divisional Tournament that year. His teams have also finished fifth- and seventh-place at the Great Lakes Men’s Class B Divisional Tournaments over the years. Seven times, his team has placed in the top four at the USSSA Men’s Class B NIT and nine times in the top four at the Illinois USSSA State Tournament with an overall USSSA team record of 727-331.
One of his two greatest thrills in softball came from 1993 when his team won the Men’s Class B State Tournament.
“My knees literally buckled with the last out,” Adams said. “We had beaten our greatest rival. My mind was in a fog and I was shaking as the teams shook hands after the game.”
The other greatest thrill was in 1995 when his team realized they had just won a berth to the USSSA Men’s Class B World Tournament after winning the semi-final game of the loser’s bracket.
Adams took the time to say thank you to all the individuals who have played on his teams over the years.
“It has been fun and I look forward to having more fun in the future,” Adams said.