Today, Mike Peura becomes a member of a very select group, as he enters the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame for his numerous contributions to not only the organization but the entire softball community.
He has done so through 35 years as a player, 15 seasons as an umpire, 20 years directing over 100 USSSA tournaments (50 of them state tournaments) and being selected rookie director of the year in 1994, league director in 1997, state director's award in 2000, distinguished service in 2009, award of merit in 2009 and award of excellence in 2010.
Twenty years of managing teams to numerous success stories, and 20 generous seasons as a team sponsor. Creating a softball resume that perhaps goes unrivaled has allowed Mike to confess, "I just wanted to provide all the teams my best."
His best has included refereeing a fight between two teams resulting in forfeit, while directing the Class B National Invitational, or his best by managing WWJD to the Class C State title or LT's Bar and Grill to the Class C National Championship.
As a player, Mike has a lifetime batting average of over .600 and has swatted 500+ home runs, while playing 3rd base, 1st base and catcher for The Boyz, Bob's Salvage, Erickson Chiropractic, WWJD, The Bar, LT's and Windy City.
He believes the best players that he has shared the diamond with are Bernie Carroll, Brian Schultz, Bromo, Pat Heraty and Jim Cushing, and identifies Jerry Pigotti of Ace Hardware as his best coach.
Mike's most memorable softball moments include winning the 1999 Class C State Tournament and hitting a home run in the 2010 Senior World Tournament.
Just to prove that when Mike directs a tournament, sparks are sure to fly, as his funniest softball situation occurred while directing the Class D State tournament this year. On a bright and sunny day, the lightning warning devices went off, delaying the tournament play.
Mike thanks his wife Lisa for always being there, his martial arts instructor Tom Heriaud for his early years of guidance.
Softball is not the only sport he has excelled in. Under the coaching of Heriaurd, he has won over 300 karate events and holds the rank of 6th degree black belt. To his Dad for creating his softball interest by taking him to watch all those men's fastpitch games down the street at S-A Field in his younger years.