According to many of Mike's former players, his wife Debbie should also be entering the Hall of Fame for all those great meals she served the team in the camper while leaving on all those road trips to tournament play.
Longtime Kluever player Dennis Fisher says, "Kluv was the best sponsor anyone would ever want or need. We would all pile into the camper and off to the tournament we would go. Once we arrived, some of us would stay in the camper and others in a hotel room."
The Metamora resident has supported many fine teams over the years that have had his name attached to diamond success. Names like Kluever's Snap-On, Kluever Snap-On/B + T Loggin/Mizuno, Kluever Snap-On/Cooper Sports/Combat, and others. Needless to say, the Kluever name has given many opponents room for concern.
Mike's contribution to his teams' success stories never ended with his sponsorship, as he was also a player-manager. Over the years, Mike has been awarded many All-State, All-NIT and All-Divisional honors as a manager in several different classifications.
According to State Director, Brenda Paulson, "Mike would never take any credit for his team's successes, as he always talked about how his players provided the victories."
Mike sites his most thrilling career event as winning every tournament his team entered in 1999. It is questioned whether this has ever been done before or after in Illinois softball history. His greatest thrill, however, was winning the Kiracofe Tournament by defeating Jimmies on their home field twice to take the title. The team went on to finish 4th in the Class B World Tournament at Sterling Heights, Michigan that year.
He also hopes more young people get involved in the sport in the future.
To describe Mike's passion for his team's success, Fisher added, "We always knew when he was getting a little upset at our team's production on the field as he would start tugging at his belt loops. That's when we knew we had better get our act together or we might be walking home. As a player, he would take on his position behind the plate on occasion, and when he stepped up to the plate he'd get one of his patient 'boop' hits over the infield. That's when we would have to hear about it all the way home, if he would go 4 for 4 during tournament play. He was the best sponsor and friend anyone would ever want!"