Don Porter awarded Collar of Honor; Fourteen inducted into WBSC Softball Hall of Fame

GABORONE, Botswana — NFCA member Don Porter was awarded by President Riccardo Fraccari the Collar of Honor, WBSC supreme recognition of those people who contributed to the foundation of the Confederation and its success. 

Porter was President of the International Softball Federation (ISF) at the moment it merged with IBAF (the International Baseball Federation) and shared duties as WBSC President with Riccardo Fraccari before the Confederation ran elections in May 2014. Porter was introduced to WBSC Congress by Dale Mc Mann, who succeeded him as WBSC Softball Division Chairman.

“I want to let you know how much I appreciate this,” siad Porter. “I want to thank you all that are sitting here today and remeber those who are not among us anymore. I think of them every day”.

He became the Executive Director of the Amateur Softball Association in 1963 and the Secretary General of ISF in 1965. He was elected ISF President in 1987 and led the Federation until 2013. In his career he served on various Commission of the United States Olympic Commitee (USOC; 1984-1988), on the international Council of the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and is a founder of the World Games. Last but not least, he was a referee (1976-1979) in the National Football League (NFL).

WBSC Softball Hall of Fame

Fourteen new members — including Olympic medallists, umpires and coaches — from seven nations and four continents were elected into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame.

From the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC), the WBSC Softball Congress ratified the Softball Hall of Fame Commission’s election results:

  • Luis Diaz Ramirez (Colombia) – Administrator
  • Burket Dorsett (Bahamas) – Administrator
  • Doug Chase (Canada) – Player
  • Diana Lucia Duarte Garcia (Guatemala) – Player
  • Johnny Lau Kwok Yip (Hong Kong) – Player
  • Jarrad Martin (New Zealand) – Player
  • Melanie Roche (Australia) – Player
  • Fiona Timu (New Zealand) – Player
  • Natalie Ward (Australia) – Player
  • Godfrey Burnside (Bahamas) – Coach
  • Raymundo Narvaez Montalvo (Colombia) – Coach
  • Roberto Peralta (Panama) – Umpire
  • Bob Leveloff (New Zealand) – Meritorious Service
  • Andrew J. Sherman (Guatemala) – Meritorious Service

New Zealand led with three new members, while Australia, Bahamas, Colombia and Guatemala each had two.

Aussie softball legends Melanie Roche and Natalie Ward played at every Olympic Games in which softball has been featured, winning the silver medal with the Australian National Team in 2004 and bronze in 1996, 2000 and 2008.

“WBSC welcomes these new Softball Hall of Fame inductees and their home federations for helping to shape history and our sport,” said newly elected WBSC Softball Chairman Tommy Velazquez. “WBSC Softball Hall of Fame members represent not only years of the highest excellence on the international stage, but also years of service and dedication to building our global sport. Special thanks go to the Softball Hall of Fame Commission for their diligent selection of these legends.”

The latest inductees into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame raises the total membership to 225.

The Softball Hall of Fame was established in 1981 and inducts new members every two years.

— Courtesy of WBSC

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