The Natural heads into the NAFA Hall of Fame

Written by Bob on July 30th, 2016


Trevor Knight will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies during the 2016 NAFA World Series in North Mankato and Mankato, Minnesota.

OLYMPIA, Wash – Pat Bucknell has managed and coached his share of teams and players over his long career in men’s fastpitch. He has won NAFA World Series championships with some very fine athletes in his stable.

One of the finest? Shortstop and third baseman Trevor Knight of Olympia, Washington.

“He was a natural,” said Bucknell, “one heck of a ball player. If he had chosen, I think he could have played pro ball. He was that good.”

Just how good?

Bucknell and Knight’s older brother, Kasey, both recall one of the most remarkable performances they’ve ever seen on the ball diamond.

    A YEAR FOR THE AGES

The year was 2003. Bucknell’s team – Bucknell Park – based out of Lacey, Washington, was good, very good. Bucknell took his team to the NAFA World Series, and did something quite unheard of. He entered the team in the AA, AAA, and Open divisions.

The results? AA Champions, fifth in AAA, and runner-up in the Open division. Bucknell Park’s performance certainly was impressive. But one player in particular stood out – Trevor Knight.

“In the AA, he hit .350,” Bucknell said. “In the Open he hit .500, and in the AAA, .444. He was first-team All-World in the AA and Open, second-team All-World in the AAA, and he was the MVP of the AA. And he hit five home runs between the three tournaments.”

NAFA was formed in 1993 with Bucknell one of the founders and its first executive director. So he knows the organization inside and out.

The question: Has anyone in the history of NAFA achieved what Knight did in 2003? “I don’t think anyone has ever accomplished what Trevor did since that year,” Bucknell said.

    ALL THE FASTPITCH SKILLS

Kasey Knight, 38, has called his brother “teammate” for 17 years. The boys started playing the game as teenagers with their dad, Terry Knight, in 1999.

So Kasey knows his younger brother’s talent as well as anyone. Great hitter. Hits line drives and home runs with power from the left side of the plate. Hits for high average. Plays outstanding defense at shortstop and third base.

“He can take an outside pitch,” says Kasey, “and hit home runs. He’s impressive the other way. He can hurt pitchers that (pitch) him away.”

    THE LONG BOMB

Like Bucknell, Kasey recalls that 2003 season fondly. In particular, he remembers one at bat by his brother that he’s never forgotten.

“We were playing in the AA winner’s bracket final against the Quaker Riversharks (PA),” Knight said, “and Trevor hits a 350-foot bomb for the (walkoff 3-1) win.”

It’s no surprise for Johnnie Davis what Trevor has accomplished. He remembers Trevor and Kasey as outstanding high school athletes in football and baseball at Shelton High School.

    A MOST NATURAL OF SWINGS

“They are both very talented,” said Davis, who has both coached and been the Knight’s teammate with the Lacy A’s (WA) and Cal State Builders (CA). “Good athletes play all sports and they did too. When Trevor first started playing fastpitch, he had that natural, beautiful left-handed swing. He let’s the ball travel in (too the plate) and takes it opposite field with great power and for average.”

That 2003 season certainly was a high point for Bucknell Park and the Knight brothers. But in Trevor’s memory, the 2012 season stands out even more. Not so much for what he did individually. But for what the Lacey A’s did as a team.

    AN INCREDIBLE SEASON

Lacey A’s had an incredible season going undefeated. When NAFA World Series time rolled around, they were slotted in the AA division. And the A’s kept right on winning. That is until the winner’s bracket final where the Topeka (KS) Toros slammed the door shut on that long winning streak.

“After we lost to Topeka, we caught fire on championship Sunday,” Trevor Knight said. “We won three or four games that day, capped off by beating Topeka twice to win the championship and revenge our lone loss of the season.”

    THE HALL CALLS

Great times. Great championships. Great achievements and great honors have come Trevor Knight’s way. But he’s soon to receive the highest honor possible in NAFA: induction into the NAFA Hall of Fame.

In August, the Knight brothers will head to Caswell Park in North Mankato, Minnesota to play in the NAFA World Series, and while there, Kasey will speak on Trevor’s behalf during the induction ceremony.

“I’m super proud of him,” Kasey said. “I’ve seen his work ethic. I’ve seen what he’s done. I’m so glad to do this and proud of him for getting this great honor.”

    GREAT TIMES, GREAT HONOR

As Trevor looks back on his career, he recalls the joy of having played his first season, 1999, with his dad and his brothers Kasey and Korey; of playing side-by-side with Kasey for 17 years.

“I wouldn’t trade that for anything,” Trevor said.

He remembers the lasting friendships he’s made with his teammates; of playing in NAFA and ISC post-season tournaments; and of course the ultimate honor soon to come his way.

“Being inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame is exciting and humbling,” said Trevor, 36. “As a kid growing up around the game, and later as a player, I have watched and followed many great players that have had Hall of Fame careers, whether it was NAFA, ISC or other organizations.

“To be given this honor and have my name amongst so many great players is a great feeling.”

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