Fargo-Moorhead softball players inducted into Hall of Fame

Written by Bob on August 15th, 2017

Fargo-Moorhead Softball Hall of Fame Inductees Brian Rahman, left, and Josef Olivieri chat with Sharon Morgan, chairperson of the Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony at the Northend Softball Complex, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo By BOB OTTO.

FARGO – Some of the best to ever play the sport of softball are from the Fargo-Moorhead area. In 2016 the Fargo-Moorhead Softball Hall of Fame was formed to honor the area’s best.

The first class was honored last year and the tradition has carried on with the second round of inductions held during a ceremony at Northside Softball Complex, Aug. 11.

  • The 2017 class includes Mike Lien, Karen Schumacher, Josef Olivieri and Brian Rahman.
  • 2017 Fargo-Moorhead Softall Hall of Fame inductee, MIKE LIEN, thanks his former teammates, family and friends for helping shape a career that culminated with his induction ceremony, Aug. 11, at Northside Softball Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Mike lien excelled in two uniforms – softball and an umpire’s. After a long career on the softball field, he turned to officiating where he was a fixture in football, baseball, basketball and softball.

    Though he was praised for his long and exemplary career during the induction ceremony, Lien says what he remembers most are the friendships he made.

    “I miss being around the game,” said Lien. “I loved being around softball people. We’ve got a lot of great players from back in the day, who played fastpitch. It’s a great honor to be inducted and I want to thank the hall of fame committee.”

    Hall of Fame inductee KAREN SCHUMACHER, center, with some of her former teammates and friends who attended the 2017 Fargo-Moorheard Softball Hall of Fame ceremony, Aug. 11 at the Northside Softball Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    Karen Schumacher began playing softball in Watertown, Minn. while in high school. At the time, it was the only sport girls could compete in.

    After high school, she attended Moorhead State College, and in 1974 helped start a college fastpitch team.

    Schumacher’s amateur softball teams won state and regional championships and she played in two national tournaments in 1978 and 1979.

    She was praised as a sure handed, great hitting shortstop, and one of the best heads-up players in the sport, male or female.

    Schumacher went on to coach softball at Moorhead High School, and after her playing days were over, she became an official scorekeeper in national and international tournaments.

    “I have a special love for this area,” Schumacher said. “I played on some tremendous teams with some tremendous teammates. Thank you for my selection and this honor. It means a lot to me.”

    2017 Fargo-Moorhead Softball Association Hall of Famer, Joe Olivieri, with the association’s Chairperson Sharon Morgan at Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Olivieri at Northside Softball Complex, Aug. 11. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    Josef Olivieri played fastpitch for 57 years. The 91-year-old was acclaimed as “Mr. Softball” in Fargo for a career in which he excelled as a player, manager and sponsor.

    Hall of Fame pitcher BRIAN RAHMAN thanked his family, friends and former teammates for supporting his fastpitch career. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    Brian Rahman started playing and pitching fastpitch softball in the early 1980s. He developed a sharp-breaking rise ball that helped carry his team to ASA Class B state and regional championships.

    In one regional tournament after losing the first game, Rahman pitched every inning to claim the title. He went on to lead his ball clubs to four state championships.

    Rahman grew up near Mickelson Park where he spent hours as a youth honing his skills on the softball field learning how to pitch from many of Fargo’s top pitchers.

    During his presentation, he thanked Paul Lybeck and his many teammates who helped make his career the success that it was.

    “I started playing with guys I grew up with,” he said. “There were many top pitchers I looked up to. I’ve made many friends in this game and I’m very privileged to be inducted with my manager Joe Olivieri. This means the world to me to be recognized with my friends and family.”

    The 2016 Hall of Fame Class includes Keith Rosenkranz, Pat Johnson, Randy Stevens, Duane Johnson, D-S Beverages, Inc. and Tharaldson Enterprise coed softball team that won the 1992 slowpitch championship.

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