The 2013 NAFA Hall of Famers, an exceptional class

Written by Bob on July 6th, 2013

Josh Johnson, an outstanding hitter and pitcher from Wisconsin, who was on the 2013 USA Men’s National Team, will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the NAFA World Series in Des Moins, Iowa, Aug. 7-18. Photo By BOB OTTO

NAFA NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS – The North American Fastpitch Association began in 1993. In those 21 years of offering men’s fastpitch national tournaments, hundreds of great sponsors, managers, players, directors and umpires have participated under the NAFA banner.

But there’s a select few who have risen to the top of the sport – we call them the “best of the best.”

Since 1999, NAFA has inducted 46 players, managers, sponsors, umpires and contributors into its Hall of Fame – legendary players such as Todd Malnory (WI) in 2007; manager Leo Blakley (MO) in 2012; sponsors Merna and Elmer Wilber (WI) in ’12; and NAFA founder Pat Bucknell (WA) in 1999.

As in the past, this year’s class is exceptional. All nine will be inducted during the NAFA World Series in Des Moines, Iowa from Aug. 7 to 18.

palazzo.matt.361web Matt Palazzo of Iowa will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the NAFA World Series. Palazzo was a 2013 USA Men’s National Team member.

    Meet NAFA’s 2013 Hall of Fame class:
  • Mark Miller, sponsor, Appleton, WI
  • Matt Palazzo, player, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Jeff “Teddy” Jahn, player, Oregon, WI
  • Eric Steinbeck, player, Hermann, MO
  • Josh Johnson, player, Brooklyn, WI
  • Darin Michael, player, Olympia, WA
  • Rick Radloff, player, Madison, WI
  • Ed Gasper, player, Stockton, CA
  • Tadashi Yoshimura, Coach, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
    Stories and bios about the Hall of Famers will be published until the NAFA World Series starts on August 7. If you have played with or against, or know these gentlemen, please post comments about your memories of them.

    2 Comments so far ↓

    1. Katsumi Nakajima says:

      Forty years ago, I entered WASEDA University. One day, I saw his pitching at the corner of the ground. I have never seen such a pitching style. He told me the name of the pitching style, WINDMILL. It was surprising and exciting for me. Of course, I became a member of the WASADA University softball team. He is indispensable person in my life.

      No other person loved softball and deeply studied it like him around us. As a result of it, he accomplished the great work not only as a player but also extremely an able manager.

      I think the greatest point of him is he made all efforts and dedicated his life to lead the students who are staggering to be full-fledged men and women through the sport of SOFTBALL. Many people learned many things from him and grew up by associating with him.

      Despite the fact that SOFTBALL is not so major sport in Japan as that in the U.S.A, unfortunately, he devoted his life for the prevalence of SOFTBALL and showed many Japanese people the authentic SOFTBALL. I think it great and not easy because it was inconspicuous and enduring work.

      It is very honorable for us he was inducted into the NAFA Hall of FAME.
      Congratulations! YOSHIMURA – san.

      Katsumi Nakajima

    2. Bob says:

      A great and well spoken tribute Katsumi.

    Leave a Comment