ISC HALL OF FAME – IMPRESSIVE CLASS OF 2017
By John Thompson
The International Softball Congress Hall of Fame Selection committee is pleased to confirm that the ISC Board of Directors approved a slate of five impeccable nominees (four players and one umpire) for induction into the ISC Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017.
INDUCTION 2017 – The ISC Hall of Fame Class of 2017 induction continues the tradition of casting a spotlight on outstanding individuals who have participated in or contributed to the International Softball Congress. The five new inductees will be honored in fashion similar to previous recognition ceremonies that have been hosted annually since the initial presentation in 1965. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017 at 8 am (doors open at 7:30 am) as part of the 2017 ISC World Tournament hosted in Grand Rapids MI.
Chris DeLarwelle – Denmark WI – Born August 13, 1967
From his first steps in Forestville WI in the 1970s, Chris was active and athletic. While playing as a three-sport athlete with the Eagles of Southern Door High School in Brussels WI, baseball was his focus. He played at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh where as a member of the Titans from 1987-90 he earned the 1990 Division III Player of the Year honors and was a two-time (1989-90) 1st Team NCAA Division III All-American. With his obvious elite baseball skills, Chris spent three years as a member of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins minor league system.
Having never played fast-pitch, in 1993 Chris joined the Denmark WI Dukes where he enjoyed four seasons. In 1997 Rod Peterson recruited Chris for the established Madison WI Farm Tavern team where he shared in winning ISC titles in 1997 and 1999, book-ended around a 2nd place finish in ’98. With Farm Tavern, Chris earned an All World 1st Team designation in 1998, sandwiched between 2nd team laurels in 1997 and 1999.
In 2002, Chris joined his good friend Darren Derricks and the Denmark WI Circle Tap squad, with the team making top four finishes back-to-back in 2003-04. Chris again earned ISC All-World 1st team accolades in 2003, 2004 and 2008. Following a brief retirement, Chris returned to Circle Tap as a veteran contributor in the ISC tournaments in 2012 and 2013.
Chris’ distinguished ISC career spanned 21 seasons during which he claimed a spot with the national Team USA from 1999 to 2009 winning a Pan Am silver medal in 1999 and an ISF bronze medal in 2000.
Keith Mackintosh – Saskatoon SK – March 26, 1968
Keith Mackintosh, born in Melfort SK, grew up in nearby Star City and played his entire minor league career under the tutelage of coach Doug Holoien whose son Dean is also an ISC Hall of Famer. Keith, with his younger brother Pat, and Dean Holoien won national midget and junior championships with the Melfort SK 222’s. Keith graduated to senior ranks with Camrose AB Merchants for five seasons, prior to suiting up with Victoria BC Legends in the NorWest league and being introduced to the annual ISC World Tournament.
In 1997, Victoria hosted the ISC event which was a highlight of Keith’s career- playing for the home team in a world tourney. Victoria made it to the Championship game before succumbing to perennial contender Madison WI Farm Tavern. Following stints with Owen Sound ON, Can-Am Windmillers and Calgary AB Diamonds, Keith enjoyed a memorable two seasons with the storied Farm Tavern in 2005-06.
After years of travel, Keith returned home to play in Saskatoon SK for the Kuryluk family-sponsored Aspen Interiors. 2008 was a “dream season” when Aspen won every tournament it entered… except for the ISC losing to Kitchener in Kimberly WI in one of the most memorable ISC championship tilts ever played. Following the 2009 season which featured a 3rd place finish with Aspen in Quad Cities, Keith hung up the playing spikes.
In a stellar 17 year career spanning 1991-2008, Keith was an ISC All-World selection five times – including 1st team with Victoria (1997) and Madison (2006) and 2nd team in Camrose (1991); Madison (2005) and Aspen (2008). While the ISC Championship has eluded him, Keith was a bridesmaid on three occasions with Victoria (1997), The Farm (2005) and Aspen (2008).
Internationally, Keith donned Team Canada Red/White from 1998-2009 capturing a Pan Am gold medal in 2003 in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic and an ISF bronze medal in 2009 in his hometown Saskatoon SK.
Doug Middleton – Blue Springs MO – September 18, 1962
Doug Middleton grew up in Springfield MO and as a natural athlete enjoyed a multitude of sports. He started playing softball at age 10, where he learned the game from his father Chuck Middleton who coached Doug and his team-mates to four national championships in youth ball.
Doug entered ISC competition in 1984 and his entire career evolved around teams in the Missouri – Kansas area. A memorable 1988 ISC tournament, when Doug’s team – Harold’s Supermarkets of Lexington MO – was perfect in their first five games, clawing its way to the Championship final. En route, Doug hurled five consecutive wins, including shutouts over Nava Brothers, Hayward CA; Sioux City IA Penn Corp; Nothdurft Tool, Detroit MI and Owen Sound Canadian Tire (Brad Underwood) and a 2-1 win over Peter Finn and the Midland MI Explorers. Doug recalls his team having only 9 guys remaining for the championship game and Sioux City IA Penn Corp showed its prowess sweeping Lexington in the two game Sunday format.
During his quarter century career, Doug was named ISC All-World four times – three times on the first team with Harold’s Supermarkets, Lexington MO (1988); Topeka Travelers, Topeka KS (1995) and Meierhoffer, St. Joseph MO (2002). In 2002 in Kitchener ON Doug was named to the 2nd team with St. Joseph Frontier Casino when his team-mate and friend Michael White won the Outstanding Pitcher Award, as the pair combined to lead St. Joseph to a sterling 10-1 record and the ISC championship. Doug had four wins striking out 56 in 37 innings and posting a 0.72 ERA.
Overall, Doug ranks 9th in ISC career wins (38) spanning the period 1986 – 2002. Possessing a quiet disposition and obvious humility, Doug was a leader by example on rosters that featured many outstanding players.
Todd Schultz – Williamston MI – Born May 1, 1964
Todd Schultz launched his ISC career at the 1986 World Tournament in Sioux City IA with the Lansing MI Spartans. In the ensuing 23 years career, Todd displayed precision defense as a mid-infielder and was always a threat in the batter’s box.
Todd’s combined skills resulted in four All-World Selections, most memorably as a first team honoree in 2003 with Marathon WI County Materials when he batted .400 in leading his team to an ISC 2nd place finish.
Todd was a contributing member of County Materials’ back-to-back championships in 2005-06, being named to the 2nd All-World team in 2005. He also received All World 2nd team laurels in 1992 and 2009 with his home-state Midland MI Explorers and in 2010 with Chicago/NY Fastpitch of New York City, NY.
Noted for his soft hands and near-perfect fielding, he utilized a variety of skills in the batter’s box to be a complete two-way player. With 322 official ABs in ISC competition, Todd combined speed and savvy to carve an impressive .290 batting average, including 15 homers and 48 RBIs. In a memorable three-year stretch spanning 2003 to 2005, while batting in ninth position for County Materials, Todd socked an impressive seven home runs.
Todd also suited up for Team USA which was a huge thrill playing in his home park in Midland MI against Team Canada in 1996 and hitting a double and collecting a RBI off legendary Canadian pitcher Darren Zack.
David Casso – Chandler AZ – May 30, 1948
David Casso was born in Whittier CA and spent his youthful years in Southern California enjoying participation in an abundance of sports through high school as well as college. Academically, he graduated from Fresno State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in history and physical education.
Sports became his passion and he dedicated a career to officiating – initially with high school football, basketball and baseball. In due course, David was arbitrating major college baseball in the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC 12). It was while living in California that David was encouraged to umpire fast-pitch softball. His first assignment was a match between six-time world champions Long Beach Nitehawks and the 1973 world champion Lakewood Jets. David loved the speed and athleticism of the sport – and he was hooked! In 1977 he umpired the ISC World Tournament in Phoenix AZ, a start to a nineteen year career as a fast-pitch umpire at the highest level.
David diversified his career with work in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the International Hockey League (IHL). Recently David completed twenty seasons as an “off-ice” official in the National Hockey League (NHL), including some Stanley Cup games.
David’s sports officiating has now eclipsed four decades and what he remembers the most are not the games…but the players – the outstanding athletes who competed who were not only tremendously skilled, but also quality individuals.