It was a fantastic evening at the Greater San Joaquin Hall of Fame Ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds. Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony that not only celebrated our new inductees but also presented awards to our 2016 Volunteer of The Year, National Tournament Umpires of 2015 and our 2015 National Champions.
ASA Commissioner Matt Pfeifer served as the Master of Ceremonies of this event. “Every year I run this program amazes me how many deserving people we have to be put into this Hall of Fame. However, the best part is watching the interaction of past inductees who get to see each other once a year. To me, that is really special.”
We had one National Champion this year. The Men’s 60 and Over Fast Pitch team “Airtronics” won the 60+ Masters event.
Seven umpires were recognized for working National Championships last year. Alan Blanchard, Ron Quinones, Zach Menasco, Gene Jones, Justin Jensen, John Buck and Matt Harrington were awarded a special National Championships pin developed by our local association.
Sandy Tudor was honored with our Volunteer of the Year award this year. Her dedication to Greater San Joaquin Softball is unsurpassed. She serves as JO “B” Commissioner, umpires, as well as sits on the Board of Directors.
Patrick Faretta was chosen as the recipient for the Wall of Honor. Pat has served on the Board of Directors for 17 years and as the GSJSA Player Rep for the last twelve. Pat also sits on National committees including Player Rep, Special Programs and the Slow Pitch Task Force.
The James Farrell Award was given to Bart Magellan for the 99% national rating our national tournament received this year. That was very appreciated as our association worked very hard to get that rating.
After the Awards, the Hall of Fame Ceremony began:
Shawn Andaya, Player
Shawn Andaya Pulliam was considered one of Greater San Joaquin’s best youth pitchers. She won back to back section titles in high school in 1982 & 1983. She then attended Texas A & M where she led her team to conference and national titles. She threw a perfect game in the College World Series in 1987. Shawn led the nation in strikeouts and wins and was named All American. She has been elected into several Hall of Fames including the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Shawn was unable to attend due to prior commitments; however we will induct her properly in 2018.
Ski Angle, Player
Ski Angle has played Men’s Fast Pitch softball for over 40 years. He played for such teams as Tubbs and Sons, Store Coachways and Airtronics just to name a few, and has been won national championships with each one. A versatile player, great hitter and exceptional base runner, he was known as “The Wingman”. Ski is a member of the Masters team which has won 12 national championships.
Vergil Jocson, Umpire
Vergil has been an umpire for Greater San Joaquin for over 30 years, He has worked six National Championships, 3 of them being Majors. He is also very involved in NCAA, where he works in 9 conferences and has had several Regional and State Championship assignments. Vergil, is well respected and never falters from helping new or upcoming umpires from getting better. Vergil had many friends there and gave a heartwarming speech during the ceremony.
Jon Abernathy, Player-Manager
Jon Abernathy has been involved in ASA softball since 1970. He has played on several teams which competed in national championship tournaments, and won 1 NAFA title with the California Crew. John is from a small, mountain town called Sonora. He began the softball program in Sonora and grew it into a hot bed for Men’s Fast Pitch. John served as district commissioner for 30 years and sat on the Men’s Classification Committee for many years also.
Jon had the pleasure of playing ball with his two sons’ after coaching them through high school.
Katie Cotta, Player
Katie Cotta began pitching in High School at Brookside H.S. as a freshman. She played on the varsity team and led them to a section title. She then transferred to Linden High School where she set or broke every record in the books. She was undefeated and won three section championships with Linden. After some time off, she returned to Delta College in Stockton where she went 20-1 with a 1.02 era and also hit .430. She had 18 complete games, ad set school records with 15 strikeouts in a game , twice. She transferred to Concordia College where again, she was named Conference Pitcher of the Year. She has just signed with a team in the Professional Softball League after warming up pitching against established men’s players. She currently teaches pitching lessons to youth in the surrounding area.
What a great night it was.
The Greater San Joaquin Softball Association is always looking for nominations for its future classes. Anyone can nominate someone. To nominate someone and have them go before the committee, download the nomination form from our website at www.usasoftballgreatersanjoaquin.com and follow the direction for submission. Nominations are due by Thanksgiving every year for the following year’s class.