Cedar Rapids Softball Hall of Fame Day at Ellis Park

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Softball Hall of Fame is returning to Ellis Park.

At least for the time being.

The CRSHOF will again hold its annual Hall of Fame Day with an induction ceremony and 16-inch slow pitch games throughout Sunday at the Ellis Park softball fields.

Games begin at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until noon, when the 2008 and 2009 classes will be inducted into the hall of fame. More games are scheduled in the after noon, beginning at 12:45 p.m. and concluding about 4 p.m. The event is set for Diamond 2.

“We would love to see a lot of fans,” CRSHOF member Gregg Bosch said. “With the wonderful tradition we have softball in Cedar Rapids … we’re looking for big things in the future.”

Last year’s Hall of Fame Day and ceremonies were canceled and the CRSHOF building ruined by the flooding of the Cedar River which, completely covered the Ellis softball field area.

The floods biggest blow was delivered to the CRSHOF building located just outside of the main diamond off Ellis Road. The entire structure was overtaken by floodwaters. Almost all of the memorabilia and trophies were damaged, but members have tried to salvage anything possible.

“We lost everything,” Bosch said. “The flood was up to the top of the ceiling in that building.

“Basically, we’re starting over from scratch.”

The group learned that the city actually owned the CRSHOF building, causing them to wait on word from different agencies before finalizing plans.

“We’re hoping to rebuild somewhere near Ellis Park, although that hasn’t been finalized yet,” Bosch said. “We will be building again at a site yet to be determined.”

Two classes will go into the CRSHOF. Seven members of the 2008 class will finally get their recognition and one automatic selection for the 2009 will be honored Sunday.

Former Modern Piping players Jack Minder and Jay Coleman were automatic selections of the 2008 class. Minder, an Iowa Softball Hall of Fame in 2007, was considered on of the best fielders in Cedar Rapids and was named a second-team all-American in 1987 helping Modern Piping to a third place at the ASA national tournament.

Coleman, who Bosch called the state’s best outfielder, was a 2002 inductee to the state hall of fame and has been inducted in to the Des Moines Hall of Fame.

Rick Daniels, Tom Dvorak, Jerry Flanagan, Dave Smutz and George Steinke round out the 2008 class.

Randy Dvorak is the lone member of the 2009 class, because the CRSHOF doesn’t currently have a selection committee in place, according to Bosch. Dvorak, who played almost 40 years, including 23 ASA and 11 USSSA national tournaments, was a member of two state title teams.

Along with the individuals, Armstrong’s 14-inch squad of the 1980s also will be honored. More than 30 players competed for those squads and nearly 25 are expected to be in attendance Sunday.

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