Played on 13 World Championship teams, nine in fast-pitch and four in slow-pitch, earning All-Ohio honors as an outfielder in 1961, 1962 and 1963. Also earned all star honors in World tournaments in each of those three seasons. Hit over .300 in fast-pitch from 1954 through 1959 to rank among the top ten in the area each season.
Began a fast-pitch softball career with Stepka Hats in 1931, which led to his induction into the Lakewood Hall of Fame only eight years later. Played for championship Comella Sports in 1932, then for the next ten seasons with Midland Steel. Wound up his career with the prestigious Weaver Walls team in Cleveland.
Starred for 22 years as a hardhitting catcher for Rosenblum’s, Factory Furniture, Naiman Wrecking, J. Schrader and LaRiche Ford. Elected to the All-World teams in both hardball and softball in 1966. Played in five World Tournaments.
Chester Oblock sponsored and managed the Pyramid Men’s Softball team to Cleveland’s first national title in 1975. A longtime supporter and promoter of Cleveland teams, he gave impetus to the continued successful development of Greater Cleveland programs.
Carl Fischer ranked as one of the greatest softball managers ever in Cleveland. Among many other famous teams, he put together and managed the nationally known “Bloomer Girls” who, in 1935, won the first national women’s title (fast pitch) for Cleveland.
A lefthanded pitcher who played with championship girls fastpitch softball teams throughout her career, Jean Simms Pierman won particular fame as a strikeout artist. She once struck out 21 batters in a no-hit game. Jean played in numerous city, national and international championships. She also starred in basketball and became an excellent bowler after her softball career ended.
A ten-time All-American pick at ASA National Slow Pitch Tournaments, Ida Jean Hopkins was chosen as the tournament’s most valuable player in 1967, 1968 and 1970, when she was the tourney’s leading hitter with a .704 average. She played fastpitch softball for ten years before switching to slow pitch in 1960. Ida began managing slow pitch teams in 1964, and coached her teams to eleven Regional ASA Tournament wins in 12 years and the national tournament in 1967.
Marge Wood played in nine World Softball tournaments as an outfielder and pitcher, and on an equal number of Metropolitan Cleveland championship teams between 1936 and 1951. She threw numerous no-hitters, several in World Tournament competition, and averaged ten strikeouts per game. Marge once hit four home runs in four at bats for the Rosenblums in a championship qualifier contest.
Rated one of the greatest catchers in the history of the sport, Ann Smith Downs was equally renowned for her hitting, her throwing arm and her ability to handle pitchers. She played on the Cleveland area’s finest teams, ending her career with the National Screw & Manufacturing Co. team that won the World Girls Softball championship. Ann also became one of the top women basketball players in Cleveland.
Mary “Whitey” Doljack Primosch played for Cleveland’s famed Bloomer Girls team, winning the 1935 National Championship at Soldier’s Field in Chicago. It was her home run that won the deciding game for the Cleveland team. She played short center and occasionally caught. Mary competed for numerous City championship squads during her career.
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