in the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame.
The epistle below dated 3/6/2015 represents a condensed version of the nomination letter submitted early last spring....that was graciously acknowledged as received by members of the committee.
I want to thank you for the work that you are doing on the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame. I only recently became aware of your work and was excited to see many names on your list that I have known or known of, for over 40 years......
....Accordingly, I wish to respectfully submit to you two individuals, who based on their remarkable contributions to Arkansas Softball, clearly warrant inclusion in your group:
First, as a Sponsor I submit Gus Shaffer from Ozark.
Gus sponsored Ozark Nursing Home and Shaffer Funeral Home teams for almost twenty years in both ASA and USSSA- in Open, A, B, & C, Co-Ed and 35/Over divisions.
His teams collected:
8 State Championships,
5 State Runner Ups (2 in the Open Division, losing both to legendary Flite Line Motors),
2 Top Ten National Tournaments finishes in Co-Ed and 35/Over, and
100+ Tournament Championships in multi-state region.
Simply put, for the better part of two decades, Gus Shaffer’s teams were household names in the Arkansas softball world....
Gus was consistently a great sponsor, of consistently great teams- at a time when there were- consistently, very few of both!
Secondly, I would like to nominate Rick Allred as a player.
In a career spanning 35 years, Rick played in both ASA and USSSA- in all classes- as well as Co-Ed, 35 & Over, 40 & Over and 50 & Over divisions.
He pitched for teams that won:
11 State Championships
7 State Runner Ups
3 National Regional Championships
3 National Regional Runner Ups
Moreover, he pitched in 2 Top Ten National Tournament finishes in Co-Ed and 35 & Over and during the course of his career pitched in 8 National Tournaments in various divisions
His teams won 200+ Tournament Championships throughout a broad range of divisions in a multi-state region, collecting numerous MVP’S, and All Tournament Awards while Playing for -Ozark Nursing Home, Shaffer Funeral Home, Chuck’s Carpet, Rick Cline Logging, Twin City Merchants and Arkansas Health Services.
Rick Allred was truly a remarkable player. Although best known as a surgically precise pitcher with remarkable ball control, Rick was an outstanding fielder- from the rubber or in the field- who also routinely hit for a remarkably high average year after year...
Clearly, Arkansas softball has seen many great athletes and players who have shown brilliance over 5-10 year careers. However, I doubt that you will find more than just a handful of players in the history of our state who like Rick- demonstrated such consistently remarkable performance and team accomplishments- in a career spanning 35 years!
In closing, I firmly believe that when given a clinical examination of their contributions to Arkansas Softball, you will agree that both Gus Shaffer and Rick Allred are certainly deserving of inclusion in your Hall of Fame.
Again, thank you for your work and I look forward to hearing from you regarding these nominations.
The second email below was sent July 7,
Greetings again Gentlemen,
I am attaching my correspondence to you of 3/6 concerning the nomination of Gus Shaffer and Rick Allred for inclusion in the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame. I was told at that time your committee usually gathers in May for
such decisions. Since I have not heard anything from your group, I thought it best to inquire as to the status of your deliberations.
Please let me know where you are in the process.
The response from the committee was timely and professional...
Thank you for your submission of Gus Shaffer & Rick Allred as nominees to the Arkansas Men’s Softball Hall of Fame. Their names and information has been added to the Master List and will be considered for future classes. Unfortunately, they were not selected for the 2015 class which was inducted on July 3rd at the Busch Softball Classic.
Once again, thank you for your interest and let us know if you have any questions.
My response on July 8 was as follows...
Thank you for your response. Having invested some significant time in researching and submitting the nomination materials that I sent in March, I must admit that I am a little surprised that I was not informed of your decision prior to the announcement and most importantly, your rationale for not including the two nominees. Quite honestly, I find it difficult to believe that there are many current members of the Hall of Fame with more impressive credentials.
But, since I could find no source for nomination guidelines or criterion for admission- prior to my submission to you in March, I will for the moment operate under the assumption that I need to repackage the information. Therefore, I am respectfully requesting that you direct me to a source for your policies, procedures, submission guidelines etc. for the Hall.
Thank you for your time and investment in making the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame a reality. I look forward to working with you to add two names to the list that are truly deserving of the honor.
To date I have received no response from any member of the committee.
Let me be clear that I sincerely appreciate the great effort being put forth by the committee and I am sure by many others- to create and sustain a credible Softball Hall of Fame in Arkansas.
I do however believe that the credibility of the process that leads to membership needs to be substantiated. Publishing the format and timeline for nominations, criterion for evaluating nominees and the process for establishing the membership of the selection committee, all would be positive first steps in adding transparency to the process.
These types policies and procedures may well be in place. If so, they need to be published-- doing so can only add to the significance of the honor for those who are selected by such a process and in turn add stature to the Hall.
There may certainly always be mindless debate surrounding nominees and the scope of their talents and achievements. However, there should be no room for debate on the details of the process used to make the determination of how their body of work is evaluated for potential membership in the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame.
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