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Six individuals and three teams will be inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame on May 6thth, 2023. The group of inductees includes 3 Athletes, 2 All Around, 1 Builder and 3 teams. The Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame & Museum Inc. recognizes individuals, teams and organizations for outstanding achievement in softball and/or for contributions to the sport of softball.

All Around Category: Adrian Brown; Ralph Nespor;

Athlete Category: Brandi Chammartin; Harvey Julseth; Deb Sonnenberg;

Builder Category: Phyllis & Larry Klimpke;

Team Category: 1980 to 1985 Legion 2 Blues Fastball Club; 1994 to 1999 Moose’s Mob SloPitch Team; 1985 to 1990 Sioux Valley Dakota’s Fastball Team.

An independent committee, facilitated by Jack Coulson and Les Newman, reviewed nomination information on candidates for the Hall of Fame and selected the 2023 inductees. Doug Fraser, Jill Mathez, Al McPherson, Jim Nay, Ferdie Nelissen, Nelson Phillips, and Smitty Smith served on the committee.

The 20th induction banquet will be held at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg on May 6th, 2023. Tickets at a cost of $85.00 are available from Les Newman phone number 204-235-1674, or email: lnewman@live.ca

Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame Inductees for 2023

ADRIAN BROWN – ALL AROUND

Adrian played on 3 Provincial winning teams before joining the Manitoba Alliance Jr. team in 1994. The Alliance went on to win a silver medal at the Canadian National Championships. His contributions led him to be selected as the All Star 3rd baseman for the championship. In 1995 he helped the Manitoba Red Dogs capture the Sr. B Provincial Championship and the Western Canadian Sr. B Championship. Adrian also made his first of 14 appearances (8 as a player, 6 as a coach) at the International Softball Congress World Tournament. In 2006, Adrian began his coaching career with the Kegel Black Knights (Fargo, North Dakota) and guided them to a World Series title. In 2017 he was a co-winner of Softball Manitoba’s Leo Bouchard Memorial Trophy for the top coaching staff of the year. Adrian Brown is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the All Around category.

BRANDI CHAMMARTIN – ATHLETE

Brandi Chammartin was born and raised in Winnipeg. She was an all around, multisport athlete during her school years and went on to play basketball with the University of Manitoba. However, it was in the sport of fastpitch that she truly excelled. Her highlights include playing for Team Manitoba at the Canada Summer Games and being a member of the Canadian National Team at both the junior and senior levels. Brandi has played in national championships, world championships, the Pan Am Games and was named as an alternate for the 1996 Canadian Olympic team. In addition to playing sports, she continues to give back by coaching various sports in Neilburg, SK. Brandi Chammartin is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Athlete category.

HARVEY JULSETH – ATHLETE

Harvey was born in Davidson, SK and raised in Brandon, MB. His fastpitch playing career began at the age of 16 with the Brandon 7-Up’s from 1964-69. Over his career Harvey received numerous All-Star selections and was a member of 12 Provincial Championship teams and 7 medals at Western Canadian Championships. During his years with the Westman Merchants while playing in the Western Major Fastball League, he received 6 Player of the Game Awards. During his 11 years with the Manitoba Masters, he contributed to the team that won 9 consecutive Provincial Championships and participated in 9 Western Canadian Championships. His philosophy was “If you can see the ball, you can hit it”. Harvey Julseth is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Athlete category.

PHYLLIS & LARRY KLIMPKE – BUILDER

“Founders of the South Interlake Phillies Girls’ Softball Program” The South Interlake Phillies came into existence in 1995 with a U16 team entering the Manitoba Ladies Super League that same year. The program evolved to include U12, U14, U16, U19, U21 and a Sr. Women’s team. Phyllis and Larry were dedicated to all teams and in 2001 they coached 3 teams that represented Manitoba at Western Canadian and National Championships. Due to their vision, other Phillies teams over the years have been successful and have represented Manitoba at Western Canadian and National Championships. In 2015 while hosting U16 Provincials at Quarry Park in Stonewall, the ball community honoured Phyllis and Larry with the dedication of Diamond #5 to be known as Klimpke Field. Phyllis and Larry Klimpke are inductees to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Builder category.

RALPH NESPOR – ALL AROUND

Ralph was an all star quality player at any level of fastball who gave back to the sport as a coach and administrator in a big way. Primarily an outfielder, he was also able to play any other position. He started playing fastball with the Lac Du Bonnet Huskies at age 17. In 1976, he played with the Winnipeg Colonels of the Western Major Fastball League. Following his time with the Colonels, Ralph played with Tom’s Transmission, Winnipeg Knights, Legion #2, Polo Park Inn, Winnipeg Penguins and the Fog of the Winnipeg Adult Mixed League . His coaching career included the Winnipeg Penguins, Manitoba Jr. Penguins, Smitty’s, Manitoba Canada Games team, Manitoba Alliance and the South Interlake Phillies. In 1989 received the Leo Bouchard Memorial Award being recognized as the top coach in the province. Ralph Nespor is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the All Around category.

DEB SONNENBERG – ATHLETE

Deb grew up in Leduc, AB and started out as a catcher in minor ball and switched to pitcher as it was her dream to pitch for Canada. In 1992, she moved to Manitoba to play for the Obsession. During her time with the Obsession and Smitty’s, the left-hander led them to numerous provincial championships and medals at national championships including the gold medal in 1995 and 1996 with Smitty’s. Her skill and determination as a pitcher had her move on to the Canadian Women’s National team from 1994 to 1996. At the Canadian National Championships, she was a 17 time medalist, with 6 Gold medals and also selected twice as the MVP, 3 times as Top Pitcher and 7 times as an All Star at the National Championships. In 1993, she pitched back to back perfect games at the National Championships. She also competed in the 1994 World Championships, 1995 Pan Am Games and was a key member of the 1996 Canadian

Olympic Team. Deb continues to be involved with softball by organizing clinics and consulting in the US. Deb Sonnenberg is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Athlete category.

LEGION #2 BLUES TEAM – TEAM

The Legion #2 Fastball Club was formed in 1980 through the efforts of Jack Watson and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #2 that the team came into existence. In the team’s first 2 years of existence the club saw moderate success finishing 3rd at the 1980 Sr. B Provincials and 4th at the 1981 Provincials while playing in the Winnipeg Fastball League “B” Division. They continued to get better and in 1982 they were finalists at the Provincial Sr. A Championships. In 1983, they were finalists at the Provincial B Championships. 1984 brought their greatest success as they defeated the Winnipeg Internationals for the Sr. A Provincial Championship. In 1985, the Blues won the Provincials Intermediate A Championship and went on to win a bronze medal at the Western Canadian Championship in Calgary, AB Legion #2 Blues Team is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Team category.

MOOSE’S MOB TEAM – TEAM

Moose’s Mob was a Winnipeg based Co-Ed SloPitch team that played its league games out of the John Blumberg Sports Complex. The team started out as a group of family and friends and evolved into a very successful and competitive team. In addition to winning numerous provincial championships, they competed in the Canadian Intermediate Nationals from 1996-1999 winning gold, 2 silvers and a bronze. Many of the team members won individual awards at both the provincial and national level. Moose’s Mob is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Team category.

SIOUX VALLEY DAKOTAS TEAM- TEAM

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation had fastball teams competing in local leagues and tournaments in the Virden area since the 1960’s. In the early 1980’s the team decided to take a step up and start playing against better teams and joined the Brandon Commercial Fastball League. The team peaked in the 1985-1990 period when it won 4 Commercial League titles. Numerous team members won individual awards as well. Other team accomplishments included winning 2 Provincial “B” Championships and representing Manitoba at the North American Indian Athletic Association tournament on 4 occasions. The Dakotas were also double winners of the Canadian Native Men’s Fastpitch Championships in the 1990’s. The Sioux Valley Dakotas team is an inductee to the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame for 2023 in the Team category.

Murray Blight
President
murrayblight52@gmail.com