Inductees The 1965 Lettes Team, along with the 1951 squad rated by long time manager Chuck McCord as perhaps his two stongest, won 41 games and lost but four against some of the nation's longest competition.
The team won the very strong Houston Invitational Tournament and had a 23-game winning streak during the regular season before climaxing its year with its third place finish in the Amateur Softball Association's World tournament that at that time included teams from Japan and Canada.
Lorene Ramsey, Illinois Central College's long-time softball and basketball coach and in her playing days one of the nation's very best pitchers, posted a 32-2 record and allowed just 16 earned runs in 258 innings. Gerry Hamerstrand was 9-1 with just four earned runs in 65 innings. Third baseman Irene "Pep" Kirwan hit .405, first baseman Joan Nelson .404 and catcher Ann Mullins Tindall .380. Mullins whacked three home runs and Kerwin and Nelson two each.
The rest of the team was composed of shortstop Marlys Taber, second baseman Pat Alexander, outfielders Marty Green, Pauline Schlicher Stauch, and Fran Seketa along with Pat Campobello McSwegin, Cindy Adams Butkovich, Diane Manley, Elizabeth Shaner, and Bonnie Swanson.
The 1964 and 1965 Lette teams made history by setting regular season attendance records for men's and women's amateur softball teams, drawing crowds of 111,000 and 117,000 for a 22 home game average of over 5000. In two games with Japan, about 10,000 attended each game, a great tribute to a truly deserving team.
The 1965 Lettes Team, along with the 1951 squad rated by long time manager Chuck McCord as perhaps his two stongest, won 41 games and lost but four against some of the nation's longest competition.
|Marian "Gabby" Kneer|
Marian "Gabby" Kneer has devoted her life to athletics and education. Now a resident of Western Springs, a Chicago suburb and a retired professor from the University of Illinois-Chicago, Kneer was called the "worldí's greatest softbaIl catcher" in the late 1940's. And for a long time, people didn't even know her first name, just calling her "Gabby" Kneer - maybe because of the way she continually chirped encouraging words to her teammates.