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.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.