Elby Bushong Jr.
Passed away in September of 2017. An integral member of many elite slow pitch teams from all over the country. Won Men’s A World Tournaments in 1980 with Campbell Carpets of Concord, CA and in 1983 with J & R Roofing from Phoenix. Dubbed “Boom-Boom” in honor of his prodigious home runs, he was the first representative from Arizona selected for the USSSA National Hall of Fame, being inducted in the Major Player Category in 1982.
Founder, organizer and sponsor of RMS Softball. RMS culminated an outstanding run of excellence by winning the 2010 Men’s C World Tournament. Ron was selected as the All-Tournament Manager for guiding his team to the title.
John Booker Sr.
One of the most feared power hitters from southern Arizona and the southwest for almost a quarter century. A member of the prestigious USSSA Major Players list for many years and an integral cog of standout teams such as SNAFU and Nova Financial. After basically retiring from playing, John served USSSA with distinction as the Arizona Black American Program Director for several years.
Mike Calise Sr.
Became a major force on the slow pitch scene after a nine year career in minor league baseball where he hit 33 home runs for AAA Louisville in 1982. Mike and brother Dominic played for Sonny’s out of Connecticut as well as several of the best teams in Arizona including Landsharks and Elite.
The driving force behind and relentless manager of Trim Fit, a dominant team in Arizona Men’s and Hispanic softball for many years starting in the 1980’s. The high point of their extended run of excellence was capturing the 1988 Men’s B World Tournament in Concord, CA.
Passed away in May of 2010. Following a stand out career in fast pitch, she joined Big Apple in 1987. Over the next 13 years she helped the team become one of true forces in Women’s softball acquiring countless all tournament and MVP awards along the way. The consummate team player, she often declined AT awards so a teammate could receive additional recognition. After the end of the Big Apple era Diane continued to play for the Saints Senior Softball Team until her passing.
Umpire and Director for USSSA since the 1980’s. Tony was one of only a select few umpires from Arizona considered to work the elite Men’s Major World Series. Most recognizable as an assignor and overseer of the umpire program, Tony also headed the Hispanic Program for many years.
Pat Farmer Sampson
Joined Big Apple in 1987 as a young utility player with a strong arm. By the time Big Apple was done, she had established herself at her natural position as a shortstop. Additionally, she was a sound fundamental hitter who delivered exactly what was needed in the clutch and was an integral part of the Big Apple run of excellence.
One of the truly dominant pitchers in Arizona slow pitch history. From 2006-2010 he was named Tournament MVP at least six times, culminating with the 2010 Men’s C World Tournament. Carl was easily the MVP and the central figure behind RMS taking home the World Title.
In her prime, Heidi was the most complete player not only in Arizona, but on the west coast. She was the perfect combination of arm strength, power, glove and even speed until injuries took that away. She joined Big Apple in 1987, and quickly became, per her manager, “the best all-around player ever to wear a Big Apple uniform.” She won too many MVP awards to list, but the highlight may have been a World Tournament in Salem, OR. Heidi hit seven home runs, including three fence clearing blasts in one game. She was awarded both the MVP and outstanding defensive player for that memorable event. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2014.
Moved to Arizona from Kansas in 1982 where he was introduced to USSSA by Jim Swint. Served Arizona USSSA as State Director, Division VP, Director of Special Projects or in an emeritus status since September of 1986. Was inducted into the USSSA National Hall of Fame in 2014. Being a former player/pitcher himself Doug knew how to create events and run a program with pride.
Tara Licuanan Salcedo
Started play in Southern California after concluding a sterling college softball career at UC-Bakersfield. Announced her presence in 2008 by being named the Defensive MVP in the WB World Tournament for Hafta Play. She has blossomed into one of the premier players in the country. Since 2014, she has earned 21 Tournament MVP’s or Defensive MVP’s primarily with Derby Girls, capping that off with back 2 back Women’s Major World Championships.
One of the first players from Arizona to earn an MVP Award while leading his team to a World Championship. Chuck accomplished this relatively early in his career pitching Trim Fit to the Men’s B World Championship in 1988 in Concord, CA. Chuck and his manager brother Jim were the driving force behind a team of over achievers who exemplified team excellence in the Men’s and Hispanic program for over a decade. He is still active today playing both Men’s and Senior softball at a high level..