Congrats to the ISC Hall of Fame Class of 2022, Rhys Casley, Darren Box, Travis Wilson and Bob McGowan, well deserving selections, all
To Be Joined by Ryan Wolfe and Gerald Muizelaar, Deferred Inductees from 2021
Also to be inducted (officially) in 2022, will be Ryan Wolfe and Gerald Muizelaar, who were selected in 2020 and originally to be inducted at this year’s Hall of Fame Breakfast and Induction Ceremony held in Eldridge Iowa as part of the ISC’s 75th Anniversary, along with fellow 2021 inductees Chris Miljavac, Todd Garcia, Scott Standerfer and Jimmy Doyle.
Due to land border travel restrictions between the US and Canada, which limited the ability of fellow Canadians to attend and honor the pair, Wolfe and Muizelaar’s induction were pushed back to 2022.
Casley, Box, Wolfe and Muizelaar all starred for the Broken Bow Spirit, ISC World Champions in 2001, 2003 and 2004. All played in the Winner’s Bracket Semi-Final at the 2004 ISC World Tournament, what I think was the Greatest Fastpitch Game I ever saw in person. Broken Bow emerged the winner of that one, over the Farm Tavern, in a game in which all of the runs came home on home runs.
I was fortunate to get to see the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 in person, most notably, Rhys Casley, who I first saw play in 2003 at the Rose Cup in Portland Oregon, and at the 2003 and 2004 ISC World Tournament title runs, and subsequent ISC World Tournaments.
One of my favorite of Maddy’s Photos was the one of Rhys Casley that found its way to the cover of Softball Magazine. When reviewing the “proofs” from the event, that one jumped off the page. One of the prettiest swings in the game. (3 guesses where that ball wound up) Casley will, of course, go down in history as the hero of the 2013 WBSC World Championshps in his home country, New Zealand, clinching the world title with a 3 run homer in the final game. At the ISC World Tournaments year in and year out, Casley was a standout, now to be inducted with other greats of the ISC.
Among my favorite experiences in or around the game was the exhibition tournament on Man-O-War Cay in the Bahamas arranged and hosted by Haziel McDonald and the Texaco Pirates, home team for the island. I was broadcasting games on Ballpark Radio, and also got to spend some time around the island with Rhys, and the two Robs, Robbie Schweyer and the late Rob Scheller. Casley put on a prestigious display of power, launching 6 home runs that weekend, thrilling the local kids, who lined the fence whenever he came to the plate, ooh and aahing when the balls disappeared into the homes beyond the outfield fences.
McGowan was the quiet professional ISC executive behind the scenes in the wildly popular ISC II division, in the years that I attended and broadcast with Blair Setford, Lance Winn, Joe Todd, Kyle Smith and company. It was Bob’s work that made sure we had what was needed to promote the event, and to be able to focus on and enjoy our time in the booth. One of the classiest people in the game.
Wilson originally from Christchurch, NZ, is a member of an elite group of players who have been selected to five First ISC All-World Teams. He played in three ISC championship games during his career, finishing with a .363 lifetime batting average with 16 HRs and 42 RBIs in nine World Tournaments. Wilson, like Mark Smith is known as much for his contributions to women’s softball as for his achievements as a player. Wilson’s Florida State University Women’s Teams made three Women’s World Series appearances in 2014, 2016 and won the National Championship in 2018. Wilson also played professional baseball from 1997 to 2004, in the Atlanta Brave organization, becoming the first New Zealander to play professional baseball.
Box has three ISC World Tournament Championship rings, having been a member of the Broken Bow Spirit, which won the tournament in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He was selected All World catcher at the ISC World Tournament in those championship runs, and named the tournament’s MVP in 2001 at age 25. Box later signed on with the So Cal Bombers 2006, giving them a world caliber player who helped the Bombers play with the best in the world, and to the championship game in 2007.