The El Paso Men’s Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame will had their annual induction ceremony of 10 individuals on Friday night at the Vista Hills Country Club.
The Inductees in the Living Athlete Category are Kiki Hernandez, one of the most versatile softball players ever playing every position except pitcher. Joe “Lefty” Rodriguez was a 30 year member of All Sports Club and started in the Armijo League. Robert “Bobby” Rodriguez, the brother of Lefty Rodriguez was an outstanding shortstop on numerous city championship teams. Pete Solis Jr. was an excellent first baseman. Switch-hitter and also in the Boxing and El Paso Athletic Hall of Fames. Carlos “Calily” Valenzuela Sr. was the city tournament leading hitter in 1970 and the Fiesta De Las Flores Tournament MVP in 1973. Tomas “Tommy” Zubiate was a famed catcher winning numerous city championships and was the MVP of the San Antonio Softball 50 and Over Tournament in 1999.
The Coach /Administrator Category Inductees are Mike Kennedy, longtime coach in the city and played softball for 26 years and coached high school softball for 17 years, winning 7 bi-district championships. Jose “Pepe” Morales is a mentor to hundreds of players in the city as the Coach of All Sports Club in a career spanning 40 years.
The Posthumous category inductees are Ernesto “Neto” Carreon Sr., was called the Hot Corner Vacuum Cleaner” for his outstanding glove work while leading his team to an undefeated season in the Armijo Softball League in 1957. Felix “Chano” Mendoza was known for his outstanding civic work as well as being a player with great athletic ability who played for over 30 years.
Honored at the banquet as well will be the Miss Softball Award Winners by the Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame. District 4A Miss Softball is Kreola Moore of Parkland High School and District 5A Miss Softball is Jackie Gonzalez of Hanks High School.
Softball Coaches of the Year being honored are Eddie Pedregon of Parkland High School at the 4A level and Rich Rodriguez of Montwood High School at the 5A level. Frank Wilkin, recently deceased member of the Softball Hall of Fame Committee and Willie Vasquez, a longtime committee member as well will both be honored at the ceremony.