Four New Zealand softball stars elected to Hall of Fame

Jarrad Martin is one of three former Black Sox greats admitted to the New Zealand softball Hall of Fame in 2017.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Jarrad Martin is one of three former Black Sox greats admitted to the New Zealand softball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Black Sox greats Jarrad Martin, Travis Wilson and Patrick Shannon and double international captain Leslie King have been inducted into Softball New Zealand's Hall of Fame.

The quartet's inclusion was confirmed at the Softball New Zealand (SNZ) annual meeting in Lower Hutt on Saturday.

Martin - among a select group of five New Zealanders with four softball world championship gold medals - played for the Black Sox for more than 15 years and captained the team to the world title in Christchurch in 2004.

New softball Hall of Famer Travis Wilson at the time of his Black Sox return in 2009.
Stacy Squires

New softball Hall of Famer Travis Wilson at the time of his Black Sox return in 2009.

The Taranaki product was one of the most talented all-rounders in the New Zealand, making his initial mark as a pitcher before developing into a feared home run hitter and first baseman.

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He played in six world championships between 1996 and 2013 - a record shared with Mark Sorenson, Thomas Makea, Nathan Nukunuku and Brad Rona. All five have four gold medals.

Longtime former Black Sox catcher Patrick Shannon is part of the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame's 2017 intake.
Supplied

Longtime former Black Sox catcher Patrick Shannon is part of the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame's 2017 intake.

 Martin was inducted into the World Softball Hall of Fame in 2016 and is still involved in elite softball as assistant-coach of the New Zealand Junior Black Sox.

Wilson, a talented infielder and high average hitter, played with Martin on the 1996 world champion team - topping the side's batting averages - before a decade-long professional baseball career in the United States.

He later returned to softball, playing on the Black Sox's silver medal winning team in Canada in 2009.

Former White Sox captain Leslie King has been named in the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame.

Former White Sox captain Leslie King has been named in the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame.

Shannon, a power-hitting catcher with a distinctive, open batting style, played on four world championship squads, winning gold medals in 2004 and 2013 - the latter with his twin brother Heinie, a left-handed pitcher.

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King, an American who became a naturalised New Zealander, was a world class shortstop and catcher.

She was a White Sox regular from 1987 and helped the team to a silver medal in 1990 - their last time on a world championships podium.

King, who was also a New Zealand Football Ferns goalkeeper, now lives in her native United States.

She captained her adopted country at the Fifa women's football World Cup finals in China in 1991 and returned to New Zealand to captain the White Sox to a win the Sydney Olympic Games qualifying tournament in 1999.

King and Wilson are both coaching at division one level in the American college softball system with King head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Wilson assistant-coach at Florida State University.

Meanwhile, SNZ is mourning the death of Beverley Makinson, a New Zealand pitcher at the inaugural women's world championships in Melbourne in 1965.

Makinson - like King - was a double New Zealand international after also representing her country at hockey in 1956-57.

The Canterbury representative team and the Monowai club dominated New Zealand softball in the late 1950s and 1960s. She led Monowai to seven national club titles and Canterbury to five Bensel Cup provincial crowns.

 

 - Stuff

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