The momentum is building.
"I'm just really excited about it," said Lance Pratt. "It's a great honor. A lot of times when people retire, people tend to forget about them. But I'm speechless when it comes to something like this."When Pratt retired, he and teammate Doug Streeter literally hung up their spikes on the fence in back of home plate at the 1993 ASA National Tournament in Palm Springs, Calif.
They were finished. They knew their time had come.
But what Pratt, a former two-time ASA All-American and an International Softball Congress All-World player (1983), was talking about is the annual induction ceremony for the Utah Softball Hall Of Fame, July 10 at the opening ceremonies of the 29th annual Pioneer Days Men's Major Faspitch Tour-na-ment.
Pratt will be joined by eight other inductees.
Pratt will join former Larry H. Miller Toyota teammates, Joe Nichols, Gord Eakin, Jim Hunt, and Scott Simons. Three women, Amy Timmel, Charmelle Green, and the late Mary Mantle Sudbury, and Don Beck, who was the manager of the Utah Shamrocks, and former Deseret News sportswriter, the late Nick Yengich, will also be inducted during the opening ceremonies.
Pratt and Eaking formed a double-play combination for Miller Toyota teams, which finished third twice, and fourth once in the ISC World Tournament. Pratt, a 5-foot-6, second sacker, had a lifetime batting average of .323.
Not only were Pratt and Eakin former Miller Toyota teammates, both were teammates at Granite High and the University of Utah.
Eakin was a lifetime .346 hitter. He played fastpitch softball for 14 years. Eakin, a shortstop, was a four-time ASA All-American, and a two-time ISC All-World selection.
Nichols, who got his start playing for Brighton High, played for both Utah and BYU in baseball. He was a third-baseman for Miller Toyota with a career batting average of .321. He was an ISC All-World selection (1980), and also a three-time ASA All-American.
Simons was also a 1980 ISC All-World player for Miller Toyota. A very quick player. He hit .500 in the 1980 ISC World Tournament.
Hunt was a 1980 ISC All-World selection, too, for Miller Toyota. He was the leading hitter in the 1980 tournament, with a .600 batting average. Miller Toyota finished fourth in that tournament. Hunt was also an ASA All-American, carried a career Salt Lake Travel League batting average of .390.
While playing for the University of Utah, Green was a two-time NCAA All-American in 1990 and 1991. She holds the Utah career records for most hits in a game (seven), career batting average (.340), and doubles, with 29.
Timmel and Green both played in the 1991, and 1994, NCAA Women's World Series for the Utes.
Sudbury played 17 years of fastpitch softball. She was a catcher for 15 years for the Kennecott Copperettes.
Beck was involved with Utah fastpitch softball for nearly 25 years. He coached the likes of former Shamrock greats Fern Gardner, Joy Peterson and Jane Hughes.
The late Nick Yengich will be the second media inductee to the Utah Softball Hall of Fame. Radio commentator Steve Klauke, was inducted last year.