TOMMY SLEVENSKI "It's an honor to be put into the same category as these guys,"
TOMMY SLEVENSKI #22
MEMBER OF THE HALL OF FAME
Tommy Slevenski became the 14th inductee into the Rotan Men's Softball League Hall of Fame this past Friday.
Hetzell Playground in Fishtown isn't exactly Cooperstown, but one would have never known it. Fans crowded the sidelines to cheer and former Hall of Famers gathered on the mound to help welcome Tommy into their realm.
Tommy's wife Lisa and his mother Mary, who never missed one of his games, were there for the occasion.
"I used to tell him he'd be [in the Hall of Fame]," said Lisa.
And on Friday night, her prediction became a reality.
"It's a great honor for me to induct people into the Hall of Fame," said league commissioner Bill Wilcox.
And it was an even greater honor for him to welcome his friend and former league member, Slevenski, into the Hall of Fame.
Wilcox said Slevenski was "something special" to watch in modified softball.
"When he got hold of the ball, you knew it was gone," said Wilcox.
Other Hall of Famers shared similar memories of Slevenski's days as a player in the men's softball league.
"I always hated to see him come to bat," admitted Donald Dougherty.
"He could cream the ball," explained Jim Strunk.
But it was more than his hitting the ball that got Tommy inducted into the Hall of Fame. His wife put it best.
"He could always hit the home runs and he was always a good sport," she said.
"Tommy Slevenski's name was easy to talk about [for induction into the Hall of Fame]," said Jack Moore, who maintains the league's website and is the league's unofficial historian. "He was a good player and very popular in the league. He has always been one of the most respected players in the league because he has always been a gentleman."
"Tommy put a lot into this league," added Dougherty. "He really deserves [being inducted]."
"I don't even know where to begin to say how much of an impact Tommy Slevenski has had on my life," current league player Chris Lemma wrote in a tribute on the Rotan website.
"I was a fan of Tommy's before he even knew who I was," continued Lemma. "How could you not look up to someone who dominated the game and would never speak brashly about it?"
Eventually, Lemma got to play on the same team as Slevenski. He said it was an experience he'll never forget.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2002