ROCK HILL, SC -
Six veterans of South Carolina
softball were inducted into the 1998 SC ASA Hall Of Fame on Wednesday, September 16, 1998.
Before a crowd of over 170 guests, many of whom are past inductees,
Bobby Taylor, Marion Cooter Eargle, Hallman Sease, Jimmy Neeley, Russell Hart, and Jeff
Anders were awarded Hall Of Fame status for their outstanding achievements and dedication
Bobby Taylor, of Spartanburg, has a distinguished fastpitch career of
27 years, from 1958 to 1985. He played on seven state championship teams (3 major and 4
Class A division), three regional champions, and in the 1966 Nationals. His teams won 15
city league championships. Taylor's lifetime batting average is .348.
Marion Cooter Eargle, of Columbia, has been active in SC softball for
over 40 years. He has been involved with fast and slow pitch as a player, manager, umpire,
and youth coach. Eargle played ball for 34 years from 1948 to 1982, umpired for ASA for 20
years from 1954 to 1974, and has a 20 year coaching career. A dedicated and respected
coach and manager, he was a pioneer in the organization of youth leagues in the Columbia
area, coached the first two state champion men's master division teams, and managed five
state championship teams.
Hallman Sease, of Ehrhardt, excelled as a player, coach, and sponsor in
four decades of fast pitch softball. His early teams won twelve consecutive league titles.
His ASA teams have won seven state championships, two regional titles and played in four
nationals. Sease has coached over 1,000 games and was voted 1991 Regional Coach Of The
Year. He is a volunteer high school and youth coach, and is an active community and church
Jimmy Neeley, of Columbia, was player, coach, and sponsor for the
powerful Columbia Rebs. His teams have won over 100 tournament trophies and awards between
1965 and 1985. An ambassador for ASA softball, Neeley sponsors youth teams, and
played an important role in the early development of slow pitch softball in South
Russell Hart, of Laurens, has a long and distinguished career in ASA
softball. He has been the state commissioner since June 1, 1970, and serves on the
National Council, ranking in the top 15 in seniority nationally. He served several terms
as South Atlantic Regional vice president, the highest regional position, and was on the
National ASA Board of Directors, a chairman, and vice chairman of many ASA committees.
Hart, an outstanding recreation professional, was honored as Recreation Professional Of
The Year by the SC Recreation and Park Society.
Jeff Anders, of Simpsonville, has a 23 year career as an all star
catcher and versatile fast pitch player. During his career, 1971 to 1994, he twice ranked
as one of the top 60 players in the US and was invited to the Pan-Am tryouts in 1983 and
1987. Anders played in 16 state tournaments, 12 regionals and 7 nationals. His teams won
seven state and five regional championships. Anders is a spirited competitor with a
consistently high batting average. He is a team player and a credit to South
The SC ASA Hall Of Fame was established in 1983 to honor those men and
women who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the game of softball.
With the addition of these six new inductees, the Hall Of Fame now has
a total of 50 members whose softball careers are the hallmark of softball achievement in
One particular Hall Of Famer that has been involved in South Carolina
softball for nearly three quarters of a century is perhaps the most notable member so far.
He is ninety-one year old Evans Cannon, known to the softball world as the Father Of South
It was Cannon who brought softball to South Carolina when, in 1929, he
organized the first softball game in Florence. He was the coach of both teams and
officiated the game. The teams were The Morning News and The City Policemen.
When asked to stand up and be recognized at the banquet, Cannon
modestly stated, "I'm just happy to be here tonight to see you folks enjoying
something I help start many years ago."
Cannon was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1990. He organized the
first league in Columbia in 1933 and helped organize the first state tournament in 1938.
He is highlighted the the book Softball In The 48 States.
Jim Seay, an area media professional, was master of ceromonies for the
Hall Of Fame banquet held at Mid Carolina Country Club in Prosperity, where the banquet
was preceeded by a golf tournament earlier in the day. See the tournament results on the
Look for more exciting news to come in the next issue of Softball Player newspaper!