WAYNE NORMAN NAMED TO INAUGURAL WILLI-MAC SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME
 
Willi-MAC softball president Jim Baran and secretary Jay Linddy announced the inaugural Willi-MAC softball Hall of Fame classes on the Wayne Norman show August 27, 2007.   Wayne was honored for his years as a player, coach, publicist, and member of the executive board which founded Willi-MAC in 1975.  He was named to the players and non-players Hall of Fame rosters.  To hear the official announcement, click here and scroll to August 27, 2007.
 
Here are photos from the Hall of Fame Banquet held on September 15, 2007:
 
 
Willi-MAC secretary Jay Linddy (L), presenter Dennis O'Brien, and Wayne Norman
 
Jay Linddy was the Master of Ceremonies
 
Windham First Selectman Mike Paulhus proclaimed it "Willi-MAC Softball Hall of Fame Day" in Windham
 
Charlie and Curt Bender were honored for Bender's Oil's 28 years of team sponsorship--the longest sponsor in Willi-MAC history
 
John Lescoe presented Hall of Famer Bob Beaudry
 
Mark Lambert presented Hall of Famer Russ Shea 
 
Dennis O'Brien presented Hall of Famer Wayne Norman (read Dennis's remarks below)
 
Wayne Norman addressed the crowd
 
Hall of Famer Dave Dunnack
 
Hall of Famer Mike Fisher

Dennis O'Brien's presentation speech for Wayne Norman's Hall of Fame induction:
 
Good evening, I'm Dennis O'Brien

I'm here to talk to you about 2 local institutions. 

One is an organization, the other is a local guy, 
a local guy who is one of the best friends we all have ever had. 
To put all this in context, I played fast pitch softball back in the early 60's, before it was replaced by slow pitch.

Many years later, after a very long layoff, my coworkers talked me into playing slow pitch for an office team here.

We played together for 12 years, mostly in the C League, 
mostly as Tony's Pizza, and we won a couple of jackets.

I pitched and won a lot of games in 12 years. One, believe it or not, went 19 innings before we finally won.

My Willi-MAC days I will never forget. Thank you, Willi-MAC. Thank you, Dick Smith. If anyone deserves this special night, it's you Dick Smith.

Willi-MAC is one great local institution. The other one is the guy I'm so proud to be sponsoring tonight.

Sport Hut, Ron's Raiders, Blarney's, Mackeys, Beaver Brook, you name it, our guy seemed to play with a different team almost every year. That's because he was so good, and so much in demand, both as a player, and as a teammate.

As a pitcher, good as I thought I was, there were some guys, I just could not pitch to with any success, guys like John Lescoe, Lou Lavecchia, and Rocky Nelson, to name three.. 
Like those great hitters, I could never get this guy out! I should have walked him every time he came up. Hard line drive. Base hit every time!

This man is a hitting machine, he is. Oh, he had a good enough glove to play a lot of positions, even in the outfield where I could never go.
 
But the guy I'm here to praise tonight is, first and foremost, a softball hitting machine, no doubt about it.

Note that I said he IS a hitting machine, not just that he WAS a hitting machine. . . . .

This summer, our guy played on the Legends team. Thank you, Jim Baran, for that.

In case you haven't heard, late this season, not long after his 57th birthday, our guy, playing his first season after being retired for more than 4 years, hit a home run, at age 57!
Imagine that! An inside the park HR at age 57 in a young man's league!

Like I said, the man was, and still IS, a softball hitting machine.

Without further adieu, after, 32 years of punishing pitchers like me on our softball fields, here he is, our first Cupid, our local treasure, our only DOUBLE Hall of Famer, the incomparable Wano, your friend and mine, the pilot of the airwaves, WAYNE NORMAN.
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