Many play softball to relax and have some fun, making it the number one sport in the nation to play. Whether fast or slow pitch, glory on the diamond can be found at the Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame in Hastings.
From the church leagues to the Olympics, Nebraska's link to softball glory can be found in Hastings. "You can see memorbilia from softball from across the country, college, Olympics, high school and Nebraska state ASA champs are honored here," explained Softball Commisioner Joe Patterson.
The hall of fame is right across the street from the Bill Smith Softball Complex, which brings almost 100,000 visitors to Hastings for its summer tournaments.
"It's been a great fit for Hastings. They also come over to check out the various exhibits we
have in the hall of fame and museum when they're here for a weekend tournament," said Patterson.
Named after longtime commisioner Bill Smith, at the hall of fame you can see autographs by state champs or even Olympian pitcher Jennie Finch.
"If you're interested in seeing the history of softball in our state, the history of our sport nationally, there are exhibits here to tell you about that. "An annual committee reviews who gets in each year, a hard decision since there are over 2,000 teams registered in the Nebraska Amateur Softball Association alone," he said.
Softball is the number one participation sport in the U.S. and Nebraska.
Whether you're just starting high school or pitching into your fifties, softball's the nation's game to play.
"People participate at their own level, that's what is nice about softball. You don't have to
be a great athlete to play softball," Patterson said.
The musuem is free and open most tournament times.
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