2017 Inductees


Mikki Cochrane

Athlete Category

From an early age, Mikki Cochrane, the tenacious kid from Portage, excelled in softball.  In 1988 at 15, she helped team Manitoba win Bronze at the Canada Summer Games. At 20, she had a career year in NCAA Division II at UND averaging 9.8 strike-outs for each 7 innings pitched.  Her fastball was clocked at 62 mph.  Her 140 strike-outs for the year was a school record.  6 of her 9 victories were shut-outs.  Her ERA, a modest 1.74.  As well, she was the team's top hitter with a .440 batting average.  In 1995, she was named an All-American and the first softball player inducted into the UND Hall of Fame.  During the summer of 1995 pitching for the Bonivital Lightening, she was selected All-Star pitcher at the Canadian Senior Women's Fastball Championships in Burlington ON.  Her many appearances at the Senior Women's National Championships, she was declared All-Star pitcher 4 successive years, 1995-98, and MVP in the play-off round at the Canadian Nationals in 1998, 2000 and 2004.  A remarkable softball career!



Randy Dutiaume

Athlete Category

After playing minor ball in Winnipeg’s Weston CC, he went to the Midget Westerns in Brandon with the Weston Midget 17 year olds. In 1980 with the Chalet Jets, he went to the Midget Westerns in BC, and 1981, to the Canada Games in Thunder Bay. The following year, he began play in Senior Men's Fastball. During the next 24 years, he developed into one of the Manitoba's top hitters whom teams repeatedly recruited to play at the Canadian Men's Senior 'A' Nationals and at the ISC World Championships. Repeatedly, he was named to tournament All-Star teams including as short-stop and as catcher. Scouring the Portage newspaper, we find these phrases -‘Dutaiume homered’, ‘double by Dutaiume’, ‘threw home to get the runner’, ‘homered for two runs’, ‘belted two homers yesterday’, ‘another home run’ and ‘another home run’. A immense talent deserving of Hall of Fame recognition.



Rick Elias

Athlete Category

After a decade of baseball, Rick shifted to fastball at age 17 in 1989, and for the next decade he excelled in 5 countries with many teams. He was an exceptional hitter. In 1991 with Seattle Seafirst, he batted .460 to win the North West League’s batting title and was named 1st. Team All-American as his team won the ISC Championship. In 100 games with 4 teams in 1994, he batted .630 with 39 home runs including 7 home runs in 9 games at the Nationals and was named Top Hitter and Top Catcher for the tournament. Meantime, the team won championships at both the Canadian Junior Nationals and at the Worlds, and named Team of the Year in the BC Softball Hall of Fame. A remarkable talent!



Dave LaFrance

Athlete Category

Dave's incredible rise to softball fame began in earnest at age 20 when he joined the Winnipeg Colonels as an outfielder in 1978. For two years, he excelled before spending the winter with United in New Zealand. In summer 1980, he returned to play 3rd. base and the outfield for the Vancouver Thirsk Seniors before rejoining the Colonels in 1981 where he became the league batting champion and where the Winnipeg Steel Kings selected him for their trip to the Canadian Nationals in Ottawa where he homered in the bottom of the 15th inning to win the game. He continued this excellence with a .500 batting average at the Canadian Amateur Softball Association (CASA) Nationals and the selection to the CASA All-Canadian Team. A remarkable fastball career!



Ferdi Nelissen

Athlete Category

From 1975-79 during ages 15-19, Ferdi excelled with Albion Hotel Canadians of Portage. The team won 3 league championships, and he was selected All-Star at both short-stop and centerfield. This was the beginning of an excellence that won him 24 team championships during his 26 years as an elite fastball player and 18 selections to All-Star teams in prestigious fastball leagues including the Central Manitoba Fastball League, the Winnipeg Fastball League, the Hanover-Tache Fastball League and northern USA leagues; and, in such prestigious tournaments the Westerns, Canadian Nationals, the International Softball Congress (ISC). Later, he served 18 years on the executive of the ISC, organized many tournaments, and served on committees writing and monitoring the rules of the game. A remarkable talent and revered servant of the fastball community.



 Terry Wallin

Athlete Category

After a successful baseball career culminating at age 23 in a 1983 with a Canadian Junior Baseball Championship in Niagara Falls, he decided to play fastball.  He won championships with teams from Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Toronto and Decatur, Illinois - 9 provincials, 2 Westerns, 2 Canadian Nationals, 1 Pan American.  Several times, he was named All-Canadian and All-World infielder.  He was on the roster of the Canadian National team 4 successive years, 1995-98.  A remarkable fastball talent; a skilled, competitive team-mate; a respectful person and loyal friend. 



Wayne Richardson

All-Around Category

1941-2005. Wayne - fondly nick-named ‘Snoops’ after his always-accompanying, canine companion.  A ‘skillful’ athlete in his early, Hamiota youth, he emerged a ‘standout batter’, ‘versatile fielder’ and exceptional organizer of teams he assembled, coached and managed.  In the 1960s and 70s with the Portage Canadians and Portage Dodgers, he was a skilled short-stop and catcher, a ‘good hitter batting in the middle of the line-up’ and an All-Star in the Central Manitoba Fastball League (CMFL).  He organized and/or resurrected teams that won league, tournament and Manitoba Senior ‘A’ championships, and competed well at Canadian Senior ‘A’ National Championships.  As restaurant owner, he consistently paid or help pay team expenses, supported teams with his high-level coaching certification and umpired at National championships.  A fine athlete and coach; a refined community servant and man.



 Les Newman

Builder Category

Les is one of these administrators who becomes integral to an organization soon after he becomes a member. He accepts responsibility with grace and administrates with a quiet, thorough and respectful authority. His colleagues talk of the joy it is to work with him. He has played the game these 40 years, has served as an administrator in many committees as board member, finance and facility's chair and as president of Softball Manitoba. After spear-heading the amalgamation of 3 leagues into the Winnipeg Fastball League in the late 1970s, he went on to serve with Manitoba Softball and Manitoba Slo-Pitch, and the Western Canada Softball Association. He has often been delegated voting member to Canada Softball meetings. He is a coveted committee member, a prized friend and passionate, softball advocate. 



2008 & 2009 Smitty’s A2 Senior Women’s Fastpitch Team

Team Category

Smitty's A-2 Women's Fastball team won Gold in 2008 and Silver in 2009. Competing against the dominating Smitty's Terminators made these championships especially noteworthy. In 2007, Portage's John Mitchell founded the Smitty's Women's Junior ‘A’ team. In 2008 when the National tournament was awarded to Winnipeg, they decided to compete for the Women's Senior 'A' title. This remarkable team of young players was able to defeat the Smitty Terminators in both the A-side finals and in the Gold Medal game. A remarkable feat! In 2009, they returned to the Nationals in Kitchener to defend their Gold. Oppressive heat, injuries to two top hitters, 11 games in 5 days with 3 on Sunday and a rested Kitchener team in the Gold Medal game proved too much. It was a 'great run' they and their fans will long remember. 



1986 Portage Diamonds Men’s Fastball Team

Team Category 

In the winter of 1986, Brian Pallister and Larry Dewis founded the Portage Diamonds, a competitive fastball team playing in the Winnipeg Senior Men's Fastball League (WSMFL).  It was one great year.  The Diamonds finished league play in 1st place, defeated the Winnipeg Internationals for the WSMFL championship and went on to the Canadian Nationals in Prince Edward Island.  There, after two, one-run game wins against St. Foy. Quebec, they qualified for the 8 team playoff.   This was a dream come true. They did lose their 1st playoff game against Nova Scotia 1-0, but had their runner not been called out on a close play at home in the top of the 7th, they could very well have advanced.   These successes exceeded their wildest dreams. 



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