Hall of Fame Dinner - Long Beach, CA - March 19, 2006

The ISC's chairman of streaming media, and SoCal pitcher David Blackburn headed up the "Tribute to Legends" Hal of Fame dinner,  Saturday, March 18, 2006, in Long Beach, California, to honor two local greats, Ed Klecker and Greg Sepulveda, who are to be inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in 2006. Approximately 15 fellow Hall of Famers will be among those on hand to honor Ed and Greg. For more details, contact daveb (at) virtvent.com. This page is still under construction, so check back soon for more, including a recap of the evening's festivities and captions on the photos.

Click the menu buttons at left for photos from the evening.  

Bios of the Honored Guests, Ed Klecker and Greg Sepulveda

Ed Klecker

Ed Klecker is generally recognized as one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the history of fastpitch softball. Primarily using a devastating drop ball, thrown with pinpoint accuracy, Ed was the strikeout king of the sport during his reign as the ace pitching star for Lakewood California franchises, of the early, to mid 1970’s. Ed began his softball pitching career as a teenager in 1957 for the LDS Church. As an 18 year old in 1958, Ed was named the outstanding pitcher in the LDS Jr. Division’s National Championship Tournament. Through the late 1960’s, Ed continued playing ball for the LDS Church in the local leagues. The church team allowed two non-LDS members to play on each team. One of those two players on Ed’s team was catcher, Lanny Rupp, who would have a huge influence on the up-and-coming softball superstar.

Rupp was a fastpitch impresario, who knew that he could build a World Class ball club around Klecker’ s amazing right arm, and outstanding pitching talents. Lanny convinced Ed that he needed to play ball on Sundays, in order to achieve his full potential in the sport. Playing on Sundays meant that he would have to give up playing for his LDS church team, but bigger and brighter fastpitch days were on Ed’s horizon. He would now take up Rupp on his offer, and test his skills against some of the very best players in world. With Big Eddie in the circle on Sundays, Rupp’ sball clubs qualified to play in ASA National Championship Tournaments in 1970 at Clearwater Florida, and in 1971 at Springfield Missouri. With that National Tournament experience under his belt, Ed proceeded to make the ISC World Tournament his domain of dominance for the next 3 consecutive seasons. In the 1972 ISC World Tournament at Kimberly, WI, Ed Klecker of the Lakewood Jets lead all pitchers with 71 strikeouts in 38 innings. Ed allowed only 15 hits, and 5 walks, while posting a 3-1 won — loss record, and a brilliant ERA of 0.55. The next closest in strikeouts was Jerry Ralf’s 38 Ks in 41 inns. The Jets finished in 4th Place in the Tournament. Ed’s star was on the rise entering the 1973 World Tournament at Rock Island, IL, where he teamed up with ISC Hall of Fame pitcher KG Fincher. Fincher and Klecker were firing bullets, as the Lakewood Jets won the 73 ISC World Championship, with Eddie posting 5 wins, without a loss. He was named both the ISC’s Outstanding Pitcher, and the Most Valuable Player. Ed allowed one earned run in 45 1/3 innings, again leading the Tournament pitchers with 67 strikeouts, and posting a microscopic ERA of 0.150. The next closest was ISC Hall of Famer Gil Aragon’s 27 Ks in 42 innings. At Sun City, AZ in the 1974 ISC World Tournament, Ed again was named Vt Team All-World pitcher, leading all of the World Tournament pitchers in strikeouts, with a total of 59. His 0.57 ERA and 4 wins with 1 loss, capped an incredible 3 year run, for the 6’4” 240 lb hurler, who made his living as a Fireman. A blown out rotator Cuff in Ed’s right shoulder at age 35, forced him into early retirement at the conclusion of the 1975 season. Although his career ended prematurely, while he was throwing the ball in his prime, his star shined as bright as any pitcher who ever threw a softball. Big Ed KlecKer — The Fireball Hurling Fireman<

Greg Sepulveda

After playing hardball through High School in Santa Ana, Greg Sepulveda began playing for the local Cine Yost fastpitch teams in 72 & 73. In 74, ISC Executive Director Emeritus Milt Stark was the manager of the Mission Viejo Vaqueros. Milt immediately recognized Greg’s talents, and picked him up to play his first season in the Western Softball Congress. In the team’s 1974 team program, the writer said “Greg is very fast and aggressive and will be an outstanding player for many years”. That writer couldn’t have been more right, in this assessment of Greg’s fastpitch talent. By the 1976 season, Greg helped the Lakewood Jets finish in the runner-up spot at the ISC World Tournament in Long Beach. For the next 7 years, Greg played for General Manager Al Olivos, and his Santa Ana Cine Yost team, which had also joined the strong Western Softball Congress league. Greg continued WSC competition for the next 20+ seasons, winning numerous league Championships, while being named MVP twice, and an All-Star too many times to count.

In 1983, Greg was a mid-season addition to the powerful Lancaster Chameleons, as sponsor Tom Morris assembled his juggernaut ball club based in the Antelope Valley. Greg anchored the infield, and was a key offensive stalwart, as the Chameleons went on to win the ISC World Tournament, later that summer of 83, in nearby Bakersfield. The Lancaster ball club beat ISC Hall of Fame pitching star Peter Finn, and his Saint Louis Budweiser Kings teammates, in the 1983 ISC World Championship Game.

The Chameleons finished in the 3~ Place spot at the 1984 ISC World Tournament in Allentown, PA, finishing behind in-state rival Ed Smith Welding of Bakersfield, and Decatur (IL) ADM. Greg had an outstanding Tournament, posting a .333 BA, and was honored as the All-World Vt Team at Shortstop.

After a disappointing 16th place finish at Kimberly, Wisconsin in 1985, the Chameleons relocated to Lakewood’s Mayfair Park for the 1986 season. They were back with vengeance when the ISC World Tournament was played in Sioux City, Iowa in August of 1986. After dropping their opening ball game to an underdog team from Denton, Texas, the Chameleons performed an amazing march through the Loser’s Bracket, reaching the ISC World Championship game. Facing legendary ISC Hall of Fame star Jimmy Moore, and his defending Champion Seattle Pay & Pak squad, The Chameleons dropped an 11-inning heartbreaker, finishing in the ISC World Tournament runner-up spot. Greg was again named All-World 1st Team Shortstop, playing flawless defense, and achieving a solid .316 batting average.

In ISC Hall of Fame Pitcher Kevin Herlihy’ s book titled “Striking Out”</a>, he names his all time, All- International team of non-New Zealanders, position-by-position. At Shortstop, he picks Greg Sepulveda:

“Shortstop: Greg Sepulveda (Lancaster): Our Lancaster Shortstop, Greg was a complete player. Despite his large build, he covered a tremendous amount of ground, and had an excellent throw, which he reserved for occasions that demanded it. As a batter he could drop a bunt and beat it out. He could slap hit, and drive the ball hard. Over the years, he took some outs behind me, that I had given up on. Greg was a very humble person, and really enjoyed his company.”









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