John Kramer, Robbie Carr reach softball hall
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media November 22, 2012 8:34PM
Robbie Carr, former Peoptone resident, is being inducted into the Illinois National Softball Association/Baseball Players Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 1.
Updated: December 24, 2012 6:56AM
The number 12 defined one of Mokena’s John Kramer’s team accomplishments during his softball career. And it was darn close to being one of his best numbers from an individual standpoint as well.
From a team aspect, Kramer was on a dozen 12-inch slow-pitch softball squads that won state titles in his 23-year career. And from an individual standpoint, the biggest highlight of a pretty impressive career was when he went 11-for-12 in a state tournament game in Granite City in 1994.
The 11 hits were homers.
The lone out he made?
“It was a foul ball that was very questionable,” he said. “If you hit a foul ball, then the next swing you take must be in fair territory or you are out. I hit a ball that I thought was a home run. It was fair. The umpire called it foul but I don’t think it was foul.
“The ball was hitting my bat pretty flush that day so I was kind of lucky.”
The ball hit his bat flush on many other occasions as well.
Kramer and five other players will be inducted into the Illinois National Softball Association/Baseball Players Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 1 in Bourbonnais. Other inductees include Reddick’s Robbie Carr, a former Peotone resident and softball standout, Bourbonnais’ Andrea Hildebrandt, Kankakee’s Kevin Kronst, Momence’s Robbie Lambert and Highland’s David Melosi.
For Kramer, it’s his second Hall of Fame honor. He also was inducted into the Illinois United States Specialty Sports Association Softball Hall of Fame in 2006.
“It’s very, very rewarding,” Kramer said. “There are three major softball associations and this is my second time being inducted and I could not be more happy. I never set out to do anything like this. I’m very humbled.”
The 49-year-old Kramer played baseball at Bremen High School and Chicago State University and then caught the softball bug. His USSSA Hall of Fame biography said he hit .650 lifetime with 400 home runs. He said he has played all over the country at the highest level.
He cites the 1996 Belcher Construction team as the best team he ever played on. The team won 65 games and captured the USSSA National Invitation Tournament title.
Kramer is retired from softball but said he may return to play on a senior team when he turns 50 next year.
According to an NSA news release, the 46-year-old Carr played baseball at Peotone High School and won state softball titles with the Peotone-based Teresa Pizza team in 1990 and 1997. After 1997, he played with various teams. With the St. Anne-based Can-Do Metals, he helped the team win a state title in 2005 and finish second in the NSA Super C World Series Tournament in Indianapolis.
Carr played with the Joliet-based Block Law/Sharp Sports squad that won Master State Tournament titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and he was also named to the all-tournament team those three seasons.
Other area players/umpires who were past inductees include Gardner’s Terry Speed, Beecher’s Barry Parks, Mokena’s Frank Vojtech, Matteson’s Les Dundan, South Wilmington’s Rick Alderson, Peotone’s Kevin Price and Joliet’s Rich Woolman.