Recently, I took a look into the area stars that reside in the Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, among the names I was left with was commissioner John Deaver; a man with a firm grasp on the running of a modern athletics league proving this during his tenure as the commissioner for Kentucky’s ASA for thirty years between 1933 and 1963.
During his time in which he added class to the position Deaver also acted as the president of the ASA during the 1955-1956 season.
His lasting national contributions to the sport of softball are massive. It was Deaver who began National Softball Week, a celebration of the game which Deaver knew so well. It was through his organization of that celebration when he received honors from then president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In addition Deaver’s major tournament has become a prestigious event in the game’s national presence; Deaver’s ASA National Slow Pitch Tournament commenced in 1953. Immediately Deaver set this region of the country up as a major landmark area in national softball as the initial two tournaments (both of which organized by Deaver) were in this region of the country; the first in Cincinnatti and the second right here in Louisville, establishing the status of the area in the sport of softball.
Deaver’s presence can still be felt in the passion he had for the game and the zeal he brought to the job. A beloved commissioner but more than that a masterful promoter for a sport he loved. And it’s through this love that one can really know the story of John Deaver.
Image courtesy of the Amateur Softball Hall of Fame
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