HISTORY OF THE ARIZONA SOFTBALL FOUNDATION
The Arizona Softball Foundation was founded in 1973 when a number of prominent retired softball players decided something should be done to ensure softball would continue to be strong in Arizona. Their mission was to start a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and recognizing the accomplishments of teams, players, coaches, umpires and sponsors who had participated in Arizona softball. Membership was only five dollars a year and in a few short years membership grew from a small number to hundreds.
The group's first order of business was to select a Board of Directors. It was decided the Board should represent all of Arizona and members should be selected from different areas in Arizona. The original Board of Directors included President, Ford Hoffman representing Maricopa County and Secretary, Rose Mofford representing the Southern District.
The second order of business in 1973 was to start a Softball Hall of Fame and decide who and how the members would be inducted. The Foundation decided the first person to be inducted into the Hall would be Art Funk, chairman of the Board of Greyhound Parks of Arizona and sponsor of the legendary Funk Jewels which included many of the great Arizona softball players. The team was a dominant force in 16 national championship tournaments held in Phoenix at softball fields which he built. This included the famous Phoenix Softball Park, a $100,000 stadium and field at 17th Avenue and Roosevelt.
1974 marked the 40th anniversary of fast pitch softball in Arizona. The Board thought it fitting to select what would be known as the Charter Members of the Foundation from a ballot containing only the names of the men and women who played in the pre-war years. The following sixteen men and women were chosen as the Charter Members and were honored at the first induction banquet.