The two newest inductees to the Rochester Softball Hall of Fame from East Rochester are Dick Laughlin and Bill Kreger. Laughlin was inducted as manager and Kreger received the John Warren Award.
Other inductees are Jerry Barth, Red Fedele, Jack Gerew, Curt Kirchmaier, Rick Lomn, Kim Malcom, Frank Mastrodonto, Dick Rogers and Jimmy Smith.
Laughlin was supported by his wife, Carlene; daughter and son-in-law, Jodie and Frank; grandson Vinny; sister Diane; brother and sister-in-law, Ed and Caesarea; niece Crystal; and cousins Steve, Art and Chris Petrone.
In his acceptance speech, Laughlin said he was proud of the people he played with and against.
“If I had an offer for a million dollars or being inducted into this HOF, I’d take the induction into this HOF,” he said.
Laughlin proceeded to recognize fellow players and teammates, and brought them to the stage: Fred Cohen, Mark Florack, Bill Kreger and Dick Rogers.
From 1961 to 1978, Laughlin played and managed in over 2,000 league games with over an 800 winning percentage. Frank Ciaccia, executive vice president of the U.S. Specialty Sports Association, asked him to become commissioner for New York territory softball in 1975.
While still at Xerox, Laughlin approached Pat Kehoe from Pace Electronics to sponsor and support an open league A Division slowpitch softball team, and traveled to national and world tournaments. Pace Electronics came in third in the Eastern World in 1977, playing over 100 games a year.
Laughlin was in 12 world tournaments as a player and manager, selected Major League manager in 1977, and led Pace Electronics to the Major League Championship and playoffs in 1976 and 1977, Open A Division.
“I am proud to have had this opportunity in my life to play and manage players who committed through dedication to achieve our goals and contributed to establishing Rochester as a softball mecca,” he said. “I would like to thank the Rochester Softball Hall of Fame committee for this prestigious honor and congratulate this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.”