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Rhode Island Senior Softball League – Hall of Fame & 40th Anniversary
Nov. 1, 2022
By Emilio Notarantonio
WARWICK, RI. _The Rhode Island Senior Softball League held its annual end of the year banquet/picnic at City Park here in October, but unlike any previous season-ending gathering, this event was special in two ways:
It was the 40th anniversary celebration and the league’s Executive Board introduced its first Hall of Fame inductees.
The Executive Board had previously approved the idea of a RISSL Hall of Fame in the spring. The Hall of Fame committee was made up of Executive Board members and league veterans. A list was complied of 60 individuals for consideration.
- Age: 70+.
- Active league member for 10+ years.
- Administrative service as a league official and/or Executive Board member.
- Player, sponsor, manager, or any combination of the three.
The final outcome: a list of eight individuals who will forever be known as the original inductees. The list was heavy in its make-up of league officials. While all the inductees had experience in playing and managing, the ultimate criteria was woven around individuals who guided the league through its beginnings, infancy, and now, adulthood. Due to their willingness to devote time, guidance, and stewardship to the league, RISSL currently has 20 teams and 365 rostered players.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame were:
- Dick Bamford
- Pete DeMasi
- Joe Giordano
- John Murphy
- Emilio Notarantonio
- Tony Rozzero
- George St. Vincent
- Len Yanku (Posthumously)
Left to Right: Emilio Notarantonio, Tony Rozzero, Pete DeMasi, Robin St Vincent (accepting on behalf of her husband, George), John Murphy, Joe Giordano and Dick Bamford.
Three members of this group go back to the first year of the organization, in 1982.
Len Yanku was the founder and the man who wanted to start a softball league for 50+ year old players in 1982.
Pete DeMasi was a league member for 40 years and was the first player taken in the league’s first season draft.
Joe Giordano was one of the eight original organizers. He also served in all four elected offices, managed and played over his 40-year period.
John Murphy, George St. Vincent and Dick Bamford were league officers and Executive Board members. They also managed and played for more than three decades. He was instrumental in starting two club leagues that give 60+ to 80+ players addition playing time.
Emilio Notarantonio has been a league member for 30 years. He has served on the Executive Board, as vice commissioner and commissioner over the 30 years and is still an active player and manager. He's also been the SSUSA New England Director for over a decade.
Tony Rozzero has been a league member for 25 years. He served as vice commissioner and long-time member of the Executive Board. He played for several Rhode Island championship teams. He continues to be heavily involved in league affairs.