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NSA Hall of Fame: Mike Macenko (1998)

CATEGORY: Player

YEAR INDUCTED: 1998

A native of Brookpark, OH, Mike Macenko is the greatest home run hitter in the history of slow pitch softball. In 27 years of softball, 25 of them in the country’s highest level, Mike hit 7,000 home runs. In 1987 alone he hit 844 home runs and in 1988 he hit 830, the two greatest seasons by far that any softball player ever enjoyed.

A six-foot, three-inch behemoth who tipped the scales at 285 pounds in his playing days, Macenko grew up in Brook Park where he began playing softball in 1973 at the age of 16 with Tom Coyne’s team in the Brook Park Men’s League.

Mike joined Steele’s Sports at the age of 18 and continued a 20-year association with teams managed by John and Dave Neale.  Steele Sports, a sporting goods firm in Grafton, Ohio, which traveled the country taking on all comers in the ancient tradition of “barnstorming” played more than 100 games a year. In 1986 Sports Illustrated featured them in a story headlined “Men of Steele,” which can be found on Macenko’s website.

He was the most valuable player of five different national tournaments. He was named to 34 different all-world teams and was inducted into five different softball halls of fame. In 1998 Mike belted 830 home runs—14 shy of his record 844 last year—and batted in 1,667 runs.

In November 1998, Mike Macenko was inducted into the Player Category of the NSA Sports Hall of Fame.