FALLBROOK – Fallbrook resident and lifelong softball player, Diane Hein, 67, has been nominated to the Senior Softball Hall of Fame.
Hein, a retired executive secretary, has been playing softball for over 50 years. Prior to her involvement in Senior Softball, she played recreational coed and women’s softball throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties for 25 years, and coached or managed many young girls’ teams throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Hein started her senior ball career in 1994 when Chad Hanna formed a 50+ ladies league in Fountain Valley, Calif. That September, their team “Mighty Legends” won the Senior Softball World Championship title. In the following three years she played with Legends I, and Second Wind where she earned two Senior Softball World Championship Tournament awards and batted 607. In 1999, she joined the newly formed California Spirit, a 55 team. She played catcher and rover during the “glory” years of 2000-2004 when Spirit 55 dominated tournament play with a 170/37 record, winning 23 major tournaments and became the first women’s team to win the Senior Softball World Championship Triple Crown in 2002, then repeated the feat in 2004.
During her tenure with Spirit 55, Hein earned 13 All World/All Tournament awards and one co-MVP award. Having moved up to California Spirit 60 in 2006, and now playing second base, she has earned five All Tournament/MVP awards to date. Hein maintains a tournament batting average of .650 and has had three grand slam home runs in tournament play. In her jewelry box, there is a collection of 17 championship rings and one championship pendant.
Presently, in addition to competing in eight to 10 national tournaments each year with the California Spirit 60 team, which she also manages, Hein still plays in the Thursday night women’s senior league in Fountain Valley.
The Senior Softball Hall of Fame was founded in 1995 in Chattanooga, Tenn. and is presently located in Mustang, Okla. Its purpose is to recognize players, managers, umpires, directors and sponsors who have achieved the highest honors in Senior Softball. If elected, Hein will be only the ninth female player to be so honored and the first from California.