Five former players to be inducted into Eastman Fastpitch Hall of Fame
Five former fastpitch softball players will be inducted into the Eastman Fastpitch Hall of Fame on July 4 during a ceremony at 4 p.m.
Roger Slama started playing fastpitch at age 13. His brother Bob taught him to bat left handed. Roger started with the Eastman Falcons. He then played for Bud and Helen’s, the Hilltop, and Bob’s Place in Eastman.
Roger left Eastman at age 25 and played for several years in Janesville. He made their All Star Team and played against the King and His Court. Competition in Janesville was never as good as in Eastman.
Mike Kilburg wanted to play ball so bad he used to take his glove and sit on the bench hoping someone wouldn’t show and then he could play.
He never missed a game. Family summer vacation was going from one ballpark to the next.
Mike played for Slama’s Bar and Bob’s Place, both from Eastman.
Mike used the same glove he started with to the last game he played.
Mike passed away on Jan. 31, 2011.
John Pelock started playing for Little League coach Bud Walker with the Eastman Mets in the 1960s. He later played for Slama’s Bar in the 70s and some for Bob’s Bar of Prairie du Chien.
John grew up in a town and village that just loved fastpitch softball. He moved to Beloit and coached every sport there and used the knowledge that he gained in Eastman. John got into coaching because he wanted to pass on what he learned in Eastman.
Gaylord Kramer started at 14 years old. He was always known for his clutch hits. He batted left handed and played for Hilltop, Helen’s, Bob’s Place and many other teams.
Eastman was a great fastpitch softball town.
Gaylord was the main organizer for the Eastman Ballpark. He also managed many of the teams in his area. “It is just great to be inducted into the Eastman Hall of Fame,” he said.
Don Stram’s first fastpitch game was with Piggly Wiggly. He played in Bush Park and the Mount Hope League at 14 years old. He also played for Gallery, Knapps, and Schoonover Bar.
Don next played with Slama’s Bar and then with Oak Grove, where they had three State Fastpitch Championships.
Don coached the 18 to 23-year-old team to the National Championship.