NSA HONORS TWO FINE MEN by: Sandi Quinn Lakeside, OH, so beautiful, so loved and so rich with shuffleboard history. The perfect place for the annual National Shuffleboard Association’s Hall of Fame Induction Banquets.
Each year the NSA recognizes and inducts into their Hall of Fame very special and very deserving individuals either in the “Player” category, or the Special Awards category or both.
This year, two very successful, much respected and very staunch supporters of the NSA are receiving the honor in the “Player” category. DAVE MINNICH was presented by Joe Messier, who was honored and proud to present and speak about his good friend. In Joe’s unwritten and heartfelt presentation of Dave, he said Dave began his successful shuffleboard career at the Clearwater courts and has been a Pro for ten years. He said Dave gained the respect of his opponents from the very beginning and still does, and that Dave has never refused to help a fellow shuffler in any way he can. A very commendable and unselfish effort of Dave’s Pro career is that every year he plays half or more of his tournaments with a new or up-and-coming Pro. To me, this is a great testament of Dave’s strong faith and makes him a “man among men” and a real blessing to the shuffleboard community. A very humble Dave was moved, as we all were, by the words of his good friend, Joe. He expressed his deep appreciation and thankfulness to be chosen for induction to the NSA Hall of Fame. Among Dave’s comments, he mentioned the memory of making it to the finals in his first National tournament and getting beat by Larry Faris, whom he did not know at the time but was told he was coming up against a “Legend” in shuffleboard. I am sure that Dave quickly gained the respect and friendship of this “Legend” and discovered how and why his new friend earned the reputation he had.
EARL BALL was presented by his good friend Stan Williamson who, I must say, looked “mighty dapper” for the evening’s event. Stan said that Earl has played for eleven years, has achieved six National titles (may be more by now), and made instant Pro the season of “99-2000.” Stan recalled being told about a new “Hot Shot” at Betmar and just had to go “cool him off”. However, he lost to Earl and they quickly became best of friends. Stan and Earl have been partners for seven years through surgeries, an aneurism and many ups and downs. Stan spoke of the special friendships developed between shuffleboard players, and before leaving the podium, amused us with his sense of humor and a few jokes. I would like to mention Earl’s dedication to promoting shuffleboard by traveling extensively to do so and by writing extensively on the worldwide web. He has also represented FL more than once on the US National Men’s Team in International Tournaments. At the Clearwater ISA he went undefeated and last year at the Brazil ISA his record was 10-1. A very gracious Earl announced that he was speechless and, believe it or not, he almost was. In a short speech he expressed his deep and heart-felt thanks to his partner, Stan, his lovely wife, Vivian and to the NSA for choosing him for induction to their Hall of Fame. He was also very happy and proud that son, Tony, traveled from Grand Rapids, MI for the evening’s event.
NSA President, Walt Wedel, presented the two new Hall of Fame members with plaques and pins. Earl blushed a little when Vivian wanted to put his pin in his naval, and Dave glowed as his lovely Sue pinned his lapel. It was a wonderful evening. As all shufflers know, to be chosen and inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame is a great honor and achievement. I’m sure I can speak for all shufflers and say THANK YOU to these two men for all you have done for shuffleboard, and sincere CONGRATULATIONS on achieving this honor. GOD BLESS AND HAPPY SHUFFLING!!
Article by Contributing Writer to THE SHUFFLER, Sandi Quinn 2006 08 09.
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