Earl Ball Speaks: It is a great honor to have the opportunity to present Mike for induction into the Florida Shuffleboard Association Hall of Fame, Mike’s goal from the start was to be here in this moment!
Mike has always been an athlete. He played College Basketball and Baseball. He certainly would have been a Professional Baseball player but was injured when he fell on his shoulder during a game, ending the dream. The years went by and Mike became a Senior Olympic games enthusiast during the mid-2000s. He took part in the games in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. He was a basketball free throw shooter and took part in the shoot around competition but wanted to take part in another sport. His deteriorating hips wouldn’t allow for any track and field events so he decided to try shuffleboard in Milwaukee. He was hooked, just like the rest of us. He metaled in Shuffleboard and qualified for the National Senior Olympic games to be held in Huston the following year. It was that same year Mike decided to try the Michigan State Shuffleboard Championship and though he didn’t win he was still a winner in that he meant a couple of players who wintered in Florida. By this time Mike was aware of the Florida Shuffleboard Pro Tour and was planning to try a winter in Florida on the Tour. They suggested he try Zephyrhills. He showed up in Florida on October 1st, 2010, and on the morning of the 2nd, a Saturday, he was joining the Zephyrhills Club.
He received an invitation to ride along to the 1st State Tournament of the year, the following Monday, and don’t you know, he picked up a partner and played in the tournament. The following Monday, the 2nd tournament of the year, a State Tournament held at the Zephyrhills Club, Mike showed up but of course he had no partner but there sat an older gentleman, shaking a bit, obviously had Parkinson’s disease and certainly couldn’t have been much of a player in that condition. Do any of you remember Mel Elgersma — yes that Mel Elgersma! Well, Mel took Mike on, and pulled, pushed and dragged Mike into the final four making Mike an instant Pro in his 2nd tournament.
Unbeknown to the rest of us, Mike had the goal of becoming a Pro in his 1st season; nobody would have believed it possible!! Bye the way, with that experience under his belt Mike went to Huston the following summer and won Silver!
Mike fits the mold of some of the game’s greatest players. Mike Vassalotti, the best I have ever seen, started banging blocks at 6:00 in the morning. Stan Williamson played every day from age 38 to 50 maybe longer. Henry Strong wanted to get to the top so he went home to Canada and built his own court so he could play every day. Our 1000-point Green Jacket Master, Joan Cook, played every afternoon; I know, I was there.
Mike plays every day and has ever since he’s been coming to Florida, most of the time by himself. He’s read and studied every book ever written about the sport. He’s picked the brain of any one that would talk about the game; Mike’s proof of what hard work and stick-to-ativity can do for a driven player. Mike will be playing his 2nd Florida Shuffleboard Association State Masters in April, and with 126 State points, will repeat this ceremony before long at the State level.
It is my great honor to present Mike Seyfer for induction into the Florida Shuffleboard Association, Central District, Hall of Fame.
Earl Ball. 2017 03 10.
Stan speaks: This was a joint presentation by Shufflers Earl Ball and Gus Bondi. Both were moving and effective presentations!! Gus’s remarks were not available at time of posting.