USA Softball of South Dakota has announced their Hall of Fame Class of 2022; Dan Roskup, Sioux Falls, Craig “Roller” Rollag. Beaver Creek, Tom “Shriner” Schulte, Sioux Falls
William ‘Bill’ and Rosemary Maher, Spearfish.
Dan was nominated as a coach/manager as well as an officer for leagues and the youth fastpitch state board. He coached youth fastpitch, both girls and boys in the Sioux Falls leagues from 1985 – 1999. He 1996 he started coaching a men’s fastpitch team and continued until 2009. Dan was one of the original coaches in the Sanctioned High School Club league as SF Washington’s head coach from 1998 – 2008, then assisted for4 more years, retiring in 2012.
Dan’s teams won state championship many times, girl’s fastpitch 1998, men’s championships 3 time, but was very successful at the high school level with championships with the Warriors in ’02, ’06, and back to back in 2011 and “12. Add a Ringneck championship in boy’s fastpitch in 1996. Dan was chosen to coach Region 8 12U All American games in OKC. Sprinkle this impressive resume with a few Sportsmanship Awards to mark a great coaching career.
Dan teamed with Sioux Falls People for Youth to start a weekly pitching clinic for all ages in Sioux Falls in 1995. It continues yet today and runs for 8 to 10 weeks every winter. Players may sign-up nightly for a cost of $1 per night with anywhere from 40 to 60 girls pitching every week. In his spare time he also will do private pitching lessons for girls that want to get to that next level.
On the admin side, Dan was BOD for SF Hilltop for ’95 to ’99, Greater Sioux Falls Boy’s Fastpitch from 2000 – ’04, Sioux Falls People for Youth from 1998 – to the present. Dan was a founding member of the SD State High School Club Fastpitch board. He was appointed to the State Youth fastpitch board in 1995 and elected president in 1998, a title he continues to hold.
The youth program has grown to 3 classes in 5 age divisions with high time mark of 180 teams in 2021. They have expanded to 3 days, from 9 diamonds to two complexes and 17 diamonds. There are plans to separate to weekends in the future to accommodate more teams yet. They have added a classification committee in the
last couple of years that Dan is part of.
Craig “Roller” Rollag. Beaver Creek
Craig was nominated as both a player and as a manager in Men’s Fastpitch. Craig farms on the border of South Dakota and Minnesota but played the majority of his softball career in Sioux Falls as well as the Border League which consist of teams from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.
He started playing fastpitch in 1972 with Wissink Realty and continued to play for 24 years, with stints with some of the notable power in SF such as Stockman’s Bar, Gaslight, Coke, Taco Villa, Morell Credit Union, the Brass Rail, both Carlson and Thomas Distributing, finishing with Scarlett’s.
Rollag, a pitcher with a little outfield thrown in the mix won 9 state championships as a player or a player/manager. His teams played in 8 Northern Regional, winning it in 1996 while adding a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes in a 3 year run in ’88, – ’90.
His teams also played in 5 National tournaments, playing in Mankato, Grand Island, finishing 7th out of 71 teams in Vegas. They also played in San Antonio and Rockford. He also received all tournament and MVP awards in various tournament over a 20 year span, from ’72 – ’92.
One of the highlights of his early career was when the national baseball writer, the late Mel Antonen who worked for the Argus at the time, did a feature story on the friendly competition between Craig and his brother Kevin. The story was written when the two teams were tied for first half league standings.
In 1990, the Morell Credit Union team was the first South Dakota team to be invited to play in the Men’s Major Fastpitch Nationals. Stu Whitney did a story on the team, which was noted that this team recorded 75 home runs that year.
Craig recruited many good ball players to follow him and come to Sioux Falls to play. Names like Boom, VanWhye, Hoogeveen, Uithoven, Heydon, Beyehof, and Tilstra just to name a few. So of these names will probably be Hall of Famers themselves. The Blend of the Border, the combo of these South Dakota and Minnesota players were very successful over the years in Sioux Fall and the state of South Dakota, as well as a
Tom “Shriner” Schulte, Sioux Falls
Tom played men’s slowpitch softball for two of the tops teams in Sioux Falls, John’s Shoe Repair from 1991- to 2001 and Chuk – n – Duk in ’03 – ’06. He also had some short stints with Gayland, Bases Loaded, Principal Financialm Miller beer, and the Last Chance.
Tom played all the men’s slowpitch games, in 12” and 16” he primarily played outfield, while in the 14” game he played shortstop also.
With John’s, they won the A titles in South Dakota from ’91 – ’94, runner-up in ’95 before winning again in ‘96, runner-up in ‘98 – ’00. They came back with a championship in ’01. In 2003, Schulte joined Chuck – n – Duk for a 4 year championship run, ending with a win in 2006.
John’s won the A regional in 1991. Between John’s and Chuck – n – Duk, they played in numerous nationals tournaments, winning the “B” Nationals in Owatonna and finishing 5th in Kileen, Texas. Tom was also a member of the Last Chance team from Aberdeen who won the 16” A Nationals, before he moved to Sioux Falls.
Tom was known for his ability in the outfield and his steady bat with average and power. He has the unique distinction of winning state titles in all 4 games of adult slowpitch, 12”, 14”, 16” and Co-ed. Not many other players in South Dakota could say the same in Schulte’s day or even today.
William ‘Bill’ and Rosemary Maher, Spearfish
When talking about the great teams of South Dakota softball over the years, we forget what may have been the best team ever involved in the game in this state, Bill and Rosemary Maher.
State commissioner duties for Maher started in 1972, when he lived in Pierre. The acting president and vice president asked Maher’s wife Rosemary if her husband would like to serve in the commissioner role. “She said he might take it for a couple of years,” Bill Maher said. “Four or five years turned into 42.”
Maher’s commissioner role complemented the playing, coaching, and umpiring that he has done through the years. Bill’s playing days slowed as the state association started to grow and the paperwork that came with it.
It was at this time that Rosemary became Bill’s right hand man, although sometime both Rose and Bill said it might be the other way around.
The Maher team enjoyed watching the game grow. When they started team numers were around 350 total. As teams numbers rose up to the 2,000 mark in the heyday of softball, so did the entities. When Bill started the game was primarily 16” Slowpitch, men’s and women’s fastpitch, with some youth sprinkled in. Within a few years, South Dakota had men’s, women’s and youth slowpitch and fastpitch, both boys and girls. We had 14”, 16”, and co-ed as well, then the senior divisions started coming, first in fastpitch, followed shortly in
slowpitch. Games grew to where divisions were needed in almost all entities. Since South Dakota did not have sanctioned High school Softball, in 1999, USA Softball SD registered furnished umpires, and insurance for the high school divisions that was started with Bill’s blessings.
With more games, the umpire program needed to grow also. With Bill’s help and guidance, South Dakota host either a state or national umpire school yearly. Umpire numbers have been as high as 500 umpires.
During their time at the helm, South Dakota went from not having a Hall of Fame, to having a Hall of fame on wheels, to now having a permanent structure at Sherman Park.
Under team Maher tenure the South Dakota ASA created a scholarship program in 1993 to provide $500 scholarships to eligible high school seniors in the program. Between $80,000 and $90,000 has been awarded; with as many as 17 scholarships a year awarded in recent years.
The Maher’s made softball a family affair. As a family they would attend National Tournaments and National Meetings. They would load up the kids and head to a tournament or a convention. Sometimes they would fly, other times it was a road trip.
Bill Maher stepped down as South Dakota Amateur Softball Association commissioner after 42 years in December of 2014. Maher said age played the biggest role in his decision. “I will be 83 at the end of the month,” he said. “I am not getting it done in the time I used to.”
Bill made a couple of observations on his way out. Maher hopes more young players and teams will materialize in the future. “The lifeblood of the sport is the youth program,” Other changes over the years reflect the times. “When I was a coach and a player, I felt that players and families looked out for each others’ kids,” Maher said. He added that background checks are now part of the vetting process.