Howard Honaker and softball have become synonymous, not only in Ashland, but around Ohio and the entire nation.
As an administrator, Honaker has been Amateur Softball Association state commissioner for 22 years, guided the organization’s national office for two years (1980-81), was a member of the United States Olympic Committee for four years and International Softball Federation delegate for five years.
Honaker was inducted into the ASA National Hall of Fame in 1987. Six years earlier, he had been inducted into the ASA’s Ohio Hall of Fame.
Honaker played a large role in the tremendous growth of the sport over the past two decades, and takes great pride in the role softball now enjoys in the Olympic Games.
Softball has not been Honaker’s lone administrative strength. He also has been president of the Ashland Little League, Ashland Pony League, and Ashland Colt League. He also managed numerous youth baseball, soccer, basketball, and golf teams. In addition, Honaker started and founded the National Industrial Recreation Association bowling tournament.
Softball, however, is what Honaker will be best remembered for. He even dabbled in managing the Faultless Rubber fastpitch team over 30 years ago, helping lay the groundwork for the club becoming a world-class power.
Under Honaker’s leadership, Ohio has led the nation in umpire registration for 17 straight years and in adult team registration 13 of the last 17 years.
As an athlete, Honaker won two varsity letters in football, track, and baseball at Ashland High School. He was also the sports editor of his high school paper and later was a correspondent for both the Ashland Times Gazette and Mansfield News Journal.
Honaker has always been known as a tremendous family man. While his numerous work and administrative-related activities kept him away from home for many hours, he has always tried to include his family in those activities and his traveling.
“He is definitely responsible for helping make Ashland a better place to raise a family,” says one of his biggest supporters – son Dave.
Nominator: Dave Honaker